Circa To Close In University Heights To Become Soichi Japanese Restaurant From Sushi Tadokoro Alumni

January 16, 2019

An alum of Old Town's popular Sushi Tadokoro restaurant is branching off on his own for the impending opening of Soichi, an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant set to debut later this year in the University Heights space that has been home to Circa California Soul Food since 2014.

"After almost 5 years at Circa, we have decided to close our doors," said Circa owners in an email to friends and patrons. "Over the past few years, we have nurtured our business and treasured the confidence our customers have placed in us. It is thus with deep gratitude and appreciation that we thank all of our past and present customers and employees who have helped make Circa such a special place to share a meal with family and friends."

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Opened by native San Diego chef, Mike Almos, and his wife Terri in 2014, Circa was a labor of love for the couple. The quaint eatery served a menu of scratch-made comfort foods that received positive reviews over its run, touting a 4.5 cumulative rating on Yelp. The last day of business will be Valentine's Day, February 14, 2019.

"We are sorry to see Circa close," said Justin Earley, Senior Vice President at Capital Real Estate Ventures, Inc., the company which sold the business. "But we are excited to have found Raechel and Soichi and look forward to their restaurant coming to University Heights. We had other candidates but we felt they were the best fit for the area with a fresh concept."

Moving into the space at 2121 Adams Avenue is another husband and wife duo - Soichi & Raechel Kadoya. Chef Soichi has 25 years experience in Japanese cuisine, most recently as a fixture behind the sushi counter at Old Town's Sushi Tadokoro for the past six year. In mid-February, the couple will begin converting the former Circa to become Soichi, an intimate and exclusive Japanese fine dining restaurant centered around omakase service - a dining option where patrons leave their order up to the chef - derived from the Japanese word that means "to entrust".
"Our restaurant aims to embrace the Japanese term 'omotenashi', a word described as Japanese hospitality with a much deeper meaning than just outstanding service," explained Raechel Kadoya. "It means to entertain guests wholeheartedly. Soichi will serve farm and sea-to-table, high-quality Japanese cuisine in an authentic atmosphere. The restaurant will be a destination spot focused on creating a unique dining experience where every employee is authentically dressed and trained to care for each customer on a personal level to make an outstanding traditional experience."

Inspired by "Jiro Dreams of Sushi", Soichi will offer omakase options for a full dining experience, as well as nigiri-only. There will also be an a la carte menu with sashimi, Japanese side dishes, hot plates, and rotating specials, as well as beer and sake. Unlike many area sushi restaurants, Soichi will not serve hand-cut rolls.

Soichi is anticipated to open by early March 2019. For more information on Soichi, visit