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Jun 19, 2007 01:20 PM

Lunch off the 5 between San Diego/LA

I have a morning meeting in San Diego on Friday. I expect to leave around 11 am, so figured I would stop for a quick lunch on my way back up the 5. I don't want to spend too long, because I would like to avoid afternoon traffic downtown. I often go into Monterey Park and get dim sum, but I may be on the late side for that and probably will want to eat a bit earlier.

So any thoughts about places to go? I figure I will hit Orange County around noon, so would love some options there. I'm open to any types of food.

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  1. Depends what kind of food you're into.

    If you're into salads and healthy fare, try Rutabegorz -- three locations, but the one that's most "5-convenient" is in "old town" Tustin. It's pronounced "ROO-tuh-buh-GORZ", by the way, at least by the folks who answer the phone.

    There's a branch of Ten Ten Seafood off the 5 at Euclid that has dim sum at lunch, though you might be better off either ordering what you want (not using the carts) or just getting Cantonese food.

    Carolina's Italian is no-nonsense red-sauce fare in large portions. It's on Chapman and West, just west of the 5. Don't get the "imaginative" stuff -- stick to the red sauce.

    Honda-Ya is just off the 5 and Newport Ave. in Tustin -- great Japanese food.

    And if you want burgers served by women on rollerskates, on State College and Santa Ana St. in Anaheim (just a bit off the 5) is Angelo's Burgers.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I often make the trek between Sorrento Valley and Irvine. Here are my stops:

      San Diego-area
      Nobu in Solana Beach
      Brigantine in Del Mar

      Orange County-area
      Sushi Shibucho in Costa Mesa (actually more inland off the 55)
      Pho Bo Vang in Lake Forest

      Unfortunately I spend more of my time off the 405, meaning that I get to duck into Garden Grove. ;D

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I thought Honda-Ya was dinner only?

        1. re: Jase

          I'm not sure, to be honest. I've never gone for lunch. I just assume restaurants are open for both. :)

      2. if you end up leaving later than anticipated and find yourself in north county san diego at lunchtime, you might want to hit the 'restaurant row' along highway 101 on the border of solana beach & cardiff. it's only a minor detour from the 5 [about 1/2 mile west], and there are several options, all with fantastic ocean views and a beachy vibe.

        my recommendation would be either 'ki's restaurant' for quick, affordable, healthy california fare, or 'las olas' for good mexican...both places are on the east side of the street.

        1. I live in Irvine; here are 2 suggestions...
          5 fwy at Culver is Caspian. FABULOUS Persian food.
          Between the 5 and 405 fwy on Jeffrey is a wonderful Indian restaurant The Clay Oven which has a fabulous buffet daily.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Kaisgraham

            The prices listed on the menu at the Clay Oven's webiste ( ) are a little steep for my lunch budget. Do you know what the lunch buffet runs?

            1. re: bigipps

              I ate at the Clay Oven a year ago and I think the price was around $9-10. I prefer the buffet at India Cook House which is located in the same shopping center as Caspian (5 and Culver)

              1. re: tgmm

                Thanks. I'll have to give them both a try.

            2. re: Kaisgraham

              I think the buffet runs $8.95 and it is SO worth it!

            3. Pho place on Redhill, west side of the freeway, same center as Stater Bros. The iced coffee is also really good.

              1. If you want to eat where all the local surfers eat in San Clemente, go to Pedros tacos right off the freeway on camino. Also off the 5 and Jeffery is House of Shabu Shabu which is great for eating by yourself since everyone eats at the counter. Get the Large Prime Beef. If I were you I would hop off the 5 in North San Diego, head to PCH and get some good fish tacos.