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Apr 10, 2008 02:01 PM

San Diego this weekend

Hi, i'm going to be in San Diego this weekend with some friends. We are staying in Rancho Bernardo but are willing to travel. I've not been to SD before and am looking for recommendations for places to friend has requested "Nothing super fancy, but maybe a little quirky". We will eat seafood and meat and all manner of ethnic food. I've searched the boards but haven't really found what i'm looking for (maybe Modus?).
Also i've been looking at menus of places online and i get a little squicked out when i see all the entrees are in the upper 20s to upper 30 dollar range. Is that the norm for SD??

Thanks for any help.


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  1. I would either reccomend Rama or Karinya thai for thai food. Rama is trendy and more expensive then most thai restaurants, and karinya is on the cheaper end.

    1. I'm afraid your request is just too vague to provide you with specifics. San Diego County is huge with thousands of restaurants Your request is a bit like "What's good to eat in NYC?" Thus you need to refine your request. For example: "What's a good Mexican place in Rancho Bernado;" or "What's a good lunch spot in North San Diego County" or "Where can I get a great steak near Poway?"

      Regardless, you might like Stone Brewery in Escondido. Great beer, and the food -- well it's brew pub food, or lunch at Cavallion in Santa Luz.

      And yes, entrees in most high end SD restaurants run $20-$30, which is actually cheap compared to LA.

      4 Replies
      1. re: wanker

        Thanks for the tips....i'm happy to have people just throw suggestions or mentions of their favorite restaurants...i can run down locations and menus on the internet and pick and choose based on where we are staying and if my friend (who has a car) is willing to drive to the place. Any and all types of food welcome.....just in the 15 to 25 dollar price range per entree (and delicious).

        1. re: wanker

          It is cheap compare to LA, but sadly, I have been informed by San Francisco Chronicle food section staff it is quite a bit higher than comparable places in SF (not including "fine, fine dining establishments}. And I believe they have a far wider array of choices in the median price level (and creative food - neighborhood restaurants arena). Anyone's thoughts?

          1. re: foodiechick

            That is exactly what i'm looking for... "creative food - neighborhood restaurants arena - median price level". I'm coming from SF and was hoping to find the same in SD....Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I'm sure we're going to have a great time.

            1. re: foodiechick

              I agree - I ate at Spork in SF a few weeks ago and it was great, and very affordable. San Diego has a few of these places, but nothing like what's going on up there, and I don't really think LA does either.

              Good possible "quirky" options in SD in the provided price range would be the Linkery, Starlite, The Guild, Cafe Chloe, Red Pearl Kitchen, Farmhouse Cafe, Jayne's Gastropub, Cantina Mayahuel, The Better Half and Modus (though I haven't been there since the chef changed.) Hope you enjoy!

          2. Escondido is not far from Rancho Bernardo. Vincent's is tops in the area,
            Or try 150 Grand
            Travel to Vista for Italian at decent prices.
            Or for a good lunch try

            These are just some of my local favorites in North County that won't break your wallet.

            1. Ethnic--search the board for "Convoy" which is the main street where you'll find cheap, good Asian

              Indian--search the board for "Indian" or "Black Mountain Road," which is down the 15 freeway from RB.

              Cavaillon in Santaluz is not that far away from RB. Good food for cheaper than what you will pay in La Jolla.

              Your request is one of the most common requests, so you may not get a lot of specific suggestions.

              1 Reply
              1. re: daantaat

                Cavaillon's a great option but I'm not sure if it's doable in that price range. I guess most of the entrees are, but once you start adding on wine/appetizers/dessert it can get moderately pricey. I'd consider it to be a great option for brunch on Sunday though.

                Agree on the "ethnic food."
                Clairemont Mesa: Ba Ren (Szechuan Chinese), Emerald (Dim Sum), China Max (Dim Sum), Izakaya Sakura (Izakaya/Japanese), Tajima (ramen)
                Miramar: Surati Farsan Mart (Vegetarian Indian)

                There's another Dim Sum place called Pearl that's actually in Rancho Bernardo. I haven't been there so I can't speak for it, but it seemed like people liked it on a Dim Sum thread that was floating around a few days ago.

                Other food in/or near Rancho Bernardo: La Bastide, El Bizcocho, and Bernard O's. I haven't eaten at any of them (been meaning to but I don't go out in that part of SD too much), so I'm not sure if they fit in the price range and how the quality is. Maybe someone else can speak to them.

                If you're willing to travel further South, I highly suggest you go to Super Cocina for Mexican food and Mariscos German for Mexican seafood.

              2. All great suggestions..
                Hacienda de Vega is a lovely place to eat in Escondido and it's reasonable and you can sit outside with the patio and eat great Mex food..
                Also, French Market Grille in Rancho Bernardo is excellent and in your price point..
                Bernardo's down the street too..


                1 Reply
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  I would also recommend French Market Grille. Traditionally they have great food, the restaurant has a nice ambiance and along with that once or twice a week live opera music is featured here.
                  The Cheesecake Factory is also suggestible. They offer good prices and food tastes great also.