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The founder of Umami Burger and 800 Degrees is getting into the ramen game

Written by
Brittany Martin

Culver City is getting ready to roll—or, at least, getting ready for Ramen Roll. The fast-casual ramen joint, opening soon, is the newest project from Adam Fleischman, the man who founded both Umami Burger and 800 Degrees. In addition to ramen noodles, there will be sushi hand rolls and Japanese bowls. 

Fleischman has brought on a couple of interesting collaborators for the new venture, Eater L.A. notes. 

Holding things down in the kitchen will be chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto. He comes to the project from high-end kaiseki restaurant Yamakase. The place is so exclusive that tables are only awarded to diners who receive invitations after submitting an online application. 

Before that, though, Yamamoto gained a bit of notoriety for serving the meat of endangered sei whales during his time at Santa Monica’s The Hump. In 2010, the restaurant was caught on film serving whale by the team behind the documentary The Cove, and Yamamoto was among a group of individuals who were ultimately hit with misdemeanor charges. 

Also on the team at Ramen Roll is Andy Gavin, the co-creator of the video game Crash Bandicoot. When not developing games, he’s a food and technology blogger, which might explain some of Ramen Roll’s enthusiasm for iPad-assisted customer service.

Ramen Roll will be taking over a space in Culver City formerly occupied by Picnic L.A., a café that lasted only eight months before falling to Culver City’s shuttering trend. The Ramen Roll team is no doubt hoping to beat the odds and have another Umami Burger-style hit on their hands instead. If so, it seems likely given their history that they’ll try to spin it out into the next big local chain.

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