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Japan on Convoy

Chopstix is quick, cheap, and delicious

Ten Zaru Soba, chilled buckwheat noodles with shrimp tempura
Ten Zaru Soba, chilled buckwheat noodles with shrimp tempura
Place

Chopstix

4633 Convoy Street, San Diego

While on the way to Tofu House, I rarely pay any mind to the big red awning advertising “Japanese Noodles” across the street. Once every few months, David and I venture to try something new on the Asian-cuisine-rich strip of Convoy Street. He still swears he’s going to spend a year tasting his way through each of the hundred-something restaurants along San Diego’s Silk Road, but we always end up at our few favorites (Tofu House, Emerald, Yakyudori, Tajima, Dumpling Inn). Once in a Red Moon, we are fortunate enough to add another restaurant to our Convoy repertoire.

California roll at Chopstix

I admit we ended up at Chopstix by default. We were hoping to check out the new expansion at Dumpling Inn, but it was not yet finished, and the wait for lunch was over an hour (hence their need for an expansion). Because I didn’t want to deal with re-parking the car in the congested industrial hood, I convinced David to walk around the corner and under the red awning. We couldn’t remember why this place had been off our radar. I think it was the Panda Express-esque look of the exterior, something that seemed to convey cafeteria-quality food. But, upon being greeted by a Japanese woman in both English and Japanese, taking our seat at a booth and picking up the menu, we immediately realized we’d made the quintessential novice error when dining on Convoy — judging a restaurant by its exterior.

Chicken Katsudon, enough for two meals.

We began by sharing a California roll for the palatable price of $3.75. David noted with disappointment that there was no cucumber, but I didn't mind the omission. He found no faults with his Ten Zaru Soba ($8.25), a classic Japanese dish of chilled buckwheat noodles served with shrimp tempura. Though it was not served on a bamboo tray, David said it was as tasty as any of the soba dishes he’d had in Japan. Atop the noodles were strips of nori seaweed, and green onions and wasabi were served alongside with the dipping sauce.

I got the Chicken Katsudon ($6.95), with miso soup and a salad. The fried chicken cutlet was tender and juicy, and the egg and onions were doused in plenty of the sweet and savory broth that makes this dish what it is. I added a generous sprinkling of shichimi, the zingy and zesty seven-flavor spice mix I’ve become addicted to. Given the price, I was surprised it was such a huge portion. I ate half, and enjoyed the remainder the following day.

Cheap, casual, and authentic, Chopstix is now on the list of menus we’re looking forward to exploring further.

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Ten Zaru Soba, chilled buckwheat noodles with shrimp tempura
Ten Zaru Soba, chilled buckwheat noodles with shrimp tempura
Place

Chopstix

4633 Convoy Street, San Diego

While on the way to Tofu House, I rarely pay any mind to the big red awning advertising “Japanese Noodles” across the street. Once every few months, David and I venture to try something new on the Asian-cuisine-rich strip of Convoy Street. He still swears he’s going to spend a year tasting his way through each of the hundred-something restaurants along San Diego’s Silk Road, but we always end up at our few favorites (Tofu House, Emerald, Yakyudori, Tajima, Dumpling Inn). Once in a Red Moon, we are fortunate enough to add another restaurant to our Convoy repertoire.

California roll at Chopstix

I admit we ended up at Chopstix by default. We were hoping to check out the new expansion at Dumpling Inn, but it was not yet finished, and the wait for lunch was over an hour (hence their need for an expansion). Because I didn’t want to deal with re-parking the car in the congested industrial hood, I convinced David to walk around the corner and under the red awning. We couldn’t remember why this place had been off our radar. I think it was the Panda Express-esque look of the exterior, something that seemed to convey cafeteria-quality food. But, upon being greeted by a Japanese woman in both English and Japanese, taking our seat at a booth and picking up the menu, we immediately realized we’d made the quintessential novice error when dining on Convoy — judging a restaurant by its exterior.

Chicken Katsudon, enough for two meals.

We began by sharing a California roll for the palatable price of $3.75. David noted with disappointment that there was no cucumber, but I didn't mind the omission. He found no faults with his Ten Zaru Soba ($8.25), a classic Japanese dish of chilled buckwheat noodles served with shrimp tempura. Though it was not served on a bamboo tray, David said it was as tasty as any of the soba dishes he’d had in Japan. Atop the noodles were strips of nori seaweed, and green onions and wasabi were served alongside with the dipping sauce.

I got the Chicken Katsudon ($6.95), with miso soup and a salad. The fried chicken cutlet was tender and juicy, and the egg and onions were doused in plenty of the sweet and savory broth that makes this dish what it is. I added a generous sprinkling of shichimi, the zingy and zesty seven-flavor spice mix I’ve become addicted to. Given the price, I was surprised it was such a huge portion. I ate half, and enjoyed the remainder the following day.

Cheap, casual, and authentic, Chopstix is now on the list of menus we’re looking forward to exploring further.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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