Get your ramen with a side of karaoke at Yokohama, which opens today
Yokohama, the new ramen restaurant from Stand Eat Drink Hospitality, opens today at 1932 E. Kenilworth Pl. in the former home of Yield Bar. And we've got a peek at what you can expect.
Overall, Yokohama's decor is sleek and modern, featuring blonde wood and textured charcoal subway tile augmented by occasional pops of color.
The karaoke bar sports a full service bar (literally) as well as a state-of-the-art karaoke system. If you like, you can enjoy drinks and ramen while gathering with friends at a variety of hightop cocktail tables. But the star of the show is the karaoke stage, the back of which is decorated with a reproduction of one of the many photos taken during the owners' trip to Japan this past fall.
Garage doors at the front of the restaurant will connect the restaurant to its 20-seat parklet, where diners can enjoy their ramen al fresco. Meanwhile, an oh-so-convenient pick-up window will also accommodate both impromptu pick-ups or call-in orders.
The karaoke bar, which is available for rental as a private event space, leads to Yokohama's second level, which features a more extensive dining room, as well as a noodle bar where guests can take a seat and enjoy a bowl of ramen.
Looking for a refreshing treat? Why not try an adult sno-cone made with shaved ice and shochu, a Japanese distilled spirit made from grains and vegetables. The Jukebox Hero features Gekkeikan sweet potato shochu with passion fruit and ginger, while Cold As Ice (pictured) features Gekkeikan Barley Shochu, Thai basil and pair. Both are $3. Or you can get one free during happy hour (Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.) with your first karaoke attempt.
Among other beverage offerings there is a small wine list, sake, available in single servings or by the bottle, and beer. Taps include Kirin Ichiban and Milwaukee Brewing Company's O-Gii while the bottle and can offerings feature a variety of local and national staples along with five offerings from Japanese brewery Hitachino Nest.
There are also $7 tap craft cocktails including a Singapore sling, a riff on the old fashioned featuring ginger and passionfruit and a Manhattan with Rishi Omija Berry Infused Cinzano Rosso. Uniquely refreshing sake sangria made with Ozeki sake, plum wine, pear, Thai basil, citrus and both Bittercube Jamaican #1 and Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters. Order it up as a single for $7 or as a double served up in a coconut to accommodate two ($14)
Ramen will be the mainstay at the restaurant, and will include traditional shio, shoyu and tonkatsuvarieties, along with a vegetarian ramen. There will also be tsukemen ramen ($12), a Japanese variation on ramen where noodles are served separately with a bowl of flavorful broth – either tonkotsu (pork) or shio (seafood) – for dipping.
A spicy ramen, Momofuker (pictured), will feature chicken stock, red miso, panko chicken breast, kimchi, scallions nori and ajitama (egg) and will be served as hot as you can handle it ($13 for medium, "hottt" or "hellfire").
In addition to ramen, there will be appetizers like edamame and lotus root chips, along with tamago kake, a Japanese rice bowl with egg, bok choy, onion, soy sauce, furikake and sesame seeds ($5, add chicken or pork for an additional $2-3).
Steamed buns include chasu pork belly with kimchi and scallions, panko chicken with Sriracha ketchup and cilantro or braised portabella with miso aioli and pickled cucumber ($4-5). Meanwhile, Korean fried chicken wings are tossed with sweet or spicy soy sauce (eight pieces for $9).
And there will be burgers, complete with (surprise!) house-made ramen buns. Both beef and vegetarian (black bean and sweet potato) versions are available for $9 with add-ons including bacon, avocado and a fried egg. Fries or a side salad are available for an additional $2. Oh, and regular bread-based buns are also available if you're all noodled out).
Yokohama will be open Thursday, May 18 and Friday May 19 from 5 p.m. to close. Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant will open for lunch, with hours from 11 a.m. to close. Follow Yokohama on Facebook to see hours moving into next week. Ultimately, Yokohama plans to be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
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