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Best of SD

Ok, in response to the very puzzling awards list of the California Restaurant Association's San Diego chapter, I'm opening up the voting to San Diego Chowhounds. I've significantly shortened the list of categories, eliminating everything that is dumb, boring, I don't like or don't care about. It is my game, after all. Here's the rules:

1. You may vote for only one business in each category.
2. Don't vote for anything you or your family has any financial interest in.
3. No comments, arguments, or supporting evidence in this thread please, just the votes.
4. Vote based on the current quality of food, beverage and service only, please. Don't vote for Joe's because it's been there a long time, it's close to your house, it has a great view, they let your dog o the patio, they used to be great, etc.

Here's the categories:

1. Best American:
2. Best Asian:
3. Best Breakfast:
4. Best Brewery:
5. Best Burger:
6. Best Continental/French (Casual):
7. Best French (Fine Dining):
8. Best Ethnic:
9. Best Italian (casual):
10. Best Italian (fine dining):
11. Best Mexican (casual):
12. Best Mexican (fine dining):
13. Best Neighborhood Restaurant:
14. Best New Restaurant (casual):
15. Best New Restaurant (fine dining):
16. Best Pizza:
17. Best Seafood (casual):
18. Best Seafood (fine dining):
19. Best Steakhouse (casual): Bully's East
20. Best Steakhouse (fine dining): Donovans
21. Best Sunday Brunch: Tom Ham's Lighthouse
22. Best Sushi: Sushi Bar Blue
23. Best Wine Bar: Wine Vault & Bistro

Again, please, votes only in this thread. Please start another thread to discuss.

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  1. I don't really dig this kind of list. Some of these you can't pick a best because either a) there are too many good ones, or b) we don't have a really good example. How about just a list of personal best places with no qualifiers attached?

    1. Best Asian (waay to broad): Sab E Lee, Okan
      Best Sushi: Kaito
      Best casual French: Cafe Chloe
      Best Steakhouse: Donovans
      Best Breakfast: Cavaillon, Mission Cup Cafe (both for very different reasons)
      Best Sunday brunch: Cavaillon
      Best Ethnic (this is waay too broad a category): Surati Farsan Mart, Okan, Buga Korean BBQ, Izakaya Sakura, Yumeya

      I'm not sure which categories Market, Addison and El Bizcocho all fall into, but they're all very good.

      1. juan...
        You left 19 trhu 23 filled in...are you trying to influence the judges :)
        1. Best Restauranteer: Phil of Phil's BBQ. To go from the small place to the huge place and not skip a beat is amazing.
        2. Best Breakfast: Most Recently: Firehouse PB
        3. Best Bakery/Cafe: Con Pane Rustic Breads
        5. Best Burger: Gourmet: The Pearl Greasy: The Waterfront
        6. Best Continental/French (Casual): Cafe Chloe
        7. Best French (Fine Dining): Roseville (haven't tried Tapenade)
        10. Best Italian (fine dining): Buon Apetitio (not sure if this is really fine dining)
        11. Best Mexican (casual): Super Concina
        12. Best Mexican (fine dining): Where is there Mexican Fine Dining?
        13. Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Cafe Chloe
        14. Best New Restaurant (casual): Tender Greens
        15. Best New Restaurant (fine dining): Roseville / Cowboy Star
        16. Best Pizza: Bronx
        17. Best Seafood (casual): Point Loma Seafoods (They get my vote just for Clam Chowder)
        20. Best Steakhouse (fine dining): Cowboy Star / Mortons
        23. Best Wine Bar: The 3rd Corner

        5 Replies
          1. re: sdnosh

            Good list, sdnosh. A correction, or rather, my unhumble opinion: it is so tiring to read the assertion that there is no Mexican Fine Dining.

            I believe Candela's fits this category. Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and various Mexican cities offer this type of cuisine.

            Not saying you are making this generalization, but way too many people claim that Mexican cuisine can not be gourmet. I think it's the same crowd who is only aware of Americanized and/or Baja style Mexican food. Just had to get that off my chest.

            1. re: ginael

              You're right! I completely forgot about Candela's and I have yet to try it. Is there any other Mexican Fine Dining in San Diego?

              1. re: sdnosh

                El Agave
                some might argue fridas in otay ranch

                1. re: sdnosh

                  I think Romesco in Bonita falls into this category. The entire menu might not be "Mexican" but most of it falls squarely into the alta cocina genre.

            2. 1. Best American: Albie's
              2. Best Asian: Dumpling Inn..most of Convoy street
              3. Best Breakfast: Maryjane's Coffee Shop at Hard Rock
              4. Best Brewery: Stone Brewery
              5. Best Burger: Waterfront, Dobson's and Longhorn's
              6. Best Continental/French (Casual): Cavaillon , Cafe Chloe
              7. Best French (Fine Dining): Mille Fleurs
              8. Best Ethnic: Mr. Hummos..anything on Convoy except Korea House..not a fan.
              9. Best Italian (casual): Arrivederci, Piatti's
              10. Best Italian (fine dining): Baci's
              11. Best Mexican (casual): Mariscos German, Las Cuatro Milpas
              12. Best Mexican (fine dining): Hacienda de Vega
              13. Best Neighborhood Restaurant:: not my hood but love Longhorns and Waterfront
              14. Best New Restaurant (casual): Tender Greens
              15. Best New Restaurant (fine dining): Suite and Tender
              16. Best Pizza: Basic
              17. Best Seafood (casual): Point Loma Seafood for chowder, calamari & scallop sandwich...Crab Catcher happy hour for the crab bisque and the mussels.
              18. Best Seafood (fine dining): Oceanaire
              19. Best Steakhouse (casual): I haven't had a steak in 30 years..HH at C-Star
              20. Best Steakhouse: DH loves Donovan's
              21. Best Sunday Brunch: Tom Ham's Lighthouse..hee hee
              22. Best Sushi: Sushi Ota, Kaito
              23. Best Wine Bar: Wine Steals

              These are some of my fav's..no flames.
              ; )

              1. Clarification. I'm half Asian, so what should I consider Ethnic? ...I guess I'll go with Cowboy Star.

                4 Replies
                1. re: thirtyeyes

                  Yeah, I've always hated the segregation of restaurants on these lists. Why can't the best overall restaurant also be one that serves Japanese food? Absurd.

                  1. re: Josh

                    Josh, I think you may have inferred something that I certainly didn't intend. The list I posted, which was an abridged version of the CRA list, did not have a category for best overall. I absolutely agree that it would be absurd to exclude any type of cuisine for consideration as best overall.
                    Thirtyeyes, you are correct that best ethnic is a silly category, and I should have cut it out of my list.
                    As far as why the list has any segregation at all, it's just to compare places with somewhat similar cuisine to one another. I don't get to eat out as often as I'd like, so would like to compare a few of the best of one type of food, even if the 'type' of food is broad or not clearly defined.

                    1. re: juantanamera

                      juan, I'm guessing you submitted this post as a "just curious" and to stimulate discussion--after all, isn't that point of this board?

                      Any list, whether it is Best Movie, Best Restaurant, etc. is up for scrutiny.

                      If someone thinks it is absurd, why even comment? Lighten up, people.

                      1. re: ginael

                        It was in response to the "gold medallion awards" post.