On September 1st, 2012, Austin became home to its first authentic, brick-and-mortar Japanese ramen shop. Ramen Tatsu-ya is the long-awaited collaboration between local chefs/DJs, Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto. The two of them first met as they were busy making their marks on the Austin scene as hip-hop DJs. After following an eerily parallel timeline, honing their crafts at notable Austin establishments such as Musashino and Second Bar + Kitchen, Tatsu took a leap and moved to Los Angeles. There, he worked in one of the nation’s most respected Kaiseki/Sushi bars, the two Michelin star restaurant Urasawa. On his return, he began working with Takuya on birthing Tatsu-ya. “I was craving good ramen after having lived in Japan and LA. I wanted to provide that same quality and authenticity in Austin, the city I call home.” says Tatsu. “We want to educate people on what ramen truly is. It’s the soul food of Japan. The process of broth-making can take an extremely long time in order to draw out the flavors from each ingredient.” A far cry from the 10-cent package ramen most of us know all too well.The soulfulness at Tatsu-ya is palpable. The restaurant seats a mere 38 people, split between communal tables, bar seating and 3 tops. “We aim for a small but open and distinctly Japanese experience for diners to enjoy this real deal ramen. We hope guests will become engaged with not just the food, but with the people and thoughtful design around them,” Tatsu adds.