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Jul 5, 2006 07:22 AM

What's On Your Rotation? (San Diego)

A while back, Kirk started a thread with a list of places to eat on his "rotation". They were the places he liked best and would return to regularly, at least back then.

We don't eat out often enough to have a complete list, but I'll throw down what I have after a little over a year in town.

What are your favorites?

Places I like:

Vietnamese (cheap) - K Sandwiches (best bread), Pho CA Dao
Sushi (cheap) - Ichiban (cheap, OK rolls and specials)
Indian - Punjabi Tandoor
Middle Eastern - Mama's Bakery
Italian - Apertivo (tapas-style)
Pizza - Bronx Pizza
Mexican (cheap) - El Zarape ($1 fish tacos), Super Cocina (moles), Tamale cart (35th & El Cajon)
Salvadorean - El Salvador Pupuseria
American - The Linkery, In-N-Out
Breakfast - Crepes de Paris (but ownership has changed)
Dessert - Mariposa Ice Cream, Just Fabulous
Coffee - Caffe Calabria (best), Lestat's (24 hr)
Drinks - Baja Betty 's, The Linkery, Liar's Club

Places I want to try:

Thai - Saffron. Any other ideas? All have been just OK so far (Celadon, Katima, Amari, Bai Yook)
Vietnamese - Lucky Seafood
Sushi - Sammy Sushi, Sushi Ota
Japanese - Izakaya Sakura, Tajima, Teriyaki Cowboy, Hogetsu Bakery
Korean - Buga, Boo Cho, Ko Hayang Jip
Filipino - Tita's Kitchenette
Laotian - Asia Cafe
Chinese - Ba Ren, China Max, Dumpling Inn, Pearl?/Emerald?
Plate Lunch - Da' Kitchen
Middle Eastern - Soltan Banoo, Bandar
Indian – Bombay? India Princess?
Italian - Baci? I could use some help here.
Spanish - Cafe Sevilla (tapas)
Russian - Pomegranate
Mexican - Chilango's, Mama Testa, Maritza’s, Carnitas Urupan, Por Venir, Ponce's, Porkyland, El Cuervo
Seafood - Blue Water Grill, Bay Park Seafood Co
Breakfast - The Mission, Hash House, Cantina Panaderia, Original Pancake House, Cafe on Park
American - Turf Club, Chicken Pie Shop
Special Occasion - Parallel 33, Tapenade, AR Valentine, George's, Cafe Cerise, Fresh, Roppongi's, Cafe Chloe

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  1. I don't eat out very frequently these days, so my rotation is pretty short:

    The Linkery
    Trattoria Firenze
    Super Cocina
    Dumpling Inn
    Zensei Sushi
    Cafe Cerise
    Blue Water
    Harry's Coffee Shop
    The Wit's End
    O'Brien's Pub
    Buga Korean BBQ
    Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria

    As for your list, it looks pretty good to me so far, though Saffron isn't really a good Thai place. Not sure what to recommend for Thai. When I used to work in Kearny Mesa, we'd sometimes go to this little hole-in-the-wall Thai place called Chilies Thai Gourmet. It's in the same shopping center as Original Pancake House. I remember the food being good, maybe it's worth a shot?

    1. all i can say is -- Vive comida casera y super cocina!

      (their mole and birria are my last meal on death row dishes)

      1 Reply
      1. re: kare_raisu

        I'm partial to the puerco enchilado, myself.

      2. Mexican - Delia's kitchen (cheap)
        Thai - Thai House
        Vietnamese/French - Le Bamboo in Del Mar

        1. I used to live in Pacific Beach, but alas, I am now just a visitor to San Diego. Nonetheless, I have a rotation, and my problem is that I always have limited time in the city and it is hard to find time to try new spots. My favorites not necessarily in order:

          1. Izakaya Sakura (Sakura 1 in the phone book and my #1).
          2. Asia Cafe (Amazing Laotian)
          3. The Fishery (Seafood House)
          4. China Max (stylish Hong-Kong style cuisine and dim sum)
          5. Liar's Club (ales, beers, great pub food)
          6. Sammy's Sushi (neighborhood sushi bar)
          7. Emerald or Pearl (dim sum)
          8. Jasmine Express (roast duck to go)
          9. Buga, Boo Cho for Korean (and Seoul BBQ just for Hwoe Dup Bap lunch special)
          10. Tons of Vietnamese places: I sometimes think this is the cuisine best represented in SD - Thien Thanh (and great banh mi in the back of the same strip mall at Nong Huong(?)), Saigon, Pho Ca Dao, Convoy Noodle House, Phuong Trang, and Kim Chan sandwich shop.
          11. Mexican I usually eat back home in Yuma.

          As others have mentioned, Thai does not seem to be San Diego's forte.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Phoo D

            How could I forget Ba Ren. My bad. It's good!


          2. Having lived in PB for 25+ years, I tend to get around. I have quite a rotation...just need more money!

            Thai – Tiny place next to La Vache on Robinson Ave.
            Japanese - Tajima
            Sushi – Sushi Ota
            Korean - Buga
            Pizza – Marino’s and Bronx
            Chinese – China Max
            Chinese – Hot – Ba Ren
            Dim Sum - Emerald
            Mexican Fast Food - Alberto's
            Mexican Slow Food – Super Cocina
            Mexican Slower Food - Chilango's
            Salvadorean - El Salvador Pupuseria
            Seafood - The Fishery
            Burgers - Hodads
            Italian - Marino’s
            Ribs - Phil's BBQ
            Bar food – Liar’s Club and Cass Street
            Spanish - Costa Brava
            American – Crest Café and Cheesecake Factory
            Breakfast - Original Pancake House
            Brunch (Sat) – Baja Betty’s
            Brunch (Sun) – Hanalei
            Special Occasion – Donovan’s
            Dessert - Cheesecake Factory

            3 Replies
            1. re: pbhomey

              Thai on the 400 block of Robinson Ave? I haven't seen a place there, nor has Google Maps. Any hints on the name?

              1. re: Joseph

                La Vache is on the corner...the Thai place is closest to the alley. The name change recently...but it is the same owner. There are two ot three tables outside, and not much more inside. The drunken noodles out outstanding. This place is truely a great find.

                1. re: Joseph

                  Joseph - Don't know about a name change, but the place is the Thai Grill:

                  The Thai Grill
                  420 Robinson Ave. Suite E
                  San Diego, CA 92103