Bathed head to toe in neon much like its counterpart in Little Italy, the restaurant’s original location, Izakaya Underbelly has opened on the UCSD campus with a menu that encompasses more than just ramen. Operated by CH Projects, the Japanese restaurant is the latest brand from the local hospitality group to occupy the 14,000-square-foot, standalone space at the university.
Serving four of its more popular ramen varieties, including its Belly of the Beast ramen with oxtail dumplings and a vegetarian option, Izakaya Underbelly’s offerings have expanded to feature items that will only be available at UCSD. They include egg salad and chicken katsu sandos on Japanese milk bread, onigiri stuffed with spicy salmon and marinated shiitake mushrooms, and other one-off specials like a Japanese-style patty melt with wagyu beef and black garlic aioli, Tokyo fries with furikake seasoning, and a sesame-dressed octopus salad.
One of the few spots on campus pouring cocktails, the bar’s drink list ranges from whisky highballs and togarashi-spiced mango margaritas to an ube-flavored pina colada and a hot toddy spiked with sesame shochu.
Izakaya Underbelly, 105 Eucalyptus Grove Lane. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.