The ramen trend comes to South SF at Takara 

click to enlarge Takara Japanese Ramen and Cuisine
  • Courtesy Takara
  • Takara Japanese Ramen and Cuisine in South San Francisco specializes in savory, slurpable noodles and other Japanese favorites.
With Half Moon Bay’s latest restaurant opening, the small seaside town is starting to resemble Sorrento or Naples. Via Uno has opened its doors, bringing southern Italy’s flavors to the San Mateo County coast from owners Massimo Sarubbi and Francesco D’Agostino, originally from Italy’s Tyrrhenian coast. The thoughtfully composed menu features roughly 30 items spread over six categories, all with a heavy emphasis on the ingredients’ sourcing and cooking in the slow-food style that originated in Italy and has spread across the world. The pizza oven imported from Italy fires slightly charred, puffy pies like the Angelo, with fresh porcini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, prosciutto crudo and black olives. Fresh Monterey calamari gets sauteed with tomatoes and Calabrese peperoncino for a piatti piccolo, or small plate. All pastas are made in-house, including tagliatelle with a wild boar ragu. Of course, you can conclude with a classic cappuccino and homemade tiramisu while enjoying the oceanfront patio. With a little language translation, you can guess what beautiful coastal highway Via Uno is located along, even if it’s a few thousand miles away from the Mediterranean.

2810 Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay; (650) 560-8858

Redwood City

At the confluence of two major trends over the past couple of years, blending everything craft (think craft breweries and craft cocktails) and nose-to-tail, whole-animal butchery, downtown Redwood City now has a craft butchery. Gambrel & Co. is the Peninsula’s new meat shop of the retro butchery genre with high-quality cuts of grass-fed T-bones, turkeys, bison and much more. While for the time being you’re responsible for cooking your own meal, Gambrel & Co. is also making its own jerky, sausages and spice rubs for your next barbecue or dinner event. A deli and charcuterie program are in the works to elevate the meat-eating levels of Redwood City even higher.

810 Main St., Redwood City; (650) 362-4474,

South San Francisco

Speaking of popular food movements, there may be no more in-demand dish on the Peninsula than ramen. The latest ramen shop opening now is Takara Japanese Ramen and Cuisine in South San Francisco. Start with one of the traditional opening bites like gyoza before moving on to one of the three traditional varieties of ramen to slurp (tonkotsu, miso and soy). Ramen certainly isn’t the only item offered here, though. Various bento box combos and bargain lunch specials are available, almost all of which are under $10. There are also sushi rolls including a 49ers Roll that scores a touchdown with a spicy tuna filling and a topping of salmon and lemon.

665 El Camino Real, South S.F.; (650) 588-9993,

San Mateo

San Mateo now has a third Chipotle location, this time near the Hillsdale neighborhood. The not exactly small or unknown nationwide specialist in fast-casual gourmet burritos and tacos is back again with all your favorites from the barbacoa burrito bowl to the adobo-marinated grilled chicken soft tacos.

1050 Park Place, San Mateo; (650) 242-7265,

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