North County San Diego Souplantation Location Being Replaced By New Buffet Restaurant

June 23, 2024

A former-Souplantation space in North County San Diego is being filled by a new buffet restaurant.

The long-dormant Souplantation building within North County Plaza in Carlsbad Village has a new tenant in the form of Ocean Buffet, an incoming all-you-can-eat Asian restaurant. Expect a menu of seafood dishes influenced by diverse Asian culinary traditions. Patrons will be able to enjoy an array of freshly prepared seafood, such as sushi, sashimi, crab, shrimp, and various shellfish, presented in a self-serve buffet format. There will also be other Asian cuisine staples like noodles, fried rice, dim sum, and an assortment of sauces and condiments.

In May 2020, we at SanDiegoVille broke the news to the world that all Souplantation restaurants (and sister concept Sweet Tomatoes) had laid off more than 5,000 employees across the country and would not be reopening any locations due to uncertainty for the buffet restaurant sector in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Souplantation executives later confirmed our report was true after multiple outlets picked up the story. A long-promised, unlicensed revival of the Souplantation brand in San Diego's La Mesa ultimately fizzled, despite huge public support.

In 2021, Florida-based ST Three LLC, purchased the exclusive rights and intellectual property assets of Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes from auction, and then "retained operators with decades of experience at Sweet Tomatoes to revive it." This past April 1, Souplantation sister-concept Sweet Tomatoes reopened a 7,000 square-foot, once-popular location in Tucson, AZ, with hungry diners lining around the building to get a taste of the familiar buffet restaurant. Although only one Sweet Tomatoes location is open right now, the company indicated to Restaurant Business Online that they are considering expanding to additional markets and reopening other branches in the future. 

Ocean Buffet is expected to open later this year at 1860 Marron Road in San Diego's North County city of Carlsbad.