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San Diego Recs needed for this weekend

javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 01:03 AM

Hi there!

I will be in SD this weekend and needed some restaurant recommendations. There's plenty of fine dining in LA where I am from, so I am trying to look for places that are hole in the wall or a bit less pretentious.

I will be having a meal in Little Italy - thinking of going to Indigo Grill or Buon Apetito- any preferences?

also considering Cafe Chloe which i have been before and it was good. really loved the intimate casual setting.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Beach Chick RE: javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 07:39 AM

    I've had good meals at Cafe Zucchero in Little Italy..love the Waterfront Bar too!
    Cafe Chloe shouldn't be missed on your visit..
    Dobson's for some of the best mussel bisque en croute..

    www.littleitalysd.com
    www.gaslamp.org

    1. s
      stevewag23 RE: javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 09:34 AM

      "thinking of going to Indigo Grill or Buon Apetito"

      Go Buon Apetito.

      Heads up: There was a 40 min wait at 9pm last sat.

      1. d
        DougOLis RE: javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 09:48 AM

        I'd skip Indigo Grill

        Other suggestions: Farmhouse Cafe, Super Cocina, Mariscos German, Blind Lady Alehouse, Starlite, The Linkery, Better Half

        5 Replies
        1. re: DougOLis
          javabean116 RE: DougOLis Jun 18, 2009 12:27 PM

          Yelp said that Mariscos German is closed. too bad... and it sounded really good too!

          1. re: javabean116
            d
            DougOLis RE: javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 04:02 PM

            As far as I know it's not closed. Maybe they stopped one of the taco truck locations?

          2. re: DougOLis
            hohokam RE: DougOLis Jun 18, 2009 03:01 PM

            I'm going to be visiting SD this weekend and next week as well.

            Just wanted to drop in some place links to help me navigate.

            -----
            Cafe Chloe
            721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

            Dobson's Bar & Restaurant
            956 Broadway Circle, San Diego, CA 92101

            Super Cocina
            3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

            Better Half
            127 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

            Bleu Boheme
            4090 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

            The Linkery
            3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

            Buon Appetito
            1609 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

            Farm House Cafe
            2121 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

            Blind Lady Ale House
            3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA

            Starlite
            3175 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103

            Cafe Zucchero
            1731 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

            1. re: hohokam
              javabean116 RE: hohokam Jun 19, 2009 02:09 PM

              thanks hohokam!

              1. re: javabean116
                hohokam RE: javabean116 Jun 19, 2009 04:51 PM

                No problem. I saw all these great recommendations and then realized I had no idea how to get to them from my conference hotel. :-)

          3. javabean116 RE: javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 12:14 PM

            How is Bleu Boheme? the place looks cute and the early bird Prix fixe looks like a great deal?

            3 Replies
            1. re: javabean116
              n
              normalheightsfoodie RE: javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 02:29 PM

              Blue is very good. They make great drinks. They have great muscles.
              Mariscos German is a seafood taco truck located on University AVe and 35th street.

              1. re: javabean116
                k
                krisajohnson1 RE: javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 04:32 PM

                Bleu Boheme is fantastic. One of the better meals I've had in San Diego

                1. re: javabean116
                  honkman RE: javabean116 Jun 18, 2009 05:25 PM

                  Blue Boheme is not bad but a but pricey for what you get. You can get better food for less at Cafe Chloe, Better Half, Jayne's Gastropub

                2. javabean116 RE: javabean116 Jun 19, 2009 12:15 PM

                  thanks everyone for all the suggestions! I will be going to Cafe Chloe and the Better Half. Hopefully we can squeeze in dessert from Extraordinary desserts in Hillcrest after the dinner at the Better Half.

                  Will report back...

                  Have a great weekend!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: javabean116
                    s
                    stevewag23 RE: javabean116 Jun 19, 2009 12:16 PM

                    good choices.

                  2. javabean116 RE: javabean116 Jun 26, 2009 11:42 AM

                    Time to report back... I blogged my dining experiences in my blog:

                    http://munchin-along.blogspot.com/

                    Here is the brief recap:
                    Cafe Chloe - great intimate little gem with great food
                    Better Half- ok food, but disappointing service
                    Extraordinary Dessert - Extraordinary presentation
                    Hot Dogs @ 428 - hit the spot after a late night in Gaslamp
                    Bandar- good solid Persian food

                    Not all the reviews are up yet... but most of it is... will report back when all the posts are up on the blog.

                    thanks for all the recommendations fellow chowhounds!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: javabean116
                      s
                      stevewag23 RE: javabean116 Jun 26, 2009 12:08 PM

                      "Better Half- ok food, but disappointing service"

                      honkman?

                      1. re: stevewag23
                        honkman RE: stevewag23 Jun 27, 2009 07:34 PM

                        Yes ?

                        1. re: honkman
                          s
                          stevewag23 RE: honkman Jun 28, 2009 09:56 PM

                          I figured you would have a response to the above comment about better half.

                          (I like better half as well, haven't been in a while though).

