After More Than 50 Years In Business, North Park's Paesano Fine Italian Food To Shutter To Become Shabu Shabu Restaurant

March 26, 2019

A staple for red sauce Italian cuisine in San Diego's North Park for more than 50 years, Paesano Fine Italian Food will close for business next month with a new tenant already signed on to fill the space. Expected to unveil in late 2019 is Tabu Shabu, an Orange County-based Japanese hot pot concept.

Vince and Antoinette Romano originally opened Paesano Italian Food on Ray Street in North Park in 1967 but relocated to its current location in 1972. The restaurant is now owned by Joe Romano, a son of the original proprietors, who owns the building and had the restaurannt business listed for sale for at least a year. Paesano will close by April 28.

Moving into the 2,250 square-foot space is Tabu Shabu, an authentic Japanese shabu-shabu restaurant founded in 2012 by restaurateur Jeff Wong that currently has two locations in Orange County. Translating to "swish-swish" in Japanese, shabu-shabu is a preparation of food where diners cook a variety of meats, seafood and vegetables in steaming hot broth then eat it with an array of sauces. Tabu Shabu offers four broth bases, carefully selected meats and seafood from all over the U.S. and world, locally sourced produce, and homemade sauces with freshly ground sesame seeds. The restaurant will also serve a concise list of Japanese starters, sides and desserts.

Tabu Shabu is expected to open at 3645 30th Street in San Diego's North Park as early as fall 2019. For more information, visit and check out the menu below.