Photo of Madeline Wells

Yu-Raku, located at104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo, first opened in 2012.

Riya S. via Yelp

Yu-Raku, a Japanese-style Chinese food restaurant in San Mateo, is closing after 12 years, as first reported by KQED.

“As many of you may have already heard rumors, Yuraku will be closing on Sunday, May 15 due to the retirement of the owner-chef,” read an Instagram announcement from the restaurant earlier this month. “We have come this far in the 12 years since we opened in August 2010, thanks to the support of all of you.”

As KQED noted, Yu-Raku is one of the only places in Northern California that serves chuka ryori — Chinese food cooked to suit Japanese tastes — from a less spicy version of mapo tofu to steaming bowls of ramen. Fans of the restaurant would regularly travel from all over the Bay Area to enjoy these comfort foods.

Tantanmen ramen at Yu-Raku in San Mateo.

Tantanmen ramen at Yu-Raku in San Mateo.

Judy C. via Yelp

Chef-owner Sakae Yuizuma told KQED that he originally wanted to retire and move back to Japan with his wife a few years ago, but had his plans stalled by the pandemic.

“The memories we have at Yuraku are precious and irreplaceable treasures for us,” continued the closure announcement. “We would also like to express our sincere gratitude for the many encounters we have had … We look forward to seeing everyone again someday, somewhere.”

An outpouring of mixed emotions flooded the restaurant’s Instagram and Facebook announcements, from retirement congratulations to one regular asking “where will we get chuka after May?”

Yu-Raku, located at 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo, is open every day except Tuesday, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 5:30 to 7:30 pm (and until 8 pm Friday and Saturday).

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