I’m not quite sure what to call this place since it currently has no sign. I found out about it after reading a post from mmm-yoso!!!, where Kirk referred to it as Restaurant Kazu. If you look on yelp, it’s also listed as Restaurant Kazu. However, on our bill, it said “Ristorante Kaz.” Perhaps they are still trying to make up their mind on the name.
Well whatever you call it, it’s a fairly new Japanese Italian restaurant opened up by the same owner as Sakura. It’s located in the same plaza as Sakura, and like Sakura, it currently has no sign. We actually had a bit of trouble finding it at first before finally spotting it situated between Imperial Mandarin and Tsuruhashi Japanese BBQ.
Having enjoyed my lunches at Sakura, I was excited to check this place out and was happy to learn from mmm-yoso’s post that this new place also offered lunch specials.
There is a menu written in chalk as well as the lunch special menu. For the lunch special, you start with a base price of $12 which includes salad, soup and a pasta dish. For additional surcharges, you can upgrade your salad, soup and/or pasta dish.
Lunch also includes coffee or orange juice. I didn’t see that on the menu but the person helping us helpfully brought it to our attention.
The house salad looked very simple and a little sad. I wished they had some variety other than a few pieces of lettuce tossed in some vinaigrette.
For $2, you can upgrade to this, which looks so much more impressive and was worth the extra money for us. This reminded me of our time in Italy. They did pour a little too much salt and pepper over it though so some components were too salty. I loved the fresh basil.
The soup of the day was a minestrone. I was a little disappointed with this one. It tasted very much like the ones out of the cans.
I was actually hoping to try the corn soup, but they were out of it. This was like a creamy potato puree. Simple but tasty and I enjoyed it better than the minestrone.
Squid Ink Pasta
This was also an additional $2. I’ve had squid ink pasta before, but the version here actually uses squid ink as the sauce rather than having pasta made out of squid ink. It was an interesting flavor and a little heavy on the garlic. I enjoyed it.
However, as a warning, you might not want to order this unless you’re dining out with people you’re very comfortable with because if you’ve ever had squid ink by itself, you know that it makes a mess in your mouth. A bite of this and your lips and teeth will be stained black. You can get most of it off but you really do need to brush your teeth to completely rid your mouth of the ink.
Italian Doburi with fried chicken
DH opted for this instead of the pasta. It is one of the choices included with the $12 meal. I know it doesn’t look that big from the picture, but this was quite a generous portion of rice and chicken. There were three fried pieces of chicken tenders, sitting on a bed of rice with some melted mozzarella cheese and a little bit of salad. DH seemed to enjoy it, especially the melted cheese.
We left somewhat disappointed with our meal as things were a bit hit and miss and there was nothing that really stood out. We really liked the service though. The two women were super friendly and nice so we didn’t have a bad time. Hopefully things will improve as the place settles in, but based on this meal, I’d rather walk over to Sakura for lunch.
3904 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111