Afuri Ramen, Dumpling Restaurant On Its Way to DTLA, Orange County

The Tokyo-based restaurant has major expansion plans starting with the Arts District.
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Tokyo-based ramen and dumpling restaurant Afuri is set to fill the retail space at 688 Mateo Street in Los Angeles. Construction is expected to start next month with a five-month turnaround.  There are plans to also open in the Orange County area, according to CEO Mars Duan, who said that it’s up in the air where they will open exactly, but they’re currently considering the neighborhoods Costa Mesa and Irvine.

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What Now Los Angeles learned of the company’s expansion plans after an LLC filed a Conditional Use Beverage Permit for the 4,097-square-foot restaurant with 71 interior seats and 30 exterior seats on a 455-square-foot patio.

The restaurant will anchor a 19,720-square-foot office/retail project that is currently under renovation being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield at the center of the Arts District. The building was constructed in 1985.

Already, Afuri has a location in Cupertino, California, as well as Singapore, Hong Kong, British Columbia, and two locations in Portland, Oregon along with sister restaurants in Tokyo and Lisbon. The restaurant prides itself as one of the most acclaimed ramen chains in Tokyo with a specialty in yuzu shio, a clear chicken broth ramen. The restaurant’s expansion to the U.S. has been the help of CEO Taichi Ishizuki, whose bio notes that there is “more to comes [sic]”

Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain is a D.C.-born content creator who previously worked as the Editor of Curbed DC at Vox Media for three and a half years. She has contributed to several local publications, including Vox, Education Week, Washington Business Journal, Eater DC, Washington City Paper, DCist, Washingtonian, and Greater Greater Washington. She also has a background in photography, social media management, and the visual arts. Her main side hustle is a surreal comedy show on YouTube, called Artsplained, that focuses on increasing interest and knowledge in the arts through quirky sketches and long-form essays.
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