Bosso Ramen Tavern, a new Japanese restaurant specializing in small plates, sushi, and ramen, held its Harvard Square grand opening on Saturday.
The restaurant, located on 24 Holyoke St., is a modern take on an izakaya — a Japanese bar that serves appetizers, snacks, and drinks. Owner Yasuhiro Sasago designed the menu with his experiences as a surfer and trained ramen chef in mind.
Sasago’s journey to becoming a restaurant owner began when he was a Harvard Business School student, cooking ramen for other students in the shared kitchen. He said he realized that he wanted to launch a restaurant after graduating, aspiring to impart “energy” to his customers through food in the same way that his hometown’s cuisine strengthened him.
“We want to provide energy that makes people empowered, study harder,” Sasago said. “You can do better at the job interview — bright tomorrow and a bright future.”
Replacing Thai restaurant Spicies, Bosso Ramen Tavern joins Menya Jiro and Santouka as one of several Japanese restaurants dotting Harvard Square.
Sasago said the tavern stands out because it is meant for longer and more relaxed outings with friends.
“We want our customers to sit back, relax, enjoy chatting with their friends,” Sasago said.
Beyond entrees like ramen, the menu also features sushi and appetizers called tsumami and sakana that are “inspired by the ocean” and “meant to be shared.”
Growing up in the Boso Peninsula of Japan, Sasago said he hopes to give customers a taste of his hometown and the sea, while also “mixing cultures” by combining international and regional influences.
Tomoki Matsuno ’25, who is from Japan, attended a special early opening for Bosso Ramen Tavern and lauded the restaurant’s accuracy in bringing the Japanese dining experience to the U.S.
“I [felt] like I was back home,” he said.
Jessica N. Dias-Jayasinghe ’22 stumbled upon Bosso Ramen Tavern last Friday while searching for a restaurant to celebrate the completion of her friend’s thesis.
“I walked in and the energy of the place was just really amazing and really different,” Dias-Jayasinghe said. “It felt very modern.”
Though the pandemic forced many businesses to shutter, Sasago said it gave him an opportunity to enter the restaurant industry.
Looking to Bosso Ramen Tavern’s future, Sasago said he plans to expand its staff and hours of operation while fostering a close-knit work environment.
“I want to build a culture — a Bosso culture,” he said.