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Jan 5, 2007 12:37 AM

San Diego... endulging the taste buds with visiting Family

My boyfriends parents were just here last week and we had some fabulous meals over the course of the New Years weekend.
We had Fish Tacos at South Beach in OB, great lunch at The Fish Market downtown, Sushi at the always delicious Kazumi Sushi in Hillcrest, Dinner at Kemo Sabe, and New Years Dinner at Terra in Hillcrest.

Being a full time student, I haven't eaten this well in ages and i've thouroughly enjoyed endulging and some of our favorite places.

Now its My parents turn to visit, and I need some new ideas for endulgences but not necessarily as expensive... I know it's restaurant week next week, and I'm considering doing that once or twice. I'm thinking of 3rd Corner in OB, Trattoria La Strada in Downtown, Emerald or Dumpling Inn on convoy, and maybe something on Coronado. Any other suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. You should try Parallel 33.

    Both Oceanaire and Mr. A's are exteneding resteraunt week.

    Get a reservation somewhere ASAP

    1. One neat place to try is Wine Vault and Bistro, in the same complex that houses Saffron and Gelato Vera, up the steps. A limited but very good and inexpensive bistro menu, lots of wines by the glass, wine flights, etc. Always have fun there, but they're only open Weds thru Saturday evenings.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rotie77

        Where are Wine Vault and Saffron? - sound right up my alley.

        1. re: SRosie

          They are located just east of the 5 freeway off the Washington St. exit. I can't recall the name of the street, but it's the 2nd light east of the freeway, right before you go up the hill. Only one block long, on the south side of Washington. Saffron does a decent job of Thai chicken, their specialty. Just past Saffron are some steps going up into the complex. If you take the steps to the top, you'll find Wine Vault and Bistro. Best thing to do is go to their website and get on the email list. They'll send you the weekly menu and wine flights, as well as all the special dinners and tastings they do, directions, where to park, etc.

          1. re: rotie77

            I thought the Wine Vault would stay a secret forever ... sigh ... I guess I will eventually have to share this place with others!

            They do a lot of special event dinners on Saturday nights (reserve ahead of time) that are often 5 or more small courses paired with wines selected by the owners. The food is good, the wine is good, the price is good (usu ~$45 for the food & wine pairings).

            Fridays after 6 they do flights (red, white, or mixed). Also, wines by the glass, microbrew beers, cocktails, and the full bistro menu. The last few times I've been on Fridays, it's packed, so reservations are highly recommended.

            Thursdays they tend to do themed tastings, often paired with ridiculously cheap and delicious food. Rotie77's suggestion to look at the website and sign up for their mailing list is a must-do.

            For dessert, I highly recommend the ice cream topped with 30-yr-old PX sherry! I drool just thinking about it!

            They also sell wines by the bottle (reasonable prices) and if you consume it there, the corkage fee is $10 for wines $25 and under (up to a total of $25) and $0 for wines over $25. Good excuse to indulge on a $30 bottle that you'd pay $55 for at a normal restaurant.

            1. re: ohm86

              This sounds similar to 3rd corner in OB. We are intrigued.

      2. For lunch (or breakfast and lunch on Sat. & Sun.), Emerald's dim sum is really outstanding.

        For a fancier dinner, I would suggest China Max.

        Others will disagree, but I don't think Dumpling Inn is in the same class.


        3 Replies
        1. re: Ed Dibble

          We went to Dumpling Inn for brunch - and we've been to Emerald for dinners before, you're right - in means of ambiance, they are not in the same class. But we really enjoyed Dumpling Inn.

          1. re: SRosie

            Sometimes I think I have just ordered the wrong things there. I like the jellyfish salad, but the fish dumplings were pretty flavorless and boring and the soup dumplings (XLB - but called something else on the menu) were thick skinned and not very savory or soupy. I'm in SD too infrequently to keep returning to a place that has twice disappointed me. I know that there are many other posters on these boards - people whose views I respect - who like the place. But until someone convinces me that I am really missing something incredible, I will eat elsewhere.


            1. re: Ed Dibble

              Ed, I have to say that my latest Dumpling Inn experience was lacking. Not sure if it's because I went as a solo diner and wanted to sit, eat and read a magazine during dinner and got turned away (basically told to order take out b/c they didn't want me to take up a table for 4, which I can understand from a business standpoint, but still...). So I did order take out, took it home and wasn't satisfied with what I did order. Got some of their specials. One of them was "chicken and mushrooms" which really lacked a lot of somethings. It came off flat and flavorless. Also got stir fried gao choy which doesn't hold well in the car. I didn't get their salt and pepper fish fillet which has been very good everytime we've gotten it.

              If I really think about it, I've also had better beef tendon noodle soups (Vegas is a recent outing) and do douse their dumplings in lots of chili oil, vinegar and soy sauce.