West Seattle restaurants: Kukai Ramen coming to The Junction

(SDOT’s 42nd/Alaska camera shows the future restaurant’s corner spot, at left)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:55 PM: Thanks to Jason for the tip: City files show another restaurant penciled in for the east building of Junction 47. A “site plan” on file for the 42nd SW & SW Alaska corner spot shows Kukai as the “proposed tenant business.” This would be the answer to the hopes of those who have been wishing for a “noodle shop” in West Seattle. Kukai’s regional franchisees – spinning off a chain in Japan – have two other restaurants in Seattle so far, including one that opened on Capitol Hill last spring. (All Kukai locations are listed at the bottom of this menu you can check out online.) We have inquiries out to try to find out more. The first restaurant announced for Junction 47 was The Lodge Sports Grille, as reported here two months ago, also in the east building.

6:19 PM UPDATE: Broker Jason Miller from Colliers confirms to WSB that Kukai Ramen is indeed going into that space. He also confirms what another document in the city files show – Bishops Barbershop (a Portland-area chain with 1 Seattle location so far) will be next door, along 42nd.

57 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Kukai Ramen coming to The Junction"

  • Diane August 12, 2015 (5:10 pm)

    also heard BECU is going into east building; any info on that?

    • WSB August 12, 2015 (5:19 pm)

      There’s a barbershop also mentioned in permit files. Didn’t see a bank. But they supposedly have long been seeking a WS location.

  • RarelyEver August 12, 2015 (5:49 pm)

    RAMEN!!! :D

  • justadumbguy August 12, 2015 (5:50 pm)

    RAMEN! I’ll never need to leave the island (ok peninsula) again :-)

  • anonyme August 12, 2015 (5:58 pm)

    Now this is exciting news! A Japan-based noodle shop would be so fantastic.

    As would a BECU…

  • Sod August 12, 2015 (6:11 pm)

    Yippee!! Sounds yummy. Change is good!!

  • Mike August 12, 2015 (6:13 pm)

    What we need is a GREAT chinese restaurant. I miss the Luck Toy. Wahkues (sp) is trying to sell in Burien. Lived in WS all my life and hoped to have a new Ch. Restaurant

  • foodie August 12, 2015 (6:16 pm)

    Looking forward to Kukai. I’ve been hoping for a noodle shop in WS other than pho. A savory bowl of ramen with all the toppings please!

  • gina August 12, 2015 (6:28 pm)

    All this, and a rumored dumpling shop north of the main Junction. Lots of good tastes to look forward to!

  • kumalavula August 12, 2015 (6:39 pm)

    4.5 star reviews of kukai’s cap hill location.
    sounds like a good place to hit on a rainy afternoon or evening. excited for the addition to the ‘hood!

  • BeachBoy August 12, 2015 (6:41 pm)

    I’ve eaten at the ones in Bellvue and Cap Hill. Both are great, but the CH location has terrible parking and is overrun by hipsters and brogrammers. This is good news indeed!

  • HelperMonkey August 12, 2015 (6:46 pm)

    I’ve never even heard of this place, but one look at the menu and I know I’ll be there often. I want ramen NOW.
    oh and Mike – don’t discount WahKue. I just went there on Sunday. Food is delicious, authentic and the drinks are still just as strong as you remember and expect. :) I personally thought all the food tasted exactly the same at the Luck Toy – bad eggroll and rancid oil. Also, I walked thru their kitchen a few times while exiting the bar back in the day. *shudders*

  • M August 12, 2015 (6:52 pm)

    Next we just need some good Caribbean food.

  • dumpling fanatic August 12, 2015 (6:55 pm)

    Um… did someone say “rumored dumpling shop” ?????

  • Junctionite August 12, 2015 (6:59 pm)

    Is The Lodge still planned? We wondered why this space still has a for lease sign. Ramen will be a nice add to the neighborhood options, a Genki Sushi (or something like it) would be great too!

  • Tanya H August 12, 2015 (7:08 pm)

    Finally!!! I won’t have to leave WS for some good ramen. Best restaurant news I’ve heard in a long time.

  • はち August 12, 2015 (7:09 pm)


  • Ttt August 12, 2015 (7:13 pm)

    the ramen place sounds great! Surprises me another hair cut place is moving in… Seems like we already have a plethora of those in WS.

