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San Diego: looking for Greek, Mediterranean or Peruvian

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Can it be found in San Diego? If so, what are the best places to try, where are they and what would you consider the signature dishes?

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  1. For easy Peruvian, go to Latin Chef in Pacific Beach, on Garnet. Very nice authentic dishes. However, a little plain in the overall presentation. Still great, but the dishes are made very straightforward. When you need a quick and tasty Peruvian fix, this is the place to go.

    Q'Ero in Encinitas is wonderful, and takes it upscale, while still keeping a nice and intimate neighborhood "bistro" feel to the place. The owner is from a Peruvian family from Cusco, but does a modern take on many of the dishes, blending some of them with Italian and French influences. But it's all strictly Peru and South America. Lots of exquisitely prepared goodies on the menu, including yucca, saltenos, quinoa, etc. The wine selection is full of South American rarities, and they make their own Chicha Morada inhouse. The interior is beautifully decorated too. It is more expensive than Latin Chef (for good reason -> ingredients, decor, presentation), and you should go with a mindset that your meal will be at a relaxed slow-food pace. Go when you want a great meal, and want a more fine dining experience. So, not good for those looking for a quick cheap bite. Best Peruvian in San Diego by far. Although, again, for those looking for the straightforward dishes (Lomo Saltado, Tallarin Verde, Aji de Gallina), without the wine selection, environment, or top-shelf ingredients, go for Latin Chef. Nice to have both within the county for sure.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cookieshoes

      Hey cookieshoes, thanks for the recommendation. I just made a reservation for dinner at Luc's Bistro for tonght but there is still lunch and early dinner tomorrow. Do you know if either of these places serves lunch or early dinner? I still have recs from my post yesterday and the more to choose from the better. Thanks for your reply.

      1. re: dimsumgirl

        You're welcome. Latin Chef is open daily from 12pm-9pm. Q'Ero is open from 11:30am-3pm Tues-Sat and 5pm-9pm Tues-Sat, with a later closing of 10pm on Fri and Sat.

    2. For very nice authentic Greek food I recommend Appolonia in the Costa Verde center. They have a real greek salad there, ask for the Horiatiki salad.

      1. Not sure if you cast your "Mediterranean" net as far east as Lebanon, but Mama's Lebanese Bakery is worth a trip. A bit like a taco shop, but serving some of the finest quick homemade Lebanese food in SD. The Manakeesh Ultimate is superb: freshly baked flatbread with zahtar paste baked on, lightly filled with chopped olives, tomato and homemade yogurt. They also make great turnip pickles. A bit hard to find: on Alabama right below (south of) El Cajon Blvd..

        1 Reply
        1. re: SaltyRaisins

          Salty: We ended up eating at Mama's on the way to the airport. Portions were generous. We had some hummus with freshly baked pita and split a giant spinach and cheese pie. Delicious! Thanks for the rec.

        2. Cafe Athena in PB has pretty decent Greek. I'm not an expert in Greek food, but their take-out food is very tasty.

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          Cafe Athena
          1846 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

          1. On my most recent trip to SD, I had a lunch at Fairouz, 3166 Midway, and was amazed by the range and quality of the items at the buffet. Very tasty with a wide range of dishes and flavors. A vegetarian could eat extremely well and fully there and many meat dishes are offered as well. I'm surprised that this place hasn't gotten more mention on these boards. I've eaten at several other Middle Eastern/Mediterranean places in SD, but I thought Fairouz was the most interesting and a great value.

            1. Thanks all for your recommendations. We ended up with an errand that took up most of what would have been lunchtime. I have marked your recs down for a next trip to San Diego. Enjoyed visiting your city!