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weekend in la jolla

longtime c-hound visiting la jolla this weekend with the family looking for a few suggestions. the only places on my must-do list so far are el pescador fish market and possibly sab-e-lee on the way in, if it is not too far out of the way. found both places here and yoso. as with most hounds, we love authentic thai and mexican. well, pretty much love everything that tastes good. would definitely like to squeeze in some fish tacos and sushi while we are there. any good sushi recs? sushi on the rock seems like a possibility. btw, we are staying at the best western a couple blocks from la jolla cove. so places within walking distance would be nice. not opposed to driving, but since we have a toddler, it would have to be really really good.

btw, planning to stay tomorrow night in yuma on the way to LJ. i am posting a link to my yuma post on southwest since that board does not get nearly as much action is this one! was hoping to take part in the great yuma taco experience that everyone is talking about!

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/636865

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  1. I'd hit Zenbu for sushi in LJ and Bahia Don Bravos in Bird Rock/LJ for lobster burritos and fish tacos..Alfonso's is great for Marg's and Nachos in the village.
    El Pescador for a great fish sandwich for lunch..
    I would have sunset dinner at Georges at the Cove on the terrace..
    Cottage is great for breakfast or lunch.
    Spice and Rice is good for Thai in the village.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      thanks beach chick! i will definitely add zenbu to my list. sushi rolls there look good, and it is near our hotel, on the same street actually! bahia don bravo sounds great too. lobster burritos and fish tacos, yum! and spice and rice may be an option if we do not make it to sab-e-lee.

      just looked at the breakfast menu for the cottage. wow! we might have to squeeze that in too! we don't have enough time!

      1. re: dongstadden

        Zenbu over Sushi on the rock for sure.

        1. re: stevewag23

          Kaito blows Sushi on the Rock and Zenbu away, hands down. It blows all the other sushi places in SD away. Zenbu was overpriced, average and oversauced sushi for me. Unless you are into trendy rolls and such, then Kaito may not be the place for you.

          1. re: daantaat

            Calm down and look at the title: "weekend in la jolla"

            and "we are staying at the best western a couple blocks from la jolla cove. so places within walking distance would be nice."

            That being said, I agree Zenbu is not that great.

            Kaito is way better.

            By the way, Love the "take away" : Unless you are into trendy rolls and such, then Kaito may not be the place for you.

            1. re: stevewag23

              hey folks, i appreciate the passion shown in this exchange. trust me, i have near religous beliefs myself when it comes to certain foods and where to get them. i mean, that is why we are all here, right? now, i am not ruling out kaito but the location of zenbu is definitely a factor in its favor. keep in mind that we are coming from the phoenix area, so anything in la jolla should be great in comparison!

              and what is wrong with trendy rolls??? as long as the fish is fresh, then i think a little creativity can be fun...

              anyways, thanks for all the feedback. much better than the response (or lack thereof) i am getting in my yuma post on southwest. asked for taco suggestions, and so far only crickets...

                  1. re: stevewag23

                    it is at the arizona-california border, and it is about halfway between San diego and phoenix. it is supposedly known for its mexican food. and i was hoping to find out tonight!

                    1. re: dongstadden

                      Check out Kirk K's site. His friend ed from Yuma has posted about quite a bit of mexican food there and he knows what he is talking about.

                      http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com

                    2. re: dongstadden

                      I have no problems w/ trendy rolls. In fact, for quite a while, I liked Sushi on the Rock b/c of their large menu of trendy rolls. And during that time, we tried Zenbu and found it sub-par and expensive, compared to Edo Sushi, which was at that time, solidly good and well-priced. So for some time, our 2 go-to's for sushi were Sushi on the Rock and Edo.

                      Then came along Kaito, which completely blew away our expectations of what great sushi is, trendy rolls included. Kaito's attention to freshness, detail and cut makes the fish "sing" in your mouth, un-necessitating the need for trendy, creative rolls that "hide" lesser fish.

                      I suppose if you were to compare the Kaito sushi vs trendy rolls, it would be like comparing the type of cook that likes to emphasize freshness and purity of flavors, vs a cook who likes to "dress things up" and add lots of extra "stuff" to the dish to make it more complex in a "in your face way."

