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San Diego

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Snowy Owl

Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: San Diego Reply with quote

Hi there,

We will be in San Diego for a few days in late September and am looking for restaurant recommendations and or market areas where we could visit.

Although I would love to say that price is no object - it is .... so anything that is reasonable but I certainly would look at something more up there in prices!

We will be in San Francisco as well for a few days and I know that I must try the sour dough bread there .... anything else that is a must try would also be welcome.

Thanks again
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Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just back in my hot country from 2 months in various cities in the US.
San francisco was wonderful,.I couldn't recommend cheap restaurants, because my friend who lives in LA decided to pamper me with good restaurants. I'm sure there are tens of good and cheap restaurants.
Nevertheless, I'll suggest the two I really liked, though they are quite pricy.
I'm an afficionado of dim sums and had five (5!!!) such meals in NY
( stayed there 9 days). But the best one was in SF and I wouldn't mind to pay the price : it is named Yand Sing and has two locations, one in Chinatown and one in Rincon Center ( I ate at that one). Worth every penny.
I also liked less pricy neo-vietnamese restaurant E&O Trading Co ( yes, that's the restaurants's name) on Sutter street, not far from Union Square.
We also succeeded to get a reservation at the musch parised Slanted Door , also neo-vietnamese, which I found noisy, over-crowded, pricy and snobbish- the food was just OK, but I think I preffer the old-vietnamese style, more basic and honest food.
We also ate in a charming italian restaurant named Kuleto ( or Culeto) just opposite Union Square on the street wher the streetcar is going up ( forgot the name of the street).
If you have time for a Napa Valley day- it was really wonderful - Toscana like but in American dimentions . We had a really wonderful meal at the CIA restaurant in St. Helena named Wine Spectator Greystone. Worth the trip and fairly priced.
Bon Appetit and have a wonderful time eating and drinking,

No more war, vive the good reataurants !!!
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For San Francisco, the Ferry Building is a must-visit. The farmer's market (on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) is one of the best I've ever been to, but even if you don't make it on a market day, there are plenty of shops worth checking out - whatever you do, don't miss Miette (amazing macarons) and Blue Bottle Coffee. Elsewhere in town, I've had Tartine recommended to me by several people whose judgment I trust - although when I tried to go, the queue was so long I gave up because I had such limited time in the city. Based on the crowd and the displays, I would say it's worth braving the long wait if you have more time - but maybe go earlier in the day!
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 194
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: ideas for san diego Reply with quote

Although I've been living here for just over a year, I actually haven't been all that adventerous when it comes to San Diego restaurants.

That said, here are a few ideas that I, a budding local, enjoy:

The Sea Rocket Bistro

The Sea Rocket Bistro in the neighborhood of South Park (actually east of Balboa Park) is a farm to table restaurant. It prides itself on serving up sustainable, locally and humanely (read - no dolphin killing nets, they fish with poles!) fished seafood and local organic produce. If you go on a Wednesday, that's the day they get fresh sea urchin in. Mind you, when I say sea urchin, I'm talking about a living, moving thing the size of a grapefruit. I felt bad about eating it while it was still moving, but it was an incredible appetizer.

They also have a small selection of tapas. If you're a fish lover, be sure to try the grilled sardines. Lunch runs about $15-$20 and dinner about $10 more.

Wa Dining Okan (Japanese izakaya or tapas style restaurant)

Okan is an abbreviated version of Okasan, which means "mother" in Japanese. This place is located in the tiny Japanese/Korean business strip of San Diego known as Kearny Mesa, just a bit north of central San Diego. The restaurant itself is the size of a postage stamp --- literally, but it makes for an authentic, homey Japanese postage stamp. Don't let its strip mall location fool you. The food is traditional and amazing. Like most izakayas, the focus is on tapas or small portions of grilled meat and other gourmet, snack size salads or sides. I highly recommend the ochazuke, a grilled rice ball with seasonings and green tea poured over it. Also, the steamed clams and asaparugus wrapped in bacon skewers are modestly sized but very satisfying. They serve a small lunch menu (think 3-5 items) Monday through Friday and dinner daily. Dinner runs about $25-$30 per person. Reservations highly recommended. (Nijiya market is right next door in case you need a Japanese grocery store run.)

Tabe BBQ

San Diego has a unique flair for fusion cuisine. Usually, it's very bad. With Tabe BBQ, however, it's very good. Tabe BBQ serves up Korean style BBQ in a Tex Mex style taco. They also do the crunchiest fish tacos in all of San Diego. The only downside to Tabe is that you have to follow their truck (locations available on their web site) on certain days or go to their only store location, located inside a car wash convenience store. Yes, you heard me correctly; it's inside a car wash convenience store. With a kitchen the size of a small closet, though, Tabe BBQ churns out amazing food that's original and tasty. Lunch is under $10 per person.

