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Marugame Udon food Felix Hsieh

Japan-based udon noodle chain to make U.S. debut

Fast-casual Marugame Udon to bring udon robots to LA

Another massive international restaurant chain is planning a U.S. debut in Los Angeles next month, this time with robots.

Marugame Udon, a fast-casual, cafeteria-style customized noodle concept with nearly 1,000 units across Japan and 13 other countries, is scheduled to open on Sept. 14.

The concept uses an imported machine that mimics the process of making handmade Sanuki udon noodles by kneading, cutting, boiling and cooking noodles in front of guests in open kitchens.

The 2,500-square-foot restaurant will be the first of many planned by Marugame Udon USA LLC and Toridoll Dining California LLC, founded in 2006 as Dream Dining California LLC. It is a subsidiary of Toridoll Holdings Corp., a public company in Japan.

“Marugame Udon is presenting traditional Japanese cuisine in an entirely new light and bringing this to the forefront,” Jun Goto, president and CEO of Toridoll Dining California LLC/Marugame Udon USA LLC, said in a statement. “We’re excited to combine authentic flavors without sacrificing individuality.”

Guests can customize noodles to order, and the menu includes tempura, rice bowls and drinks. Noodle bowls start at $4.50, or $2.90 for rice bowls — with free toppings — and $1 for tempura, including chicken, fish, shrimp, squid and vegetables.

Executives did not indicate growth plans, but said the goal is to expand across the U.S.

Also in September, in nearby Orange County, Calif., Yang’s Braised Chicken and Rice is scheduled to make its U.S. debut. Yang’s has about 6,000 locations in China, Australia, Singapore and Japan. 

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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