As winter loosens its grip on the country, Chef Barry Honan, the culinary artist behind Lotus Noodle Bar, turns to thoughts of haru, or spring. Using the seasonal bounty from local farms and the finest products shipped directly from Japan, Chef Honan begins to craft dishes that evoke haru. He is obsessed with honoring the tradition of ancient Japanese traditions while incorporating refined French techniques and his own twist. Located at 56 Grove Street in the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida, Lotus has become the talk of the town and beyond, for good reason.


“The seasons become my muses,” smiles chef and owner Barry Honan. “My mind winds through the flavors, textures, smells, and memories, creating a story. Each dish I create is a part of that story and as our guests select their meals, they’re taken on a unique journey. Our offerings should be savored thoughtfully, allowed to provoke and remind. The beauty of our menu is that guests can return and enjoy a completely new experience.”


Lotus Noodle Bar opened in September 2023, and has quickly become known for being the most exceptional dining experience in the region. In fact, it was just named one of the best new restaurants in the South by The Local Palate. Its success was no surprise to local foodies, as Chef Honan introduced an early version of Lotus through pop-up dinners beginning in May 2021. Now in its own intimate and sophisticated space, Lotus features Kyōyō, plates to share, and Entrees, featuring various ramen dishes. Lotus prides itself on adhering to the Japanese tradition of hospitality, or omotenashi, creating a true dining experience. Chef Honan is fanatical about the guest experience. He trained in the three-Michelin star restaurant Le Bernardin, under the world-renowned chef Eric Ripert. On his days off, Chef Honan would moonlight at ramen restaurants throughout New York City, absorbing everything he could. He fell in love with the nuance of flavors and the tradition of ramen. With Lotus, Chef Honan has gained a reputation in the culinary world as a chef-storyteller, taking an abstract concept like the seasons and transforming it into a tangible and delectable menu. Lotus recently introduced a seasonal curation of sake-based cocktails such as White Miso and Sakura Highball, White Soy and Melon Spritz, and Nashi Sour. The full haru menu may be viewed here.


“I named my restaurant Lotus because its life journey really evokes my own,” says Chef Honan. “The lotus has to grow and push through layers of mud to blossom. I began my culinary career in the bowels of the dish pit. Through hard work and perseverance, I’ve worked my way up through that mud, and I can’t wait to see how Lotus, my staff, and myself continue to bloom.”


ABOUT LOTUS NOODLE BAR: Lotus Noodle Bar offers a refined and seasonal menu featuring shared plates and exquisite bowls of ramen. With dishes curated to tantalize the tastebuds and a sophisticated ambiance, a visit to Lotus promises an unforgettable culinary journey. Located at 56 Grove Avenue in St. Augustine, Florida, the dining room is open Tuesday through Saturday, with seating from 5pm to 9:15pm. Photos to accompany the press release can be found here. Photo credit goes to Melissa Marcarelli. Learn more at lotusnoodlebar.com and follow along on social media @lotusnoodlebar