Saturday, September 8, 2007

Marukai San Diego Arrives -- Almost

I trotted over to the new Marukai San Diego Plaza in Kearny Mesa this afternoon all set to sample and compare the offerings of Marukai, a market chain based in L.A. with roots in Japan, with neighboring Mitsuwa (which has just undergone a bit of a face lift) and Nijiya (which I've written about).

All well and good but for one little thing. What just opened was Daiso, not Marukai. Daiso is their $1.50 store. It turns out Marukai won't be open for another couple of months.

Disappointed? Yep, but I stuck around and enjoyed Daiso enormously. Think Pic N Save from the good ol' days only with unique Japanese merchandise. Everything in the store is $1.50 unless otherwise marked. And, surprisingly, among the expected amount of cheap junk are some great buys.

They have a fun housewares section with all sorts of utensils, really cute and colorful serving trays, delicate porcelain espresso cup and saucer sets and handy plastic food storage sets.

For every plastic bonzai tree that made me laugh was something fantastically useful, like small florist frogs that are usually remarkably hard to find. Stock up here on gift wrap paper and bags. Pick up a pair of slippers or an apron or dish towels. You'll find lots of office and school supply stuff, mesh zip bags of all shapes and sizes and colors that you'll want to buy because you just know you can use them for something, eye glass pouches and dog collars and leashes. And, there's some food: cookies and ramen and potato chips and the like.

So, not so much a market write up since we'll have to wait a few months for that to open, but in the meantime, enjoy Daiso.

Daiso is located at 8111 Balboa Ave. at Mercury St.

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  1. I hope they open up a Beard Papa's there too like the Marukai in OC. I'm jonesing for a cream puff.

  2. Although this post doesn't mention the North Park area, there is a new diner opening up called the Commonwealth Cafe.

    The Commonwealth Cafe in San Diego is being hit with major restrictions for hours of operations. The Commonwealth Cafe was scheduled to be a late-night type of diner, but unfortunately the city of San Diego is only allowing the diner to stay open until 2 am. Some of the controversy that has stirred up about this situation is the fact that Jack in the Box and Denny's have later hours and are withing the same zoning region, but for some reason these restaurants do not have to comply with the same rules as the Commonwealth Cafe.

    To help allow this new diner to operate at its convenience there are multiple locations throughout North Park where people can sign petitions. These places include : Bluefoot, Luigi's Pizzeria on 25th, blissful bean on 30th, Santos on Thorn.. and Rebecca's on Juniper. For more info please visit and help spread the word!!!!

    The grand opening will be on September 18th!

  3. Hey Everyone,

    It is true, the Commonwealth Cafe has opened. I have yet to go there, but most of my colleagues ate their for lunch and say it's delicious. I, personally, cannot wait for the increadible mac and cheese item and a slice of the home-made pie! I believe that everyone in SD should come to the North Park area and visit the new diner!!!!!!