Food & Wine names Austin restaurant one of 10 Best New Restaurants in America

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The accolades continue to pour in for chefs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto’s Japanese smokehouse, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya. After landing a spot on my list of best new restaurants last year and a Top 10 ranking in my annual Austin360 Dining Guide, along with a top mention from Bon Appetit, the good-timin restaurant in East Austin was named one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America by Food & Wine restaurant editor Jordana Rothman. One of her favorite things about the restaurant that mashes up Japanese and Texas cultures? The barbecue ramen, of course:

If there’s one dish that sums up the spirit of Kemuri, it would be the BBQ Tsukemen—springy noodles in one bowl, a thick dipping broth in another. That soup is a three-day labor of love that stacks collagen-rich chicken and pork feet for texture with smoked brisket burnt ends, kombu, and katsuobushi. The result is murky magic that you’ll want to polish off like a shot of whiskey.

Hearts and beef tongue at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, one of Austin’s best new restaurants. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Kemuri is joined on the list by Better Luck Tomorrow, the Houston bar-restaurant from chef Justin Yu and Texas’ mixology godfather, Bobby Heugel. The rest of Rothman’s exciting list bounces around the country, with welcome nods to places as diverse as Minneapolis, Seattle and Ferndale, Michigan. See the full list here.

The list comes in the middle of a spate of news from the Kemuri owners, who have announced that they have signed a lease on Burnet Road and are going to take over the space on East Sixth Street formerly occupied by Qui.

The magazine last year named June’s All Day one of the country’s best new spots.


Author: Matthew Odam

Restaurant critic & features writer at Austin American @Statesman and @Austin360. Austin-born 6th generation Texan. Left-handed.

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