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Sep 1, 2006 07:17 PM

Worst of San Diego and Most Over-rated

Sometimes knowing what people hate is as much fun as knowing the best. How about posting what places you think are completely talked about too much.

Perhaps I should start...
Kitima Thai in Hillcrest - bland and overpriced! We asked for extra extra hot and got a plate of warm coconut milk. apparently, this place used to be really good but fame pushed them to americanize or tame the flavors for some reason.

La Vache in Hillcrest - terrible service and food was drenched in thick sauces. Steak was two stages overcooked. I really don't understand why this place gets any repeat customers.

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  1. Las Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan.
    Region - wildly inconsistent on my visits

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      I'll agree with you on Region. Mediocre, pretentious food with service so bad I actually called the management the next day to complain. They sent us a $50 gift certificate that you couldn't pay me to use.

      1. re: 1HotTomato

        Well, if you've scrolled the board you'll see that after October 20th Region will be no more. Not because they weren't successful, but because they're moving to AZ. According to Maria Hunt in Wednesday U/T Celadon is moving into the space.

    2. Well, in order to be overrated, we need to come up with baselines for who is doing the rating. As Chowhounds, I think we can steer very clear of any "ratings" (outside of the generally informative Maria Hunt articles) or polls, as you end up with such travesties as Olive Garden being the best Italian restaurant in the city.

      My benchmark for overrated is that it gets lauded by

      1. Most if not all of the critics that write for the local papers (e.g. Maria Hunt, Naomi Wise, etc.), or

      2. gets very good word of mouth from more than a handful of people.

      I'm going to shoot at the lower places, weary of yet another thread that is going to devolve into a "The Region is overrated! No, the Region is great!" shouting match. :)

      Though more people here would agree than disagree, I nominate "Fidels", a place I've visited twice and both times wondered why I didn't stop at Tony's Jacal instead.

      I also nominate "Old Town Mexican Cafe" as an honorary all-time winner. It doesn't get critical acclaim, and outside of a few people saying that some particular item was decent, never gets good press here, but nonetheless I want it on the list.

      5 Replies
      1. re: RB Hound

        Old Town Mexican Cafe certainly belongs on the list. I'd also say Casa De Bandini, even though it no longer exists. I heard so many raves about that place, but never thought it was anything other than average.

        I too agree with Region. It got raves in the UT and Reader, but my experiences there have been decidedly mixed.

        Finally, a special place should be reserved on the overrated list for the Cohen Group restaurants. Perhaps "Most Overrated Restaurants Owned by the Same People"?

        Oh, I'd also like to add Hash House a Go Go. I think it's just OK, but it gets mobbed constantly (I get dragged there by coworkers from time to time).

        1. re: Josh

          I second your nomitation of the Cohn group of restaurants. Coming from San Francisco they are all mediocre with ordinary food.

          1. re: Josh

            I agree with Hash house being over-rated. I think most people are impressed with the enormous serving size. Unfortunately, it is a large plate of mediocre food.

            1. re: Scottydog

              definately agree who cares about how big the serving is if it dont taste good

              1. re: Scottydog

                Exactly. I had one of the worst brunches I've ever had at HH. Not only did the plates have about 15 extraneous elements, they were beyond bland. Oh, and the service was totally indifferent and perfunctory - and it was Father's Day! I'd rather go to Hob Nob Hill.

          2. I'd agree on Region also, I have not been impressed with the meals I've had there, though I hear good things.
            George's Ocean Terrace - last time I ate there the view was the best thing about it (at least it's not terribly expensive).
            Hash House - though I have found a couple of things there that I like it's still not worth the wait (and the ginormous servings are outrageous for one person.)
            Roberto's - so many better taco shops around - though they are ok in a pinch.
            The Prado and most of the other Cohn Restaurants
            I also think Vagabond is overrated - I like the mussels, but most of the food I have had there has been very average. I still like the atmosphere and I hope the food improves as they make changes to the menu.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Alice Q

              i recently ate at georges and you are dead on with your description. its nothing great. only thing on the menu that is worthwhile is the ahi tuna sandwich.

              1. re: kare_raisu

                I'm going to have to also agree, but about the fancy George's (the fine dining). Although the food was good, and I liked the local/regional produce, it didn't wow me. It certainly didn't wow me for the price.

                For a better Filet Mignon, I would've gone to Ruth's Chris (which maybe also belongs on the list?). For the same price, I would've rather gone to the Marine Room.

                1. re: ekomega

                  Hi there... we have had a couple of terrible experiences at George's on the Cove... rushed us... all they were interested in was turning the table. Will never go back.

                  1. re: PaulGuess

                    I'm not defending George's or anything, but they now are "George's California Modern", with different people running the place (I'm not sure whether or not they are owned by the same entity).

                    1. re: RB Hound

                      You may be confusing George's at the Cove with Top of the Cove, they are next door to each other. George's and the reincarnated George's California Modern both have the same owner and same chef.

                      I do agree with the previous poster, tho', who didn't care for George's. I've eaten at both incarnations and was underwhelmed by both. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why people fawn over this restaurant. Different strokes for different folks I guess, but it sure is a mystery to me.

              2. re: Alice Q

                I live in the area of Vagabond and all the people that have been there agree that the mussels are the one item they get right.

              3. Glad to hear I’m not alone here:

                Region – only ate there once, lots of money, not the flavor I expected
                Hash House – tried this place 3 times, lots and lots of food, not much flavor
                La Vache – tried this place twice, nothing special
                Old Town Mexican Cafe – Cadillac margaritas are good, food...not so good

                I would add Brians – tried their two favorite dishes, not sure what was so special

                1. Can't believe I forgot this one...POKEZ