East Austin's fun-loving Texas-style izakaya has scored another national accolade. On Tuesday, August 15, Bon Appetit revealed its prestigious "Hot 10" new restaurants for 2017, and Kemuri Tatsu-ya is the only Texas restaurant to make the cut.
The new concept from the masterminds behind Ramen Tatsu-ya opened in January on East Second Street. It lands at No. 8 on the list, which was whittled down from an original pool of 50 restaurants. June's All Day, the charming SoCo spot named for Austin sommelier June Rodil, also was among the finalists.
What does Bon Appetit have to say about Kemuri?
"Fun. That’s the one word that defined this year’s best new restaurants. Fun food, fun vibe, fun experience. And at no place did I party more than at Kemuri Tatsu-ya in East Austin. That’s bound to happen when you combine a raucous izakaya (think Japanese pub) and a smoky Texas [barbecue] joint with the 'keep it weird' mantra of the capital," writes editor Andrew Knowlton.
"But don’t think for a second that’s it all sake bombs and fried food. There’s pedigree at work here: chefs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto, who first won us over with steaming bowls of noodles at the nearby Ramen Tatsu-ya, a Top 50 restaurant in 2013. At Kemuri, their cooking has a fearlessness to it — it challenges expectations while delivering new and exciting flavors."
Kemuri Tatsu-ya joins an esteemed list of local restaurants that the national magazine has deemed worthy of inclusion in its annual "Hot 10," including Dai Due (No. 6 in 2015), Thai-Kun (No. 8 in 2014), and Jeffrey's and Josephine House (No. 8 in 2013).