Mizuki, the 125 seat Japanese restaurant that opened five years ago in Irvine's Park Place claiming to be the "biggest" ramen restaurant in these here United States, has closed.
The restaurant had a rocky start. As I wrote in my review, online chatter about the restaurant during its first month were "unflinchingly unkind and uniformly harsh–the kind of frothing-at-the-mouth reaction that stops just short of calling for the whole place to be set ablaze. Most reviewers expressed outrage at the prices, noting that some bowls of ramen were going for upward of $16. Others seemed to take particular glee at excoriating the incessant Kenny G soundtrack, the too-trendy designer décor of the cavernous room and how it all goes against the populist idea of the dish."
But it persevered–at least until a few weeks ago. Irvine now goes on without it, but not with a lack of ramen. Since Mizuki opened, Santoka Ramen debuted at the new Mitsuwa and Yoshuken took over the old Asia Noodle Cafe spot across from UCI.
Stay tuned as to what will come next in its place. It's probably safe to say that whatever it is, it won't try to claim it's the "biggest" ramen restaurant in the U.S.