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recs for La Jolla

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Hi folks,

I'll be in La Jolla this upcoming weekend (Feb 5-7) and am staying at the Grande Colonial. What's good in the area? I'll have a car, but am looking for great seafood, authentic Mexican, fish tacos, and I'm a huge fan of both Stone and Port breweries. What do you guys who know the area recommend since I've never been there?

Thanks!

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  1. The restaurant in the Grand Colonial, Cafe 910, has an excellent beer list. The manager used to own Wit's End and has put together a great list, though it's not necessarily oriented around local beer. La Jolla is one of the weaker neighborhoods in San Diego for local craft beer. Karl Strauss and La Jolla Brewhouse are there, but that's about it for beer.

    I'd also say for authentic Mexican, you're pretty much out of luck.

    Seafood-wise, if you like a good hole-in-the-wall, don't miss El Pescador on Pearl St. It's a fish market, but they also sell sandwiches made with the fresh fish. Awesome stuff. Another good seafood item is at George's on Prospect. They make good fish tacos and fish sandwiches, and have a killer view.

    1. If you are in the mood for fine dining, Tapenade would be a top choice.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dagney

        Lot's of recent posts on La Jolla dining, for craft beers you might have to venture to the Tap Room just south in PB, lots of Taps mostly SD. There is a Mariscos joint on La Jolla Blvd, Costa a Costa that has decent authentic Mexican seafood, (service is friendly, but horrible, bring your patience hat). Not a better option than El Pescador. The Fishery in PB, is probably your best bet for seafood in the area if your looking for a sit down dinner.

        PB = Pacific Beach

        1. re: stevuchan

          The "mariscos joint" on La Jolla Blvd. has closed its doors.

          1. re: foodiechick

            Thanks for the update.

      2. 2nd El Pescador & George's

        I'd also recommend leaving La Jolla for your beer and Mexican fixes. Are you willing to travel a bit?

        8 Replies
        1. re: DougOLis

          WE had a nice lunch at El Pescador and Georges. Also for dinner my husband had one of his favorite meals on holidays at Alfonso's.. The owner even emailed us his family recipe for the veracruz sauce fish.

          1. re: DougOLis

            Sure - I'll have a car. Where do you recommend?

            1. re: jimwillis

              I've passed-up this thread since I assumed you didn't have a car, but if you do and if your search for seafood includes traditional Sushi, than one can do no better in our county than Kaito Sushi in Encinitas, about a 20 minute drive north.

              Encinitas is also home to Bety's Tacos, a small and lovingly run full-service restaurant that cooks from traditional home recipes. A tad bit closer by perhaps 5 minutes is Rudy's in Solana Beach, which has the most incredible Carne Asada that I've yet to find in the county.

              About an equivalent drive south you begin to have access to two of our board's most respected spots for Mexican, which is Super Cocina and the Mariscos German taco truck, both of which are mere blocks from each other.

              Oh, and for spendy seafood and to-die-for crabcakes is Oceanaire in the Gaslamp Quarter, about 25 minutes worth from where you are. It's worth going for the crabcakes alone, and they also have the best stocked oyster bar in town.

              1. re: cgfan

                Man and I seriously mean this with the most total resect as I think You are one of most well informed posters on this site, but you can work Kaito into a post about Duck LOL. Buy the way I am in no doubt about the true great purity and perfection of Kaito. I am in the unfortunate situation that A my Girl friend has an extreme ..and I mean extreme sensitivity to Horseradish and B my other friends are the kind who fill the little bowl with soy sauce and wasabi and ginger and stir it all around like a premortial ooze(sp) So out of respects for chefs like the one at Kaito I have to go alone or to lesser places. That being said I truelyy love your championing of Kaito as it well deserves. I af taken it on to support my favorite SD palces we are lucky to have Cowboy star and Kings Fish House (which I know is a chain) but they get no love next to the Oceanaire (also a chain)

                1. re: chris2269

                  Thanks chris! One thing that I don't often mention though, is that as good a traditional Sushi program that Kaito has they are one of the most easy going and care-free bars around. In fact I recommend it for roll eaters who want a no-pressure way of exploring or transitioning into traditional Sushi. (On exilekiss' food blog head Itamae Morita-san was referred to as the "Easygoing Anti - Sushi_Nazi"...)

                  I say this because the prevailing attitude at Kaito is that they don't expect their customers to be the experts. Of course! That makes so much sense! As their customers will be the first to tell you, they never seem to take themselves too seriously.

