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What to eat around Torrey Pines

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I am back working in the Torrey Pines area..where can one get a decent lunch?? I ate at the Burnham and the Scripps cafeteria and I admit Scripps was not bad. Had the Korean rice bowl on Monday and it was quite tasty. I am willing to drive, I would love to be closer to the Convoy area but that is a bit of a treck.

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  1. You can drop down into Del Mar and have a sandwich at Board and Brew and sit at 11th street and watch the surf..
    Rendevous at Del Mar Plaza is nice..sister restaurant of Dumpling Inn on Convoy..pricey though.
    Roberto's on Carmel Valley
    Estancia Hotel has some great food..across from UCSD
    Drop down to the Shores and dine at Piatti's, Cheese Shop or Jeff's Burgers
    The Lodge at Torrey..
    Shirahama for sushi in Del Mar is good too.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      I work right by the golf course and I'd have to say that Board and Brew is probably the most popular option for my coworkers. There have been treks to The Sandwich Club in downtown LJ and Punjabi Tandoor in Miramar, but they're 30-40 minute round trips from Torrey Pines.

      Ela0427, other options include Nozomi (decent Japanese) on Regents Rd., Chicago on a Bun (right by Wired Cafe), and the handful of chain restaurants in La Jolla Village Square. It's not the most chow-ish food around, but a salad from California Pizza Kitchen, roasted chicken from Daphne's, or heck, even tacos from Chipotle or Rubio's (in the strip mall across from LJ Village Square) would do for a decent lunch.

      I like Flame Broiler (in the same strip mall at Rubio's), but they're pretty overpriced for teriyaki bowls. Another option is to brave the parking at UCSD and check out the new Price Center. There are quite a few offerings and I hear the Indian food stand is not bad at all.

      1. re: geekyfoodie

        UCSD Student chiming in here:

        On campus>
        - The Indian place is.. just okay. (But then again, I'm picky... blah.)
        - Santorini's is decent, but not much better than Daphne's (@ LJ Village Square); it is probably my favorite place to eat on campus. If you are driving (or catching the 101), a trip down to Village Square is advisable.

        Off campus>
        - The International Market and Grill is delicious!

        Will check out Board and Brew; thanks geekyfoodie! I'll post up if I have any other suggestions.

        1. re: ray9x

          Can I sound like an old lady and regale you with tales of the slop they used to have in the old Price Center in my day? ;) Just kidding... I was floored to see the options at the new PC. How's the Croutons?

          There's also a Tapioca Express there and, in my experience, the cooked food has always been good for a small lunch or snack. I remember having rice with Taiwanese sausage at the Convoy location and it was really good.

          1. re: geekyfoodie

            I think Croutons is pretty good, but they have a relatively small menu and you can get burned out on it fairly quickly if you go too often. Like Ray, I found the Indian place to be OK. It was nice as a change, but after going a few times you think "now what?"

            I would not recommend that anybody drive to UCSD just to eat lunch. If you already are here, there are acceptable options, but...

            1. re: RB Hound

              True, but it is one of the closest places with food to Torrey Pines (the cafes at the various institutes notwithstanding), hence why I suggested it. I do have some huge rose-colored glasses because, well, they built the place after I left! ;) I guess I should feel lucky, because I was lucky enough to live on campus for 4 years and with a boba joint that close by, I'd have some major weight issues.

              1. re: geekyfoodie

                The Yogurt World is far more dangerous for me - it's like a magnet that has kept me away from Tapioca Express.

                1. re: RB Hound

                  How's the quality of the food/boba at Tapioca Express on campus? The quality at the location near Vons in UTC is far below that of the TE Convoy location, I'm wonder if its the same case for the one on campus.

                  I'll have to check out the new price center. Like geekyfoodie I graduated in 04 and at the time they were just starting to build it so I never got to see the finished product.

                  1. re: mliew

                    TapEx is pretty good! Pricier than the Regents location, afaik. Croutons rocks, as well.

                    Boba from Tapioca Express + Yogurt World = awesome after a show at the loft.

      2. re: Beach Chick

        Beach Chick: I just checked out the website for Rendezvous in Del Mar since I've never heard of it before (www.delmarrendezvous.com). How exactly is it related to Dumpling Inn? Same owners? The menu does look pretty similar although the prices are much higher.

        1. re: mliew

          I was really surprised to hear that, yes, Rendezvous is owned by the folks at Dumpling Inn. Never been, though. Beach Chick, care to elaborate some more on how it is, esp. compared to Dumpling Inn?

          1. re: geekyfoodie

            I love Dumpling Inn which I get the tofu dumplings (10) pan fried for $6 and Rendevous is at least double that..Del Mar Plaza is pricey real estate..
            It's been awhile dining there..quite good but pricey.
            Shirahama for sushi is reasonable and good on Camino del Mar.

            1. re: Beach Chick

              So basically its the same food for twice the price?

              1. re: mliew

                Rendevouz and Dumpling Inn do not have the same menu. Dumpling Inn is "traditional" northern Chinese. Rendevouz is best described as Chinese-American fusion, a la PF Chang's or Cheesecake Factory's version of Chinese food. It depends what you're looking for.

