Kemuri Tatsu-ya is one of the buzziest new Austin restaurants to open in 2017, and this new Japanese izakaya concept is a hit. The purpose behind Kemuri Tatsu-ya’s izakaya concept is that the Ramen Tatsu-ya team wanted to create a neighborhood hangout where people could hangout with friends, enjoy some beer or cocktails, and wash it all down with some great food.
They took over the former Live Oak Barbecue space on east 2nd street, and with it they acquired the smoker that was housed at that location. Rather than get rid of it, they decided to implement it in their overall concept to introduce smoked meats, fish, and other plates, and infused it into their menu.
The menu includes small bites or “munchies”, skewers, yakitori, kushiyaki, and rice. There are also those smoked meats, including brisket and fish such as eel and yellowtail collar, which is a Japanese staple. They also have a few varieties of ramen, which are not to be missed.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, take a peek at their chinmi menu, complete with unusual and unique dishes denoted by their level of funkiness with iconic figures like Leslie (pretty funky) or James Brown (super funky).
As for drinks with Japanese touches, Kemuri hired former Midnight Cowboy general manager Michael Phillips. The drinks you’ll see on the menu vary from Texas beers, sake, shochu, and some pretty innovative and fun cocktails. We enjoyed the puff puff pass, a fun cocktail served in a puffer fish goblet that’s enough for two.
While you wait for your table, Kemuri Tatsu-ya has set up a rickshaw bar on the front patio where you can enjoy beer and sake, and enjoy your sips in a small waiting area. There’s also a pretty large back patio perfect for Austin’s frequent fair-weather days.
The funky combo of Japanese and Texas decor lends itself perfectly to the fun hip hop music that is jamming throughout the restaurant–perfect for a little fun and relaxation post-work, and a great ambience to enjoy prior to hitting the town.
Kemuri Tatsu-ya is now open at 2713 E 2nd St, make sure to check it out to see what the buzz is all about! Check out my video of our experience during the media preview for Kemuri Tatsuya.