Founded in spring 2021 as a roving pop-up that has since operated out of a temporary site in Oceanside as well as a food truck, Naegi has found a place to roost in South Oceanside where it replaces Peruvian spot Panca. A casual counterpart to Matsu, owner William Eick’s tasting menu restaurant, it’s launching with a menu of Japanese sandwiches, or sandos, featuring fried chicken, egg salad, fried tofu, shrimp katsu, and more along with sides like Japanese-style potato salad and green beans with tofu dressing. The counter-service space, which has a large outdoor patio and is now open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Eick, who’s aiming to expand Naegi into multiple locations, has tapped Michael Barnett, formerly of Catalina Offshore, as its executive chef.
Naegi’s sandwiches are based on shokupan, also known as Japanese milk bread, supplied by Eick’s wholesale bakery called Hokkaido Bread Company. Run by corporate executive pastry chef Felipe Orozco out of Matsu’s kitchen, the bakery also provides loaves of milk bread and sandwich buns to a number of other local restaurants including The Plot and Pacific Coast Spirits in Oceanside as well as Papalito in North Park and Liberty Station’s Weapon Ramen.