San Diego Michelin Star Restaurant Soichi Sushi Planning Offshoot Concept In University Heights

February 5, 2023

A new tea house and dessert concept named Hatsuzakura from the daughter of the couple behind San Diego's Michelin star award-winning Soichi Sushi is opening in University Heights. 

In 2019, husband and wife duo Soichi & Raechel Kadoya took over the University Heights space previously occupied by Circa California Soul Food. At the time, Chef Soichi had over two decades of experience in Japanese cuisine, previously a fixture behind the sushi counter at Old Town's Sushi Tadokoro. After converting the former Circa space into an intimate and exclusive Japanese fine dining restaurant centered around omakase service, Soichi opened to great fanfare and after two years in business was awarded its first Michelin star in September 2021, which was reaffirmed in 2022

With some help from mom and dad, the Kadoya's 23 year-old daughter Sakura Kadoya and her parter Rey Palisoc are in the process of taking over the adjacent space that has housed De Nada Kitchen, formerly Cueva Bar, for the past 13 years (De Nada will shutter on February 24). While details are still very limited, the concept is named Hatsuzakura, named after the Japanese word for the first cherry blossoms of the season. 

Styled like a Japanese Kissaten (essentially a dessert and tea cafe), expect the new eatery to specialize in traditional Japanese desserts, fruit and tonkatsu sandwiches, matcha tea and coffee beverages, and other sweet and savory snacks, all meant to compliment rather than compete with neighboring Soichi Sushi. There is currently no timetable on when the Hatsuzakura will open, but more details about the project should emerge in the coming months.

Soichi Sushi is located at 2121 Adams Avenue in San Diego's University Heights. For more information about Hatsuzakura, visit