                    2. cgfan RE: javabean116 Jun 26, 2009 03:08 PM

                      Oh here goes cgfan again recommending Kaito Sushi... :-)

                      But it's true - that's the first thing I thought of when reading your post. It's hole in the wall, they don't advertise, there's barely any signage, it's family run, it's small, it specializes in Edo-mae sushi, everything is traditionally prepped every day before service including the filleting of the Anago [a rarity just about anywhere in the U.S.], it's by far the best that San Diego County has to offer, and can deliver a memorable experience that you will cherish if you are fond of traditional sushi.

                      If sushi is in the cards for you, than a trip up to Encinitas for KS is recommended. (BTW best days for selection are Tuesdays and Fridays, followed by Wednesdays and Saturdays...) Lately hour-long waits for the bar has been more and more common, but it'll be worth it!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cgfan
                        d
                        daantaat RE: cgfan Jun 26, 2009 06:43 PM

                        and thank you cgfan for recommending Kaito!! It's opened our palates to truly great sushi! :-)

                      2. h
                        hungrywop RE: javabean116 Jun 28, 2009 04:00 PM

                        Cucina Urbana...used to be the old Laurel....we went Friday....very cool...very cheap..very good...kind of Italian Californian...pizza bar....wines are really cheap..i think they do retail pricing or such..we started with a little mason jar of chicken liver pate...pretty damn good(i don't like liver)..she had a mushroom pizza..she said it was tasty.....i had this huge pork chop milanese...really simple with arugula salad & marinated artichokes.(i'm reading from the menu i stole)...but really nice......oh and get the fregolata? (i didn't steal the dessert menu)...it's pretty awesome...we got out of there for about $70....any way you can tell this place will catch on quick....they need Peroni on tap though..

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hungrywop
                          Fake Name RE: hungrywop Jun 28, 2009 05:56 PM

                          I didn't get to eat there, but stopped by for a few snaps. you can see more at www.becomingcucinaurbana.com I did SEE the food, and will be heading there later this week. I'm not paid by them, but since I have a loose relationship with the place, I won't be commenting here.

                           
                        2. javabean116 RE: javabean116 Jul 4, 2009 02:28 AM

                          Review for Better Half:

                          The Better Half was recommended by many reviewers to be a quaint bistro that delivers comforting French fare. I decided to give this place a try and wanted to take advantage of their "Blue Plate" prix fixe menu: $20 for a 3-course meal! Sadly, when we got there, the hostess said that the orders had to be in to the kitchen by 6pm sharp (even though on their website, it said 5-7 pm) so they didn't even let us see the menu... that was pretty irritating! Explanation- the time for the special was changed this week to 5-6 pm. To me, a good restaurant not only needs to have good eats, but good service. If it's listed on the website, it really should be honored... nevertheless, I gave them the benefit of the doubt that the meal will salvage my initial impressions of the place.

                          Since this restaurant is known for the wide selection of their half bottles of wine, we decided to order rather than bring our own wine. Highly recommended by the waiter, we ordered the 2003 Chateau Fonbadet, a bordeaux. Bold, strong, nice oaky flavors, but lacked in a long aftertaste... for bold, full-bodied wines, I still prefer my Syrahs (or Shiraz...).

                          The amuse bouche was whipped chevre cheese topped with chipotle orange marmalade in a miniature pastry cup. The fluffiness of the cheese didn't make it too rich and heavy, and the chipotle marmalade have it a nice kick!

                          Gnocchi with Shrimp and Calamari:
                          This was the seafood special of the day and it was a disappointment. The gnocchi was too dense and felt like globs of dough. Although the shrimp and calamari were not overcooked, they hardly gave you enough to eat... best part of the dish was the seafood sauce- it reminded me of a lobster bisque...
                          -$22-

                          Mushroom Tomato Risotto in a Red Wine Sauce:
                          Al dente risotto cooked in a red wine sauce enveloped small diced pieces of mushrooms and carrots. Unlike most risottos which are white wine-based, the earthier flavor of the red wine blends well with the mushrooms. However, I still prefer my risottos with white wine... but that's just my personal preference.
                          -$17-

                          Needless to say, The Better Half was not one of the better meals I've had in SD. From the service to the entrees, it was sub par. Perhaps we ordered the wrong dishes (both dishes were from the daily specials), or we came on an off night, or the bad service in the beginning put a dent in the whole experience... or our expectations were too high, but I left that dinner dissatisfied and found myself eyeing on the lasagnas a block away at Arrivederci.

                          Pictures are posted on:
                          http://munchin-along.blogspot.com/

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: javabean116
                            r
                            RB Hound RE: javabean116 Jul 4, 2009 12:16 PM

                            javabean - you did see the other threads about the Better Half closing, right?

                            Maybe the kitchen staff was aware of what was to come, and didn't have their heart into it.

                            1. re: RB Hound
                              javabean116 RE: RB Hound Jul 4, 2009 01:08 PM

                              I had no idea the better half was closing... another independent gone. hope the restaurant that takes its place is better (and lasts longer)

                              thanks for the update.

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