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San Diego visit review

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First I want to thank all C-Heads here. We had a great visit to San Diego and La Jolla. In one week we absorbed as much of the beautiful beaches, restaurants and tourist things we could do in a week. We even spent a day biking around Coronado where I proposed. But on to the good stuff...places we ate...

Point Loma Seafood
Just a point I musted have missed: Does not take credit cards. I had a halibut sandwich special. It was very good! Bread was flavorful and had enough texture but wasn't tough to eat. My girlfriend who had fish tacos had the best dish. Seasoned well and melt in your mouth smooth.

Sammy’s Wood Fired Pizza (in La Jolla)
Pretty good. Nothing out of the ordinary. I think this would be sort of a 'safe' choice for a large group.

La Jolla Farmers Market
I didn't see anything on the Chowhound boards about the Farmers' Markets. Is it just me or is there a farmers market everyday of the week? La Jolla its Sunday...on Weds its Ocean Beach etc, etc.

What a great place for breakfast! We had crepes that we custom made and cooked right in front of us. Plus we bought some organic strawberries to snack on later. Sweet!

Bahia Don Bravo
Lobster Burritos were very good. But it was a nightmare of a visit. We went Sunday night and it was packed. Barely able to find a seat to sit with kids screaming. I read reviews and no one else seems to have the same problems. I guess avoid on the weekends.

Harry’s (in La Jolla)
I think my parents would have loved this place as much as me. It seems like it is straight from the '50s but the food was spot on great. And the coffee was perfect strong but not bitter.

Island Pasta (in Coronado)
I didn't look into any Coronado restaurants and didn't have internet so we just sort of shot in the dark. Outside the said 'home made noodle' and they were. Pretty good but I think my sauce is better. Sorry, growing up with an Italian mother has made me compare all others to her sauce. Again, wasn't a bad experience but I don't know if I would go back.

Come on in Café (in La Jolla)
This was really good. I think I will be dreaming of corn meal pancakes for the next several months.

Pete’s Sausage (in Little Italy)
This is the real deal. Homemade sausage with peppers and onions served on a fresh, crusty roll. Two things to remember: its a very small restaurant (you sit at a bar and I guess Pete grills just on the other side) and bring cash. I liked the brown bag of buns sitting on the counter. You know the buns must be fresh. If I lived near by I would visit several times--every week.

The Cottage (in La Jolla)
We really liked this place for breakfast. In fact its the only place we visited twice. Service was excellent. Coffee was so good we bought a pound to take home. Where else can you Eggs Benedict with crab cakes? The regular french toast was better than the stuffed french toast.

Hodad’s
Over-hyped but decent. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger. The bacon was too thick and crunchy. The burger was so big it was almost too big to eat. It was very sloppy. I am not a fan of "the bigger the better". I saw a tip to grab a menu and go around the corner and order. Love it!

Zenbu
I was really hoping for out-of-this world experience but was sadly disappointed. Sushi was fresh but nothing out of the ordinary. I was sort of thrown off by the guy who came and sat next to me with his two girlfriends and was loudly boasting about everything and anything he could think of. Not the best environment but I am sure this was just a one time thing and I would like to give another shot.

Girard Gourmet
Just had baked goods, pastries, cookies etc and coffee for breakfast. Not much to go on but amazing just the same. I would definitely go back.

El Fandago (in old town)
This is a very tourist part of town that I would avoid at all costs but we were trying to kill time and this was in the area. Not bad seemed reasonably fresh.

Zanzibar Café
We had a late dinner just soup and salads. Service was great and we sat out on the patio and 'people watched'. Coffee was really good. I liked this place and would love to give it another shot for a full meal.

Trattoria Acqua
We wanted to go to Georgia's but I called Weds afternoon for an evening reservation but the earliest opening was 9pm. The save half of the restaurant for walk ups and when we got there at 5:30pm the wait was 1.5 hours.

I remember reading about Trattoria Acqua so we decided to give it a try. They double sat our server, the two of us with a 8-party table. So you know who got the short end of the stick. Service was awful and we almost walked out. It probably took 15-20 minutes to get the drinks we ordered.

I had a king salmon stuffed with crab meat. The salmon was really good but the crab tasted like it came from a can. The layering was weird. Everything was stacked on top of one another mashed potatoes, topped with wilted spinach, topped with the salmon. I couldn't eat one side without the other. Small problem but none the less.

The food was good enough to try again and I think the service was a fluke.

Pannikin (in La Jolla)
Went here for coffee several times. This seems to a locals' favorite and it is definately addictive. Coffee was great and the muffin we had was good. I liked the vibe.

Thank you to all the C-Heads for all the tips (food and otherwise). We had a great time and yes, Black's Beach was much better than Ocean Beach or La Jolla Shores. I know I've seen a few posts that say the San Diego restaurant scene is dead. But I have to disagree. We had several memorable meals (the Cottage, Girard Gourmet, Pete’s Sausage, Farmers Market) and overall I say the scene is better than Dallas. Dallas seems to be dominated by chains that sacrifice quality for profit.

We look forward to another visit!

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  1. Thanks for the long report and congratulations on the proposal, although you don't say if she said yes...

    1. Inconsistent service at Trattoria Acqua is consistent. For about every three trips you take there, one leaves your irritated with the service.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RB Hound

        I am so sad to hear about Acqua. I remember when Mike Mcgeath ran Fio's (sigh) downtown. He had such high standards, and I know those standards carries over to Acqua when they opened; time has aged this house badly.

      2. "Trattoria Acqua . Service was awful and we almost walked out."

        I can't even count how many times I have heard that from people.

        "I didn't see anything on the Chowhound boards about the Farmers' Markets."

        There is a pretty big thread on Little Italys farmers market. Maybe even two.

        Check that one out next time. Its on sat.

        1. "We look forward to another visit!" -- so she said yes.

          And the thing about the farmers markets was I read alot of posts with out-of-towners looking for ideas unique to San Diego and didn't see anything about them. I just think the local Chowheads take it for granted how great they are. It would help to make those a suggestion.

          Thanks again guys (and gals)!