A North County Spot Shakes Up the Culinary Scene
When you walk through the doors of Wokou Ramen & Yakitori, you can instantly smell the yakitori being slow-cooked over the open-flame grill. Yakitori is Japanese street food that consists of skewers of vegetables and meat. The menu of ramen and yakitori in addition to the raw aesthetic is what truly makes it a unique restaurant
Del Mar native Joey Pena, a graduate of Torrey Pines High School runs the establishment. With the help of partner James Langley it became clear there was a need for ramen in North County, and the partners knew this location was perfect.
“We chose this location because there is a niche that is not being met here,” he says. “There is no Ramen House in this area.”
Whether you’re hanging out at the bar for happy hour or watching the NBA or NHL playoffs on the shaded patio with your buddies, you can indulge in your favorite beer, wine or spirit. The island bar holds 20 taps of mainly local beers, highlights a full spirit program with a focus on Japanese whiskey, and features swanky handcrafted cocktails. So, whatever you’re in the mood for, Woukou has you covered for a night out with the guys.
Wokou gives guests a casual dining experience with modern and contemporary décor along with an industrial feel. All the metalwork, such as the one-of-a-kind door handles, the restaurant’s sign outside and the light fixtures were done by artist Mike Dunn. The colorful and eye-catching air-brushed murals created by local artists Espana Garcia and Scott Holland really tie the fusion of Asian cultures together. You can even catch a glimpse of food being prepared in the somewhat open kitchen.
Sizzling yakitori plates like octopus leg on a skewer is excellent to order if you’re feeling adventurous. If not, then you can’t go wrong with ramen or the various Japanese-style plates like wouko fried rice they offer up seven days a week. Ditch your usual taco Tuesday for Woukou’s baos and beer specials, or come out and cheers to the weekend for “Friday Night Feels” and enjoy late night food and drink specials with the guys while listening to some live tunes by local musicians.