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Boston Hound in SD and looking for recs

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I'm in San Diego for work for a couple of days and looking for CHOW-ish restaurant options. While I'm here, I would like to try:

- great medium-high priced seafood - coming from Boston, I'm looking for the Californian take on seafood. So, please make recs that you think are representative of the area.

- good, basic Mexican - I'm looking for good grub +/- ambiance

I am staying near the convention center and don't mind a short walk or cab ride. So, help me out, Hounds!

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  1. last time i visited SD i had a great tasting menu (including seafood) at Jacks La Jolla http://www.jackslajolla.com/dr.asp#su... (you can order a la carte there also
    ) The burrata at Jacks is a must (fresh from Gioia in LA)
    Have been to the Marine Room a couple times too, I agree the views are stunning (although foodwise i give the edge to Jacks)

    1. One of the best meals I've ever had was at The Marine Room in La Jolla, which is more than a short walk from the convention center area, but if you'd like a memorable experience, take a cab and enjoy a glorious view and wonderful seafood. My son went to college at UCSD and we visited San Diego often. The Marine Room was the place he chose to have dinner after receiving his masters.

      1. the "huachinango gobernado" is a very good seafood dish at Candelas, an up scale mexican restaurant in the Gaslamp, probably walking distance from where you are staying. it is not a tacos/burritos place.

        1. I would also suggest Candelas but it is more upscale Mexican. For seafood near the convention center I would suggest Oceanaire but be aware that they have large serving sizes so it might be best to go with others. For seafood and Mexican that is more casual and also within walking distance: Tin Fish--they have great fish tacos and burritos. If you are willing to take a shortish cab ride in Hillcrest there is a great taco place called Mama Testa. If you do a search on the board you will find it is generally well received and has one of the best/unusual selections of salsa around.

          1. good seafood - Oceanaire - walking distance from where you are.
            - Candelas - good upscale mexican - lounge during nights - but don't expect burritos.
            VERY Traditional mexican - Tacos El Gordo in downtown Chula Vista - very good, traditional, but a might be a long cab ride. Expect mexican taqueria.
            Short cab ride - Porkyland in Logan Ave. basic, great carnitas and they produce their own tortillas.
            hope this helps.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jorpak

              Thanks all! These look like excellent options and I'm looking forward to trying a few in the next couple of days.

              1. re: anitab

                I'm probably alone in my take, but if you want a California take on seafood, go for the whole talapia at Kemo Sabe (see http://www.sandiegorestaurants.com/de...)

                1. re: aafflyer

                  Not sure that I'd agree but that particular dish probably has the most over-the-top presentation of any dish I have ever seen in a restaurant.............anywhere. My dining companion ordered it one time and what arrived was the whole fish that had been deep fried, not lying on it's side, but balanced on it's belly so that it appears as if it was swimming. There was a stalk of lemongrass running through the fish, in through the mouth out through the, well you get the idea, that I think was used to stablize it. The square plate with the fish rested on several square blocks of wood that had been stacked on atop the other so that the whole affair was elevated. Each block of wood was also decorated with more frou-frou than Carmen Miranda's hat........foliage, frills, dipping sauces and dipping sauces.

                  The fish you have to bone yourself and it was actually pretty good. Like all of Deborah Scott's operations, the wait staff was well trained and warned us up front that they did not bone the fish prior to service and the customer would be left to his/her own devices in that regard. Since my dining companion was a former fine dining waitress and boned fish tableside for service, this did not present a problem.

                  My entree that night was halibut in miso, which was a muddled mess. Kemo Sabe is a beautiful, if somewhat noisy, space. The food is good, not great, but that tilapia dish was truly a study in restaurant architecture.