First announced in Fall 2019, the expansion of mega-popular Japanese curry chain CoCo Ichibanya to San Diego has been a long and agonizing wait for its many fans. Though its debut on Convoy Street, where it’ll share the same Kearny Mesa complex with Hive and Manna Heaven Korean BBQ, has been delayed several times over the course of the pandemic, the restaurant will finally soft open this weekend with a grand opening scheduled on Monday, March 15.
A fixture in Japan, where it has locations in all 47 prefectures, the eatery now operates over 1,400 outposts all over the globe. Its main speciality is kare raisu, or curry rice, a staple comfort food dish in Japanese cuisine; at CoCo Ichibanya, diners can customize their curry plates, selecting a spice level, the amount of rice, and optional toppings that range from chicken and pork cutlets to garlic shrimp, cheese, vegetable croquettes, and fried squid.
The chain, which offers online ordering, will likely begin with pickup and delivery depending on when indoor dining returns to San Diego.
Though CoCo Ichibanya might be the largest curry chain in Japan, it’s not the only popular brand that might land in San Diego. A pair of Northern California locals is navigating the opening of the first U.S. branch of Hinoya Curry, another beloved curry purveyor, in the Bay Area and tell Eater that they’d love to explore Southern California after they perfect their San Francisco store.