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Boston chowhound looking for San Diego (and TJ) chow

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Hi folks!

We're going to be in San Diego for the holidays and are looking for great chow recommendations -- mostly casual places and especially authentic ethnic food. We've been to SD many times but are not on the up-and-up on the local foodie scene. Mexican food is always a favorite (went to one of the Baja lobster places and Super Cocina last time we were there). Any good Vietnamese? Ethiopian? Other stuff we're less likely to get in Boston?

Any good mid-to-upscale places we should know about too? Especially places with good cocktails.

Finally, we'll probably do a quick trip down to TJ and wonder if there are any favorites in the Avenida Revolucion area. I have a hankering for some damn good carnitas if you know what I mean. (I am not sure there is a double-entendre here...)

Thanks!!

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  1. Lots of good Vietnamese.

    On Convoy St. there's Bolsaa (which shares a parking lot with San Diego's best beer bar, O'Brien's - lots of exotic bottles and taps). Also Convoy Noodle House and Phuong Trang are good choices.

    On Clairemont Mesa Blvd. you can find Pho T Cali, which is also good Vietnamese.

    There are more Vietnamese choices in the City Heights area, but I haven't tried them.

    1. If you are adventurous, the best Vietnamese is located along El Cajon Blvd between around 40th and 54th. There are tons of small pho places, sandwich shops etc.

      For more details about a few spots, you might want to read the following posts:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/306944?

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/321221?

      And of course, the main resource for all of us interested in Asian food in SD is KirkK's blog. This link will take you to his listing and reviews of Vietnamese places:

      http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/v...

      Good eating, and let us know what you find.

      ed

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ed Dibble

        I had some good pho at a place that since closed, along that stretch of road you mentioned. I also ate at another place, cattycorner to that one. Names escape me, but I remember the food was good.

        However, just the other night I hit up Pho Pasteur on Linda Vista Rd. and their menu was quite similar to the City Heights place I checked out. They have a big tank of live crabs and lobsters, which I plan on trying next time I am there.

      2. Just wanted to follow up to this...

        We checked out Phuong Trang on Convoy and LOVED it. Had the lobster and "special sauce", some kind of seafood salad, and shrimp and sugar cane. Great stuff.

        We did go by Bolsaa at the same time but it was EMPTY ... had a few beers at O'Brien's which was fantastic (thanks for the suggestion!)

        Down in TJ we managed to swing by Tacos Salceados, which gets tremendous reviews ... but it was not open until the evening. Instead we dropped by Carnitas Uruapan which did not disappoint -- absolutely mouthwatering, big hunks of meat, fresh tortillas ... perfect!

        1. Thanks for following up - I'll have to try those places!