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Mar 25, 2007 08:56 PM

San Diego- Need recs for seafood and Mexican

My wife and I will be in SD in May for a conference, staying in the Mission Valley area. Need recs. for fresh seafood and Mexican (non Tex-Mex). Would appreciate recs. in all price ranges and some idea of where the locals really like to go.

Also, a little off-topic, I will be needing to kill time during the day while she's in the conference. Other than the obvious sights to see (zoo, etc.) are there some really good locally owned bookstores and CD shops anyone could recommend? Many thanks.

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  1. are your expectations of Fresh seafood and Mexican to be at the same restaurant? or is it two different requests

    1. You'll need to venture out of Mission Valley for all of the above. Mission Valley is San Diego's mall and giant chain headquarters.

      For Mexican, two great places are Super Cocina and Mama Testa. Super Cocina is genuine homestyle Mexican cooking, and Mama Testa is a taqueria specializing in tacos from all over Mexico. Mama Testa is a little more gringo-friendly than Super Cocina is.

      For fresh seafood, Blue Water Grill on India St. is a great choice. Lots of fresh fish options on a big blackboard. Available as sandwiches, fish tacos, or plates w/ rice and salad. They also serve beer from one of our better local breweries, Ballast Point.

      Another good option for fresh fish in a casual setting is South Beach Bar and Grill in OB. They make great fish tacos from freshly-grilled fish.

      On your off-topic question, for a good locally-owned bookstore, you might want to check out DG Wills in La Jolla. Since the closing of John Cole's (also in La Jolla) that's one of the last holdouts. There are a variety of used bookstores also to be found along Adams Ave. traversing the neighborhoods of Normal Heights and Kensington. Some of these are rare book dealers, others are your standard used book stores.

      Hillcrest also has some independent bookstores, though they also tend more towards the used/rare book dealers.

      Locally owned CD shops you're looking at M-Theory or Off The Record. San Diego is kind of hurting in the cultural dept.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Josh

        I think the best used bookstore on Adams Ave is Adams Ave Bookstore -3502 Adams.

        Don't know if OP's original seafood request would include sushi, but SD does have some wonderful sushi bars. A quick search would locate recs for several places.

        Though not perfect, the Fishery in Pacific Beach certainly features fresh fish in a slightly less casual setting - though still not too expensive and too fancy.


      2. Mission Valley, unfortunately is all chains but good food is only a short drive away. Head downtown to the Fish Market for very fresh seafood and sushi or Point Loma Seafood for a very casual but on the water great seafood place. Thier clam chowder is the best in town.

        1. Jeez, you guys, Mission Valley isn't a complete waste land. King's Fish House is perfectly respectable and the fish is pretty darned tasty. The fish tacos at Wahoo's are decent and, of course, Bully's has the requisite salmon alternative to prime rib.

          Now, Mexican in MV is another story. I'll make no recommendations on that except may be to stop by Sombrero's and pick up some rolled tacos (aka taquitos) and guacamole for a snack. The rest is pretty boring.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DiningDiva

            I agree with DD about King's. Maybe not the absolute best seafood in town, but definitely acceptable. And if you're looking for casual seafood, you can do a lot worse than The Little Fish Market in the Costco center.

            For the record, The Fish Market (w/The Little Fish Market) is also a chain.

          2. Head downtown to Wahrenbrock's Books on Broadway. I could get lost in that place. Here's a link:

            I second Off The Record in Hillcrest, and, if you feel like heading up the coast, check out Lou's Records in Encinitas.

            The Mexican and seafood recs have been covered very well, so I have nothing to add there!