Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Aug 11, 2009 04:33 PM

Weekend in San Diego - Reporting Back.

Mr. No Peanuts and I spent a happy weekend in your lovely city. Of course I perused the CA board heavily beforehand.

Late dinner Friday night; Starlite Lounge; A Ginger Mule, and beer to start (He thought the dark beer selection was weak.) The food was great quality and well-prepared, but fairly boring. Menu is basic; watching other tables after the fact, we decided that mac-n-cheese and burgers are the way to go. However, we ordered, a sausage plate to start (def the best thing we got), Salmon on polenta for him; grilled calamari and a market salad for me. Too many nuts and not enough options meant no dessert for me. $140 ish total

Brunch both Sat and Sun was at Zanzibar Cafe in the Gaslamp. Great coffee, tall glasses of juice, pretty good pancakes, interesting non-standard brunch entrees, meh fruit. I wanted to go to Cafe Chloe on Sunday, but Zanzibar's English traditional breakfast was too appealing for him to pass on a repeat. Busy place, but not too bad if you can be patient with the service. About $35 each day.

Pannikin Coffee -- YUM. great place. a must-visit for any coffee-lovers

Zoo - hot day was perfect for the Lemonade slushy. Expensive but perfect - not too sweet. The vendors were nice about giving us filtered ice water in our bottle; so great because SD's tap water is not tasty. $5

Snack - post zoo. Lounge at the JSix pool (Hotel Solamar). Service is friendly, but clueless and glacially slow. No great beer available. Cocktail list is interesting, but the one I wanted wasn't available; so they substituted boring G&T without mentioning it. Portobello sliders with goat cheese on brioche, plus great fries. YUM! Food with sodas are the way to go here. 4 drinks and 1 order of food = $60.

Dinner Saturday night: The Linkery. Wine and beer were great! The food was good, but not very-well described on the menu. So, we ordered a strange combination of food: Market salad =uncut lettuce leaves with a few tablespoons of corn; Chorizo flatbread = essentially a warm cracker with crumbled chorizo and goat cheese, no sauce; gulf coast boil = boiled potatoes, shrimp, sausage served with butter and a piece of cornbread. peach cobbler = 5 bites with 1/2 scoop of ice cream. No table bread was served. Water in a carafe at the table. Service was friendly and spotty. Total was about $130. We left hungry.

...and went to The Grape wine bar to drink! All of the flight choices were really fun, and the bar wasn't too crowded. The only major bummer here was the smokers right in front of the door. Because the room is long and narrow and no ventilation in the back, the room quickly fills with cigarette smoke. $35

Sunday post-kayak was dinner at Point Loma Seafoods. Hello fried food! We got 2 combo plates (fries, fried fish, fried shrimp and crab cake, with mayonaisey coleslaw.), clam chowder in a bread bowl, soft drink and a beer. We would definitely go here for crab cakes. Otherwise, probably not -- we tend to like fresh food more. $20.

Next time, I hope to try these places:
Jayne's, Blind Lady Ale House, Oceanaire, Extraordinary Desserts (again), Roseville, Cafe Chloe (again.)

3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

Point Loma Seafoods
2805 Emerson St, San Diego, CA 92106

3175 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103

Hotel Solamar - A Kimpton Hotel
435 6th Ave, San Diego, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "Lounge at the JSix pool (Hotel Solamar). Service is friendly, but clueless and glacially slow."

    Welcome to our lovely city.

    1. We did PLSF Saturday for a late lunch as it had been a long time since we'd been. And once we fought off the crowds, yes it was good fried seafood (unusual for San Diego) but I was put off by the price. $12 for some fried cod fish tacos with a scoop of watery medicocre beans? Nice location but I think I save this for out of town guests who want fried seafood. Prices were way more than I remembered.
      Your thoughts on the Linkery solidify my decision to take my husband to BLAH for his bday. Food may not be as important to him as beer, but he probably doesn't want to go hungry either! (Let alone enforced tipping for me!)
      Our kids (and I) are big fans of zoo and wild animal park slushies!

      22 Replies
      1. re: keena

        I never had any problems to get enough food with my wife at Linkery with two appetizer, two entrees and a shared dessert (the lardo ice cream sandwich is really good).

        1. re: honkman

          Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Between the homemade sausages and billowing Belgium beers......yike o rama. Debaucherous!

        2. re: keena

          I know PLSF gets a lot of love on here. Never once understood it. I've always thought the place to be mediocre and not worth the money.

          Blue Water Grill is a much better option for fresh fish.

