Kenmore Square is getting an udon restaurant: Japanese chain Tsurutontan (stylized as TsuruTonTan) is planning to open a new location in the Hotel Commonwealth (500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston). The company has a hearing with the Boston Licensing Board scheduled for July 25 to determine whether it can buy a beer and wine license currently held by Masona Grill in West Roxbury, which will close this month.
In the United States, Tsurutontan currently has two bustling locations in Manhattan — Midtown and Union — and another location in Honolulu, HI, with the forthcoming Boston location listed as “coming soon” on its website. The restaurant chain has its roots in Osaka, Japan: Tsurutontan’s founder opened his first udon restaurant there in 1979, Honke Sanuki, before founding Tsurutontan a decade later.
While Tsurutontan specializes in udon — and its name is a combination of sounds that represent slurping, kneading, shaping, and cutting udon — its menu also includes other Japanese staples, such as donburi (rice bowls served with various ingredients), maki, sashimi, tempura shrimp, fried chicken, curry, and dumplings.
This won’t be the Boston area’s only udon-focused restaurant: Ramen destination Yume Wo Katare spawned an udon sibling last year, Yume Ga Arukara, where the menu is strictly limited to hot or cold udon and the occasional special.
Stay tuned for updates as Tsurutontan finalizes its Boston expansion plans, and once it arrives, “stick with the udon and pick the simplest presentations, and you’ll have a memorable meal,” as Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema advised after trying New York’s Union Square location shortly after it opened.
• Japanese Noodle Chain Looks to Open Outpost in Kenmore Square [UH]
• Tsurutontan [Official Site]