The name, Ugly Duck, originated from chef and co-owner A. J. Swanda’s last name. “It sounds like swan, and I really liked the idea of the ugly duckling growing into the beautiful swan. In this case, I took my dreams of growing Ugly Duck from a pop-up into a restaurant, growing my dream into a reality,” he says.
Ugly Duck existed as a pop-up for nine months, which means A. J. “took over” other people’s restaurants for one day, changing the menu and the style of service each time until he met local restaurateur, Charles Yin. The two became partners transitioning Ugly Duck into a full restaurant.
Charles explains the menu is ramen focused: “It’s what we call our gateway drug. It has a Japanese street food concept. At dinner, we offer a full selection of small plates and other entrées that are all Asian inspired. And at lunch we offer Asian-inspired sandwiches and salads to pair with our ramen.” The restaurant features full table service for both meals as well as a strong wine, sake and beer program.
The two believe in using the best and highest-quality ingredients they can in their food. According to Charles, “Everything … Read More