                  The chefs will want to know about your food preferences, what you like and what you don't like and what you can't have, and even know what you are drinking. You will get a customized meal that fits you. And it's OK to order rolls; they will make them. But at the same time if the customer is willing, they will guide you slowly into a direction that both respects your individual tastes while also steering it into a more traditional Sushi program. However this is not mandatory, and several of their regulars, though admittedly not that many, continue to order nothing but rolls. It's all OK. The best I can explain the environment is that if anything it is one of teaching and guidance.

                  Now I know you didn't mention rolls at all in your post, but I just mentioned this as their accommodating approach extends to all aspects of the meal. A horseradish sensitivity they can and have dealt with before. I've seen a regular with a soy sensitivity, and that hasn't been a problem. I've seen customers who've requested an all vegetarian meal. None of these are a reason not to go, and in fact you will love how they take these requests: as the true culinary challenge that they are. How can I give this customer a great experience and still stay within these boundaries?

                  However it does take a bit more "mindshare" out of the chef, so you might want to give them a bit more time as they work out the problem. You see even for a chef who's used to serving Omakase to almost all of his regular customers, each customer's meals requires much thought.

                  So yeah if they want to make a Wasabi mud pie out of their Kozara, they've seen that too. I certainly wouldn't take it out of consideration for a meal out with your friends; they should feel comfortable and more than that, I'll bet that they'll all have a good time. (The atmosphere at Kaito is as close to Cheers as I've seen any Sushi bar, where customer to customer conversations are always taking place.)

                  I'd say that the best part about Kaito's modus operandi is that almost all who go there seem to leave with a bit more Sushi IQ than when they had arrived. I see it all the time! And if you really want a boost to your Sushi education just sit in front of Morita-san and ask. One will quickly discover that he has nearly an ocean-biologist's knowledge of the sea, their inhabitants, and their habits!

                  1. re: cgfan

                    Thats good to know. I need to go back myself for sure I'm totally the "I'm in your hands kinda person" and did enjoy my last visit. Maybe I should start with my little sister shes pretty open minded. Still does the Wasabi mud pie thing though LOL. Again totaly enjoy your posts and your dedication to Kaito.

                    1. re: cgfan

                      We just went to Kaito again last week and I definitely agree with cgfan's sentiments about the attitudes there. As I said to the other diners we were with, even if the food wasn't incredible, I would go there because it is the friendliest restaurant I have ever been to. As it happens, the food is incredible as well!

                      They will not have a problem accommodating a diner who cannot/will not eat wasabi.

                2. re: jimwillis

                  Beer:
                  O'Briens Pub (Clairemont Mesa, 7 miles)
                  Toronado (North Park, 14 miles)
                  Hamilton's Tavern (South Park, 15 miles)
                  Small Bar (University Heights, 14 miles)
                  Blind Lady Alehouse (Normal Heights, 14 miles)
                  Pizza Port Solana Beach (Solana Beach, 15 miles)

                  Mexican:
                  Bull Taco (Cardiff, 20 miles)
                  Super Cocina (City Heights, 15 miles)
                  Mariscos German (City Heights, 16 miles)
                  Aqui es Texcoco (Chula Vista, 23 miles)
                  Tacos el Paisa (Logan Heights, 15 miles)

              2. Nine-Ten is excellent at the Grande Colonial..
                Happy Hour at the Crab Catcher is pretty good..they have a delicious crab bisque and great mussels. with $5 martini's.
                El Pescador for killer sea bass/grouper sandwiches for lunch.
                Mex, I love Don Bravo Bahia's in Bird Rock for one of the best lobster burritos and they have some decent $1 fish tacos.
                George's at the Cove on the terrace has some good fish tacos..great place to catch the sunset.
                Alfonso's on Prospect is great people watching..good for a large nachos and drink a bunch of marg's or cold beers..

                1. I don't see a point of driving north for Kaito when Toshi San is right down the street. You'll get the same quality "authetic" Japanese food. Toshi was the Chef who started Sushi Ota with Ota San. This is no way a bash on Kaito, but there really is no point in making the drive when you can get the same high quality fish, or classic preparations, ect in town. Authetic Mexican will be a tough find in LJ.

                  LJ Brewhouse is good for a beer stop. You'll find the usual suspects there and it happens to be down a half block from Toshi's. I also recommend both 9/10 and WisknLadle. Not necessarily on your wish list but they will have solid seafood and good drinks. WisknLadle has some solid local beers on tap. Last time they had Lightning Brewery and I believe Airdale.

