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SD: Mission Valley for Sunday early dinner?

Hi SD hounds! Congratulations on getting your own board (finally!)

We're headed from OC down to your fair city for a concert in Mission Valley (near the 8 and Qualcomm Way) on Sunday and are looking for a place to have an early dinner. The concert's at 7 and there's likely to be a scrum for seats. We'd like to sit and have an early dinner, which I know can be really difficult. The concert is going to go long and I have to work in Burbank on Monday at 0800 hours, so slipping dinner to the back side of the concert is not really an option.

Any kind of food—I am a huge aficionado of ethnic holes-in-the-wall and haunt Little Saigon looking for things like blood cubes and sea snails—but it would be best if entrees were sub-$20 since we're not terribly wealthy. Great Mexican would be awesome too (while we have some real gems, the Mexican food situation in OC is shocking compared to the Mexican population in OC).

I don't know anything about SD geography or traffic patterns (despite only living an hour and a quarter away) so I'm a little bit stymied by the posts on the board.

Thanks in advance, and let me know on the LA board if you ever need rescuing from the dismal food on Harbor Blvd. in Anaheim!

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  1. WHAT??? What chu talkin about Willis..SD has their own board? Where?

    Sab-E-Lee in Linda Vista

    Super Cocina gets tons of love on this board along with Mama Testas too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      Here's the link to the Site Talk post about it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/682188

      They're doing a massive board revamp and are splitting out SD into its own board, like LA and SF. The California board can be taken over by people desperate for food in Sacramento. :)

    2. Not many great gems in Mission Valley itself, but just on the other side of the valley there are a lot of good options:
      Ba Ren in Clairemont (Szechuan)
      Sab-E-Lee in Linda Vista (Thai)
      Super Cocina in City Heights (Mexican)
      Okan in Clairemont Mesa (Japanese)

      2 Replies
      1. re: DougOLis

        I'm willing to drive a bit, as long as we can eat and get to the concert on time. We're coming from the north (obviously) so anyplace on the way or sort of on the way (it looks like the concert is in the middle of a bunch of freeways, the 5, 805, 163). We're meeting people who live near-ish the butt end of Miramar (the 52 and 805) so along there might be OK too, though we'd have to eat earlier.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          DU, check out the thread on the South Indian (Copper Chimney) food truck. It's located on the other end of Miramar Rd from the 805. Sounds like it might be right up your alley, tho' it's pretty informal (i.e. not a sit-down place). You'd have good access to the I-15 and 163 from there. It'd be a straight shot down either freeway to Mission Valley and would take you less than 10 mintues (15 if you don't have a lead foot).

        1. re: normalheightsfoodie

          At the Methodist Church off the 8 and Qualcomm Rd / Texas Rd. I don't have the name of it on me but that's where it is.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            There is not much to suit the specifics of your request in the location of your event, but my family enjoys Oggi's and Bully's.

            Oggi's is known for their beer selection. They brew most of it on site and they have salads, pizza and sandwiches and sports on TV's. They also have coupons on their website.

            Bully's is a steak house with a great bar. I believe they have one of the best burgers, it is served on a french roll, in San DIego. It comes with a soup or a salad and a choice of potato. Both are very close to the Church.

            Enjoy your concert, and let us know what you choose.

            1. re: normalheightsfoodie

              Normalheights - I seem to recall the Oggi's in the Mission Valley is closed.

              Sab-E-Lee is probably the closest best place for the OP.

              King's Fishouse also works in a pinch.

              1. re: Ewilensky

                Oggi's was alive and well when I visited the Fenton Marketplace last weekend. Are you thinking of Trophy's, Ewilensky?

                1. re: Ewilensky

                  Oggi's in MV is still open but the Little Fish Market is gone, replaced by a mediocre Mexican restaurant.

                  1. re: phee

                    Hmm. My father mentioned in passing Oggies has closed down last weekend but I have not seen it for myself . Been avoiding that Lowe's run as much as possible...

                      1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                        I think that Ewilensky's dad (or whoever passed that information on to him) was thinking of Trophy's - sports bar confusion.

                2. re: normalheightsfoodie

                  Oh, really second the rec for Bully's. You could walk to the church from the restaurant. Good spot for happy hour and prime rib. They also have a "low bar" in the bar where they will serve their full menu. Great place to grab a seat when there is a long wait for a table. Their bar tenders pour a good drink too.

            2. Second Super Cocina. While SC won't offer much in the way of ambiance, it would certainly fit your requirement for really great Mexican at a good price.

              Just up the hill from Mission Valley are two good possibilities: El Comal (http://www.elcomalsd.com) and Cantina Mayahuel (http://www.cantinamayahuel.com).

              1. I really think Sab E Lee or the Copper Chimney are the best suggestions given that they are extremely authentic ethnic and are less expensive then some other choices. They are a bit more difficult to locate but well worth the effort.

                1. I'd probably opt for El Comal in North Park. The price is where you want it, you can sit and have dinner with table service, and the food is quite good (the goat is really tasty). It's also pretty close to your concert venue, really just up the hill.

                  I wasn't blown away by Copper Chimney, and it's a truck so you're standing on the sidewalk to eat.

                  Sab E Lee and Ba Ren are great, but they seem pretty out of the way of where you're going. I know how it is when you want to go to a show, and I usually will find something very close to the venue as I hate to miss anything.

                  Another possible option could be the new location of El Zarape on Adams Ave. That's even closer to the church than El Comal, and probably cheaper.

                  Here's the route from El Comal:

                  And from El Zarape:

                  1. Hey Amigo - I think Super Cocina would be your best bet for your SD trip. Best!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kare_raisu

                      Yo, Das!

                      FWIW, the Mariscos German Taco Truck is located across the street about 2 blocks west of Super Cocina on the corner of University & 35th (Market Plaza LIquor parking lot). They're open daily until 7:00 pm, I believe.

                      Mariscos German Taco Truck
                      3504 University Ave
                      (between 35th St & Wilson Ave)
                      San Diego, CA 92104
                      (619) 392-2351

                      I thoroughly enjoyed some marlin and some shrimp (gobernadores) tacos there last year at kare raisu's recommendation.

                      Thanks much, kare raisu!

                      You might also want to check out Mama Testa's, a bit further west on University. Heard and read great things; haven't been yet.

                      Mama Testa
                      1417A University Ave
                      San Diego, CA 92103
                      (619) 298-8226

                      Das, have a safe trip & enjoy your concert & all.

                    2. We have our own board? Excellent!

                      El Borrego on El Cajon Boulevard has excellent Mexican food, and the service is friendly and efficient. They are located about 1/2 block of 43rd Street.

                      1. Hi all,

                        I had actually thought about Aqui es Texcoco but the friends we were visiting moved from Chula Vista to Clairemont Mesa, so that a bit far. We ended up at Super Cocina, which was fantastic—I will write it up later when I have more time.

                        Thanks for the help!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          Definitely hard to go wrong there :-). Thanks for reporting back.