San Diego Ramen Empire Tajima To Open San Diego State University College Area Location

June 20, 2019

The first of San Diego's expanding chain of Japanese ramen restaurants, Tajima will soon open a new location in the SDSU College Area, taking over the space last occupied by Union BBQ in Rolando.

Well before San Diego became inundated with ramen eateries, Isamu "Sam" Morikizono was a pioneer with the opening of his first Tajima location in Kearny Mesa in 2001. Now, Tajima boasts five San Diego branches, one in Long Beach, and another outpost in Tijuana. In 2017, Morikizono teamed up with Cesar Vallin, the previous owner of now-defunct Prospect Bar & Grill in La Jolla, and Setaro Takashi, who operates more than 30 restaurants in Japan, to transform the 7,500 square-foot space previously occupied by the short-lived Entrada in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood into what is now Cloak & Petal. We also reported last December that Morikizono had taken over the longtime Cafe Chloe space in the East Village for a fast-casual modern Japanese steakhouse concept dubbed Butcher & Co., although we recently received word that he is changing plans to make it an Asian fusion fried chicken restaurant named Corner Chicken.

The new Tajima will soon install in the space last occupied by Union Smokehouse BBQ off El Cajon Boulevard near San Diego State University. Like other branches, the SDSU restaurant will serve a menu centered around a variety of of ramen noodle soups, sushi rolls, Japanese appetizers and rice bowls, as well as a many beers on tap, wine and sake.

The new Tajima aims to open by mid-September at 6061 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite 2, in San Diego's Rolando area. For more information, visit