COMING SOON: UNDERBELLY AND WANG’S
There are two new Asian restaurants set to open in San Diego this November, and they’re both sure to be a big deal! We’re looking forward to checking them out!
Black Lotus’ living Mao Zedong wall for UnderBelly. Photo: Garrett Eaton
750 West Fir Street, Little Italy
Arsalun Tafazoli and Nathan Stanton the figures behind local favorites like Craft & Commerce, Neighborhood, Noble Experiment and El Dorado are soft launching a new restaurant in Little Italy, beginning next week. UnderBelly is a contemporary tribute to the traditional Japanese ramen bar, and the title a tribute to a favorite cut of pork. Both the menu and the location will be small a simple list of ramen, pork buns and gyoza to be savored in an intimate, 1,100 square-foot space on Fir. However, the beer list will not be small: 27 handles featuring international and often rare styles (decidedly without a single IPA) and a rotating cast of Japan’s Hitachino Nest beers. There will also be Sonoma-based draft wines. Also pretty large is the 15-foot tall, live version of Andy Warhol’s portrait of Chairman Mao, with over 3,000 succulents individually planted by Black Lotus Floral Design. Other major talents responsible for the restaurant’s design are Studio Number One (founded by Shepard Fairey), Mauricio Couturier (El Camino, Noble Experiment), and Paul Basile (Craft & Commerce, George’s).
Wang’s North Park
3029 University Avenue, North Park
While UnderBelly hones in on a small space and focused menu, Wang’s will appeal to size queens hungry for variety. Anyone driving down University in North Park since the end of August has probably seen the giant Wang’s sign, which looks really cool lit up red at night. Many people especially those who have eaten at the Palm Springs Wang’s in the Desert have long been anticipating the opening of their second restaurant: a 10,000+ square-foot, pan-Asian food and cocktail spot in the former JC Penney. We heard from Wang’s that it’s finally happening: this month! And as things progress, it will only get bigger. The entire building is 40,000 square feet; in the near future, they will open the mezzanine as a lounge, and they hope to turn the basement into a banquet and reception space with a dedicated kitchen after they’re on the scene for a year or so. Check out their Facebook page to see the scope and transition of the space and the size of the Wang’s sign.
Tags: little italy, food, North Park, new restaurants