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Jul 13, 2009 06:52 PM

Good chorizo in SD

Anyone have a source of good chorizo in SD? We have only really tried the normal retail places and the chorizo at Iowa Meat Farms, and haven't really been satisfied. Anyone know anywhere else in SD to get good chorizo?

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  1. If you're looking for chorizo that is loose, i.e., neither in a casing nor cured, then your best bet might be to make it yourself. I know this answer is not what you were wanting, but homemade chorizo is very easy to make and you'll be able to ensure top quality ingredients (no fillers, preservatives, etc.) as well as play around with flavorings. I really like Rick Bayless' chorizo recipe in his book Authentic Mexican. Plus it will save you some gas money.

    1. Spanish or Mexican chorizo? If you are looking for Spanish chorizo, check out the store that is next to/part of Costa Brava restaurant in PB. The have lots of different kinds in there... and they'll give out samples to taste.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Shannon

        Just avoid Costa Brava. I give it a frowny face.

        1. re: thirtyeyes

          Curious as to why, same owners and they use the products they sell next door. I usually stick to tapas and wine, but the few time I've had an entree (rabbit I remember was outstanding) it was good. Best Spanish in town IMO.

          1. re: stevuchan

            Hmmm. I think about Costa Brava once in a while because it was such an odd experience. In my year and a half in San Diego, I have found that the food can be pretty good but the service is generally very indifferent. At Costa Brava it was the opposite. The young waiter was a local who had studied Spanish in Spain and he gave excellent service. It was also kind of funny to hear fairly good Castilian coming from him.

            So, the food? Bad. Though your post makes me think I should give it another shot? I've been thinking that I visited on a Sunday, so maybe the A-team was not at their stations? I really wanted to like the place.

            I ordered a tortilla, caracoles, croquetas, and some calamares thing to start. Then a gazpacho. Then Conejo for the main course. It came out all at once. The waiter even set up once of those portable platforms with a round tray to hold the entree because there was no room on the table. The restaurant was maybe half full?

            The tortilla was undercooked and under seasoned. Don't you hate it when people say "I know tortilla because I'm Spanish and..." Well, I'm only half Spanish, but I've been eating the stuff my whole life. I just went home to visit the parents and Mom had a tortilla waiting. I just got up and finished off the last wedge, I think Pops hid it behind the mayonnaise. But this one was bad, undercooked and under seasoned. The caracoles were in a sauce that was actually pretty tasty but it was a bit over cooked--maybe very over cooked. The calamares were actually very good and the only truly enjoyable dish, I'm thinking it was in a bacadillo style. The croquetas were just meh. Now, croquetas and well sushi, are my two favorite things in the whole wide world, so I may have a higher standard, and Mom does make a mean croqueta, which leads me to pronounce the Costa Brava version as sub par.

            The gazpacho? It was fine but not memorable. It suffered mostly because I was anxiously wondering about the conejo as I powered it down.

            And that was a mistake, I should have have given the gazpacho it's due because the conejo was the biggest disappointment of all. Why? Well, it was cold. And It was way too salty. I mean salt lick salty, like someone in the kitchen was playing a joke and unscrewed the salt shaker salty. (Yes, I know professional kitchens don't use shakers. I"m trying to be funny.) Oh, and the meat was bone dry. Poor bunny, to have given its life only to be disgraced by an ill executed preparation.

            So why didn't I speak up? Well, a couple of reasons. First, the very earnest young waiter was so very polite and proud, that I didn't have the heart. I felt a twinge of humor when he said that in the Spanish style they never rush their patrons and will present the check only upon request. Didn't he get that the whole meal was a rush job? No because I failed to educate him, I took the easy road. I should have sat him and the manager down and voiced my displeasure.

            I went that route because my Dad is one of those stoic Japanese who suffers in silence, never complains to outsiders, and feels uncomfortable making a fuss, but holds a grudge forever, and I am nothing if not his son.

            So thanks stevuchan for allowing me to vent. I'm still not sure I'm going to go back, but I will certainly stop by Pata Negra for some chorizo and that wonderfully expensive Jamon Iberico.

            1. re: thirtyeyes

              Bummer sounds like a really off day. If you are fan of the croqueta, may I recommend the potato croquet at Sakura, it is a favorite.

              1. re: thirtyeyes

                Since I live within walking distance to Costa Brava I have dined there quite a few times. In a nutshell, the kitchen is uneven. The paella has run the gambit from very good, to way overcooked and dried out. I also like the ensalada rustica, but on my last visit, I got the impression it had been sitting around way too long and maybe had gone south. Once, our server simply forgot to place the order for my entree, and by the time I found out, it was too late as my friend was almost finished eating. In their defence, I did get a $25 gift certificate in an effort to make up for the error. The one constant has been their very good sangria, which I have enjoyed on every visit. Will I be back? Yes, but I always feel like I am rolling the dice in Vegas when I order.

            1. re: Shannon

              Is there any other place beside Pata Negra in SD for spanish chorizo ?

              1. re: honkman

                Whole Foods has La Espanola and Fra Mani's Salametto Picante which is a chorizo in theory

                1. re: kare_raisu

                  The one in LJ or Hillcrest ? I am just trying to find a place where I can buy spanish chorizo in the evening during the week and don't have to drive around to much. I am in LJ for work but driving to PB (Pata Negra) during the week in the evening takes too long with the traffic.

                  1. re: honkman

                    I am sure about Hillcrest and about 95% sure I saw it in the La Jolla store.

            2. There is a small Mexican Market in Mira Mesa...It's name is Azteca and has good chorizo there. For being a liquor store sized place it has a pretty good selection of meats...marinated or not.

              1. I was just at Prep Kitchen a couple of days ago, and they were curing some house-made chorizo that should be done any day now.

                1. Chorizo on the pizza at Blind Lady Ale House - handmade under the direction of Chef Aaron LaMonica. YUM.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pickypicky

                    That sounds good....where is that place?

                    1. re: sd4life

                      In North Park near Mariposa Ice Cream.

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