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San Diego / West Coast for a first timer w/ a vegetarian

Last minute and unexpected trip to San Diego and the West Coast for the first time. Would love some recommendations for typical Mexican / Californian style cooking that we don't see so much on the East Coast. One in the party is vegetarian so that's a consideration. Would also appreciate any recommendation for an unusual San Diego moderately priced gem (no more than $100 for two without tip) I don't think we'll have the time do a real high-end restaurant on this trip. Thanks looking forward to your ideas.

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  1. Jyoti Bihanga on Adams Avenue (around 3300 block) is good vegetarian. Also, try Spread near 2800 University Avenue.

    1. Rancho's Cocina has Mexican food w/ many vegetarian options.

      1. Thanks for the recommendations. I will check them out. I should make it clear that I'm not looking for a vegetarian restaurant. Just a place were a vegetarian would have something to eat as well.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kelly001

          You might take a look at the Linkery which always has some good vegetarian option and at the same time has at least for San Diego a very unique concept (locally sourced, sustainble, most food done in-house from scratch etc.)

          1. re: kelly001

            Rancho's isn't vegetarian. They simply offer more vegetarian options than most Mexican places. Another good spot near there is El Comal. They have really good Mexican food, better than Ranchos, with some vegetarian items.

          2. If starlite lounge still has the corn cakes with black beans that I had on saturday I'd recommend going there, they were totally delicious and veggie! They also do a great burger or steak and outstanding cocktails.

            Even if their menu has changed, they always have at least one really interesting veggie dish.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jennywenny

              I really like Starlite for their cocktails but we found their food to be very inconsistent. For example the grilled octopus appetizer is really good whereas the chacuterie plate was very diappointing. For the entrees we had the burger (average), Jidori chicken (very dry), halibut with coucous (good), braised beef special (very tough, my wife was very disappointed). Overall I think Starlite is a great place for some cocktails but about the food we have more mixed feelings.

              1. re: honkman

                Thats interesting, we always get the charcuterie and the boys like it (I dont eat meat) and the mixed fry, and the boys always get a burger and a steak. I get whatevers new, and I've definitely had some dishes better than others but mostly really great. Each to their own!

                1. re: honkman

                  Don't discount that Starlite serves till 12.

                  A godsend in san diego.

                  1. re: stevewag23

                    Alchemy is also a good options for late(r) dining. Overall I like the food at Alchemy more than at Starlite (even though the sirloin florentine I had last time was the first big disappointment at Alchemy - tough, medium, instead of medium-rare, hardly any vegetables, some kind of starch component was missing and the service was unusual rushed - entrees came when we were still eating our appetizers).

              2. VegNOut on 30th in North Park is great vegan/vegetarian. It's not fast but totally worth it. The Sweet Potato rounds and tempura veggies are both excellent and big enough to share.
                Even non-vegs will like it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: beth1

                  Thanks for the recommendation though I'm really not looking for a vegan or vegetarian restaurant.

                  1. re: kelly001

                    Alchemy has a $25 vegetarian tasting menu, 3 courses every Wed. in addition to regular menu. Has seem to become very popular