          1. re: Josh

            I like point loma seafoods way more, especially the sandwiches.

            Although blue water is good.

            The other reason why PLSF gets high marks is the location, view and the quintessential san diego vibe.

            1. re: Josh

              I'll take Blue Water or El Pescador over PLSF most days too. PLSF isn't bad and I wouldn't discourage it, just usually not in the mood for all fried food.

              1. re: Josh

                Guess I didn't find the Blue Water Grill recommendation when I was searching. I will add it to my list for my next visit. PLSF location is good; although the bathrooms negate the view imho.

                1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                  "although the bathrooms negate the view imho."

                  Where you sitting outside and instead of looking at the water and san diego, you were facing the bathrooms?

                2. re: Josh

                  Totally agree. It's a factory. It's fried. It's San Diego nostalgia. I prefer El Pescador or The Fishery.

                  1. re: pickypicky

                    As stated above:

                    Don't order the fried stuff then.

                    1. re: stevewag23

                      That's why we go to Blue Water. Better non-fried options.

                      1. re: DougOLis

                        "Better non-fried options"


                        But it does have a better view of the freeway.

                        1. re: stevewag23

                          Heh. Nice.

                          Maybe I've been doing it wrong, but I never had anything memorable at PLS. What am I missing?

                          1. re: Josh


                            Compare the clam chowder at PLS to blue water. In my opinion, PLS dominates.

                            Try the scallop sandwich, tuna sandwich, shrimp and crab sandwich.

                            All insane, all non fried.

                            And soak in the view.

                            The main reason I like PLS way more than blue water is the entire experience.

                            1. re: stevewag23

                              Is it Manhattan style? If not, I'll pass. Not a fan of the creamy stuff.

                              Otherwise, thanks for the tips. I'll give it a shot.

                              1. re: Josh

                                Both are real good.

                                I actually like the Manhattan better.

                                1. re: stevewag23

                                  They have Manhattan? I am so there.

                    2. re: pickypicky

                      Anyways, what is with all the anti-fried food talk on here?

                      Isn't this America?

                      America was built on fried food.

                      And San Diego is a patriotic red white and blue town!

                      I just don't get it.

                      1. re: stevewag23

                        Fried food is oftern an easy and cheap way to use less quality products. The most boring food at least for me is often the fried stuff.

                    3. re: Josh

                      Agreed, Josh, that PLSF seems overrated. Blue Water's fish tastes better, and they have way more options for grilled fish. I just wish their location was easier to get in and out of, or at least with better parking. Can't have it all, I guess.

                    4. re: keena

                      I think I agree with the other posters; we just ordered badly at the Linkery. Maybe get advice from the local posters on what and how much to order?

                    5. Wow, $140 at Starlite? That seems like a lot; I don't think I've ever gotten nearly that high.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: DougOLis

                        Probably went heavy on the cocktails.

                        1. re: DougOLis

                          2 appetizer, 2 glasses of wine, 1 glass of beer, 1 cocktail, 1 entrees, plus tip.

                          1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                            Not trying to nitpick, but $140 is way too much for what you list. Most expensive app is antipasto at about $18 (second is $13), most expensive wine I've ever seen is $10, beer is $5-8, cocktails I believe are $8, never seen an entree more than $22. Erring on the expensive side $18, $18, $12, $12, $8, $9, $24 =$101 or $110 after tax. And I doubt you ordered 2 anitpasto platters and tipped pre-tax 30% (no offense). Not trying to nitpick, but we've never been over $100 for 2 app, 2 entree, 2 drinks. Starlite is actually inexpensive and IMO a good value, I just don't want to lave the impression that $140 is a typical bill for 2, as it is much closer to half that for us.

                            1. re: rotochicken

                              So, I went back and checked the our receipts. You are absolutely right; Our bill was $81.29 plus $18 at the bar at Starlite = $99.29. I went off memory, and I apologize for the confusion. Maybe because I pay L.A. prices every day, I didn't think Starlite was expensive, just mundane food. I would absolutely go back to Starlite for cocktails and burgers.

                              If you are are the other EXACT totals: Zanzibar: $41.50, and $44.50, Jsix $59.70, Linkery: 119.40, The Grape: $28, Pannikin: $37.8 Point Loma Seafoods: $39.

                          2. re: DougOLis

                            Oh, and you probably know to order the burger and fries, which is quite a bit cheaper than the entrees we got!

                          3. What comes in an English breakfast?

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                                hmm, reminds me of the Anthony Bourdain episode when he's traveling by train through Ireland and has a Guinness w/ breakfast!