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Feb 11, 2007 06:10 PM

New Finds (Greater SD)

I have fallen victim to these boards and have become a frequent diner of many of the board *favorites* so I fall in to the groupthink category defitinely....but is there anyone out there searching for new gems to share with SD posters?

I know the chances of having a mediocre meal is high and the unknown is daunting but is anyone outhere actively taking one for the team?

I guess I am alluding to a posting a la Punjabi Tandoor. I think it was Young chower who 'discovered' the place which is a classic example of the kind of posting I am looking for. Especially with the dreary restaurant's suck... threadspostings that now seem to be common on the CA boards.

My situation is location - i have a bunch a places I would like to write about but I feel it not worthwhile as most of you wont get out here. Whereas a lot of you live in and around SD.

I can only make the hour drive S to SD or N to LA so frequently.

Please report some new finds even if it is a two sentence posting.

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  1. A recent re-discovery for me has been Pho Pasteur on Linda Vista Rd. I hadn't been there in many years and had forgotten just how great it was. One of the better Vietnamese dining experiences I've had in San Diego.

    Some of the standouts for me have been the beef in grape leaves, grilled pork balls, char-grilled pork w/ round rice noodle and coconut milk, pho ga, and beef porridge.

    1. Bravo, Kare Raisu. Let's explore more and follow less.

      The only problem with is that you often wind up with mediocre or worse places, and only infrequently a real gem. It's much easier to respond to a 'what's on your rotation' query than to take a chance with an unknown place. But they're out there.

      What about posting interesting restaurants that have just opened, even if you haven't had a chance to try them? Or ones that you've been meaning to try but haven't gotten around to?

      So everyone, take a chance, and tell us about it.

      Kare, you might be surprised at the response you'd get posting places around Temecula, since lots of people work in SD and commute from Riverside. I don't live up there, but do drive through occasionally and might make a chow detour.

      My contribution: a Persian restaurant just opened in Rancho Bernardo, corner of Bernardo Center and Cam. del Norte (7-11 center). And I saw another Persian place in Poway, on Pomerado Road I think. I haven't been to either yet, but hope to soon.

      And for a personal recommendation that I haven't seen mentioned by anyone else: Taqueria Original in Escondido on East Valley Parkway near Ash (I called it Mariscos Taqueria in an earlier post). The market behind the restaurant has packaged mole (plastic bags, presumably made on site) that intimidated me, but I'll get around to try it eventually. And I almost forgot, El Nopalito in Encinitas serves a dark mole chicken (she called it mole oaxaquena (sp?), and laughed when I asked if it was like mole poblana), and a mole verde pork I think. Mmm the chicken was good. There were 8 dishes on the steam table.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Leucadian

        The Persian place in Poway is Pamir Kabob House. It's next to the Winchell's and a Weight Watchers at the NW corner of Poway and Pomerado Rd (but the restaurant is actually along Pomerado). We were there for dinner on Friday and it was maybe 1/3 full, but the food is good, the prices are good, and the owners are so friendly and helpful.

        I was having trouble deciding between two dishes for my entree (the sweet and sour rice with lamb and cherries, or the scallion dumplings in meat sauce) so they made an appetizer portion out of the dumplings and I had the other one for the entree. they also have a $6.95 lunch special Monday through SATURDAY, where the special changes daily. Yum.

        It's a simple place, not fancy, but we're putting it on our list of places to eat close to home (I live in Poway).

        1. re: Leucadian

          The Persian place in RB is Saffron. I snagged some crispy rice today as a snack, and will be back this week for lunch with a group. Very promising.

          1. re: Leucadian

            I went back to Saffron for lunch, and had their three stew sampler over crispy rice. One was pomegranates (with walnuts and beef?) another was lentils and chicken, and the third was a leafy green with kidney beans. All three were delicious. My Iranian friend said she doesn't like the sour taste of the pomegranates, so she adds sugar. Price was $4.95, very reasonable. Most of the other customers were having kabobs, however. I'll try that next.

            I neglected to mention that there are two kinds of crispy rice: one is just plain, like the bottom of a rice pot, the other has a very thin layer of bread (tortilla thin) underneath the rice, to make it extra crispy. Both have lots of oil that they were fried in, however.

            1. re: Leucadian

              Whoa...I need to check this place out Leucadian. I am game for any stew -epecially on rainy days such as this. I think it took over the old Ben and Jerrys that used to be there. I actually used to live in the condos right near here.

              Is the rice spiced at all? Basmati? Only $4.95!? What was the flavoring on the green stew?

              Let me know if you ever plan a chowdown there, as RB is my old neck of the woods.

        2. Kare_raisu, please keep posting about local finds in your area. I wish we could have you down near my neighborhood, but exploring the chow in any town is important. Look at Ed from Yuma; he has single-handedly explored the limited offerings of Yuma, and found quite a few gems. I've used his recommendations for those times when we are headed to or from Phoenix and need a place to stop for lunch, and I sure appreciated the work he did. There are plenty of people who will find local reports on your area; many more people search and read these boards than it appears from the list of posters. I used to be a lurker myself, not so long ago.

          If I had more time, I would do more exploring. My most recent new find (well, Kirk found it first) is Tita's Kitchenette in National City. The frequently-changing stews and vegetable dishes on the steam table reminded my of Super Cocina, but the BBQ'd (grilled) chicken and pork skewers were something else, especially for $2.

          Perhaps I will try practice what I preach and start looking around mid-city. Jayne's was closed for sidewalk remodeling this weekend, but it is on my list.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Joseph

            Thanks for the kind words. I feel bad that I can't contribute more to the SD discussion, but when I'm over in your fair city, I feel like meals are precious, so it is hard to explore new places.


          2. I would like to read some of your new finds wherever they are. I have no problem to drive anywhere between LA and the border for a good meal.
            I think one reason why a lot of people don't write about their new finds is because other posters (and I admit I do it myself sometimes) respond very fast that something is not authentic/good/made in the way it should be made and the original poster more or less has no idea what he/she is talking about (BBQ, fish tacos, restaurants in Gaslamp etc. are a few examples). People tend to forget that there is no wrong or right about taste. Everybody has an unique taste and shouldn't be critized for it.

            1. I always thought that many people don't post about their favorite restaurant to keep many people from finding it and causing the prices to up or the quality to go down!

              3 Replies
              1. re: nutrition

                Guilty. But for other reasons...too many people find out and it becomes impossible to get into the "secret favorite" restaurant!

                1. re: Pablo

                  Hey Pablo, that would imply you never make a recommendation, but there's a glowing report on Kaito back in September. It doesn't look like you hold back all that much.

                  1. re: Leucadian

                    I suppose I was referencing Yumeya instead, ever since I posted we need reservations to get in on the weekend. Used to be able to go anytime...
                    I am trying to be a good chowhound, just hard to break away from my favorites when I have very limited time with three a year old.