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Where to eat in San Diego?

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My boss is going to San Diego at the end of the month and has enlisted me, as the resident Chowhound, to scout out some good eats for her. She's not looking for fancy; she's looking for local places that do their thing exceptionally well. Unfortunately, she's not into fish tacos. What do you suggest?

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  1. Where will your boss be staying, will she have a car and what kind of food does she generally like?

    6 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      She's staying near the convention center with no car and she likes just about everything (except fish tacos). She wants to eat food indigenous to the area and where the locals eat. Thanks

        1. re: hungry100

          tell her to get out of Downtown then. Haha just kidding.

          The Oceanaire is a damn fine seafood restaurant, IMO. I think it might have a few other locations, not sure. Cheese Shop has decent sandwiches. For Italian I thought Osteria Panevino was better than most in the Gaslamp but I haven't been there in over a year and heard the exec. chef spends most of his time at another location. Monsoon has a huge variety of Indian food, several styles. For Mexican and a little feel of East Village/artsy San Diego I have heard Pokez is decent but have never eaten there (or any Mexican food downtown, sorry).

          1. re: MrKrispy

            I adore Pokez, but also feel it's important to set expectations about the place--the service can get spacey, especially when it starts getting slammed in the busy hours. Plus it's more of a Cali-Mex burrito-shop style of food. But yeah, I think it's lots of fun, like walking into an episode of the classic punk-rawk comic book "Love and Rockets." ;-)

            Otherwise ... yeah, I'm afraid your boss is going to need to get out of the Gaslamp/Downtown area if she's wanting informal joints where the locals eat. My recommendation would be for her to catch a #2 bus on Broadway and take it to South Park or North Park or all the way up to Adams Ave.--that'll take her past a whole slew of fun and interesting local joints of all different descriptions and levels (The Big Kitchen, The Linkery, and Jayne's Gastropub are just three that immediately spring to mind).

            1. re: MrKrispy

              I love Pokez. Its a place i found while doing my undergrad and i still think it has the best salsa i've ever had.

              Just an FYI though its a pretty out there spot. The kind where they have White waitresses with dreadlocks and the like and lots of Veg and vegan options. Some of hte things i regularly get there are the soyriso and tofu,mushroom, and potato burritos and the potato rolled tacos. I don't tihnk i've ever ordered the meat there though the do serve chicken and carne asada, etc.

              1. re: MrKrispy

                I think Oceanaire is one of the classiest new restaurants with terrific food in the San Diego area. It's not inexpensive, but with judicious ordering it doesn't have to be overly expensive either. The atmosphere is electric, the service excellent. It's part of a mult-city group, but somehow comes across as a local place. It reminds me of a fish version of a Morton's, but has a much more extensive menu and a wide range of prices. Don't miss their crab cakes that's the best I've ever had. All crab, little else.

          2. If she walks to Market Street:
            www.cheeseshopdeli.com (on 4th just north of Market
            )Ciro's pizza (on Market at 6th)
            Vanentine's mexican (Market at 8th)
            kebab shop (on 9th just north of market)

            1. Tell her to try The Mission Restaurant for breakfast and Cafe Chloe for lunch.

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