One of the chefs propelling Oceanside’s increasingly-dynamic food scene has found a permanent place to land two pop-ups that have been long-running passion projects. William Eick, who previously owned 608 Restaurant in the neighborhood, has taken over the former Flying Pig Pub location and will be launching to-go service in the space this Saturday, May 1.
Operating out of a walk-up window that will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m., Naegi is Eick’s ode to karaage, or Japanese fried chicken. While karaage typically features nuggets of fried chicken thigh, the chef offers everything from fried chicken wings and drumsticks to the entire bird. The menu also includes Japanese “sandos”, or sandwiches, served on homemade Japanese milk bread that the chef also retails from his wholesale bakery Hokkaido Bread Company, as well as onigiri, or rice balls. Eick plans on regularly featuring guest chefs on the menu; the first collaboration is an opah belly bacon onigiri created with Oceanside neighbor Davin Waite of Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub.
Two years ago, while running the kitchen at Mission Avenue Bar & Grill, Eick began offering a modern Japanese tasting menu that was only available to one table per night. Called Matsu, it will open as a full-fledged restaurant later this summer. Designed with Michelin ambitions, the 50-seat space will serve a frequently-changing eight-course chef’s menu along with a la carte dishes.
“I’m launching the concepts of my dreams from the ground up, with the support of my community,” said Eick in a statement. “Matsu, in particular, is the culmination of years of time devoted exclusively to experimentation, foraging and getting to know food on a more intimate level.”