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Lot 81 San Diego?

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  • sds Jul 20, 2006 09:20 PM
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I just saw this restaurant driving home the other day...Anyone heard of it or been there? Its called Lot 81 and its on Morena Blvd, across the street from Petco...

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  1. Haven't been there, but the menu looks interesting. I guess the "Backstage Menu" is because they're located by Brick By Brick.

    1. I had dinner and the food was great,I will be going back.

      1. I have been there several times for dinner and lunch.

        I recommend the mahi fish taco's and the brie and mango quesadilla.

        I have had the burger for lunch and it too was very good.

        Great interior design and fun atmosphere.

        1. Orange dominates - an out of the way treasure! If you LUV fish tacos - drive and EAT!

          1. Three good things about lot81...fish tacos, fish tacos, fish tacos...

            1. Based on the comments on this board an friend and I dined at Lot 81 on Saturday night.

              We loved the food. Two of us split the spinach/arugula salad, and 'small plates" chicken quesdilla and glazed salmon. The kitchen is doing a very good job there. The wine list is short but good. All wines are available by the glass and the prices are fair. We ordered glasses of Ridge Zinfandel. Very enjoyable.

              Now for the minuses. I was bitten by mosquitos several times while we were there. This was inside the restaurant. Once we figured out what was going on, we spent the rest of the meal swatting bugs. We did not care to dine outside because the patio was taken over by patrons of Brick by Brick. Not a problem except everyone was smoking. Dont sit at the banquettes unless you are tall. You will be too low and too far away from the table to be comfortable. And finally, the waitress we had was not up to snuff with the sophistication of the food. She asked if the Zin was red or white. She had an accent and mumbled and we could not understand her. No big deal except our order got screwed up. Still, no big deal until we were admonished by her with "well that is why I asked you blah blah blah". Not appreciated. Finally, she shorted us $20 in change from the bill.

              Notwithstanding, I'll go back to Lot 81. They have the right idea there. Its a charming space and they are serious about the food. Its undiscovered so far, so no problem getting a table even on Saturday night prime time. The other issues I hope will be smoothed out in time.

              1. when i went to this restaurant i felt like i was at my house. they have some of the best food and very good service. Even though i am 11 years old i felt very welcomed. I would recomend this place to anybody. My favorite dish is the chicken quesadillas they are delicious. i love the patio and i like the fact that i could eat with my dog next to me. if your looking for a restaurant lot 81 is the place to go to.

                1. The young critic “kisadaela” has a good start as a Chowhound. I agree completely.

                  Coincidentally, I also had lunch at Lot 81 yesterday, and was similarly impressed. That chicken quesadilla is a big cut above the similar things that have become common on appetizer menus around town. First off, it’s made with flavorful corn tortillas, a whole bunch of sliced chicken breast, and of course cheese (jack?). Second, it’s topped with a generous portion of sliced mangos (I didn’t ask, but I’m pretty sure they were the kind that come from a jar), and the plate includes a big schmear of raspberry coulis along with a thin garnish slice of fresh mango. It really was quite special.

                  For lunch, I had the garlic-shrimp tacos. You get three small tacos consisting of soft, mini-corn tortillas crammed with small whole shrimp, avocado, red cabbage, red onion, crema and a little chopped red onion. A fiery but flavorful house-made salsa is served on the side. They were *very* messy to eat, but oh, were they good! Along with the tacos, you get enough well-done, very thin shoestrings to feed about four people. I could only eat about half of them.

                  Di had a calamari sandwich which consisted of strips of calamari, breaded in panko crumbs and fried to exactly the right mixture of crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. It’s served on a roll with lettuce and tomato and also comes with a mountain of those shoestrings.

                  The wine list is *very* short, and includes only one low-priced bottle for each type listed. We had the Red Diamond Washington-state Chardonnay ($24) which turned out to be a perfect complement to our lunch. It was new to me, but I liked it very much. Our bill, including wine and tax, but not the tip, was $51.00.

