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Aug 26, 2008 11:02 AM

Good Eats in Vista, CA! Where are they?

Hi all,
My best friend just moved from the Bay Area to Vista, Ca, which I understand is about 35 miles outside San Diego.
While I mourn her absence, I'd also like to steer her towards some good chow. I plan on visiting lots too, so this is a selfish request as well.
I tried searching the board, but found stuff for Rio Vista, Chulla Vista, not much in Vista. Anyone know the area?
I understand it may be a pretty small community and she may have to travel to neighboring towns, that's no problem. She and her daughter are adventurous eaters and would love some good Mexican, Salvadorean, Japanese, really all and/or any good food. They eat it all.
Thanks so much!

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  1. Oaxacan food @ Panaderia Ortiz (full menu, not just a bakery):
    1275 S. Sta. Fe, Suite 8
    Vista, CA 92083

    1. I don't really eat up in that part of San Diego a lot so I don't have a lot of good recs, but some of the surrounding cities to Vista are Escondido, Carlsbad, and Encinitas. Encinitas gets talked about quite a bit on the boards (as do the other 2 I guess).

      Since she likes Japanese she should definitely try Kaito in Encinitas. It has fantastic sushi and should not be missed for probably the best sushi experience in San Diego. I'm sure cgfan and the other regulars will add more about it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DougOLis

        DougOlis is right, Kaito is the best sushi in San Diego. Small, family owned, and pristine fish. If I had to choose one last meal on earth, it would be at Kaito!


        1. re: DougOLis

          DougOLis and Pablo are spot on.

          One can spend years looking for a sushi bar and still not reach the levels that this friendly family-run shop delivers every day. Thanks to a no-compromise approach to sourcing and serving the best tane by their head sushi chef, Kazuo Morita, this shop has been doing it now for 3 years running.

          Morita-san is the type of person who strives for perfection, while believing that it can never be reached. It's no consolation that he is already delivering the best sushi in San Diego, as he's clearly not driven by what other sushi bars do.

          Rather he steadily marches monk-like towards the absolute asymptote of perfection, no matter how far ahead he happens to be in front of other so-called practitioners of sushi. His personal road and journey is a culinary version of Zeno's paradox, and one that I'm sure he'll gladly take whether or not his talents are ever rewarded with any level of recognition.

          Lucky indeed to be able to not only witness his journey, but to also experience the true treasures he creates for those fortunate enough to enjoy a meal at his bar.

        2. I've been to El Ranchero, 1566 N. Santa Fe in Vista for Sunday brunch a few times, a family run Mex place with excellent and reasonable fare. I especially liked the pickled spicy carrots on the table, awesome, give them a try.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cstr

            I would imagine Escondido would have some good Mexican food, just given the large Latino population out there, but none I know of to recommend. Sadly, Vista hasn't earned much of a reputation as having great restaurants. Your friend may be better off heading west into Carlsbad or Encinitas, which have a bit more to offer food-wise.

            1. re: encinitaseater

              150 Grand and Vincent's in Escondido, both on Grand, are pretty good restaurants IMO.

              1. re: RB Hound

                150 used to be really good, but has suffered from changing hands a few times. The current owner has changed the menu several times and several chef de cuisines.

              2. re: encinitaseater

                Bistro Le Bouchon in Escondido is a nice little bistro, run by a genuine French chef, Michel Boucher. Great wine at reasonable prices.

            2. Vista is a relatively small "bedroom" community nestled between Oceanside on the west, San Marcos on the east and Carlsbad to the south. There are a few chains that have opened (CPK, Famous Dave's BBQ), but you are looking for a place where the locals go, they should try La Paloma for not run of the mill Mexican. For burgers, they can try Chili Coast Burgers on East Vista Way.

              1. Definitely check out Feliccia's Italian restaurant on S Santa Fe Ave. Fantastic italian food run by the same family for years. The daughter was a local high school drama student who went on to the "big time" in Broadway musicals. Which makes for no surprise that Feliccia's also runs a smaller version of their restaurant at the local Moonlight Amphitheatre for the theater patrons there.

                The best calzone I've ever had is at Feliccia's. Since the calzone takes a good 20+ minutes to cook (it's worth it), you may want to call ahead your order if you don't feel like waiting.