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Mexican in La Jolla

I am meeting my mom in La Jolla for dinner on Thursday, and as she is a former Californian living in Minnesota, she is craving real Mexican. Please help with ideas, and I would be willing to venture into San Diego if an amazing molcajete could be found...

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  1. The only place I've seen a molcajete around here is at Cantina de los Remedios on Paseo de los héroes in Tijuana (they're really good), but I'm sure someone on this board knows of a place that's closer.

    1. Having grown up in SD/LJ, the best mexican food you'll find in the city is at the taco stands. No city makes a better burrito than SD; there's no beans, sour cream, lettuce or any other filler to mess it up. Just marinated carne asada, guacamole and pico de gallo. Try JV's on Morena Blvd.

      As far as mexican restaurants in LJ, there's Alfonso's and Jose's, but the food is marginal at best and they're really just watering holes i.e. margaritas. One plus for Alfonso's is it has a nice patio right on Prospect St, LJ's "strip".

      If you want authentic, well prepared mexican, try El Agave in Old Town.

      1 Reply
      1. re: vinosnob

        Thanks for the advice, I will be sure to try Cantina de los Remedios on my next TJ trip, but for dinner on Thursday I may try El Agave. As for the SD taco stands, I agree and I have been to the finest _____berto's in SD, but I am thinking they are not so condusive to dining with mother. Gracias!

      2. If you want good service and classy Mexican food, Chilango's is one of the nicest places in town. It's a cute place (one brother cooks, the other waits tables and runs the front end most nights) on University in Hillcrest. The food is from Mexico City, and shows some European influences as well as melding of many styles from around the country of Mexico. With the coupons available, it is cheaper than many of the tourist places in Old Town, and the quality is clearly superior. The roast pork melts apart on your fork; the sauces taste earthy and hand-made (they are). There are several old posts recommending this place that describe the food in more detail, if you search this board.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Joseph

          Not very classy, but how 'bout Porkyland in La Jolla?

          1. re: Joseph

            I second Chilango's. I have not had the roast pork but the seafood was delicious and the service was absolutely charming! I will be in San Diego for a birthday celebration in a couple of months and I am hoping for a meal at Chilango's while there.

          2. It's pretty solid, toddler sized burritos, with pretty good carnitas, I prefer my pork with a little more crunch, but it scratches the itch.


            1. Take a short drive up to Solana Beach and try Fidel's. Nice atmosphere and decent but not great food, but the Tostada Suprema is outstanding.

              1. On La Jolla blvd there is newish mexican place, block south of Bully's, I think it is call El Manantial. The fascade look inviting from the outside. Has anyone tried this place or should I take one for the team.


                3 Replies
                1. re: stevuchan

                  Team players are worth their weight in gold. Just ask Michael Turner ;-)

                  1. re: stevuchan

                    Are you talking about the Delirio's restaurant in Bird Rock? If so, it's suppose to be a Mexicana fusion place (the word fusion always makes me nervous). Here is the link:


                    Go team!!!

                    1. re: pbhomey

                      You are correct, it opened about 4 months ago, replaced El Manantial. I will post a new topic a little later today.


                  2. OK, I come with terrible news: I went for Chilangos and it was sold to a Japanese man who turned it into a sushi restaraunt. Does anybody know if they have moved? I fear they are no longer with us, as the website appeared to be out of date.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Mr. S

                      ALAS (and alack) Mr. S is tragicly 100% correct. Chilango's is no more. There is, indeed, a very large banner hanging over the Chilango's sign proclaiming a new Japanese Sushi and Teriyaki house. Just what Hillcrest needs, no?

                      Perhaps they're moving to larger quarter's...........(I hope)

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        this is very very sad. Chilango's was on our "need to try list." Like this city needs another sushi and teriyaki place? I do like Japanese food, but we've got lots of good places in SD already.

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          This is crazy...how were they doing before now?!?

                          1. re: kare_raisu

                            Well, DD and I were there a couple of months ago, and, while it wasn't full, there were three or four other tables occupied on a week night. I'm wondering if Ortega's going in across the street hurt their business. I, too, am hoping they're relocating.

                            1. re: kare_raisu

                              I've been there when they've been packed with no available tables, and I've been there when only a few tables were taken. They've been at that location for 6 or 7 years at least. The web site is still up and makes no mention of closing or relocating.

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                Well I just called their phone # and the girl that answered told me that Chilangos has closed for good and that they weren't relocating :(. What a sad day for Mexican food in SD. I've been there about 3 times since finding out about it on here and it definitely was one of the best Mexican restaurants I've eaten at in SD. I wonder what happened?

                            2. re: DiningDiva

                              This is a sad day indeed. Some of the best Mexican I have had since living in D.F.! Any recs on what was even a close resemblance to Chilango's? I have been going to Bety's (Encinitas) for a hongos and epazote fix, but their menu is not even close to Chilango's.