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Dining near San Diego Arena?

BubblyOne Jul 10, 2009 07:23 AM

I'm going to the American Idol concert next Saturday and need a place nearby for an early dinner. Last year we went to the BBQ restaurant that is practically in the parking lot (forget the name, it was a Chowhound rec) , but want something a little nicer and preferably Mexican. We don't mind walking a bit or even parking at the arena and taking a cab to and from so we can drink before the concert. Any help would be appreciated, 'cause you guys have never steered me wrong-thanks in advance!

  1. s
    stevewag23 Jul 10, 2009 09:32 AM

    I am almost sure you mean "San Diego Sports Arena" (not trying to be a jerk)

    If that is the case, Phil's is the bbq spot.

    There is a lot of mexican food in that area (like all of san diego) but no recomendations.

    If you want a cheesesteak go to Gaglione Brothers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: stevewag23
      BubblyOne Jul 10, 2009 10:06 AM

      Sorry about that, San Diego Sports Arena.

    2. Captain Jack Jul 10, 2009 10:17 AM

      The area around the Sports Arena is dominated by the franchise chains like Red Lobster, and Chilis. The Pearl Hotel on Rosecrans is a notable exception, and a short cab ride. I really like their braised Berkshire pork belly. It has a cool retro-chic vibe as well. I reviewed it a while back on my blog if you are interested.


      1. s
        sdnosh Jul 10, 2009 11:00 AM

        Your four closest choices are to stay in the Sports Arena area and choose from the Chain Restaurants Chilis, Olive Garden and Black Angus, and Soup Plantation are all within a short stroll. Next to Soup Plantation is Ember's Grill, mid range Independent Italian Restaurant. If Your next closest option is to go over to Rosecrans and Midway and eat some of the best Thai in San Diego over at Antique Thai. Slightly farther options lie in Ocean Beach where you can find The 3rd Corner a great wine bar and bistro.

        1. c
          csils Jul 10, 2009 11:21 AM

          I was going to recommend Embers (it's right on the corner of Sports Arena/midway/point loma as you get off the 8 freeway). It's a big family owned (as far as I know place) and the food was good. It wasn't anything i'd rave about but I certainly had no complaints at all. I really enjoyed the mushroom (i think) Quesadilla's. Off the top of my head, that's the only thing super close (walking/quick cab)) that isn't Phil's, Chevy's or Olive Garden.

          If you are venturing a little further, Sammy's Woodfired Pizza is a great choice, there's one a little ways down West Point Loma Blvd.

          Don't really know of "Nice" mexican close by unless you wanted to cab to Old Town.

          1. b
            Beach Chick Jul 10, 2009 11:40 AM

            Old Town is basically contiguous to the Midway/Sports Arena area and you could go to Guadalajara Grill or Old Town Mexican Cafe..
            Anyone remember when Garcia's of Scottsdale was on that corner?
            We used to hit that up before concerts at Sports Arena.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick
              Captain Jack Jul 10, 2009 11:48 AM

              I remember Garcia's. My buddies and I used to troll for hotties in the bar there. We also used to hit Foggy's Notion before and after Sports Arena concerts.

              1. re: Captain Jack
                Beach Chick Jul 10, 2009 11:55 AM

                OMG...Foggy's Notion..Loved that place!
                Great for burgers and beer after those concerts..
                We never payed for our drinks at Garcias..we were the hotties.. ; )

                1. re: Captain Jack
                  DiningDiva Jul 10, 2009 02:23 PM

                  Foggy's Notion, OMG, that was *the* place to go when I was in college. Well, that an the Aspen MIne Co.

                  1. re: DiningDiva
                    The Office Goat Jul 10, 2009 03:56 PM

                    Foggy's notion had the crab races, right?

                    And speaking of places to eat in that area, didn't the Cocos turn into a 24-hour diner of better repute? Small chain from L.A. or something?

                    1. re: The Office Goat
                      stevuchan Jul 10, 2009 04:29 PM

                      Post on Dupar's here


                      Short version - Subpar

                    2. re: DiningDiva
                      Beach Chick Jul 10, 2009 04:33 PM

                      Aspen Mine Company...close to SDSU and I was a little sister for SAE and we'd have some of the best Toga parties there..
                      DD..we probably had Mateus wine and Boone's Farm together...hee hee

                      1. re: Beach Chick
                        DiningDiva Jul 11, 2009 07:09 AM

                        Mateus and Boone's Farm, I shutter at the memory!! And we thought we were soooo sophisticated ;-). I knew quite a few SAEs and was a little sister for the TKE hosue for a while. I was probably a couple years ahead of you though

                2. n
                  normalheightsfoodie Jul 11, 2009 06:08 PM

                  Since the Sports Arena is so central to everything, you can expand your area. You might want to check out OLD VENICE in Point Loma, not far from the Arena.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                    BubblyOne Jul 12, 2009 11:38 AM

                    Thanks guys for the recs....I've got some leads now.

                    1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                      sdnosh Jul 12, 2009 04:37 PM

                      If they're going to go as far south as Old Vencie - not that it's that far - but, I would recommend Roseville or Pomodoro over Old Venice any day of the week and twice on Sunday. And for a healthier, more cost effective alternative, try Tender Greens in Liberty Station.

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