                  25 Replies
                  1. re: mjill

                    But that is the point. Kaito Sushi is in a different league, albeit a very small one, that it shares with Sushi Dokoro Shirahama. Ask me for a Sushi bar recommendation, and those are the only ones that I will utter. Though I haven't yet gone to Kaga Sushi (until very recently I haven't known anyone who could introduce me there), my hopes are not high that my list will grow to three when I do.

                    For those that care, listen to those who can tell the difference, and not to the ones that can't.

                    I must admit it's a common syndrome, and it's very very difficult to be heard above the clamor when one happens to see the world a bit differently. (But when you're passionate about a certain area, it's like haveing a magnifying glass...) It happens to be the same in another one of my pet passions, and that is with coffee. There are coffee shops everywhere, but ask me for a recommendation and I will only speak of one (Zumbar coffee), though sometimes a second, but each with a list of qualified reservations.

                    mjill, I am quite certain that you have areas that you are more keenly aware of than the average person on these boards, and more than likely you will find differences where I will find none. That is what is happening on this subject of Sushi.

                    1. re: cgfan

                      Thanks a bunch, guys!

                      1. re: cgfan

                        If there are two things I know cgfan, and know extremely well, it's Sushi as well as top quality seafood purveyors. Kaito is good, not knocking one bit, it but for someone from out of town to navagate up there when there imo is a place down the street essentially that serves A+ quality fish, not rolls mind you but true Sushi or Nigiri that is made directly by the owner to order it makes more sense to go with that choice. In this instance it's happens to be a much more convient choice to boot. I would say try Toshi San yourself if you haven't already and make a judgement call at that point.

                        1. re: mjill

                          Kaito serves rolls. And lots of them. I've seen many people order rolls and Morita-san and Joe are happy to make them. And they're better than the usual rolls you get elsewhere b/c of the quality of fish AND the more nuanced hand that Morita uses in his "cooking."

                          1. re: daantaat

                            Rolls aren't bad Daantaat, if you're into the Americanized version of Japanese cuisine. Think of rolls as the gateway drug to something better and more refined. I prefer to eat the real deal myself but I'm for sure not mainstream. I would say though with authority that if a place is selling more rolls than the real deal, it's tough to believe they are contenders as true hardcore Sushi joints.

                            1. re: mjill

                              I think it's a bit unfair to characterize rolls as "Americanized" categorically. Rolls are eaten in Japan, and there are some very surprising recipes for rolls in Japanese cookbooks. What Japanese rolls aren't is filled with cream cheese, fried what-have-yous, and 10 kinds of fish and BBQ sauce. But a well-made roll with nothing but toro, or toro + uni, or pickled daikon, is a delicious treat.

                              1. re: Josh

                                I agree regarding chream cheese, bbq sauce, ect. This is pretty much what you see here or every other place. I'd call that pretty Americanized. Where I disagree is the preparation you mention is pretty much never found in Japan at "traditional" places. Maybe western influenced places but you'd be scoffed at in a traditional place if you ordered something like that. This I know because I've been there.

                                1. re: mjill

                                  No disrespect intended, especially since I have not been to Japan, but what I have read about sushi's history contradicts what you're telling me. Rolled sushi is clearly Japanese in origin, and I think it sounds somewhat preposterous that an ingredient like pickled daikon radish is in any sense "Westernized".

                                  I've eaten at a number of traditional Japanese sushi places (judging by your test, at any rate (Japanese businessmen and other Japanese people as customers)), and I've seen people eating simple rolled sushi like tuna, cucumber, or futomaki.

                                  Food for thought
                                  http://shizuokasushi.wordpress.com/su...

                                  1. re: Josh

                                    It actually orginiated in the Harbors of Hong Kong as food for Gamblers. Nori naturally grows in the harbors there. It's not traditional though, which is what the cuisine is all about. It's certainly not what I deem Sushi to be when you put cheeses in it, fry it or toss on a couple Jalapenos. You can look it up on Wikipedia for a brief summary.

                                    Rolls aren't traditional. It might be mainstream now and enjoyed by a lot of people but it isn't part of the original cuisine and certainly is frowned on in a traditional establishment. It's like saying pizza as we know it is what pizza is and always has been. Sushi literally means dressed rice, not dressed roll. Nobody said from what I've seen that picked Daikon is a western influenced ingredient. But you take that with some fish, wrap some rice around it and some Nori around that, and you've got a version of Sushi that is meant to be appealing to a broader group of people, ie. foreigners or westerners whoever you want to see it. The whole point of preps like Sushi or Nigiri is to appreciate the taste of the fish, not to muck it up with extra ingredients.