  • unknown August 12, 2015 (7:33 pm)

    Please tell me there’ll be no MSG in the food at Kukai’s and does anyone know if that has to be disclosed if a restaurant uses it???

  • Clinker August 12, 2015 (7:44 pm)

    This is great news!
    Anyone know how they compare to samurai noodle?

  • Marcus M August 12, 2015 (7:51 pm)

    Raammeeennnn!!! hurray

  • CJCEL August 12, 2015 (7:51 pm)

    Can we get some retail in these new locations that’s not just food?

  • Captain Beefheart August 12, 2015 (8:11 pm)

    A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?

  • Fairmount Canyon Resident August 12, 2015 (8:13 pm)

    The location in Northgate near my work is excellent. Real ramen is a great hangover cure, which is good considering the number of places around that serve drinks!

  • Amrakx August 12, 2015 (8:16 pm)

    RAMEN!!!! I never thought I would see the day RAMEN in West Seattle!!!!! This is the best news I’ve heard all day!

  • ChefJoe August 12, 2015 (9:43 pm)

    unknown, most places aren’t adding MSG as a processed chemical anymore, but it’s found naturally in plenty of things in cooking/processed foods (soy sauce, yeast extract, barley malt, etc). Heck, even Whole Foods sells Braggs liquid aminos, which has plenty of MSG from soy ferment.

  • wscommuter August 12, 2015 (9:50 pm)

    This is all fine and good … as long as I don’t have to drink any f&#*$ing merlot.

  • West Seattle Hipster August 12, 2015 (10:00 pm)

    Will they have Gluten Free ramen offerings?

    • WSB August 12, 2015 (10:04 pm)

      WSH, you can follow the menu link. Didn’t get time to review the whole thing. – TR

  • jetcitydude August 12, 2015 (10:14 pm)

    Oh gawd I love Japanese food. I hope they’ll serve more than just noodles.

    • WSB August 12, 2015 (10:18 pm)

      JCD, the menu indicates various other dishes. Not sushi, though, just as well perhaps given that The Junction has three Japanese restaurants already where you can indulge in that.

  • Westseaneighbor August 12, 2015 (10:17 pm)

    Kukai is awesome, and no comparison to samurai noodle. Much cleaner feel and very consistently delicious. My wife and I have spent a lot of time and energy visiting their Redmond and cap hill locations. We are super psyched to see them opening a restaurant here.

  • Andi August 12, 2015 (10:46 pm)

    Ramen!! Just in time for fall and winter… if they ever come. Exciting!

  • NowAHappyCamper August 12, 2015 (10:54 pm)

    We often go to Northgate Kukai and have tried the newer Capitol Hill spot. The ramen and other menu items are delicious, consistently so. I too never thought I’d see the day that West Seattle would have authentic ramen. Kukai Ramen & Izakaya coming to WS is really happy news!!!

  • Luis Antezana August 12, 2015 (11:43 pm)

    There is already ramen in the junction at Azuma, but a dedicated ramen house would be pretty sweet.

  • Martin August 13, 2015 (12:04 am)


  • Yeahramen! August 13, 2015 (12:06 am)

    Every time my wife and I drive to the Kukai in Northgate I always say “They really need to open a location in West Seattle”. This is great news! Now we just need to get a decent Mexican, Italian, and Chinese restaurant nearby and we’ll be all set!

  • trickycoolj August 13, 2015 (1:17 am)

    Oh that’s the one from Bellevue that my coworker raved about forever and when I finally was over there I had a great laugh that it was in a WalMart parking lot, of all places on the east side! Really stellar ramen!! So excited!

  • Jeanine August 13, 2015 (5:12 am)

    Unknown, MSG sensitivity has been debunked. Also the myth holds racist undertones.

    MSG is delicious, actually has LESS sodium than salt and glutamate are found naturally in many foods.

    The more you know……

  • RayWest August 13, 2015 (5:23 am)

    I totally agree with the comment about more retail shops going in. There is nothing but an ongoing revolving door of bar/restaurants in West Seattle. Oh, and let’s not forget nail salons and now, apparently, barbershops. I want RETAIL!!!!

  • Matt S. August 13, 2015 (8:06 am)

    Ramen! Variety! I also hope the dumpling shop isn’t a dirty, baseless rumor.

  • S August 13, 2015 (8:42 am)

    Dumpling shop rumors? Tell me more please!

