Yuzu Shokutei leaves West End ramen competition

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      A West End eatery has left the fierce ramen competition and although it was in the midst of reinventing itself, it has indicated that it has closed.

      Yuzu Shokutei at 854 Denman Street, in the area near the Robson and Denman intersection where the city's largest concentration of ramen shops can be found, originally opened in August 2016 as Touhenboku Ramen, the first Vancouver location of the Toronto-based ramen chain.

      In March, local owner Jay Liu decided to break away from the franchise and reinvented the spot as Yuzu Shokutei. While the menu still offered various ramen (shoyu, sea salt, paitan, vegetarian spicy tan tan), it also expanded beyond noodles to feature izakaya-style small plates as well as teishoku (set meal), with options such as cha shu (pork), gyu steak, oyakodon (chicken), or curry.  

      Yuzu Shokutei

      Towards the end of 2017, the 39-seat restaurant had decided to abandon ramen altogether and was in the midst of relaunching itself as an Asian-influenced vegetarian restaurant, in what was shaping up to be the third version of the eatery. 

      The new menu consisted of small plates ($6 to $12), including butternut hashbrowns, satay carrots, miso brussel sprouts, and teriyaki butter mushrooms; and entrées ($14 to $19), such as polenta corn cakes with curry mole and dressed greens, coconut green curry and kare-kare mushrooms with pandan rice cake, and scallop potatoes with tempura cream cheese and roasted bell peppers.

      A sign on the door and website says the restaurant is closed with no further explanation, and furniture inside is being rearranged.

      The Georgia Straight is awaiting for a response to an inquiry to clarify if the restaurant has permanently closed or if there are any plans to relaunch or move elsewhere at some point.