The go-to sushi favorite for three decades, San Shi Go Laguna Beach, is permanently closing on Saturday, Sept. 16th. Laguna Beach residents are, to say the least, bummed.
San ShiGo has had a rough go of it for a couple years now. For 32 years, the popular restaurant sat atop the same building that houses the Heidelberg Inn and Gina’s Pizza (11 S. Coast Highway). Owner/Principal Koichi Sakamoto closed the doors there on Feb. 28th, 2021, weary of post-pandemic issues and building renovations that they felt did not favor them or their patio-favoring guests.
On June 8th, 2021, I announced that San Shi Go had committed to its current location, the old Okura building at 858 S. Coast Highway. The restaurant had sat empty after Okura’s departure in Nov. 2019, and there was quite a bit of work to be done to get the San Shi Go world of sushi up and rolling again.
Sakamoto opened there in mid-November, 2021, and despite the rush of longtime fans returning, the expansive space proved too much for the San Shi Go family. “It was a combination of things,” Koichi told me. “It was a big space and it was difficult to plan for staffing. And the price of food just keeps going up and up.
All is not completely lost, though – a few of the chefs and wait staff will shift to the existing San Shi Go Newport Beach location (205 Main Street).
“All of the people coming in to say goodbye, it’s really been amazing,” said Koichi. “It’s been a very good run here in Laguna Beach, and the town has been very good to us.”
See my video on the THREE iconic restaurant closures in Laguna this September:
(Please note, a fourth restaurant, ROUX, announced its permanent closing at time of deadline.)