  • Kimmy August 13, 2015 (8:57 am)

    Very excited for Ramen and excited to learn that dietary sensitivities and restrictions can be racist! What a time to be alive.

  • Matt S. August 13, 2015 (9:08 am)

    @S: I don’t know, Gina started with this dumpling business above.
    @Kimmy: Intolerance is intolerance, be it physiological or sociological. Check your dietary privilege!

  • Ron Swanson August 13, 2015 (9:11 am)

    Kimmy, I don’t know about racist (although given MSG’s almost exclusive association with Chinese cuisine, there is arguably a racial element in play), but MSG’s alleged negative effects are a complete myth on par with vaccine-autism association.

    See, e.g., http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/msg-myth-versus-science/

  • Matt S. August 13, 2015 (9:19 am)

    @Ron Swanson: I thought umami (and therefore MSG) was more of a Japanese thing, not that it matters. I’m also minimally authoritative on the subject.

    • WSB August 13, 2015 (10:06 am)

      FWIW on the MSG subject, perhaps someone else out there who is also a late-stage boomer shares my memory of Accent, shaker-dispensed MSG that was a widely advertised/used fixture in many a home kitchen in the late ’60s.

  • HelperMonkey August 13, 2015 (10:11 am)

    MSG sensitivity has been debunked, huh? wow, someone better tell that to the instant migraine-level headache I get when I ingest it in any significant quantity! And all these years I’ve been avoiding it for nothing AND I’m a racist too! Thanks Jeannie! JFTDC.

  • trickycoolj August 13, 2015 (11:14 am)

    MSG is a problem for some people and it’s not a racist Asian food thing. Tarter Sauce, Ranch Dressing, Tims Cascade Chips… all of them create immediate diarrhea within 20 minutes of eating for members of my family. What we have found is that glutamate blocks formation of taurine in the body, if you think you’re MSG sensitive and don’t want to buy a jar of MSG to pour on your food to find out the hard way, grab a can of Red Bull and drink it before eating an MSG containing food that is a trigger and you likely won’t have symptoms. That said, I’m not about to go drink Red Bull before suspect meals, I’d rather just avoid establishments that don’t state No MSG. Luckily I have safely eaten at Kukai before, but I am not as MSG sensitive as other individuals in my family. http://www.msgtruth.org/remedies.htm

  • unknown August 13, 2015 (12:14 pm)

    To ChefJoe and everyone else who has answered my questions in regards to the MSG question…I want it known I didn’t mean to make it look like a “racially motivated” question…I’m far from that being 1/2 Japanese and yes also having that jar of ACCENT in our cupboards growing up or should I say Aji No Moto! :>)
    But to the ones that say the claims of MSG have been debunked… I didn’t know that it was just a figment of my imagination that everytime I ate something that I thought afterwards it may have had MSG in it that I got a migraine.

    AGAIN thank you the peeps who answered my question. :)

  • unknown August 13, 2015 (12:18 pm)

    Jeanine>>>> I would rather use salt which is naturally taken from the sea than use MSG that is partially chemically made.

    And again I meant no racist undertones from my question I asked.

  • Mickymse August 13, 2015 (1:57 pm)

    OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! I love this place! Authentic Japanese ramen-ya, and some other great plates to share.

  • WSretailer August 13, 2015 (5:50 pm)

    “I want RETAIL!!” say some… In my opinion Seattle is harder and harder for local retailers to do business because the rent keeps going up, labor costs are up in part because of City mandates on wages and paid leave, and there is often competition operating in a much less expensive location/city/state thanks to the internet. Add to that online retailers who will sell products at a loss (Amazon). The net effect is that local retailers are challenged to price products at a competitive price and still cover their costs; not very inviting for starting your biz in one of these new developments. Don’t believe me? Ask you local bookstore, if you can still find one.

  • Bob Frapples August 13, 2015 (7:02 pm)

    Kukai coming to WS is great news. Excellent food, professional staff with lots of training, sparkling clean. No more need to drive to Northgate or Hellvue!! Sorry Samurai Noodle; Kukai is better.

  • fulana August 19, 2015 (9:46 am)

    So so exciting!!!

  • Katherine August 21, 2015 (2:04 pm)

    If you have any mid-20th century American cookbooks you’ll see an ingredient called Flavor Enhancer, that would be MSG. As posted earlier Accent was a very popular one to be found on home tables everywhere.

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