                  Most of the folks eating there yesterday were seated on the patio, but since we’re paranoid about smoking, we ate inside. The indoor part of the place is decorated all in orange with white and gray accents. It was striking, but it could have used some additional color (a little green or something) to relieve the orange and make it less overpowering. It’s also a rather small place, and seated indoors, you get the distinct impression that you’re eating “in the bar.” None of this is intended as negative criticism; I just want to be sure that you aren’t misled by imagining a big, fancy place. What they do have is excellent food at a very moderate price. We’ll be back for sure.
                  . . . jim strain in san diego.

                  1. Sorry to be the nay-sayer here, but we had one of the worst dining experiences in recent memory at Lot81. I had been for lunch and enjoyed the seared tuna sandwich, so I decided to take a group of six for dinner. We were the only people inside(I think there were two or three tables outside) even though it was prime-time Friday night. Our service was atrocious. The young woman serving us was the hostess, I assume, and had no experience waiting tables. She couldn't answer the simplest of questions without running to the kitchen (such as the soup of the day and what how the side dishes were prepared). When we ordered a botttle of the Laetitia Pinot Noir, she asked if we wanted the white or red. None of our orders came out right. What did come out was under-seasoned, bland and uninspiring (tuna, steak, halibut), and it was all accompanied by cafetria-style veggies and rice. They played the same 80's greatest hits soundtrack over and over until it started skipping (we all cracked up on hearing Hotel California for the third time in two hours). Every aspect of our experience was unappealing.

                    This makes me sad. I had high hopes for Lot81. I teach at USD and was thrilled to have what looked to be a chic and inventive restaurant nearby. It seems to me, however, that they are just running on auto-pilot, and that they've already conceded that they are not going to make it. I can't imagine another reason why they would neglect the costumers who do appear, especially when we were so clearly and intently interested in dining there.

                    I've had a run of good dining luck lately at Modus, Laurel (the 7 before 7 happy hour rocks), and Hawthorn. I guess all good things must come to an end....

                    Looking at the comments above my verdict would be yes for lunch at Lot81, when casual food and service are in store, but absolutely no for dinner when there are so many other restaurants in SD that do dinner so well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Dr. K

                      Sorry to hear about Dr. K's poor experience. It raises the red flags doubly high because Dr. K's comments -- at least in respect to the service -- so closely echo SdNativa's from a few weeks ago. The recommendation to give this place a try for lunch but to exercise caution before making a dinner reservation seems sensible. It's too bad, because it sounds like the problems are fixable without a great deal of effort. Anybody know the e-mail address of the owner?
                      . . . jim strain in san diego.

                    2. I had a business lunch at Lot 81 yesterday. We sat on the Patio. I had the poached pear salad with grilled chicken and my guest had the fish tacos with fries. The tacos come with a choice of fries or a salad. We both enjoyed our meals. The out door patio was well utilized, but still allowed us to conduct our meeting with out be bothered by the conversations at the other tables.

                      My salad included candied pecans and rouqufort, the nuts were a real plus.

                      1. i saw what Dr.k wrote and i wish he had had a better experience. whenever i go i always have a great time and i feel like everything there is fine. It may be that i am young and i don't notice the little things that happen but in my opinion everything is fine.

                        1. I had hope of this place being decent when I first saw it so I tried it out. I had the Ahi which tasted like it was rolled around in pure seasoning salt- it's great if your taste buds are shot and you're craving a ton of salt. The worst part of all is my girlfriend got food sickness from eating the shrimp cocktail at this place and was throwing up the entire next day. I contacted Lot 81 the next day and they handled the situation as poorly as there food. Don't be fooled by the decor.

                          1. 'just discovered this place about a month ago- it is now my favorite SD eating spot. I love the fact that this place has an ultra cool decor but its service is very much laid back and unpretentious. To boot, the food is amazing. Definitely check it out!

                            1. i have gone to lot 81 and i think its really good. The inside is verry decorative and funky asnd the patio is calming and fun, and the food is delicious.