new to san marcos need help
hi, im in san marcos( from boston) for a few months, i can not find a decent meal, where are the real mexican,italian,fresh seafood,spanish, hidden jems?looking for fish tacos,fresh pasta,chef owned places... ill drive 30 mins 45 mins... price does not matter- i did have a great meal at friars folly( old restaurant row san marcos) a chorizo sausage & white bean soup,a great rib eye with a cabrales blue cheese butter and grilled figs- but most other places are over cooking everything, i went to a fish house i think called villa cruz also in restaurant row- a nice set up with grills in view- but the cooks cant pull it off everything was bland and over cooked- crabcakes that tasted like fried white bread- being a seafood lover- i gave them a second chance it was worse then the frist time- i will not be back ..please help!
Italian - Carmela's on Grand Ave.
Nuevo Mexican - Cenote Grill - El Norte Parkway, Escondido. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/558734
Tacos/carnitas - Nachos Tacos - Rancho Santa Fe Rd. at San Marcos Blvd.
Seafood - Kings Seafood in Carlsbad.
Tango - Grand Ave. - Escondido
Vincent's - Grand Ave. - Escondido
French - Bistro Le Bouchon - Valley Parkway and Center City Parkway
French - Cavaillon - Del Sur, San Diego
Chinese - Pearl Seafood Restaurant - Rancho Bernardo - http://pearlchinesecuisine.com/
Search the boards for recs in Escondido; you'll find some good choices. In Vista you've got a Oaxacan restaurant and some acceptable Vietnamese, but not much else westward unless you drive south into Carlsbad and Encinitas. Ranch Bernardo has our favorite NC Vietnamese: Pho Hoa Cali Express. For finer dining, you're in for a longer drive, with the possible exceptions of aafflyer's Escondido suggestions and a couple RB spots.
Basically, you're in for a drive when you need some good food.
The Fallbrook rest. mentioned by Enorah is Las Brisas.
Hi slim, welcome
There are some good places in the Encinitas/Leucadia area which is on the coast
Kaito for the best sushi ever
Yumeya a traditional Japanese izakaya
Bety's Tacos for really yummy Mexican food
Here is a thread about the Encinitas Area
Also, there is a Mexican restaurant in Fallbrook that Kare Raisu has talked about that he says is awesome. I do not know the name of it, but cgfan will know it as well.
here is a recent thread about best mexican in the san diego area
130-A N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
1246 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Betty's Tacos Restaurant
1464 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024
Enorah, you must be talking about Las Brisas Tacqueria. They have the best bowl of menudo I've ever had!
And the esteemed and frequent poster on all things Mexicana, kare_raisu, has rated it for both the best menudo AND carnitas.
Though a bit of a one-hit wonder, I'll also suggest Bruno's for their singular olive oil pizza. Distinct enough to be their own style, it's worth considering. Here are my thoughts on their pizza: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/323808#1862730
Though I'm not particularly taken by American fish cookery, I do think that Fish House Vera Cruz is as good as it gets in the genre of family style American fish houses.
Pho San Marcos was a pleasant surprise for me. A very elegant but nuanced bowl of pho with outstandingly good beef. In fact the tai somewhat approached what I usually associate with Wagyu in terms of fine marbling. It may have been just a lucky day, but I left very impressed. And I'm sure, as with all pho shops, that the beef used is not particularly expensive. But the end result was very impressive!
However to be honest, there are much more exciting offerings once you leave San Marcos. It's a bit of a push to even come up with this small list.
I'll second Enorah's recomendation for Kaito Sushi. It's a sushi bar that's of such singular quality that it does make sense to make it a destination restaurant. Make sure you also check out their sushi blog to see ingredient arrivals (they arrive daily, but blog only once to twice a week)... http://sushikaito.com/SushiBlog.aspx
Also second Enorah's selection of Yumeya, though I'm not as enthused about the food as others. For me it's far from being a traditional izakaya due to a limited menu and some nuveau offerings. However they are the best hosts in town and the small room has a humble charm to it that really reminds me of Japan. And they have the largest sake selection around. But get there early - it's small enough where every night they have to turn back customers.
Second Betty's as well, but would also like to add Rudy's (La Costa, w/ best location at their original Solana Beach shop) for the best carne asada around. The CA plate or CA torta is recommended, since that is when they use the arrancherra cut.
Las Brisas Taqueria
1005 S Main Ave Ste A, Fallbrook, CA 92028
Rudy's Taco Shop
524 Stevens Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
7662 El Camino Real Ste 102, Carlsbad, CA 92009
Left out some links to CH "places" in my last post:
Again most of the listings in San Marcos are listed w/caveats and won't be best of S.D. or even close, but they do each have their own charm and are much better than most other food offerings in San Marcos.
Fish House Vera Cruz
417 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Fish House Vera Cruz
360 Via, Vera Cruz San Marcos, CA
Bruno's Italian Restaurant
1020 W San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos, CA 92078
Pho San Marcos
700 S Rancho Santa Fe Rd, San Marcos, CA 92078
If you like tai (rare beef), make sure you order the tai as tai rieng, as well as ordering a separate small bowl of broth to cook it in (chen soup). That way you'll get the full flavor of the beef and of the broth by cooking the tai in the chen soup. You can make the tai as rare as you wish, but also keep the main bowl of soup clear of any rendered blood and protein.
Since their broth is of the clear type rather than the the heartier or even earthier bowls available at, say, Pho Hoa Cali or at Lucky, in particular you wouldn't want to cloud it up by having it come with the tai already in the soup. (I personally do the same at all shops regardless of the type of broth...)
I'd be interested to see if you feel the same - as clean and as clear as their broth is, it is packed with layers of nuanced flavors!
...and their wafer-thin tai rieng - a beautiful and bountiful presentation on a large plate, and intersting enough not showing any of its incredible marbling until it had a long dunk in the in the broth.
Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens, Escondido. Sand Crab Cafe, Escondido. Tango Restaurant and Wine Bar, Escondido. Vincent's, Escondido. Cavaillon, San Diego. Mr. Charlie's Fortune Cookie, Rancho Bernardo.
All within 30 minutes, all worth trying. Please report back what you think of the places.