State Street Market in downtown Los Altos recently relaunched with new vendors – and more to come.
Japanese food is more than just sushi.
That’s what Los Altos Hills resident and mother of three Kuniko Ozawa aims to prove. Originally a sales engineer, Ozawa opened her first restaurant, Sumika Grill, in downtown Los Altos 17 years ago to introduce local residents to yakitori, Japanese grilled skewers. And now, Ozawa is serving up traditional Japanese ramen at her new location – Orenchi Ramen in State Street Market.
“I moved from Japan about 26 years ago,” Ozawa said. “Orenchi Ramen is authentic Japanese ramen … not Americanized or commercialized.”
Orenchi Ramen originally opened in Redwood City approximately 15 years ago before closing up shop March 3 and relocating to State Street Market March 19. The original Orenchi Ramen building will become a kaiseki (Japanese multi-course dinner) restaurant, Ogiku, with an expected opening in May. By keeping the building, Ozawa was able to retain staff.
But moving Orenchi into State Street Market isn’t without its challenges. Ozawa said transitioning into a much smaller kitchen has limited the amount of product able to be served during a rush and cut the menu to half the size.
Ozawa also owns a Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant in Santa Clara, La Casa Mia, and a soon-to-open Japanese bakery, Ikuka, located within State Street Market. When asked if she has more restaurants on the way, Ozawa laughed.
“Not this year,” she said. “My husband is telling me not to open more. Maybe next year.”
To see how the signature Orenchi Ramen is made, click here.
For more information on Orenchi Ramen, visit orenchi-ramen.com.
Like mother, like daughter.
Miyuki Ozawa, daughter of Orenchi Ramen owner Kuniko Ozawa, is taking time off from UC Irvine to become the general manager of Ikuka, a Japanese pastry shop with an expected opening in State Street Market by the end of the month.
Ikuka is short for “imo, kuri, kabocha,” the Japanese words for “sweet potato, chestnut and pumpkin,” which will be the main flavors of the desserts being offered.
“I’ve always really wanted to open my own bakery,” Miyuki said. “While studying abroad in Japan, I spent a lot of time going to all the different cafes and researching.”
Patrons can expect to see Pumpkin Basque cheesecake, Mont Blanc and an array of cakes, madeleines and croissants.
Miyuki plans to sell small amounts of Ikuka pastries at Orenchi mid-April as a sneak peak of what’s coming.
Penny Ice Creamery
Candy-cap mushroom. Black pepper cheesecake. Fig leaf. Whiskey custard.
For most people, it’s hard to imagine such combinations as ice cream flavors. But not for trained pastry chef Kendra Baker, who created all of those flavors and more for her ice cream company, The Penny Ice Creamery.
When asked which flavor trumps the rest, she couldn’t choose.
“They’re all my babies,” Baker said. “We spend so much time thinking about each flavor and where we’re sourcing the ingredients from. … There’s just so much intention and thought that goes into the process.”
Baker and her business partner Zachary Davis founded the first Penny Ice Creamery shop in Santa Cruz in 2010; three more shops within Santa Cruz County soon followed. This month, the ice cream company plans to expand north, opening at State Street Market and Town & Country Village in Palo Alto.
Baker said what differentiates her ice cream from others is that they make it completely from scratch, even pasteurizing the milk themselves. The Penny Ice Creamery doesn’t use a premade ice cream base, so each flavor has a completely unique recipe.
“We want to hear from our Los Altos customers the flavors they want to try and ideas they have and ways we can better be a part of the Los Altos community and not just be a Santa Cruz company that is here,” she said.
Baker is preparing to open the State Street Market shop, replacing Tin Pot Creamery, before the end of the month.
For more information, visit thepennyicecreamery.com.
“Konjo” is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “having guts and perseverance.”
Combine that word with the name “Joe,” and you get Konjoe, the burger restaurant created by Joey Camacho, a 36-year-old from Guam.
“In high school, I was like, ‘I want to get into the restaurant industry, and I want to cook,’” Camacho said. “But my parents were like, ‘You need to get a four-year degree.’ … So, I went to Santa Clara University.”
Camacho then graduated from culinary school and from business school before openingKonjoe Burger’s first location at San Pedro Square Market in San Jose in 2013.
Although the original location closed permanently during the pandemic, he now has multiple locations of Konjoe – a ghost kitchen in Santa Clara, a concession stand in SAP Center, two locations in Levi’s Stadium and, as of mid-March, a location at State Street Market.
“We’re just trying to provide the best product that we can to the community,” Camacho said. “We want to be the neighborhood burger joint in Los Altos.”
For more information, visit konjoe.com.
State Street Market is located at 170 State St. For hours and more information, visit statestreetmarket.com.
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