                                    1. re: mjill

                                      I'm not finding any citations of makizushi being of Hong Kong origin. From what I'm seeing, it became popular around the same time as nigiri in the Edo period, when the move away from fermented rice was happening.

                                      Do you have a reference I can look at?

                                      Also - the pickled daikon sushi I was referring to didn't include fish. It was rice, radish, and nori.

                                      1. re: mjill

                                        Sushi does not mean dressed rice, but vinegared rice. The emphasis on Nigiri Sushi (more so here than in Japan but it applies there as well) tends to blur the semantics such that when unmodified it usually is taken to refer to Nigiri Sushi, however in reality it refers to a whole class of dishes incorporating vinegared rice, most of which have nothing to do with the use of seafood.

                                        In fact for me the most nostalgic forms of Sushi for me is without a doubt Inari-Zushi and Chirashi-Zushi (w/o any fish). Nigiri Sushi doesn't have that same resonance with me that these more humbler forms of Sushi do.

                                        As to Nori being used to appeal to a broader group cannot be more incorrect. In fact very early in the history of Makizushi in the U.S. the inside-out roll was invented by the folks at L.A.'s Tokyo Kaikan in order to hide the laver from view. I still often hear from Western diners that are new to Sushi that they are afraid of the "seaweed", no doubt recalling images of flies buzzing around kelp washed-ashore after a storm. (Which, BTW, has nothing to do with Nori.)

                                        One of my most favorite rolls is a Kappa-maki, which is simply jullienned Kyuuri (Japanese cucumber) wrapped in a Hosomaki (narrow roll). I often like to close even my Omakase meals with a Kappa-maki. And BTW another traditional Hosomaki is the Kampyo-maki (marinated dried Japanese gourd), which unlike most rolls is cut into 4 pieces vs. the standard 6 pieces of other traditional rolls. (Extra bonus points: do you know why? Hint: I posted this answer elsewhere on these boards. [Morita-san once served me two Kampyo-maki, one served with a 4-cut and the other served with a 6-cut, and asked me to decide which one I like better and why. They were night and day different.])

                                        And traditional rolls are not limited to Hosomaki, the obvious one being the Futomaki, or literally "fat roll".

                                        ...and about "extra ingredients". Traditional Nigiri Sushi made use of many marinades, sauces, salts and acids, both to amplify the flavor but also as a means of preservation and pickling. A traditionally trained Sushi chef trained in Edo-Mae Sushi knows all about these "extra ingredients", as well as how and when to properly employ them. Without these techniques much of what was served in old Edo simply would not have been possible given the primitive state of refrigeration at the time.

                                2. re: mjill

                                  I have eaten my share of rolls over the years, Americanized and not.

                                  Keep in mind that this board was set up for those who are into the "real deal" and therefore, recommendations will tend to fall in that category. So whether the OP wants to drive up to Encinitas or not for Kaito, that is up to them. They get to decide how far they're willing to drive for (good) food.

                              2. re: mjill

                                There are far too many Susi bars out there for anyone to do a 100% survey, but honestly it's not necessary. Like an "American Idol" of Sushi bar tryouts, most are not even worth considering. It's the same when evaluating cafes for their espressos. Most of the cafes that I pass up on fails just the most cursory of visual tests.

                                For a metropolitan area of our size and culture, to have two Sushi bars at the level of Kaito and Shirahama is already well surpassing the odds. We'd be lucky to even have one of them, as most metropolitan areas will not have any.

                                Again the same goes with espresso bars. Most metropolitan areas will not have a single espresso bar worth going to, and in San Diego I can name only one (with reservations), still we're very lucky to even have that.

                                As to Toshi-San I checked it off my list a long time ago. I personally know two Sushi chefs that have worked there so I know something about what they serve. But honestly I didn't need those sources as a quick look at their website already gives me more than enough reason to know that we are not dealing with a Sushi bar at Kaito's or Shirahama's calibre.

                                mjill: Just curious, which Sushi bars in San Diego County would you place in your private pantheon of traditional Sushi?

                                1. re: cgfan

                                  Ota, Hane, Toshi and I do like Kaito too. I also like the Am Idol analogy. However, a place known for rolls... bah. I don't believe Kaito is known for that either. But anywho, this is after all a LJ local thread which is why I keep bringing up Toshi San - the best Sushi in LJ.