                      1. re: daantaat

                        "I suppose if you were to compare the Kaito sushi vs trendy rolls, it would be like comparing the type of cook that likes to emphasize freshness and purity of flavors, vs a cook who likes to "dress things up" and add lots of extra "stuff" to the dish to make it more complex in a "in your face way."

                        More like comparing a typical San Diego girl who thinks she is really pretty but really not and cant cook with a Colombian Model girl who can cook lights out.

                  2. re: Josh

                    Great point, which makes me all the more sorry to have read kare_raisu's many posts on Las Brisas to which there was almost no response. He has mentioned its many virtues on so many occasions, no doubt patiently waiting until someone took notice. I finally went just one day after he suggested it in what must have been his umpteenth time, and it just blew me away!

                    More recently I decided to search CH for all of his posts on Las Brisas and it truly tore me up to realize that he's been singing it's virtues for so long...

                    As to my own posts on Kaito, I honestly do not understand myself the level of devotion that their sushi has inspired in me. But I am not alone, and you Josh must know what I mean.

                    If I really were to reflect on it it's probably driven mostly by my desire to communicate to those who have not tried Kaito to somehow get a sense of what they are missing, and that this is not "just another sushi bar". I'm constantly aware of the simple "this is the best sushi bar" argument that I read in so many reviews, so to counter this I try to explain why.

                    I hope I never will say that so-and-so is the best w/o a clear argument as to why, or for that matter explain clearly why some do not hit the mark. And ultimately I find that every time I try I never quite hit the mark and so am compelled to try again. I find the same dilemma when talking about cafes on CH!

                    Beach Chick is right in one area. Kaito never said that they are the best. But that's just what I love about them. They are the best but never claim to be the best. They just pursue what is right and honest, and so long as they continue to do that rankings don't matter.

                    I can recall one very insightful moment when I heard Morita-san apologize to a customer one day for the quality of his sushi. (BTW he's the first to say this on so many an occasion...) The customer, not quite understanding the point, kept on insisting that no, there was no reason to apologize for the sushi that he just had. To him it was nothing but the best. But Morita-san wouldn't accept that, and continued to apologize to the customer. This exchange repeated several times over, and this customer even asked his dining partners and they all agreed that it was the best. Honestly at this point I felt like telling the customer to just "shut up", as he just wasn't getting the point.

                    This was the point. Morita-san is pursuing a craft that he feels has no end. It is not about being the best, or reading in a poll how one ranks. It matters not one bit to him what any rankings say. Rather to him he is pursuing an art that has no end. I personally believe it as fact that they are the best in San Diego but he still wants to do better, and is always trying to figure out how they can improve. To him there is no point in ever stopping in their pursuit of perfection. To do so would be to admit that they were aiming for something far less.

                    Compare that attitude to the many sushi bars that's filled with much self-aggrandizing bravado. None of that at Kaito. Yes, it maybe that it's the customers who say that, and I count myself amongst them, but not Kaito themselves. And again, that's just one of the reasons why I love them!

            2. Kaito Sushi is the first place you should consider for sushi in San Diego. There's much written about them both on these boards and on Yelp.

              For fish tacos it'll be Mariscos German in City Heights.

              Both will require a drive, but at least make sure you make it to Kaito. Given the quality it'll be a shame to miss at the cost of less than 20 minutes on the road.

              1. I'm on board with everything Beach Chick says thru this entire thread with just 1 exception, and 1 warning. Exception: Try to get to Sab-y-lee. I (and my Thai expert friends) think it is a convenient yet uninspired spot. Warning: only because you have a toddler...Cottage can have a wait of an hour or more on weekends (anytime until about 2pm) and no reservations.

                2 Replies
                1. re: foodiechick

                  thanks foodiechick for the warning! btw, any relation to beach chick? jk. yeah, an hour wait and not taking reservations is definitely going to make it difficult to hit cottage.

                  as for sab-e-lee, i think it is a strong possibility on the way in or out of LJ, since it does not seem too far out of the way. my mom (who was born in thailand) will be with us, so there may be some extra incentive to try it out.

                  1. re: dongstadden

                    Have a great time in LJ!

                    Harry's Coffee Shop is an a great place for breakfast too..less of a wait in the Cottage but since you have a toddler, you are probably up early and getting there early is best..and yes, Foodiechick is my much younger sista..hee hee

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