Muzita Abyssinian Bistro

In the mood for adventure? Muzita is another small, family run Ethiopian restaurant. The chef in the kitchen is Latin but he makes dinner with the Ethiopian manager Abel's mom's secret spices and seasonings. Housed in a small bungalow, Muzita provides both a romantic atmosphere and tasty, slightly spicy food. The meat and veg dishes are all organic and served on an edible bread plate. By the way, you eat with your hands. You'll get used to it fast because the food is so good. Try the honey wine, the speciality of the house. It's amazing. They're only open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday but also serve brunch on Sunday. Dinner runs about $25-$30 per person.

Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop

I haven't tried this place but I've been meaning to. (I usually get my Mexican food fix at an authentic place near my work.) The decor alone makes it worth a visit --- and by decor, I mean luchador decor. I really respect the fact that they have grilled hot dogs wrapped in bacon on the menu. If you've ever been to an authentic Mexican neighborhood in Los Angeles or in Tijuana, this item (among other things) is a staple of street food cuisine. I think this restaurant was also featured on an episode of Man v. Food filmed in San Diego.

Eclipse Chocolat

If you're willing to spend $5 on a cup of hot chocolate, this is the place to do it. It's a chocolate and coffee cafe that sells high end chocolate, chocolate drinks and desserts. Skip the $12 tasting platter (their desserts are dry and disappointing) but go for the hot chocolate. I like the rosemary mint infused hot chocolate.

Tender Greens

This is a godsend of a chain restaurant located in Point Loma. At Tender Greens you can get generously portioned gourmet salads or hot gourmet entrees (I tried the rabbit and they actually got it right!) for around $15. Dinner is served in a cafeteria style line but the folks behind the counter are fast and diligent. Stop by the Starbucks at Libery Station after dinner --- it's decorated with a few antique naval portaits, a nice nod to the history of the area.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Cafe

If you're in La Jolla visiting the seals in the Children's Cove, the outdoor cafe at the Museum of Contemporary Art is an ideal lunch spot. The menu is French and Italian inspired --- mostly salads and sandwiches but made with the freshest ingredients. Lunch runs about $15 per person. No museum admission required to dine at the cafe.

Beachside restaurants

Nick's at the Beach

Nick's isn't exactly on the beach, but pretty close to it. Nick's is a sports bar that churns out good quality, reasonably priced sports bar food. The clam chowder here is excellent unlike the white slop they churn out at most tourist trap restaurants like The Fish Market near the harbor.

World Famous

World Famous is where the local San Diegans go for relatively cheap seafood. Happy Hour during the week means half priced appetizers which are surprisingly good. The clam chowder here is also excellent. Expect a long wait during happy hour though. The locals love their beer and seafood appetizers.

I'm sure any guidebook on San Diego will give you recommendations on where to eat near the beach. San Diego has so many beaches, there's plenty of view to catch. I'm also not a frequent visitor of the more well-known touristy areas such as the Gaslamp district and Little Italy. I wouldn't recommend eating at any of the restaurants (overpriced) in Balboa Park but do visit the museums in El Prado.

One last thing . . . if you have the time and are inclined to go horseback riding, there's a riding stable that allows you to ride horses on the beach near the Mexican border. It's called Happy Trails. We did the early bird ride at 9 am and had a really nice time. Our horses didn't really want to go into the water, but if you can coax them in, they can go in up to their necks.
"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" --- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
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Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother has lived in the San Diego area for 30 years, and, at my request, put this list together for you.

Pier Café Menu available at website

Hash House a Go Go Menu available website

Hodads menu available website

Kojacks Greek Food
At Mission Beach
across from roller coaster
714 Ventura Place
San Diego, CA 92109

Royal India Menu available web

Big Kitchen Café Menu available web
3003 Grape St.
San Diego, Ca 92102
(619) 234-5789

The Big Kitchen is Open
8am-2pm daily

Pokez Menu available website

LaStrada Menu available website

El Zarappe Menu available website

Ranchos Cocina
Categories: Vegetarian, Mexican
1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd
(between Narragansett Ave & Niagara Ave)
San Diego, CA 92107
Neighborhoods: Ocean Beach, Point Loma
(619) 226-7619

Arriverderci Ristorante Italian
(619) 299-6282
3845 Fourth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
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