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9 Asian Restaurants in San Diego’s Convoy District to Try Right Now
February 10, 2020
When it comes to Asian cuisine, there are few better destinations in San Diego than the Convoy district. This area, located in the community of Kearny Mesa, is home to hundreds of Asian eateries and specialty shops. Largely mom-and-pop shops in strip malls, Convoy’s Asian restaurants, a mixture of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Southeast Asian cuisines, are known for their authenticity.
Here are nine of the best Asian restaurants in San Diego’s Convoy area.
1. Menya Ultra
With arguably the best ramen in San Diego, award-winning Menya Ultra often has long lines—but the wait is well worth it. Ramen master Takashi Endo started Menya Ultra in Akita, Japan in 1994; since then he’s opened over a dozen shops in Japan and Taiwan. San Diego’s two locations—Kearny Mesa and Mira Mesa—are the only two in the U.S. Menya Ultra stays close to its roots: everything is made from scratch, including the noodles, which are made fresh daily on site with wheat imported from Hokkaido. Just go and thank us later.
Woomiok serves seolleongtang, Korea’s famous bone broth soup, which is known for its healthful properties and its ability to cure hangovers. The restaurant offers several varieties of seolleongtang with add-on options, as well as a range of appetizers.
3. Phuong Trang
With over 200 items on its menu, you have lots of reasons to visit Phuong Trang, a staple on Convoy Street since 1992. Phuong Trang’s offerings include pho, stir-fried noodles, broken rice dishes, rice paper wraps, and seafood specials, and signature dishes like whole fried catfish, seven-course beef, garlic butter chicken wings, and salt and pepper shrimp.
4. Hidden Fish
In an omakase dining experience, the menu is (quite literally) out of diners’ hands, but at Hidden Fish, San Diego’s first all-omakase sushi bar, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic meal. Housed in a minimal 13-seat space, the focus here is on the ingredients and the service. Diners can choose a 50-minute 12-course spread or a premium 90-minute experience, which includes 18 courses. Note that reservations are required.
5. Manna Korean BBQ
In the mood for meat … a lot of meat? Manna is one of San Diego’s best all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue spots. If you’re there for dinner, there are two menus to choose from: standard (A1) and deluxe (A2). Diners are given a variety of banchan (side dishes) to sample as well. Manna is popular, so be prepared to wait for a table!
6. Tasty Pot
Hot pot chain Tasty Pot offers a wide selection of hot pot options—everything from stinky tofu to cheesy milk to kimchi dumpling—and all are served in personal size pots. Tasty Pot has two locations in San Diego—one in Convoy and one in Mira Mesa. If you’re going to the Convoy restaurant, give yourself ample time to find parking—it can be rough here.
7. Dumpling Inn
Family-owned Dumpling Inn has been serving traditional Chinese comfort food since 1994. Every dish at Dumpling Inn is handmade, along with the dough for their signature Xiao Long Bao (XLB), which is made fresh every morning. In fact, owner Phat Vuong fills each dumpling by hand. It’s not just the dumplings that impress at Dumping Inn; they also have excellent entrees, and rice and noodle dishes.
8. Mekong Cuisine Lao and Thai
Like many of Convoy’s best Asian restaurants, Mekong Cuisine Lao and Thai is rather unassuming in appearance but offers excellent cuisine at very reasonable prices. Diners can try a variety of noodle and rice dishes, along with curries, soups, salads, and tapas.
For some of the city’s best shabu shabu, head to SHABUMi, which serves AYCE shabu shabu for lunch and dinner. Each diner gets his/her own burner and hot pot, and you choose your soup base, meat, and all the fixins. Prices range from $20.99 for lunch to $27.99 for dinner.
Written by Whitney Currier for Knockaround.