Stockton/Lodi- Am I doomed?
I was going to say, Yes! You are doomed. :-) But maybe not. Stockton would be the better bet I'd guess, because it has more history as a town. I've watched Lodi go in relatively short time from a nondescript transport junction, to having gas stations, to big-box stores and shopping malls and (presumably) the usual chain restaurants. It had a Sambo's and at least one gas station as long as 30 years ago.
Look forward to current local recommendations though.
I've lived in Stockon for 20 years.
For upscale lunch or dinner I'd recommend Ernie's on the Brick Walk in stockton. Wine and Roses in Lodi.
For Thai, Siamese Street near Univ of the Pacific. I had a great halibut wrapped in banana leaves two weeks ago at Siamese.
For Japanese, Cocoro is the most popular. I also like Matsuyama. There's one in both Stockton and Lodi. I love their Yaki Ika and volcano rolls.
Tepa taqueria in north stockton is a great place for mexican. Popular with both latinos and non-latinos both at lunch and dinner. In south stockton, el grullense II at the corner of charter and el dorado has a great taco bar - e.g., asada, pastor, lengua, cabeza, and pollo. they have a full menu service as well.
Locally owned pizza places are Michaels, his brother Davids, and Dante. I'm a michael's fan.
A brand new upscale Paragarys opened in downtown stockton this week. the city subsidized for 2.5 million to draw this restaurant to stockton.
I'm not as familiar with Lodi but I think you'll find a few good places.
Try Lodi Beer Co in downtown Lodi. They have some good beer on tap & great garlic fries. Samdwiches are okay as well. And I'd recommend trying out Rosewood in Downtown Lodi, too. Its the same owners as Wine & Roses but a bit less expensive. Great bar there, too. Sho Mi in Stockton has great Japanese. The service is always good & it is really well priced.
Besides Wine & Roses, Rosewood (Lodi) and Michael's (Stockton).
Not real Epicurean but pretty good chow at:
John's Back Bay, Kettleman and HWY 12. Steaks, and such
Waterloo Club, HWY 88. Excellent BBQ, old west atmosphere.
Golden Ox, Kettleman and Hutchison, Lodi
Great breakfast, great price. Home made stuff, potatoes from scratch, real milk shakes. Farm size portions.
There are a few other posts re: Lodi on this board.
I just went to Siamese Street Thai Restaurant again. The halibut dish is Pia Pao. Marinated halibut fillet wrapped in banana leaves with garlic, lemon grass and cilantro. Fantastic.
For nice little pastry/sandwiches/salads/quiche, try Toot Sweets - corner of March and Quail Lakes drive. Fantastic cinnamon rolls and pecan sticky buns.
La bou has great coffee, pastries, and sandwiches.
For light lunch and wine tasting, try Wine Wizards. neat little place.
You are not doomed! I had the same question when I was assigned the central valley territory but I have had some surprisingly good meals in the San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Fresno and Tulare county areas. The finds are a little harder to sniff out but they are definitely there.
How about Cancun for Mexican in the downtown Stockton area? My host took me there and I enjoyed it. You didn't mention Tracy which isn't too far away but I have had some good thai there. Two really good thai restaurants. Let me check my maps and see if I can find the names and exact locations for you. IIRC, one is called Tracy Thai. Both are in the downtown area.
I went to Cocoro last night. Got the salmon teriyaki. It was outstanding. My daughter doesn't eat meat or seafood, but the age tofu in a ginger sauce met her approval. my wife and I had a sushi assortment, and I'd rate very good.
I understand cocoro is going to open a deli branch near my house. that's good news for friday night take out.