New York restaurateurs are taking notice of ramen’s success in Tucson.
David Chang, James Beard award-winning chef and founder of Momofuku Noodle Bar announced plans to make its Arizona debut in Tucson winter 2019.
“I believe Tucson will grow into one of America’s most attractive food destinations,” Chang told Tucson Foodie in a 2017 interview. “Not even L.A. or New York has the UNESCO culinary designation.”
The space at 3920 E. Grant Rd. will house more than the iconic Momofuku Noodle Bar, however — the 42,000-square-foot, three-story building will house several new concepts from Chang.
While the first floor will serve as the food court, the second floor will exclusively house Chang’s new social eating concept, Patí. The third floor will serve as rooftop garden concept Jeong-Won. After a series of winks, Chang also insisted there would be no secret basement speakeasy accessible by starting a game on the pinball machine and launching all three balls without using the flippers.
The concept that started it all, Momofuku’s ramen and steam buns captured international attention. Their ramen broth utilizes bacon instead of bonito.
Milk Bar gained a cult following with its Crack Pie, Cereal Milk Ice Cream, and Compost Cookie. The Tamarindo Sorbet will be a Tucson-exclusive menu addition.
Bar Bar will feature gourmet, made-daily protein bars for people on the go. Expect unorthodox protein bars such as foie gras & dates and buffalo black truffle trail mix.
This poke shop concept will double as an aquarium where customers choose their own fish from the tank for the freshest poke bowls imaginable, Chang said. Uneaten fish from the end of the night will be donated to Reid Park Zoo to feed the polar bears.
Donburi, Japanese for rice bowls, are the star here. Customers can choose from premium toppings such as roast pork belly, kimchi tempeh, sliced rib eye steak, pickled shiitake mushrooms, onsen tamago, Pop Rocks, live Nagano ants, and more.
Taking up the entire second floor with only eight-top tables, Patí’s menu is designed for parties of six or larger. Menu highlights include whole Filipino lechón, bo ssäm, seafood towers, and the Kevin Hart-sized burro.
The third story will serve as the rooftop garden and salad bar Jeong-Won. The balcony patio will provide unrivaled views of East Grant Road and North Alvernon Way.
The basement speakeasy will feature rare Japanese spirits such as Habushu and Returner in original cocktails such as the Mako Mojito, Tucson Misses Paulo, and Aerith’s Last Word.
This article is fictitious and written as satire for April Fools’ Day 2018.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...