                                  1. re: mjill

                                    San Diego tryouts:

                                    Randy: "Ota Ota Ota, you're back again; weren't you here last season? Dawg, sorry but you're just not what we're looking for man; you're just not good enough. Maybe for a cabaret or small club. And dude, what's with those huge Bozo-shoe Nigiri?"

                                    "Toshi Dawg, nah, nah, that's what you call Ama Ebi? How could you?"

                                    Simon: "Kaito and Shirahama, you guys have some real chops. You're going to Hollywood! "

                                    (off camera) "Finally the real deal! Did you see how they filleted the Anago?"
                                    "...and how the others just popped a plastic bag?"

                                    :-)

                                    1. re: cgfan

                                      While a funny rendition, I'll have to go with the Japanese speaking business crowd on this one, in addition to the great taste. Natto is a close 3rd.

                                      You did forget the Kara cretique which would love all of the above. Just an FYI.

                                      1. re: mjill

                                        My advice would be to decide the best simply go with your palate. Yes, I use various indicators to help me whittle down the Sushi bars I will try, but use those loosely less you risk skipping a gem.

                                        But once you've gone in and tasted someone's Sushi throw all of what you used as indicators out as they no longer matter. However they might be interesting tools to help reason why A is better than B, but still cannot be used to overrule your palate and convince you that A is the same as B even though you may not have tasted it that way. (However there are things that the diner can do that can defitely affect their taste experience in both good ways and bad...)

                                        (e.g.: Morita-san serves me two Maguro Nigiri, cut from the same loin from adjacent cuts. He uses the Shari from the same warmer. Same Wasabi and amount. For all practical purposes identical ingredients.

                                        He then forms each Sushi himself. ...and then he asks me which one is better. They are night and day different, and when I tell him which one I preferred and why, he tells me that he used different techniques on each. One was done with his own technique, and the other by mimicking that of a novice.)

                                        I see a lot of that going on in these boards. A uses the same source as B therefore... Or A has all the Japanese customers so therefore... Rubbish. Again this information is good for pre-selection when used lightly, but once you've visited taste is all that matters.

                                        And if you feel that Kaito tastes roughly the same as Toshi and Hane and Ota, then that's your truth. I claim no absolute truth but vehemently defend my own when I say that Kaito is in a different class than the other Sushi bars that you mention.

                                        Interesting exercise:

                                        * order Ikura at both bars - though at Kaito you'll have to wait for the 1/2-week period when it's available
                                        * order Ama Ebi at both bars - though at Kaito you'll have to wait for the 6 weeks period or so when it's available, and you'll get the "real" Ama Ebi
                                        * order Anago at both bars - though at Kaito you'll only find it, though somewhat broad, when it's in season
                                        * order Saba at both bars - though at Kaito you'll only find it, though broad, when it's in season
                                        * order Tako at both bars

                                        (...and if you believe you don't like some of these there are good reasons that has nothing to do with what the fish should feel or should taste like if you haven't been to Kaito.)

                                        1. re: cgfan

                                          I strongly disagree with your Japanese customer comment. If you go where the locals eat, you'll get the authentic food. In this case go where the Japanese nationals eat and you'll get the real deal since they are looking for their home comforts. It's a great indicator that seldom fails me. No rocket science needed on this one and no way you'll convince me otherwise. I do agree about what you said regarding palette and no two are alike.

                                          Sushi is all about technique. On the surface because the preparations are minimal any issues with product quality and knife skills are glaring. Cut the fish too thick and it's going to taste different. Leave it on your warm finger when rolling a rice bed, tastes different. No arguement on this one.

                                          It doesn't take too much arm twisting for me to taste test some of the above recs. I do like your exercise idea. However, go to Hane, Ota or Toshi's and you'll have to wait for the season on all those items too. Toshi might have Ama Ebi out of season using a type of Prawn, which is obviously different from a Shrimp but that deosn't bother me because he'll tell you up front what you're getting.

                                          For a point of reference btw, I haven't come across anything in Japanese cuisine I'm shy of. If it's got it's back to the sky, it's free game pretty much imo.

                                          1. re: mjill

                                            I think your belief that Japanese customers necessarily indicates quality Japanese food is misguided, at best.

                                            That's like saying if you see white people eating at an American restaurant it must be good. I can think of numerous examples to prove the wrongheadedness of that assumption.

