Linton had the idea soon after he graduated from San Diego State University. Browsing reviews on Yelp, it became clear that there was a lack of quality teriyaki restaurants in San Diego, he said.
“I’m a picky eater myself, and so is one of my business partners, and you guys have burrito shacks down here [in Pacific Beach] on almost every corner.”
Chop Shop’s large menu includes everything from traditional teriyaki and yakisoba to fusion-style cilantro lime chicken tacos and bacon jalapeño fried rice. Linton plans to offer seasonal dishes and specials, which will continue to expand what Chop Shop has to offer.
“People like choices and people like healthy options,” Linton said. “Down at the beach, if there’s a guy and his girlfriend, she can have the option to get a vegetarian bowl or a quinoa tofu bowl and he can get the teriyaki chicken. We wanted to expand it so it’s a little more broad.”
In addition to its unique dishes, Chop Shop’s sauces are all home-made and prepared fresh. Linton said it takes a lot of prep work, but the result is worth it.
Linton said he is excited about his first restaurant, and he plans to continue to learn and grow to offer a new dining experience by the beach. He appreciates feedback and hopes to work with customers to bring them the perfect teriyaki.
Shortly after it opened in February, some customers said the drinks were a little too expensive and the portions were small, so Linton lowered drink prices by 50 cents and increased portion sizes.
“Like my dad always said, the minute people stop critiquing is the minute they stop caring,” Linton said. “I want nothing besides to give people the chance to try authentic teriyaki, something they really haven’t had in their diet growing up, and I want a chance to bring it to the community and do it right. I’m here to stay and I’m here to provide people with good food and good times.”