PAGU Headed For Cambridge from O Ya Alum Tracy Chang

With her first solo venture, chef Tracy Chang is merging Japanese and Spanish flavors and techniques.

Tracy Chang

Chef Tracy Chang is opening PAGU next year. / Photo provided

One of the driving forces behind Boston’s most welcome ramen boom a few years back is developing her own Japanese tapas restaurant. Tracy Chang is planning to open PAGU on the edge of Central Square, Boston Restaurant Talk first reported.

Chang announced today that PAGU is a restaurant and café that will harmoniously blend the flavors and techniques of Japan and Spain. The chef is versed in both cuisines: She cooked at the venerable O Ya; cofounded the pop-up Guchi’s Midnight Ramen with fellow O Ya chefs Yukihiro Kawaguchi and Mark O’Leary; studied pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu Paris; did a stint at the three-star Michelin Restaurante Martin Berasategui in San Sebastian, Spain; and has worked with visiting Spanish and American chefs of Harvard’s Science + Cooking course.

The locally-driven menu will prominently feature seafood, and all plates will be composed with a “less-is-more” approach, Chang’s press release reveals. PAGU is inspired by Tokyo, a restaurant on Fresh Pond Parkway that Chang’s grandmother ran from 1988-2000. The chef promises “delicious food experiences paired with gracious hospitality” in the multicultural community around Cambridge’s innovation hub.

Chang told Eater Boston she’s aiming for a summer 2016 opening for PAGU. The restaurant and café is up for licensing at a hearing next week, for a spot near the MIT campus (close to the proposed site for Area Four and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese’s bar arcade). Chang is seeking just more than 170 seats, plus a 64-seat seasonal patio.

310 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; Twitter.