East Coaster Visiting San Diego - CH recs?
I'm planning on heading to San Diego to visit a friend at the end of October. Considering that the last time I've been to SD is at least 10 years ago, and all I remember is going to the zoo with my family, this time I plan on making it as CH-filled as possible.
Seafood, sushi, Mexican, new notable restaurants, random hole-in-the-wall places that have consistently good food... any sort of cuisine really would do. Price range- maybe one or two really "fancy" places, but otherwise we'd like to keep it maybe under $30 p/p. We will most likely be eating out most/if not all of the 5 days I'll be there, so any/all recommendations would be appreciated!! I apologize for not being too specific, but I'm really not a picky eater, and I love trying new places, and my friend has a car, so we're really up for anything! Thanks in advance for your help!!
re: Ed Dibble
add to the above:
El Cuervo (very cheap)
Roppongi's for their happy hour (a great deal all around. just skip their sushi.)
Cavaillon for the best executed $10 breakfast you'll find (think French technique and precision meet breakfast)
Ricky's for their Dutch apple pancake
Mission Coffee Cup
re: Beach Chick
Oceanaire will run you just around and above $30 pp. However, their servings are huge and easily shared. Their appetizer sized crab cakes are like 3 large Navel oranges on the plate.
Tapenade will easily run you closer to $75-100 pp, unless you're going there for lunch. And it will be a higher priced ($20-30) lunch.
The main dining room at Tapenade will indeed be that much. However, the bar menu is a superb value. Coq a vin for $14, escargot for about $6, plump mushroom ravioli for..uh, maybe $8, steak frites $16? In any case, the last time we were there they basically said every hour is happy hour at the bar and the printed menus had the deep discount listed. In other words, if you go to their bar menu online, it is pretty close to the items available, but about 60-65% of the listed price.
The food is very, very good and hard to beat at those prices. I would call and check though as they seem to change happy hour around.
So, you can eat at Tapenade for $30 a person. I suggest the escargot, ravioli, and coq a vin (not quite as good as Cavaillon's, but $5 cheaper).
Oh, the entire dessert menu is also available at the bar, and even at $10 a plate, do not skip it. Chef Maure is my new hero after a superb strawberry concoction and a pistachio ice cream that was one of the best ice creams I have ever had (very much on par with Jack Fisher's toasted hazelnut).
Tapenade for white tablecloth.
South Beach Bar and Grill for fish tacos and the "OB" thing.
Izakaya Sakura for sushi.
The Linkery for small neighborhood high quality food.
The Guild for foam.
Pho Hoa for vietnamese soup, (the one on Euclid and El Cajon Bl).
Cafe Chloe for quaint French.
For breakfast- try Cafe 222, The Mission, Hob Nob Hill, and Park House Eatery.
Lestats Coffee House for the angst-cigarette smoking thing, their coffee is good and they have the best chocolate chips cookies in City Heights.
Have a good time!