Just moved to SD from NYC - Mira Mesa recs, etc
Dear all - I used to post frequently on the NYC board until I had my baby and then relocated to San Diego last month. We now live in Mira Mesa, and I was wondering if I could get recommendations for good places to eat in that neighborhood. I'm also looking for other good places in surrounding communities north of Miramar. Many thanks in advance!
I suspect we have a major Foodie here! BaronessCore, I just thumbed through your recent posts, and I get the impression that there's not a cuisine out there that you won't be open to!
As hinted to by DougOLis below, there isn't much in the way of interesting eateries in Mira Mesa, except for the Vietnamese shops. And for the most part the menus are interchangeable from shop to shop, though their individual styles are quite different - pho, com tam, and bun.
Pho Hoa Cali Express - good pho, com tam, bun, bun bo Hue, + cari (curry) on Mon & Fri, my favorite all-around shop in the area
Lucky Seafood (restaurant) - good pho, com tam, bun, cari (curry), overall a more rustic and less refined style than PHCE with lots of flavor, a favorite alternative to PHCE
Lucky Seafood (deli in market) - good banh mi
Bolsa - I go here for their pho ga and stir-fry (mi xao, hu teu xao) dishes
Sorrento European Bakery - good banh mi
Pho Ca Dao - pho, com tam, bun, bun bo Hue, the mildest (weakest?) flavor of all of the shops, but very, very popular amongst the cross-cultural crowd
Ditto Punjabi Tandoor in the Miramar area nearby - though not full service, and with it's industrial park setting and picnic tables, it's good for a casual lunch
My cuisine of choice is Japanese, so let me recommend a few.
Closest to you and the great undiscovered "secret" (very little activity on CH) is Umenoya on Miramar Road. Excellent, honest, Japanese "soul food", but to order well you should order off of the Japanese menu or the specials board. That's where the heart and soul of this humble restaurant is. (Please do keep in mind that the service here is patient. It's only a husband and wife team running the entire shop.)
The best sushi in the county can be found up north at Kaito Sushi in Encinitas. Their amazing, no-compromise sushi attracts a nearly 100% omakase clientele.
For izakaya an excellent choice would be Izakaya Sakura (down south) in Kearny Mesa, and a very unique and interesting one can be found up north in Leucadia called Yumeya. Sakura is more like your traditional izakaya though not in atmosphere, while Yumeya has a more traditional atmosphere but a somewhat modern and a more focused, narrow menu, but with the largest selection of sake.
For yakiniku and horumon-yaki there's Tsuruhashi in Kearny Mesa, and for yakitori we have an excellent shop called Yakitori Yakyudori in Hillcrest.
For ramen the best we have is the newly opened Santouka in the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Kearny Mesa, famous for their shio-tonkotsu broth.
I realize from past visits to SD that it will not compare to NYC but we moved for personal reasons, plus with a 3 month old baby, I don't anticipate being able to go out for fine dining very often. I am a fan of ethnic food, especially authentic Asian - I love Vietnamese food and also sushi. I also understand that I can get very good seafood in SD, but will probably have to go further south and/or west for that - any suggestions for good affordable seafood joints in the north (instead of Point Loma)?
How could I forget? There's a nice little Sichuan eatery named China Chef II, right on the SW corner of Mira Mesa Blvd. and Black Mountain Road. It's in the same complex as Bolsa Vietnamese Restaurant. I've avoided it for years on account of its "corny" name, but when I finally tried it, it turned out to be quite a gem.
It's an easy restaurant to miss, and even when you find it there are actually two separate operations next door to each other, but sharing the same back of the house. The more visible entrance seems to be the take-out shop to the left, and to the right is the entrance to their small, full-service restaurant, a bit obscured, if I remember right, by a wooden staircase which connects to the 2nd floor of the complex.
China Chef II
9225 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126
add another good Indian place off Miramar Rd--Surati Farsan Mart. Chaat place--order one for a snack or a couple to make a meal. Good and spicy food!
2nd/3rd/4th Punjabi Tandoor. Better for take out unless you want to sit outside on the picnic tables. They are also open for dinner.
Pho Hoa Cali has very good pho, as does Pho Da Cao.
Sadly there isn't a lot in Mira Mesa itself beyond the usual big chain restaurants. There are quite a few pho restaurants (Lucky, Pho Hoa Cali), Wine Seller & Brasserie for upscale French, and Miramar has the best Indian around SD (Surati Farsan, Punjabi Tandoor).
If you expand a little further to the south you'll pick up a lot of Japanese and Chinese restaurants in Clairemont Mesa. Cavaillon isn't too far north of Mira Mesa and has excellent French food at reasonable prices.
If you're wanting a great, hand-crafted dessert, try French Sage Cake on Convoy, just up the street from Mitsuwa. Everything is absolutely perfect, and not too sweet. If you ever make it to Golden Hill, Luigi's on 25th and B has great NY style pizza.
There is a good French restaurant in the neighborhood just east of you - Scripps Ranch - take Mira Mesa Blvd past I-15 (I refuse to say THE 15) and wind around a little and you'll come to La Bastide in the "old" Vons shopping center.
The other direction just before you hit 805 at Scranton (next to Staples) you'll find a big food court which you may like or not. Nearby there is a place for sushi with plates on a conveyor belt but a coworker fell ill after eating once. I might get my Chow membership revoked but just a little further north on Scranton off of Mira Mesa Blvd you'll find Karl Strauss. QCOM employees lovingly refer to it as "taking a meeting in building K" plus the garden/pond setting is beautiful.
And also second or third that recommendation for Punjabi! Really good. They damn near yell out "Norm!" when they see me walk in.
I like a little Hawaiian plate lunch place called Mo's Island Grindz (formally Da Kitchen) on the south side of Carroll Canyon Rd by the Carls Jr. just east of I-15. I'd recommend the Kalbi and the "Korean Chicken" which is their teriyaki chicken that is battered and deep fried. Good little take out place.
This topic is discussed on a fairly regular basis so using the search function might net you some good recommendations. Here are some threads you might want to look at:
Here's one of my replies in a previous Mira Mesa thread:
For Chinese try China Chef Szechuan, for Vietnamese try Pho Hoa Cali Express, and for Pizza I suggest Franky's Italian Deli or Z Pizza in Scripps Ranch. For Sushi I like Happy's Sushi though Mr Wasabi is a close second. For French if WineSellar & Brasserie is to expensive (and it is expensive but a real gem for French food with a wine list so impressive they got listed in Wine Spectator Magazine) then try La Bastide Bistro. It is a great little place located next door to the Vons in Scripps Ranch. Hope this helps. Also don't forget to explore the Little India center as there are several good Indian restaurants there.
Also don't forget to try Mesquite Grill on Mercy Rd (one exit north of Mira Mesa Blvd on I-15) and Chez Nous makes some damn fine sandwiches.
Oh, and for Mexican try El Maguey Taceria as they have a better selection of dishes, use better cuts of meat, and have a much nicer salsa bar. There are four or five other Mexican places in Mira Mesa but they're not as good.