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Comic-con still need some help (SD)

Husband and son (15 and an experienced eater) are leaving tomorrow from Boulder, CO for Comic-Con. They WILL NOT have a car and are rather disinclined to travel too far from the Convention Center to find food (they like to eat well, but this is a comics tour not a food tour). They are staying at a Bed and Breakfast (Keating House 2331 2nd Avenue) so they will be walking or taking a taxi to/from that location and the convention center.

Having researched the California board for both Gaslamp and Comic-Con, I have made them the following list:

Urban Kitchen
Kebab Shop
Cafe Chloe
Johnny Browns
Tin Fish
The Cheese Shop
and Donovans for a good steak dinner

Could someone vet this list for me? Any additions? Strikes? Could you put it in order for me in terms of which ones would be 1st choices?

Also, son likes to eat Pho. Any noodle shops near the convention center?


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  1. That's a good list. You did your homework. The only place I'd suggest adding is Neighborhood, which makes incredible burgers. Unfortunately there's no pho or other Vietnamese food in the Gaslamp area.

    1. I concur with Josh - good work! I would add that they could give Downtown Johnny Brown's a miss - it's not super close to the convention center, and serves pretty average burgers and fries. Cowboy Star might be good for their steak dinner - it's new, and might be a little more fun than Donovan's. They might also like East Village Tavern and Bowl. It's right in the same area with Kebab Shop, Zanzibar and Cafe Chloe - but will probably be very crowded during the convention (as will Urban Kitchen.) The Hard Rock Hotel is right across the street from the convention center, and the Mary Jane's coffee shop might be worth checking out. Hope they enjoy!

      1. I tend to like Sultan Schawarma more than the Kebab Shop. It is on 4th just south of Market.

        The Cheese Shop is on 4th just North of Market and serves breakfast and lunch only-closes at 4.

        Ciros is good but only has 3 tables out front and is now selling two slices and a can of soda for $6.50 -I think- unless they raised the pries again.

        If there one place I would prioritize from your list, it would be Chloe.

        Sorry, no pho downtown.

        You did some excellent research. Thanks.

        1. For pho go to Broadway and stand on the east side (same as Horton Plaza) take the #15 bus to El Cajon and Highland Ave (across from Hoover High) Go into Saigon for really good Vietnamese food including Pho. By the way Ralphs on G St is a good choice for quick in and out relatively inexpensive sandwiches, sodas salad bar

          1. Yes- great research! I would second Alice's response that Cowboy Star might be more fun than Donovan's- especially for a 15 yr old. I haven't been to the downtown Donovan's yet, but the one in La Jolla is quite formal and I found Cowboy Star to be much more relaxed. The service was excellent, just in more casual atmosphere. For pizza, if you want to sit down (vs. Ciro's takeout) try Basic Urban. It may assault your husband's ear drums, but the pizza is quite good.



            1. Thanks for everyone's help! I made a packet for my husband and son that includes maps, menus, closing times and any specials (Cowboy Star has happy hour T-F 4-6 where you can get 20% off the bar menu.) Now let's just hope they can actually get into some of these places!

              As usual, the folks at Chowhound were an invaluable resource. Many Thanks....

              4 Replies
              1. re: cbrand

                Just to let you know, it is a pretty long walk from where they are staying to Comicon so they should either look into cabs or taking the bus down. As for food, by Urban Kitchen, I am guessing you mean Laurel. Some people aren't crazy about it but I enjoy it and would recommend trying to make it there. Another place that has a good HH is Avenue 5, which is not far from where they are staying and has a HH menu Tues-Fri until 7 I believe. I think they would definitely like Zanzibar. It has a good menu and reasonable prices. Another place that is downtown but a little off some people's radar is Bandar--very good Persian food.

                1. re: sdaints

                  I'd also add Bandar, although we haven't been for some time.

                  If your husband and son are into seafood, Oceanaire is very good. Great oysters and hash browns.

                  Do not miss Cafe Chloe!

                  1. re: sdaints

                    Urban Kitchen is referring to Basic Urban Kitchen - not Tracy Borkum's catering company, but I can see where the confusion could come from!

                    1. re: Alice Q

                      Oh, I always refer that as Basic so that is why I didn't get the reference. It is a fun place to go but I am sure it will be packed and I have experienced some long waits even without a convention.

                2. Did you already print the free shuttle route map?