Former Allston-Brighton izakaya Ittoku has completed its planned move across the river: It will officially reopen at Porter Exchange inside the Shops at Porter (1815 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge) on Monday, October 21. The restaurant will open at 5 p.m. for dinner service. It joins a vibrant array of Japanese restaurants in Porter Exchange, including Tampopo, Yume Ga Arukara, Sapporo Ramen, and more. Ittoku takes over the large space that was once home to Blue Fin and later Wafu-Ya.
(Those who can’t wait to visit the new location can check it out today through Saturday, October 19, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., but the menu will be limited. Monday is the official opening.)
The move from Allston-Brighton to Porter Square was a calculated one: Ittoku petitioned Boston’s licensing board to sell its beer and wine license to a Korean barbecue chain called Jongro BBQ in March 2019 with the intention of reopening in Cambridge at some point later in the year. (Jongro will open in Ittoku’s former space at 1414 Commonwealth Ave., Boston.) Ittoku closed in Allston-Brighton in September in preparation for the move.
The new restaurant employs much of the same staff as it did at its former location, manager Kevin Alarcon told Eater via email. The menu remain mostly intact, with a few new additions, including Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, which is like a savory pancake. And unlike the old location, the new Ittoku has a full liquor license.
2019 has been a boom year for Japanese restaurants in and around Boston. The folks behind Ebisuya Market in Medford recently opened Ebisuya Noodle House in Malden; popular Brookline ramen shop Ganko Ittetsu opened a sibling restaurant next door called Gantetsu-Ya, which is serving Japanese street food, including fried octopus balls; Japanese udon chain Tsurutontan (stylized as TsuruTonTan) is planning to open in Kenmore Square soon; and JP Fuji restaurant group is planning to open Fuji at High Street Place (one of Boston’s forthcoming food halls).
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• Brookline Ramen Destination Gets a Sibling Filled With Octopus Dough Balls [EBOS]
• Kenmore Square Is Getting a Popular Japanese Noodle Chain [EBOS]
• One Day Boston Will Have a Food Hall on Every Corner [EBOS]