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SD dining near Horton Plaza?

heychrisa Jan 8, 2008 08:40 AM

Will be in SD this weekend and staying near Horton Plaza, anything for dinner within walking distance or short cab ride?
Prefer moderate $, seafood, latin. extra bonus points for good Oxacan.
Also like Korean, from the boards it looks like Buga Korean BBQ is worth a try, any comments?

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  1. Alice Q RE: heychrisa Jan 8, 2008 05:02 PM

    The best thing to do would be to do a board search for san diego gaslamp or downtown and go from there, since almost exactly the same question is asked weekly. Many people also ask about recommendations near the convention center. I don't think Buga is near downtown but maybe someone else can weigh in on that.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Alice Q
      Cathy RE: Alice Q Jan 8, 2008 05:05 PM

      Buga is on Clairmont Mesa Boulevard, about 20 miles north, one way.

      1. re: Cathy
        daantaat RE: Cathy Jan 8, 2008 07:41 PM

        Buga is good but you will need a car or cab.

        Bandar is across the street from Horton Plaza and has good Persian food.

        When you do a search, also search "gaslight" b/c for whatever reason, posters have misnamed the Gaslamp Quarter as "gaslight."

        1. re: daantaat
          heychrisa RE: daantaat Jan 8, 2008 10:56 PM

          Thanks.. I have been searching, it's tough when you don't know the area. My short list is
          Cafe Chloe, The Linkery, Urban Solace, Candelas, Mama Testa (not sure about the neighborhood), Red Pearl, Currant, and Jsix. I am still looking for Mexican in the moderate to low $ range. All of these would be for dinner.
          If you were coming to Seattle I would recommend The Baugette Box for a Drunken Chicken Sandwich and Truffle Fries, Cremant, or Le Pichet for a French bistro, Boat Street Cafe or Eva's for Northwest Cuisine, La Carta De Oxaca for Mexican food that makes you dream of their sublime roasted red chile salsa, Smarty Pants for a pint of local brew and a miss piggy smoked pork sandwich, Lark for the best duck confit ever and Harvest Vine for tapas. Where would you send me in Downtown San Diego?

          1. re: heychrisa
            geekyfoodie RE: heychrisa Jan 9, 2008 08:11 AM

            Actually, your list looks reasonable by walking or cab. Urban Solace and The Linkery are in North Park, whereas Mama Testa's in Hillcrest. Both neighborhoods are north of downtown and public transportation is actually a viable option. Check out www.sdcommute.com for more a trip planner, but right now I'm thinking that route 7 would take you to University Ave. (all of these restos are on or not far off of University), then transfer to route 10 (double-check that route number), which would be able to take you east to North Park or west to Hillcrest. The frequency in the area's higher than the rest of SD, so your transfer/wait times won't be too bad.

            I believe Cafe Chloe, Red Pearl, and Currant are walkable from where you're staying. I'm not sure where Candelas and JSix are.

            Mama Testa's is Mexican and is pretty good. Rancho's in North Park has vegetarian Mexican and is also decent. If you decide that North Park's your destination, as long as you reach the intersection of University and 30th, you're pretty much in the heart of the good restaurants.

            Have you considered Little Italy? Not sure how you feel about Italian food, but Little Italy is really close to downtown and easy to reach, too.

            1. re: heychrisa
              daantaat RE: heychrisa Jan 9, 2008 08:06 PM

              Cafe Chloe is good and worth a trip. Euro-style bistro and all the food is good.

              Mama Testa's is also good and the neighborhood is not sketchy. It's not an upscale urban type area but it's not the hood either. It's around $10 or so per dish. Make sure you get their churros b/c they're freshly made. Their beef taquitos in spicy beef broth are also good, as are their mashed potato tacos.

              I was at Currant about 2 wks ago for lunch and not really sure if it was worth the $$. Other people have had better luck but I thought I've gotten better bang for my $$. Between Cafe Chloe and Currant, it'd be Chloe, hands down. Their food is more creative and better executed.

              We considered Cremant, Le Pichet and Harvest Vine when we were in SEA. I can't remember why we didn't get there, most likely b/c of time constraints. We ended up at Salumi, Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Agua Verde Paddle Club and various vendors at Pike Place (3 Girls Bakery, Beecher's and the sublime bakery where I had the best pain du chocolat).

              1. re: daantaat
                heychrisa RE: daantaat Jan 9, 2008 08:14 PM

                Ah yes, that would be Le Panier where you got the pain du (au?) chocolate. Any bakeries in the downtown area we should not miss?

                Thanks all for the recommendations!

                1. re: heychrisa
                  daantaat RE: heychrisa Jan 10, 2008 08:57 PM

                  YES! It was Le Panier! I still remember the wonderful wafts of yeast and freshly baked breads coming out of their place at 8 am. I had trouble not buying one of everything in their display cases! I schlepped a baguette and some cheese from De Laurentis (? the Italian market on the corner near the main entrance) on our cruise ship which helped get me through some mediocre cruise food, as did the peaches and nectarine's from Sosio's.

                  Ooh, for bakeries. I don't think you'll get anything close to Le Panier or anything like in PDX (Pearl Bakery). Bread and Cie in Hillcrest is one of the best in SD and they supply a number of restaraunts around here. Their fig and anise loaf is my favorite bread. They also have sandwiches. I know there's been a few threads for good bakeries/bread in SD, so you might find more ideas in them.

      2. El Chevere RE: heychrisa Jan 9, 2008 08:52 PM

        Within walking distance, you have (1) Dobson's--classic, old school and a very good restaurant; (2) Athens Market--across the street on 1st Avenue and probably the best Greek Cuisine in all of San Diego; (3) Sadaf on 5th Avenue for Persian cuisine (I prefer to Bandar) and (4) Salvatore's--very good Italian.

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