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San Diego Best/Worst Neighborhoods for Restaurants

What are peoples opinions?

These are some of mine:

Best:

Hillcrest (obvious choice)

North Park (quickly becoming the best neighborhood in San Diego in my opinion)

Little Italy (Food not spectacular, but all things considered, walking, history, Mona Lisa, etc a great spot)

Mission Hills

Worst:

Gaslamp (all in all overpriced and mediocre, although some decent options)

UTC (Horrible and lacking soul and culture, we should move this place to Orange County)

Pacific Beach (a culinary black hole)

Del Mar/ Carmel Valley (Does the whole place shut down at 8:30pm?)

Seaport Village (Blown potential)

I am interested to hear others opinions.

Thanks.

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  1. "Pacific Beach (a culinary black hole)" - Come on Steve, although it does not compare to some of the best, there is good food to be had. There are many to mention but if you just include Latin Chef, Sushi Ota, and Costa Brava/Pata Negra, it should remove the "black hole" stigma. I would however agree with "Fine Dining Black Hole". BTW I have had some really decent food at The Turquoise lately.

    I think the best/worst depends on food catageory, Ethnic would go to CM/LV and City Heights, it also appears that good food is poping up in the south bay.

    5 Replies
    1. re: stevuchan

      Your right. That was a little harsh. (PB just asks for it sometimes though, doesn't it?)

      Your right, Sushi Ota is epic. Although for some reason I don't think of it when "PB" comes to mind. I always think of it by itself.

      And Costa Brava and Latin Chef are solid.

      Fishery is solid too.

      1. re: stevewag23

        I would also add Table 926 and JRDN at Tower 23 Hotel as consistently good. I also had an enjoyable meal at Enoteca Adriano.

      2. re: stevuchan

        Wow, had not idea the extent of the menu at Turquoise until I read your post. What is good there? What is the crowd like?

        1. re: foodiechick

          Duck Confit is is usually pretty solid, as is the lamb, have had a bunch of tapas off the menu, nothing mind blowing but a good neighborhood option. Crowd is mellow until about 9 or 10. Weekends live music.

          1. re: foodiechick

            Service is horrible at Turquoise Lounge.

            They also add 17.5% to every check ...fyi.

            Crowd is "sophisticated" Pacific Beach.

            So basically very unsophisticated.

            But a step up from Garnet (as if there could be a step down?)

        2. "UTC (Horrible and lacking soul and culture, we should move this place to Orange County)"

          Perfect!!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: deckape

            As a resident of Orange County I think it's obvious you haven't traveled around Orange County much. There are plenty of areas in Orange County with 'soul' and 'culture'. Granted just not parts of southern Orange County. Santa Ana and Anaheim with their large Hispanic populations offers up a lot of great authentic Mexican food restaurants. While Garden Grove and Westminister with their large Asain population offers up a lot of great authentic Vietnamese restaurants. Fullerton diverse with it's Hispanic community and 'higher education campuses' offers the best of both of Mexican cuisine and trendy upscale fine dining restuarants. Beach communities are usually an eclectic mix of great breakfast and brunch spots with a wide mix of different culturally diverse foods. Back to Anaheim where there are a great many Mediteranean/Middle Eastern/Greek establishments to wow your tastebuds. You can relate UTC to places like South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island and such but don't lump all of Orange County into that 'scene' because it's far from a fair comparison.

          2. "UTC (Horrible and lacking soul and culture, we should move this place to Orange County)"

            Take it easy on UTC - it's the logical answer to the question "what do you get when you mix college students, bankers, and a major shopping mall?" And really, you do not want to move UTC, because if you did in its vacuum you'd have 10 Costa Verde Villages pop up.

            With that being said, there are a few people that would go out of their way to get to Donovan's Steakhouse or Japengo. Otherwise, destination dining it is not.

            1. For Asian restaurants, best are: Kearny Mesa & Linda Vista

              1. Hillcrest has a lot of overrated places, IMO. There are a lot of mediocre spots, and only a handful that rise above that. North Park has a few bright spots, but for my money the best in terms of consistently good places to eat is Convoy St. in Kearny Mesa.

                6 Replies
                  1. re: stevewag23

                    "UTC (Horrible and lacking soul and culture, we should move this place to Orange County)"

                    Should have gave you props, the wife refers to the area as "Nobel Hell".

                    1. re: stevewag23

                      Hilcrest is overrated. Please name restaurants in this part of town that are particularly stellar. Indigo Grill and Kemo Sabe are probably the best Hilcrest has to offer, and really, these two restaurants aren't particularly special.

                      What area can compete with North Park? Take a look at the options on 30th St.
                      Granted, places like Jaynes Gastropub and Cantina Mayahuel aren't technically No Park, this street has the best lineup in SD.

                      1. re: ginael

                        "Hilcrest is overrated. Please name restaurants in this part of town that are particularly stellar"

                        Check out Better Half.

                        "Indigo Grill and Kemo Sabe are probably the best Hilcrest has to offer"

                        Both horrible Cohen Group abominations.

                        Indigo Grill is not in Hillcrest. It is in little italy.

                        And Should be thrown in the ocean and fed to the sharks.

                        1. re: stevewag23

                          Haven't tried Better Half. Forgot about that, actually.

                          It occcured to me after I wrote my comment that Indigo is not in Hilcrest. Apologies.

                          I still stand by my assertion that Hilcrest is overrated.