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Feb 24, 2008 11:36 AM

ATL hound SD recs needed...

Will be staying next to the airport (Roseville/La Playa?). Will have car.
The cuisines most interested are: mexican, fresh seafood (sushi,etc.), and stuff that SD does better than ATL and LA ... and low to medium price range (because we're students)

Ones that I've already gathered that are pretty good are Imperial Market (address?) and Mariscos German; what about fish tacos?

for sushi, sushi ota (hows the prices?)

I think a fresh seafood market would have the freshest catch + low prices...any recs on that?

Lastly, are there any interesting restaurants/cuisines that yall think are highlighted in SD?
I think there's a coffee bar/dessert cafe nearby balboa park?


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  1. definitely hit point loma seafoods for the best inexpensive, no-frills fresh fish.

    Point Loma Seafoods
    2805 Emerson St, San Diego, CA 92106

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I've always thought PL Seafoods was overrated and pricey. And only filets for the most part, which is fine...but it would be nice to have fresh WHOLE fish from which to choose.

      I would suggest 99 Ranch on Claremont Mesa Blvd--lots of variety...not only fresh fish, but produce, Asian products, etc...

      1. re: DBrooks

        it's been a long time since i've been to PL...perhaps el pescador [or even rimel's] in la jolla would be better...

    2. I think the dessert place you are thinking of is Extraordinary Desserts - there are two branches, one near the park on 5th (at Quince) and one in Little Italy on Union between Ash and Beech. The Union one is much larger and serves beer and wine and savory items in addition to the desserts. There's also a relatively inexpensive cafe in the Sculpture Garden at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park that serves good sandwiches and salads.

      Re interesting cuisines - aside from Mexican (which you seem to have picked up on) the conventional wisdom seems to indicate that Vietnamese is the best regarded ethnic cuisine. You may want to explore the Convoy area (or do a board search for Convoy) or El Cajon Boulevard for Vietnamese recommendations - also try - lots of mid to low price range recommendations. I also have some on my blog - (right hand sidebar). Given your request and location, I would probably recommend the bahn mi at K Sandwiches or Bale, Mexican at Las Cuatros Milpas (get there early though), bakeries Bread and Cie (in Hillcrest) and Con Pane (in Point Loma), Lucha Libre taco shop, Mona Lisa Italian deli in Little Italy (not the restaurant though), Hodad's in OB for burgers, and for seafood other than PL Seafoods - Blue Water Grill, the Fish Market (at the bar) and El Pescador in La Jolla. Hope you have a great time visiting!

      1. SD in general does Asian better than ATL and most of the South, for that matter. Good cheap Asian is mostly along the Convoy/Clairemont Mesa area. Korean BBQ, Korean tofu soups and bi bim bap (rice bowls), Mongolian hot pot, Szechuan, Vietnamese and Japanese (sushi, udon, ramen, izakaya and BBQ). And if you need dessert afterwards, Yogurt World and Red Berry both have good frozen yogurt, a la Pinkberry style. Yogurt World is cheaper and more crowded at night. If you want tapioca tea drinks, Tapioca Express and Tea Station are both good.

        Sushi Ota is on the high end, would put it above a student's budget. My take is that if you're only willing to pay for cheap sushi, that it generally what you'll get.

        Waters' Cafe is the cafe next to the Sculpture Garden in Balboa Park. Food is good, but their prices are on the higher side for the serving portions.

        If you want cheap Mexican, taqueria style (tacos, burritos, etc), El Cuervo in Hillcrest is cheap and good. Mama Testa's in Hillcrest is has slightly higher prices but their tacos are very good. Especially the beef taquitos in spicy beef broth and the mashed potato tacos.

        Do a search for fish tacos. That is the #2 most common request on the board.

        2 Replies
        1. re: daantaat

          what you mean pricy for sushi? i mean the most pricey i've had was sushi echigo in LA, and that was a lunch special walking out 30-40/person isn't too bad for me. I mean i can just drive down the street get a few fish tacos and top off the night :P

          1. re: gan911

            If you are ok w/ a $40 sushi lunch, then you won't be shocked w/ Sushi Ota. When you mention "student budget," I'm thinking $20 for lunch is on the high end of things. Quite frankly, I second Ed's suggestion below about going to Izakaya Sakura for sushi and izakaya dishes. Sakura basically spoiled me for good sushi.

            There was at least 1-2 threads in the past year or so on uni in SD. I doubt the recs have changed much.

        2. what about uni? any good place for eating/getting it...i've never had it and since SD is supposed to be the best, figure i'd try it.

          oh and you guys rock...

          1 Reply
          1. re: gan911

            Personally, instead of ota, I would go to Sakura on Convoy. Not only good uni and other sushi, but a wide range of izakaya foods - small plates kindof like Japanese tapas. It's not cheap if one has a lot of sashimi and sushi and imported Japanese sake, but it is good and open for lunch as well. At lunch, there are many reasonably priced choices. Search the board for more information about the place. One warning, it is hard to find as it has no signage.


          2. What's your tolerance for "iffy" neighborhoods. Mariscos German is located in the barrio. It's perfectly safe, but it's way far off the tourist path and might make some people not familiar with the area uncomfortable. Their fish tacos are good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: DiningDiva

              naw, nothing scares me...might sketch out my girlfriend, but she likes to eat almost as much as I do...

              the beauty of being a tourist is exploring parts of the city that the actual citizens LIVE in as opposed to avoid

              1. re: gan911

                Well, people actually do live in the Barrio. It does have one of the higher crime rates in the city. Go at lunch and don't act like gawky tourist and you'll be perfectly safe.