Oceanside’s pop-up restaurant Matsu moving into permanent home April 1

One of the dishes on the menu of Matsu restaurant
One of the dishes on the menu of Matsu, an Oceanside pop-up restaurant that will be moving into a permanent home on April 1.
(Courtesy photo)

Matsu, the American/Japanese pop-up restaurant founded in Oceanside in July 2019, will be moving into its own permanent space on April 1.

Chef-owner William Eick had been fine-tuning his concept as a tasting menu offered to just one table for one seating three nights a week at Mission Ave. Bar & Grill, where he formerly worked as executive chef. Plans to move Matsu into its own space were derailed last year by the pandemic. But in December of 2020, Eick got word of a space in Oceanside opening up this spring, and he felt the time was right.

“We’re seeing drastic changes in Oceanside, and people are itching to get back out again to have some sort of experience. So it seemed like a wonderful time to do it,” Eick said.

On April 1, Eick will take over the lease on the restaurant building at 626 S. Tremont St. Its longtime occupant, Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen, is relocating to a new downtown location at 509 Mission Ave. in Oceanside, with plans to reopen in May.

Once Eick gets into the Tremont Street space, he said it will take three to four months to remodel and get his liquor license established. He hopes to open Matsu in July or August.

In the meantime, he’ll be using the kitchen there as the temporary home for his second restaurant concept, Naegi, which will serve takeout-only Japanese-inspired quick-service items like karaage (fried chicken) and egg salad sandwiches.

The new space will also be home to his year-old Hokkaido Bread Company, a wholesale baker that makes Hokkaido (Japanese milk bread) for local restaurants.

Matsu will have 48 to 55 seats and a menu that includes both a la carte items and two tasting menu options with prices starting at $13 for appetizers up to $60 for an A5 Wagyu steak entree. Diners can assemble their own four-course meal for $65, or do a full eight-course omakase meal (chef’s choice) for $140, the pre-pandemic menu that helped Eick build a three-month waiting list for Matsu.

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Kragen writes about local restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at