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Oceanside’s First Fine Dining Restaurant Is Shooting for Michelin Stardom

Modern Japanese restaurant Matsu goes from pop-up to permanent

A round plate of mushroom with tamago, sake lees, and chicken dashi on a counter.
Mushroom with tamago, sake lees, and chicken dashi 
Sam Wells

With Michelin Guide hoopla coming to an end, and San Diego now able to boast a two Michelin-starred restaurant along with three one-star establishments, one North County chef is hoping to bring Michelin glory home to Oceanside. Matsu restaurant officially opens September 30, serving dinner from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

Chef William Eick wearing glasses and an apron.
Chef William Eick.

William Eick (608, Real Bar & Bistro) launched Matsu as a pop-up while working at a neighborhood bar and grill, offering its multi-course modern Japanese tasting menu to just one table per night. Earlier this year, the chef secured a stand-alone spot for Matsu and in April began by running Naegi, his Japanese fried chicken outfit, from a takeout window there as he worked on transforming the interior space.

With a team that includes corporate executive pastry chef Felipe Orozco, formerly of Market, and bar manager Aaron Lara (Vaga), Eick is declaring his Michelin ambitions. The young chef is gunning for two stars, designing the sleek and modern 48-seat restaurant around a frequently-changing $140 tasting menu that will employ Japanese as well as locally-sourced ingredients and going so far as to commission hand-forged knives that will be tailored to each dish.

Eick, who is currently scouting a permanent location for Naegi, is planning to temporarily transfer its operations to a food truck that should start rolling in mid-October, serving Japanese fried chicken and sandwiches made with milk bread from Hokkaido Bread Company, his own label.

Three tables with dining chairs around them and the bar inside Matsu. Matsu
A banquette along the wall with four tables and chairs. On the wall are three shelves with bonsai trees. Matsu

Matsu, 626 S. Tremont St., Oceanside.

Matsu Menu