Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sakura's New Spaghetteria (Sakuramen?) - Quick Visit

I was planning to go to Balboa International Market for lunch today then I realized I had some late DVD's to return at Video Eye. Last week has been a blur, but anyway there I finally noticed some activity through the windows of what would be Izakaya Sakura's first sister restaurant (located in the same mall, old Thai Chile Gourmet spot). The two friendly female servers said it had been only a week since they've soft opened and I believe today was the first for lunch.

While the business is registered as Sakuramen (due to the ever eccentric charm of Kazu-san), it's an unofficial standby while they search for a more suitable name for the Japanese influenced pasta place that it is.

The menu is also still being worked on. Today for lunch they were set up with a basic soup/salad/spaghetti combo for $12, where some choice items that are extra is noted. For instance the soup of the day was a minestrone but I went for the vichyssoise which was a buck extra. Your simple but nice flavored pureed potato and leek soup that I always enjoy. This is the smaller lunch portion.

The house salad of arugula and romaine was extremely lightly seasoned with what seemed like a mist of vinaigrette and S&P. I think I would've wanted a few slivers of parmigiano reggiano, but it was definitely fresh enough.

As it's still soft opening, they're very eager to hear comments and suggestions. So a person can wait a couple months until they settle in, or they can come, experience the friendly service and help shape their future menu. Heck, maybe even come up with a cute name that they may adopt.

The head waitress was all ears in hearing about my bolognese. Perfectly al dente but flavored on the mild side for me. I always prefer a bolognese where the meat sauce is much more concentrated and packed with intense meaty and tomato flavor. A "meat pesto" is a perfect description I always use. Also the portion of the pasta could've been a tad more. For the price I think I expect a bigger fill. The sea urchin Uni Pasta is supposedly the same as what is served at Sakura. Otherwise the rest of the menu is original. I look forward in dining here again, and wish them the best of luck. がんばってね!

Sakuramen (formerly Thai Chile Gourmet spot) 3904 Convoy St, Ste 105, San Diego, CA 92111


Minxi said...

Hi Dennis!
Wow, the interior looks just like Sakura hehe. I've been looking forward to this place opening - will definitely have to try it out soon.

caninecologne said...

whoa dude, you're fast with this posting! can't wait to check this place out. i've never had japanese style spaghetti before. :)

KirkK said...

Well finally.....that bolognese looks really dry....though I'm used to Italian.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Minxi, CC! Unfortunately I noticed only a couple actual Japanese spaghetti dishes. Hope you like cod roe! ;)

Hi Kirk! Seriously.. But anyway I was a bit bummed to not see some of the Japanese classics. As for bolognese I do prefer the dry meaty style, where many just server a wet meat sauce. Maybe in a couple weeks I'll go friends for a wider spread.

caninecologne said...

Hmmmm, cod roe? I had a dish with cod roe at Okan and there was too much of it.

Mary said...

I had Japanese/Italian once up near LA and I found it to be very interesting! Looked a bit different then these offerings but I'm always up for an adventure.

Dennis K. said...

Hi CC, cod roe pasta laced with butter could be an acquired taste but my guess is that it may be a love or hate thing. I'm curious to see what they're final menu pans out to be.

Hi Mary! I think I remember your Little Tokyo Curry House post? My friends and I were just saying how we missed the one that used to be here. The food at Curry House wasn't bad at all as much as I just thought the prices were a bit high for them. I hope Sakuramen doesn't make the same mistake.