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Edomasa: A Century-Old Tokyo Yakitori Legacy Resurrects in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO – An esteemed Japanese culinary establishment is set to make its debut on American shores.

Edomasa, a famed yakitori (grilled, skewered chicken) eatery that first began its operations in Tokyo in 1924, closed its doors in 2022. However, the legacy is far from over. EK Food Services, a Bay Area Japanese American food enterprise, unveiled its plans to revive and relaunch the historic restaurant in San Francisco’s vibrant Japantown this fall.

According to Yuki Sakakibara, a director at EK Food Services, the relocation goes beyond just the name. “We’ve transported not just the chef but the very essence of the restaurant from Tokyo to San Francisco,” Sakakibara informed The Standard. In a touching nod to its rich history, the original counter from the Tokyo stall, which has stood the test of time, will be incorporated into the decor of the San Francisco outlet.

Residents and tourists can look forward to the grand opening slated for late September. For the uninitiated, EK Food Services is no stranger to the Bay Area’s gastronomic scene, being the mastermind behind the popular ramen chain, Marufuku Ramen.

For those unfamiliar with yakitori, it’s a traditional Japanese delicacy where chicken is skewered using bamboo or steel sticks and grilled over charcoal fires. The flavors predominantly revolve around a salty or a salty-sweet palette.

The overarching aim behind transplanting Edomasa to San Francisco, as quoted from the restaurant’s official website, is “to forge a deep bond with the local community by offering an unparalleled dining experience.”

However, the past is not devoid of controversies. Reports from Japanese media highlight Edomasa’s closure in Tokyo in September 2022, primarily due to rising concerns over the health implications of consuming raw chicken. Sakakibara elaborated on the matter, emphasizing that Edomasa’s renowned raw chicken dish, backed by a unique preparation technique, had garnered immense popularity without any reports of food poisoning. The problem arose when other restaurants attempted to emulate the dish, leading to health complications. Consequently, Edomasa decided to shut shop. Sakakibara assured that the San Francisco iteration of the menu would steer clear of the contentious raw chicken dish.

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