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Jun 5, 2008 09:20 PM

Road tripping San Diego to Catalina

Hello fellow-Chowhounders:

My partner and I are going to be Chow-ing up the coast of southern California for a week in late June, starting out in San Diego, spending a couple of days in La Jolla and Catalina Island apiece, and leaving from LA.

We're looking for cheap good eats, particularly good Mexican choices (being Canadian, our options for good Mexican food are pretty slim), and would prefer to avoid the tourist traps, although we sure wouldn't turn down any recommendations.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Gastronomically yours,


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  1. Folks there are two threads going. If you have tips for Orange and LA Counties (which includes Catalina Island), please give your suggestions here.

    If you have great San Diego County tips, please respond here

    1. La Jolla..
      Alfonso's has great nachos and marg's..big enough to split..not the marg!
      Jose Court Room..decent and a good time.. oceanview from some of the tables at the windows.
      El Pescador for a fab fish sandwich is one of the best ever.
      Happy hour at the Crab Catcher/Roppongi/Sushi on the Rock

      Eric's at the pier for a great cheeseburger and fries and the coldest beer..buffalo nickel has a great happy hour by the heli-port..
      I like drinking/eating/snorkeling at Descanso Beach.
      Make sure you have a buffalo milk..great local cocktail

      1 Reply
      1. re: Beach Chick

        I just ate at Sushi On the Rock and although the price is right on the happy hour menu there are some real clunkers to be avoided. The Agadashi Tofu is gnarly.

      2. Hey, ac06, from which port are you sailing to Catalina? The food on the island has a pretty dismal reputation (deservedly so, based on our last trip there a few months ago) but you might be able to sneak in a decent meal (and/or provisions) before you embark on the boat.

        3 Replies
        1. re: PayOrPlay

          Hi PayOrPlay, we are leaving from Long Beach -- I haven't seen any recommendations for near there, so any thoughts you may have would be much appreciated. Also, do you know if there are good provisions stores on Catalina? Perhaps we could just prepare our own lunches at least. Thanks!

          1. re: ac06

            Since you are leaving out of Long Beach and have a hankering for good Mexican food you have what they call a serendipitous situation here. Enrique's in Long Beach is a wonderful place for Mexican food. Excellent chips and salsa to start and then their pork shank or their take on chile rellenos are both wonderful. But even their shredded beef taco's, etc. will be worth the wait.

            Enriques Mexican Restaurant
            6210 E Pacific Coast Hwy
            Long Beach, CA 90803
            Phone: (562) 498-3622

            1. re: ac06

              There is a Von's in Avalon to get your provisions on Metropole.
              Lori's Good stuff makes really good deli style sandwiches too.

          2. Quality food in Avalon is tough to find (after 35 years there I should know).
            Try Villa Portofino for dinner ... a refined atmosphere with decent food.
            For breakfast or lunch, a somewhat "hidden" spot is the Casino Dock Cafe out by the casino. Very pleasant place to be on a Summer day (all tables are outside; you order at a counter and they bring your order out; good value; good food).

            1. There's a good breakfast burrito at the Downtown Long Beach ferry station. In Avalon, I'd recommend doing the early bird dinner out at the Catalina Country Club.