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Mar 23, 2008 10:51 PM

San Diego Restaurant Recomendation...

Hello everyone, I need a restaurant recommendation in San Diego.

I need One fancy and several casual restaurants.
Aso cheap good food for the hurry days.

Please let me know your opinions.

I am going to be in San Diego 4 days.

Thanks :)

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  1. Please go to Super Cocina, Saigon, Pomegranate, Cafe Dore and Mariscos German.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu

      Replace Cafe Dore with Izakaya Sakura and that's a great list.

      1. re: Josh

        h-ey compa, stop ragging on me banh mi place - because of the mayo - just tell them no mas mayonesa next time! I wont pick on your baby - K no more. lol

        1. re: kare_raisu

          Heh, fair enough. Still, Sakura is worth a visit, no?

    2. There are tons of restaurants in the Gaslamp, Hillcrest and La Jolla areas, but all three neighborhoods have serious parking issues. If you are driving, you might prefer to visit some of the more locals neighborhoods.
      City Heights is home to some great ethnic food, but it is a rough neighborhood after dark.
      I second the suggestion for Super Cocina, but do it at lunch, either early or late to avoid the crowds. While you are there, go down the block to Fruitlandia and get a fruity dessert/ice cream. I teach nearby, but would not go there after dark. . Saigon is also in City Heights and a reliable Vietnamese experience.
      Not far away in North Park, there are several good choices for casual dinners--Urban Solace, Apperitvo, The Linkery is very popular and is a leading restaurant working toward the sustainable movement. Ironically, I prefer the non-sausage entrees. For a more upscale meal, try Vagabond in South Park.
      If you give us more guidelines, like where you will be staying we can help more. Also, browse the board for many more ideas.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Ms. Verde

        I don't know why people describe the neighborhood around Super Cocina as "rough". I've been there at night countless times, and would not describe it as rough. To me, rough is something like the Tenderloin in San Francisco.

        It is certainly an ethnic neighborhood, but Super Cocina's patrons are often families with young children, even at dinner. Not exactly the hallmark of a scary neighborhood.

        Another good resto I'd add to the North Park list is Ritual Tavern. Definitely one of the bright spots among newer places in town.

        1. re: Josh

          That's funny - I actually think the Tenderloin is pretty tame compared with City Heights. There is a lot of gang violence, drug activity and prostitution in City Heights - and there's a chance you could get mugged - but I do think it's small. If you're in a populated area in the early evening you're probably fine.

          I'd second most of what's recommended here, and recommend Cafe Chloe, Starlite, Tapenade, Blanca, Jayne's Gastropub, Urban Solace, The Guild, The Linkery, Mama's Lebanese, Cuatros Milpas and K Sandwiches. I've also got a full list of places I recommend on my blog at

          1. re: Alice Q

            alice, i am scared of the tenderloin.

            1. re: Alice Q

              I know there are some parts of City Heights that are definitely rough, but I don't think that stretch on University between the 15 and 805 really qualifies. Some parts of the Tenderloin that I was in were fine, but there was one section I was in that seemed like a DMZ.

              1. re: Josh

                Oh jeez, I worked in the Tenderloin - and Bay View/Hunters Point - for 5 years (leave it to a school district to house their employees in such fine accommodations <ggg>). Compared to Bay View/Hunter's Point, the Tenderloin is pretty tame. Both, however, are harder and more difficult after dark than is City Heights. I also spent 5 years working at USC, including early and late night hours. My roommate and I moved to the West side after I had a gun drawn and pointed me in broad daylight on the way home. I also had someone try and break in my car with me in it driving home through the Crenshaw district one night. City Heights isn't nearly this bad.

                Anyone can be a victim. How vulnerable you look and how stupid you are about your actions can contribute to ending up a victim of something unfortunate. As a reasonably well dressed, single white woman traveling through town alone at night, I opt to avoid areas that could put my personal safety at risk. And having had my personal safety invaded on at least 2 occasions, it does tend to make one pay attention. It doesn't necessarily mean I don't, or won't, go to those neighborhoods, just that sometimes I don't think the risk is worth it.

                I also think it's somewhat irresponsible to send tourists who have limited familiarity with the city into somewhat suspect areas at night. Yeah, the food might be really good, but enjoyment of the food is often linked to being comfortable in the environment. A tourist doesn't know the streets of a dicey neighborhood and getting lost in some SD neighborhoods after dark isn't a very prudent idea.