                                            1. re: Josh

                                              You missed the point. Way off. If say you go to a Sushi place that has a lot of native Japanese on a regular basis, it's a solid indicator that it's probably close to what they get at home. Or as close as it gets. This hold true at say an Indian place, Thai, Mexican, you name it. Does this mean it's cutting edge? No but it does say clearly that it's fairly authentic.

                                              1. re: mjill

                                                I guess I'm seeing a difference between authentic and good, because the two aren't necessarily the same. To put it another way, I think you could have an authentically prepared <fill in the blank> in terms of attempted technique, correct kinds of ingredients, that's still not well-executed or successful - and you can also have something that's inauthentic in its preparation, but emulates enough of the real thing to satisfy someone looking for a close approximation.

                                                To return to my example of American restaurants, let's look at a place like Phil's BBQ. Anyone who's spent time in Texas, or another BBQ mecca, knows that Phil's isn't remotely authentic. Yet people still line up to eat there, and love it. Now if you're someone who doesn't know BBQ intimately, you might conclude that since there's a huge line, and lots of Americans eating there, it must be good.

                                                Why does it have the air of authenticity? I'd say the use of mesquite to give a hint of smokiness, and burned sauce to add to the smoky flavor. It might fool a novice, but if you eat Phil's cooked without the sauce, the game is up. There's no deep smokiness permeating the meat, no smoke ring, etc.

                                                If you're someone who grew up in Texas, and you really miss BBQ, Phil's might satisfy your craving - ersatz BBQ is better than no BBQ. But you'd never say that it's the legitimate authentic BBQ experience.

                                                1. re: mjill

                                                  mjill, for arguments sake let's assume I am Japanese, and say that I just happened to drop into a Japanese eatery to eat something. Short of you knowing exactly why I went there that day and what I think about their food at that time, which I assure you you will not, I certainly would not want some observer recording my presence there as a vote towards a silly poll only so they can post the results on Chowhound as their choice for best Japanese whatever, or even as an implicit vote that I think that their food is even good or authentic.

                                                  In fact I wouldn't even want one to assume that because I am, at least in this hypothetical, Japanese, that that means I have any expertise in Japanese food. How can you tell just by ethnicity alone, or more specifically my apparent ethnicity, to you? (And to further complicate things are you confident that you can tell the Japanese apart from other Asians, or if, say, the place were to be favored only by those coming from a specific region of Japan where taste preferences are different?)

                                                  But independent of presumed ethnicity you will have no idea in the hypothetical whether or not I'm a gourmand or fast-food junkie, a super-taster or dull taster, select restaurants constrained by budget or not, there because I happen to be nearby and I don't know where to go in the area, there because a friend selected it, there because of portion size, there because of a food review, there because a Japanese restaurant guide recommended it, there because I like only one specific item on their menu but nothing else, or yes, there because I think that they have the very best Japanese food in the block, (or the street, or the neighborhood, or the region, or the city, or the county, or..., I think you know what I'm trying to say...).

                                                  And I think it safe to assume the same with everyone else you see in the dining room, other than those whom you personally happen to know, and even there you will now necessarily know why.

                                                  In the end it's all silly because none of this matters. It's a poor way of selecting what you are perfectly equipped to already do, which is to pick the restaurants that you think are best. We may not agree, but that's just the nature of it. And your best may or may not match with the arbiters of good taste, however one determines that as a community of Foodies.

                                                  And certainly regarding the current matter of where the OP should be recommended for Sushi should that be a dining option, we certainly have our differences of opinion.

                                                  ...and I'm assuming here we are now talking about my opinion vs. yours, and not my opinion vs. your poll.

                                                  1. re: cgfan

                                                    Well said.

                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                      seconded.

                                                2. re: Josh

                                                  Agree with Josh. I find that an illogical crutch, but well-suited, perhaps, to those who do not have a confident (and well-informed) palate.

                                                  It's what I always like to say, "Bring an honest palate and decide", and by honest I mean a palate not swayed by polls or crowds or looks or flash or reviews or status quo or even reason ("A" must be good because...) The left brain is ill-equipped to lead one to find the best food, however adept it is to hypothesize why it might be so good once you've found it.

                              3. They may not be Authentic Mexican, but I do like Porkyland for a big box of Carnitas and a bag of warm corn tortillas, Don Carlos for Tacos de Papas & a Pineapple/Raisin Tamale, and Wahoo's for some fast & cheap Fish Tacos.

                                All three are close to the Cove, and you can walk down to the water to watch the waves or the Seals in the Children's Pool.