As students and faculty prepare to head back to school in some capacity, the University of California San Diego is gearing up to make a major enhancement to campus life that should also appeal to diners from surrounding communities. Set to open in 2021 on the west side of campus between Muir and Marshall Colleges is the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, a new LEED Platinum certified 10-acre development that will include a mix of housing, academic buildings, outdoor space, and six eateries that include some well-known spots in San Diego.
Calling it “a home for residents and a draw for visitors”, UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said, “These locally-owned, independent restaurants are crucial to creating a unique atmosphere to live, learn and play.”
New to San Diego is Shōwa Ramen from Shōwa Hospitality (Himitsu, The Taco Stand). The group, which owns a ramen shop in Mexico City, is planning to feature a menu of traditional ramen plus Chinese-inspired styles including pakomen (spare rib ramen) and tantanmen as well as vegetable and seasonal versions.
Owned by a UC San Diego Rady School MBA alumnus, the Scripps Ranch area’s Taste of Hunan restaurant will launch an offshoot at UCSD. Fan-Fan will serve Hunanese dishes such as stir fried pork with chili pepper, steamed fish, mapo tofu, and sautéed beef with pickled chili pepper along with Chinese American classics like orange chicken and broccoli beef.
Tahini, Clairemont Mesa’s Middle Eastern eatery, is expanding with a second location. The popular street food spot is known for its freshly-baked pita bread and a menu that features build-your-own sandwiches, bowls, and salads with homemade falafel or chicken and steak shawarma.
Founded in Ocean Beach, Plant Power Fast Food will launch the eighth location of its casual eatery, which specializes in vegan versions of fast-food favorites from The Big Zac to ‘fish’ filet sandwiches, ‘chicken’ nuggets, and shakes.
With seven cafe locations, including five in San Diego, Pasadena-based roaster Copa Vida is coming to campus with its specialty coffee, tea, and an in-house food menu that includes breakfast burritos, sandwiches, soups, and more.
And two UCSD grads are behind Blue Bowl, a SoCal create-your-own superfood bowl concept that began at farmer’s markets and offers bowl bases like acai, granola, chia pudding, and oatmeal with unlimited toppings.
Next Wave Commercial leased the restaurant spaces and told Eater that they had more than 30 offers from tenants who wanted to be part of the project. Principal Nate Benedetto said, “Students and faculty wanted an authentic San Diego experience without getting in their cars. We feel these offerings can transform the dining culture at UC San Diego and set an example for other universities to follow.”