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May 31, 2007 01:49 PM

chinese in san diego

Last night I had the misfortune to try Blue Ginger on 4th in the Gaslamp. Sweet and sour soup was ok, but from there on it was steeply down hill. A nice enough looking place, medium prices about $12 and up for entrees. Everything smothered in hoisin (sp?0 sauce to the point it all tasted the same (just like what I cook at home when I'm tired and forget what I'm doing) but not as good. I would suggest avoiding Blue Ginger.

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  1. Come cook for me! Anyway, you might try Panda Inn at the top of the Horton Plaza, or if you are in the Del Mar area, China City. There are dozes of good asain food place in the industrial area of Kearny Mesa. If you say where you are staying near I can recommend one nearby.

    1. avoid any chinese restaurant where waiters aren't chinese. The people who make the cuisine know how to serve it.

      Blue ginger sadly is not one of them.

      6 Replies
      1. re: clayfu

        Well let's put it this way..the Owners of Blue Ginger also own Monsoon and Bombay Cuisine of I guess you can follow the dots?

        BTW, last time I checked, waiters didn't cook the food, and in the case of San Diego, one of the really good waiters we've had at China Max and Golden City(he works two jobs) is Hispanic.

        1. re: KirkK

          one of the guys at emerald is a hispanic who can speak perfect Cantonese. And i'm saying the majority of the waiters. A real Chinese restaurant doesn't have a fleet of Caucasian waiters. Since we can't look into the chicken, and many a time the best Chinese restaurants are actually Hispanic cooks, race doesn't matter as much in the kitchen.
          I personally can't think of a chinese restaurant anywhere in the US that is an authentic, TASTY, chinese restaurant that employs a majority of their waiters as non chinese. An authentic chinese restaurant wants chinese waiters OR people that can speak chinese because it makes chinese families more comfortable. I speak wholely from my life long experience as a chinese haha.

          and sam woo bbq = decent food, large quantities, cheap prices. A lethal combination for any Chinese eatery.

          1. re: clayfu

            Clayfu: "Since we can't look into the chicken,"

            Did you mean "kitchen" perhaps? Oh, this gave me a little moment of hilarity.

            If you order the duck, though, you could look into it tableside.

            1. re: amyzan

              That is so funny, I totally read "chicken" as "kitchen: and didn't even notice it until I saw this post.

              1. re: amyzan

                Aaaah amyzan - you quack me up! BTW, knowing Clayfu personally, he does mean "chicken". he-he-he...... Just kidding Clayfu, since we know how Poultry-etic you are!

          2. re: clayfu

            I've seen several of the Jasmine wait-staff eating at Sam Woo BBQ in 99 Ranch on more than one occasion. I've had some good stuff there ordering off the menu. The steam table stuff looks scary, though.

          3. "Blue Ginger" is the name of Ming Tsai's famous restaurant in Wellesley, MA. When this San Diego place first opened, I thought it might be affiliated, but all it took was about 30 seconds looking at the menu to realize it was pretty much your generic Sino-American Chop Suey joint. Ming should sue the owners of the San Diego place for defamation of his brand. For good Chinese in downtown San Diego, I second the motion for Panda Inn. On a slightly different note, I've always wanted to try the little old mom-and-pop Chinese joint that's tucked in on Fifth right at the north end of all the hoity-toity Italian places.
            . . . jim strain

            8 Replies
            1. re: Jim Strain

              Are you talking about the complete hole in the wall place on the west side of the street? If so, I ate there once for lunch and it was pretty good. And crazy cheap!

              1. re: mangiatore

                That's the one! Now that I've heard from you, I'll definitely give it a try.
                . . . jim strain

                1. re: Jim Strain

                  Cool. It's just a hole in the wall, nothing special, but it sure is good bang for your buck!

                  1. re: Jim Strain

                    They also deliver all the way to Mission Hills & Old Town! Further, they deliver to my office downtown, even when I am the only one ordering. Oh yah and it is super tasty.

                      1. re: mangiatore

                        It is the place on Fifth you are talking about. I will look for my menu for the name.

                        1. re: jturtle

                          I'd be curious too - I could pick some up to take home after work sometime.

                          1. re: Alice Q

                            It is called China Too and is at the corner of 5th & E (916 5th). I really also suggest ordering for lunch. They are so nice about delivering for 1 and the delivery guy I think is one of the owners and he cracks me up.

                            The phone #'s are 619.239.4283 or 619.239.1456

                            Be aware they really do need those two numbers at lunchtime. Also, Tin Fork reviewed them in March of 2006 if you want to read. (It is on the menu!)

              2. Most of the best and most authentic Chinese (hell, just about all the Asian cuisines really) are found in Clairemont Mesa in and around Convoy St.

                2 Replies
                1. re: oerdin

                  I love the prices and the food at Sam Woo BBQ. For breakfast you can get a big bowl of won ton soup for about $3.99. For lunch I like to get the bbq pork pan fried noodles for around $6.99.

                  For dim sum I love Hong Kong BBQ & Dim Sum next to Target in Mira Mesa. There's a review here:

                  1. re: surfer1966

                    The breakfast items are all $2.99 at Sam Woo, with tea or coffee (served with sweetened condensed milk) each a quarter. Lunch specials, served 7 days until 4 p.m. are $4.50 and $5.50. No menus posted outside.