In a culture known for coining new phrases, professional foodies, Caleb Cannon and Max Motter, have cooked up a new description for the dining atmosphere theyâ€™re creating: progressive casual.
The owner-chef duo are as well-matched in their enthusiasm as they are in experience. Caleb, who is also the business catalyst for downtown Salt Lake Cityâ€™s Tinwell bar, has been a long-standing member of the cityâ€™s extended food and beverage family, and chef Max has over a decade of fine dining experience. Housed in a venerable space with a history of local flavor, Yoko Ramen is opening their doors this month in the Broadway building shared by Dick Nâ€™ Dixieâ€™s bar.
â€œSalt Lake has a lot of room for this,â€ Caleb asserts, and the pair look forward to redefining dinersâ€™ expectations in Yokoâ€™s casual neighborhood setting. Both Caleb and Max are exemplary fans of the urban lifestyle where everything you need is within walking distance, and theyâ€™re confident that Yoko will augment downtownâ€™s livability.
The kitchen and dining space is historically quirky. Working within the areaâ€™s creative limits, Max has designed a menu that can be delivered, he says, â€œfast and right. No oneâ€™s going to have the same menu that we have,â€ he says. The inclusive bill of fare will list regional ramen recipes with 100 percent from-scratch soup bases that, Max notes, will be â€œseasonal and uniquely prepared.â€ Gyoza will also be a featured Japanese cuisine.
From this gustatory launching pad, the menu takes a progressive twist. Recognizing a collaborative opportunity, Yoko will be serving their same menu through a wall cutout to Dick Nâ€™ Dixieâ€™s customers. Bar patrons can order the same high quality wings, salads, sandwiches, and specials prepared in Maxâ€™s kitchen; and Max is adamant about food quality that is â€œaccessible to all patrons, and is affordable. Price doesnâ€™t have to dictate value,â€ he says. The all-options menu will also include vegetarian and vegan eats.
The drinks menu, Caleb mentions, will be â€œsmall and smart, but we want to have fun with it,â€ he adds, as he imagines a late-night group reveling at a table presented with sake bombs. Excellent food, inclusivity, and â€œa sense of communityâ€ are what Caleb and Max aim to achieve.
Yoko Ramen is located at 473 E. 300 S.