      3. I quite like iris on carmel valley road, although its on the pricey side.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jennywenny

          Although it's a bit inconsistent, I've found the food at Iris generally good to very good. Nice view of the lagoon during lunch as well.

        2. I don't live in the area, but recently posted a similar question to this board because we were visiting La Jolla (staying a mile from Torrey Pines golf course). It's a 10 minute drive, but we LOVED Bangkok Bay in Solana Beach.

          1 Reply
          1. re: scout1

            If you have access to Tower Rd. a lot more options open up. There is a Hawaiian BBQ Joint on 11815 Sorrento Valley Rd, there is a solid taco shop right under the merge, Elena's mexican food, also in the same center is a Hookah cafe that has a small menu of middle eastern favorites, and Opera cafe is right up the road.

          2. Le Bambou off Del Mar Heights road in Del Mar has great lunch specials and is reasonably fast.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wanker

              Opera Patisserie in Sorrento Valley is suh-weet! Literally. I can't get out of that place without a box of those Parisian Macaroons. Various flavors in various pastel colors...so good. I have had their tasty vegetable quiche and a savory steak and brie sandwich w/carmelized onions - both served with a mixed greens salad. If you can take lunch around 11am or 1pm, go then...because t's a madhouse at noon.

              1. re: Sampaguita

                Thank's Sampa with the Opera Patisserie rec...seen it get some love on this board but now you said the magic word..'Parisian Macarons'.
                Menu looks great and reasonable too.

            2. Edo Sushi in the Renassaiance Town Centere, where Wired Cafe is, has pretty good sushi and standard Japanese fare (teriyaki, noodles, rice bowls, etc). Gets crowded right at the noon hour. They do take-out as well.

              Z Pizza in the Ralph's shopping center has good pizza, as does BJ's Pizzeria and the Whole Foods market across the street. I haven't been for a while, but Flame Broiler in the Whole Foods complex had good rice bowls. The biggest neg on Flame Broiler is that it's take-out only and you have to sit outside. There's a few scattered tables around, but not many.

              Sitar Indian Cuisine off the 805 and Mira Mesa Blvd in the Staples shopping complex is pretty decent Indian. It's sufficient when you don't want to schlep all the way to Punjabi Tandoor.

              1. Barolos (a block east of the UTC Mall off Towne Centre Drive) is a decent Italian restaurant, though perhaps a little pricey for lunch.

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                Barolo Ristorante
                8935 Towne Centre Dr # 113, San Diego, CA

                1. Just adding another potential place for lunch near Torrey Pines. Eda-mami, a Japanese place that opened last year, is pretty good. I had the unagi bento for takeout and, while the food was plentiful and good, the service was pleasantly inept. They gave me my bento lunch without the rice. Huh? They were very good about rectifying the situation, but I should have checked my order before I drove off.

                  Anyway, the food is pretty typical of a Japanese place with American influences. The unagi was delicious with the sweet soy sauce and their tempura is excellent, even as takeout. Quite a bit of food for $8.95.

                  It's on Carmel Valley Road, next to China Cafe and Roberto's. More than good enough food, considering its proximity to work.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: geekyfoodie

                    Have you ever tried China Cafe ? I always drive by and wonder if it would be worth for lunch. I had years ago lunch there but it was for a job interview and that isn't the best time to focus/remember the food and make photos.

                    1. re: honkman

                      I have and my boss is a big fan because he got to know the owners and orders off-menu. On-menu it's not the best Chinese food ever and can be rather Americanized. Plus, it's a smidge pricey. It just depends on how much you like the Chinese-American classics, for which they do a decent job. I'd go back, but it wouldn't be the first place on my list.

                  2. Is Prospect too far/congested? I enjoy sandwiches at Girard deli.

                    1. If La Jolla isn't too hard to for you to get to, try Porkyland; I like to pick up a pound of Carnitas & a stack of fresh Tortillas to take home, but they make a decent Carnitas burrito to eat right there. I've heard both good & bad things about their Al Pastor, but I've heard raves about the Chicken Nopal.

                      Bongiorno's Pizza on Mira Mar is a really good utility pie, it's not as good as the best of NY, but it beats out most of the locals and all the chains. And you can order by the slice!

                      If you want Indian go all the way down Mira Mar to Black Mountain Rd. for Ashoka & India Princess.

                      Ginza Sushi in La Jolla Village Square has good Miso, not so great everything else.

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                      Porkyland Restaurant
                      1030 Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

                      Bongiornos New York Pizzeria
                      6780 Miramar Rd, San Diego, CA 92121

                      1. Try Iris food and Spirits, a couple blocks east of Roberto's on Carmel Valley Rd. Nice view of estuary and birds, excellent food with interesting variety. Good beer list (wine, too, and, recently opened full bar).

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                        Iris Food & Spirits
                        2334 Carmel Valley Rd, Del Mar, CA 92014

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: millerowski

                          Chicago in a Bun, same stripmall as Barolo. Love their firedogs Chicago style.

                        2. I would go to A.R. Valentien in the Lodge at Torrey Pines. The burger is awesome! I also love their lunch menu. It's always consistently good.