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holes-in-the-wall where grandma or mom is cooking in the back (SD and or RIV)

i know this is a weird request --but from experience-- these places tend to be right on the money when it comes to the presence of love in a dish.

bonus points for ethnic cusines.
geography:anywhere in SD and riverside counties

(personal nomination: la cocina de Maria in escondido)

many thanks

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    1. re: Josh

      did you see my favorite rest. list? :)

    2. Ravi's Indian Cuisine in Colton (San Bernardino County)
      A Dong (Vietnamese) in Redlands (San Bernardino County)

      1. Try Punjabi Tandoor in SD. The whole family is cooking, and you can see them do it too!

        I like the chicken mahkni. Also has good lassis.


        1. Asia Cafe in back of strip mall on corner of 47th and Market in SD. Small Laotian place completely family run. They also cook and serve more dishes than are listed on menu. Ask for Nam Keow (crunchy fried rice with sour sausage). Truly wonderful. But only open until 6:30 PM.

          1. Carnitas and/or chili relleno burritos at El Porvenir (1786 National Ave., (619) 702-2445) in Barrio Logan. Life changingly good, in a serious hole in the wall.

            1 Reply
            1. I liked Punjabi Tandoor quite a lot but the last three visits were all disasters with lousy food. I think at this point Punjabi Tandoor is way overrated.

              2 Replies
                1. re: young_chower

                  I went with my wife six times to Punjabi Tandoor over the last few months. The first three times we had excellent food but the last three times it was like they changed all cooks and recipes. Nothing tastes good anymore, it was like they forgot how to use their spices, the quality of the lamb they are using has dropped significantly, the naans were burned black the last three times, all three meals were incredible oily (one of the inedible because of the amount of oil) etc. Most likely I will try Punjabi Tandoor in the future again but in the moment I go to Indian Tandoor when I don't want to cook after work and need some Indian take-out. Indian Tandoor is not as good as the first three visits to Punjabi Tandoor but much better than the last three visits.

              1. There was a great "soul-food" restaurant on the little pedestrian mall next to the Mission Inn in Riverside - on the route down from the convention center. Hope it is still there. Perfect home made touches and flavor additions made this stock cuisine rise above the rest: great cole slaw, ribs, beans, sweet potato pie. Yum.

                Just looked it up and it appears it is "Gram's Mission BBQ and Palace" on Main Street, near the Mission Inn and continues to get rave reviews. Celebrate Riverside's Juneteenth festival with their great food.