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Any new sugguestions for San Diego?

I'm headed back to my old stomping grounds next week and I would love to hear about some new places to go. I will be hitting up my usuals...Cafe Chloe, AR Valentien, El Indio, Sushi Ota, Mama's Bakery. As you can see I love everything so input for cheap to expensive would be greatly appreciated!

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      1. I'd probably skip El Indio in favor of numerous better options. Super Cocina, Aqui Es Texcoco, El Borrego, Mariscos German, Marsicos Godoy, Tacos El Paisa, La Fachada.

        Heck, El Cuervo taco shop is a better option.

        2 Replies
          1. re: stevewag23

            Yes, El Comal should be on that list as well. I'm a fan.

        1. I just created a new post about hidden gems in SD.

          We like "Crepes and Corks Cafe" in Del Mar. Pretty reasonable prices for delicious dinner and dessert crepes.

          1. Relax people! El Indio has sentimental value. Let's move on. What else do you have for me?

            9 Replies
            1. re: neener41

              People really seem to like Cheesecake Factory in Fashion Valley. The line there rivals the one at El Indio!


              1. re: Josh

                If the Cheesecake Factory went to strictly grass fed beef, would your head explode?

                1. re: RB Hound

                  Ha. Their meat sourcing is the least of their problems.

                    1. re: DougOLis

                      I think one comment describes nicely why the Cheesecake Factory (and similar mediocre restaurants) are such a problem for the development of food in the US as Ruhlman also states in his last paragraph - people who eat at such restaurants regularly (which is a large majrity of the population) don't have a chance to experience food which helps to mature their taste:

                      "Looking back over my life of eating it's interesting to see how my preferences and tastes have matured. When I was young, Bennegin's and Red Lobster were special places to visit (albeit in El Paso, Tx). Now my favorites are local restaurants with creative chefs who source local and in-season ingredients which many of us would agree make for the best possible dining experiences. To get to this point though, I've had to be exposed to better food and understand what makes a great dish through a collection of learning experiences that I've intentionally sought out. I know I'm not alone in this, but still, we're a minority. When I start to think about what it would take to move the American demand forward, I'm a little daunted. Processed and convenience foods have changed our food culture and it will be quite a task to redirect our focus to fresh, seasonal, local ingredients...."

                      1. re: honkman

                        Bennigan's! Yeah! Bring on the potato skins!

                    2. re: RB Hound

                      I am not Josh but it is not only the source and quality of the ingredients but also how they are prepared. And Cheesecake Factory is just reheating all the precooked dishes in their "kitchen" which has nothing to do with a serious restaurant. To answer your question - nobody's head would explore if they ues grass-fed beef - it would make a lousy restaurant a little bit less lousy.

                      1. re: honkman

                        Are you kidding, how does Cheesecake Factory even get mentioned on a "foodie" link? It is so mediocre it shouldn't even be called food but then again it is called a "Factory" which I think is exactly what it is!. Stay away. Almost any smaller Chef owned place would be better than that althought I have been very dissapointed on my last visit to SD. More later

                2. Neener's back in town! Watch out, chefs! Servers! Slack, idle-brained do-nothings! I wish I could tell you that there are wonderful new places to go-- alas. The ones we'd heard were so great are at best, simply, new, and largely uneven if not downright disappointing. Pearl. Whisknladle. Starlite. Alchemy. Kitchen 1590 or whatever it is. Jayne's. . . but you can go to any of them and hit a scene which you love almost as much as the food.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pickypicky

                    Alchemy's weekend brunch is pretty good. Farmhouse Cafe is another good brunch choice.

                    1. re: new foodie

                      Think something must be up with their kitchen. I had the same problem with oversalting the last time I ate there, and the dish itself was pretty uninspired. Wonder if they're having kitchen changes and/or money problems.

                      1. Wow you guys are brutal! First off I wouldn't be caught dead at the cheescake factory. It makes me nauseous just thinking about it. I was a regular at Jayne's when they first opened. Loved that place. I'm interested in trying the Farmhouse burger. Everyone seems to rave about it. Thanks for the other options I'll check them out.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: neener41

                          Just busting your chops. :-)

                          Seriously, even if El Indio has sentimental value, you shouldn't miss Tacos El Paisa, Super Cocina, or Aqui Es Texcoco. All three are top notch.

                        2. I'd suggest Kaito Sushi over Sushi Ota anyday. Combines a Sushi program of a quality that hasn't been seen before in San Diego with an easy-going and laid-back attitude. It's a treasure for traditional Sushi diners, and an education for those who are new to or curious about authentic Edo-mae (old Tokyo style) Sushi.

                          Kaito Sushi
                          130-A N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: cgfan

                            piping in as one of the "2 or 3 people who always say Kaito," I will strongly second it over Ota!

                            Okan on Convoy has excellent homestyle Japanese food. You can eat fairly inexpensively or stuff your face and eat a lot for more $$.

                            If you're on Convoy, Crepe World just opened up. Our first go at it was a positive experience. Nicely crisped crepe with the right amount of softness to it, smothered in Nutella. Their ice cream is not premium, so it felt "light" to my palate, but it was not overly pumped full of air either. Just didn't have the density of Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry's. My ideal combo would be a crepe and yogurt from Yogurt World (in the same mini mall), if you needed dairy w/ your crepe.

                            1. re: daantaat

                              Seems that Crepe World and Yogurt World are owned by the same folks. We had crepes one afternoon then walked over to YW after and were served by the same young man in each place. I suppose you could bring the yogurt to Crepe World and not offend. :)

                              1. re: Divamac

                                Yes, they are owned by the same peoples. The 2 women behind the counter in Crepe World were wearing Yogurt World t-shirts and Yogurt World was openly promoting Crepe World. One of these days, when we haven't stuffed our faces for dinner, we'll do both!

                            2. re: cgfan

                              I enthusiastically agree with cgfan about Kaito Sushi. As a former Los Angeles Chowhound (now living in Seattle) who was steeped in the wonderful L.A..sushi scene, I had one of my all-time-best-ever sushi experiences at Kaito. I can't recommend it highly enough. I also second daantaat's recommendation of Okan. For some newer places that I haven't yet tried, but have heard some very good things about, there is Robatya Oton, under common ownership with Okan, and Shimbashi Izakaya in the Del Mar Plaza, where the chef is from Nobu.

                              1. re: Tom Armitage

                                Oton is very good, although I haven't been there enough to give it a head to head comparison w/ Okon yet. Beef tongue and grilled yellowtail collar were excellent!

                            3. I rarely see Bay Park Fish mentioned. This is a terrific fish restaurant located off of Marina Blvd in Bay Park. Everything is fresh, delicious and well prepared. A favorite is their seafood stew that's incredible. They also serve sushi on a limited basis, and it's excellent.The restaurant/market is incredibly clean and inviting. They have a great wine list as well.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: PGB

                                What do you recommend for someone on their first trip?

                                1. re: stevewag23

                                  I ment first trip to Bay Park Fish.

                                  But thank you TANMAN10.