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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?

Any new sugguestions for San Diego?

neener41 Aug 24, 2009 12:25 PM

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!

  1. honkman Aug 24, 2009 12:33 PM

    Why El Indio ?

    1. c
      Cathy Aug 24, 2009 12:37 PM


      1. Josh Aug 24, 2009 12:48 PM

        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: Josh
          stevewag23 Aug 24, 2009 01:07 PM

          Thoughts on El Comal?

          1. re: stevewag23
            Josh Aug 24, 2009 03:00 PM

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

        2. w
          woodandfine Aug 25, 2009 09:40 AM

          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. n
            neener41 Aug 25, 2009 09:09 PM

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

            9 Replies
            1. re: neener41
              Josh Aug 26, 2009 07:10 AM

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


              1. re: Josh
                RB Hound Aug 26, 2009 12:28 PM

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

                1. re: RB Hound
                  Josh Aug 26, 2009 12:38 PM

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

                  1. re: Josh
                    DougOLis Aug 26, 2009 04:37 PM

                    Did you read this post from Michael Ruhlman? http://blog.ruhlman.com/ruhlmancom/20...

                    1. re: DougOLis
                      honkman Aug 26, 2009 05:19 PM

                      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
                        Dagney Sep 2, 2009 09:50 PM

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

                      2. re: DougOLis
                        Josh Aug 26, 2009 08:52 PM

                        Interesting read.

                    2. re: RB Hound
                      honkman Aug 26, 2009 12:40 PM

                      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
                        Joe Colombo Sep 14, 2009 01:29 AM

                        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. p
                  pickypicky Aug 26, 2009 06:30 AM

                  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
                    Josh Aug 26, 2009 07:10 AM

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

                    1. re: new foodie
                      Josh Sep 12, 2009 01:53 PM

                      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.

                    2. s
                      stevewag23 Aug 26, 2009 09:17 AM


                      A bunch of new changes.

                      1. n
                        neener41 Aug 26, 2009 08:58 PM

                        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
                          Josh Aug 26, 2009 10:41 PM

                          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. cgfan Aug 26, 2009 09:34 PM

                          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
                            daantaat Aug 27, 2009 08:32 PM

                            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
                              Divamac Sep 12, 2009 03:19 PM

                              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
                                daantaat Sep 12, 2009 03:29 PM

                                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
                              Tom Armitage Sep 2, 2009 03:11 PM

                              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
                                daantaat Sep 2, 2009 10:07 PM

                                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. p
                              PGB Aug 27, 2009 09:12 PM

                              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
                                stevewag23 Aug 27, 2009 09:17 PM

                                What do you recommend for someone on their first trip?

                                1. re: stevewag23
                                  stevewag23 Aug 28, 2009 12:32 PM

                                  I ment first trip to Bay Park Fish.

                                  But thank you TANMAN10.

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