                Personal safety is each persons own responsibility and everyone is going to have different comfort levels with it. I think we just need to respect each other's level of, and need to take care of their own personal safety and not try and convince them otherwise based on our own comfort levels.

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  thank you. I totally agree with you. I grew up in LA and went to school in St. Louis, and there were places that had some great food and I felt comfortable eating at, but I would never send somebody from out of town there. I don't think that SD has so quite many rough neighborhoods but you never know the comfort level of people new to our fair town.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    I was once ambushed making a turn off Central onto a side street... South Central is not a neighborhood I would send anyone into for a meal. City Heights.... give me a break.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      Yeah, between Bay View Hunter's Point and South Central, City Heights is almost like Beverly Hills.

                  2. re: Josh

                    I'm thinking mostly about the parts around Union Square and over by Civic Center/Van Ness which are fairly densely populated. The issues in the Tenderloin are also quite different from City Heights - it's not so much gang violence, but the homeless and drug addicts sleeping, passing out and doing other things on the street - if you get my drift. City Heights for all its problems is a family neighborhood and you don't see as much of that.

            2. Fancy: Oceanaire (seafood), Market (California Cuisine), Laja (French with a Mexican twist)
              Somewhere in between Fancy and Casual: Cavaillon (French), Sushi Ota or Kaito (if it's open), The Better Half (French), Izakaya Sakura (Japanese), Cafe Chloe (French Bistro)
              Casual: The Linkery (local, fresh, gastropub type food), Super Cocina (homestyle Mexican), Mariscos German (fish tacos), Ba Ren (Szechuan Chinese), Costa Brava (tapas)

              1. For tasty & casual, you could check out Point Loma Seafoods. It's usually quite busy, especially on weekends, but it's on Point Loma harbor and the seafood is out of this world. It's your basic fishmonger, but they also sell paper plates of outrageous fish tacos, smoked salmon, scallops, oysters...

                1. Ohh I will be very careful...just read this thread make my nervous.

                  Please tell me an advice about restaurants not in the "bad zone"


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: josephml1

                    Joseph, don't worry and don't let this thread alarm you. The reality is that San Diego is a pretty safe city, especially for as large as it is. Major crimes of opportunity against tourists here are not that common.

                    Most of this discussion centers around Super Cocina which is located in a neighborhood called City Heights, on University Ave. around 37th St. University Ave (and El Cajon Blvd) are very long streets that basically transverse the entire mid part of San Diego and have been around a super long time. Because they're both old streets, they've seen a lot of change and transition over the years.

                    The area around City Heights could be considered "transitional" in that it hasn't been yuppie-fied or urban redeveloped. It's an area that was once quite nice, hit some hard times, and is probably about at the bottom of that cycle and will see some redevelopment over the next decade or so. It is perfectly safe during the day, and because University is a big street, it's pretty safe from early to mid evening. I don't think I'd be out running around City Heights, even on University, much after about 11 PM at night, but during normal business hours you should be just fine. Some of the houses and businesses can be pretty frayed around the corners. The big problem in this particular area relates to the gang and drug activities. Unless you're planning to associate with gang members or purchase a bunch of drugs, changes are good you would not be affected by the activity in the area.

                    Essentially, it boils down to what *you* are comfortable with. If going into slightly run-down neighborhoods where you may or may not speak the same language, where the signs may be in 3-5 different languages, is culturally divergent, that is on the lower end of the city's economic scale you'll be fine in any part of San Diego. If you're more comfortable in areas and environments that are more mainstream, then visiting some of San Diego's outlying or transitional neighborhoods might not be your cup of tea.

                    In general though, San Diego is a pretty safe city and it's seedier sections are pretty safe during the day and early evening, especially if you stay on the big streets.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      To add a little more information to this, like any city neighborhood, City Heights encompasses a pretty sizeable area. Super Cocina is on the westernmost edge of City Heights, where it meets up with North Park. It extends to the east, past the 15 freeway, and south. I can easily see how someone venturing into the southern and eastern-most areas of this neighborhood might find it a little dicey, but as DD points out, the part where SC is located is fine.

                    2. re: josephml1

                      If you had any doubts about City Heights and visiting Super Cocina, check out this thread:

                      And let me be one more voice in the "go to Super Cocina!" chorus. :-)