Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Aug 31, 2006 09:51 PM

San Diego - North County adventures with pics.

See!! I do eat more than just Japanese!

Pizzacatto - I think I found the best pizza place in North County. Thin crust, no thick gloppy cheese or excess toppings or soggy crust! What a relief! The only bad thing - they don't deliver.

Betty's Tacos Restaurant - This Mexican place has the typical items on the menu. We just had a to go order. Chile relleno was average, the typical batter fried job drowned in there sauce. Refritos were good. Dining companion had the grilled fish burrito, unfortunately it had more rice than anything. Fish Tacos (fried), I liked these better than Las Olas, and even Juanita’s, but they were a little over done. Salsa is unusually thin here, but still has a good kick.
1464 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 632-1512

Sushi on the Rock - Not our usual choice, but we needed something close. There are a couple decent items here, the Tijuana Tataki (seared tuna and togarashi with jalapeno ponzu) was huge this time! We also dared to try the Uni and it actually wasn't bad at all, from Santa Barbara. The most surprising part, ume-shiso w/cuc handroll. This is not on the menu, but I had to ask. Nice whole salted plums vs. the usual paste out of a squirt bottle. This place has slightly redeemed itself for me with this last meal, however there rice is still not up to par.

Las Olas - in Cardiff. Nothing fancy here, but very popular. The chile rellenos come roasted here as well as fried. Two chile relleno's, I think were $7.95. These are good, better than YCTF and Bety’s. The grilled fish burrito was declared a winner as well. Good guacamole, salsa and chips. House margarita's here are not too shabby either.

Sage Grill - This was an invite, normally I would not set foot in this kind of place. On the outside it looks like it was a Denny's, that square box shape with the weird roof. Inside they gutted the place and it actually looks like they did a nice job. The food on the other hand didn't stand up as well. The $12 Crab cakes were scorched on one side and covered in some sort of chopped lettuce like they were trying to hide them, I don't blame them. My cat covers stuff up that he doesn't like as well! The $10 seared Tuna, had three wafer thin slices, smothered in a avocado salsa. Fries sounded promising, but ended up being Sysco brand. Finally companions had the French dip sandwich, they had no comment.

Yellow Coyote Tortilla Factory - I avoid this place because I think it's over priced. Once in a whole we go with guests. I usually stick to the Caesar Salad with roasted peppers and prawns - $14, and a house margarita $6.95. Since I am on the chile relleno quest this time... this one was still a little raw and far too much coagulated cheese. It looked good though! Chips and salsa(s) are ok, sometimes very watery or tasteless. Homemade corn tortilla's can hit or miss, sometimes too thick, sometimes too dry.

Pics here:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thanks for the detailed report. I definitely want to try Pizzacatto now that you've mentioned it. Truly good pizza is remarkably hard to find.

    Beth -

    3 Replies
    1. re: BethZenFoodism

      I love Pizzicato. When I used to visit Portland, I wanted to eat there daily. Truly exemplary non-traditional pies. I just wish there was one closer than Encinitas.

      1. re: BethZenFoodism

        Try Pizzicato. But try also one of their salads. I prefer the arugula and ripe pear salad.

        1. re: honkman

          Yes, the salads are pretty good. We always get a salad, makes the pizza more healthy! :-)

      2. So Pablo where is your favorite chile relleno (& Fish burrito for that matter)...your benchmark or measuring stick?

        Needless to say --the relleno at S. Cocina is pretty transcendent IMHO.

        Could you reccomend anything else at Junaita's besides the incredible carnitas?

        2 Replies
        1. re: kare_raisu

          kare_raisu you ask a pretty tough question! I lived in Mexico City for a couple years so the benchmark is high. But that wouldn't be a fair comparison for places around here, so my measuring stick is pretty simple for the relleno's: If battered, it has to be made to order, if it's been sitting around and reheated to order, that's a big minus. I think that's why they use sauce to cover this. The cheese...cheddar, jack, mozzarella, no points. Extra points for goat cheese or real Manchego stuffed ones. The pepper itself, Anaheim’s are ok, Pasilla is choice for the heat, anything from a can is instant disqualification! If roasted, cooked would be good, crunchy raw peppers are not what I want. That would be the basics. The best one so far is at Juanita’s (roasted), then Las Olas (roasted), followed by Bety’s (fried) and fourth to Yellow Coyote’s (roasted $14 relleno!). Fish burrito’s are my SO’s thing, she requires a grilled fish, not fried. No status on the best as of right now. Can you recommend one? I need to get to S. Cocina sometime...

          1. re: Pablo

            Super Cocina's rellenos are kept warm in a red sauce. I like them a lot, they are filled with Oaxaca cheese (I believe that's what they said) and made from roasted pasilla chiles.

        2. When at Bety's, you have to try the Chicken Mole and the Quesadilla with Epazote! I think those are the two best things on the menu, at least for me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: snort

            Thanks for the rec snort I haven's seen any epazote around here since my last visit to Chilango's... that place is great! I don't do meat anymore so it severely impacts my Mexican choices. I am also on a quest for ceviche, any recs?