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Mar 5, 2010 08:56 AM

Would like suggestions to round out our food itinerary, please

Hi all,

We will be visiting the area next week (staying in Del Mar) and will be there for three days/nights. So far we have dinner reservations at Nine-Ten, Market, and Kitchen 1540.

I'm sure each of these places is great, but are they too similar? We'd love to get a taste of California cuisine (we are TX hounds) but also want to be sure to have some variety as well. We are definitely interested in lower-key, more divey places for breakfast and lunch, but I've had a hard time coming up with a good itinerary. We pretty much like any types of food, especially Thai, Middle Eastern, Sushi, Italian, etc... But again, open to most of everything.

We fly into SD on Tues. morning, and will likely spend the day in and around the city before heading up to the hotel. The next two days we will likely do some hiking at Torrey Pines, possibly do the Wild Animal Park, and hopefully just drive (and walk) around to enjoy the scenery. We're not into doing a lot of the touristy stuff - just want to go and relax and have some great meals.

Any suggestions on what to add (or change) to our list? Any feedback appreciated!

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  1. Bull Taco in Cardiff for tacos on the beach..breakfast would be a good call too.
    Sab E Lee for Thai in Linda Vista
    Hacienda de Vega for Mex near the Wild Animal Park
    El Pescador in LJ for a grouper sandwich
    Burger at The Lodge next to Torrey Pines Golf and State Park
    Jake's Del Mar for drinks on the water
    Brigantine Del Mar for everyday happy hour for great fish tacos

    1 Reply
    1. re: Beach Chick

      For a killer Carne Asada I'd recommend Rudy's in the Eden Gardens section of Solana Beach, just above Del Mar. If you do make sure you either get the Carne Asada as a plate or as a Torta, as that's when they're use the Arrancherra. They use a different cut for the CA in their burritos and tacos...

      Also consider supplementing meals in the North Coastal area with a dessert from Elizabethan Desserts in Encinitas. Excellent shop featuring desserts in an "American Nostalgic" style.

      Also 2nd stevewag23's suggestion of Kaito in Encinitas for Sushi.

    2. "I'm sure each of these places is great, but are they too similar? "

      I would mix it up a bit.

      Throw in Kaito Sushi.

      1. I would add Addison and drop Market from your list for dinner.

        2 Replies
          1. re: stevuchan

            I'd keep Market, add Addison and maybe keep Kitchen 1540.
            strong 2nd/3rd to Kaito, Sab e Lee and Elizabethan Desserts.
            Taste of Thai and Spices Thai Cafe in Del Mar/Carmel Valley are both Americanized.

            lower-key breakfast/brunch places in Del Mar:
            Pacifica Breeze Cafe

            lower-key breakfast/lunch place in La Jolla:
            Coffee Cup Cafe on Wall St. Latino-Asian fusion.

          2. These are all great suggestions...exactly what I was hoping for! Thanks, everyone, for your replies thus far.
            Steveuchan - I appreciate but am curious about your suggestion. Will you elaborate?
            BTW, are we going to be missing out on a whole lot (food-wise, things to do, etc.) by not spending more time in San Diego proper? This was a relatively last-minute trip and we have not done much planning (very atypical for us!)...

            2 Replies
            1. re: DKS1

              Been a while since I've been to Market but last time was so average I decided not to return. Addison IMO is the best San Diego has to offer, chef Bradely is in the running for the Beard award, and looks like he has a shot, the food and service are top knotch. Only a few gems downtown, you will not miss much. Try Cafe Chole for lunch on first day if you are Downtown. Please watch yourself on and around the cliffs at Torrey Pines we loose a couple of tourists as well as locals every year. If you like sushi and dont mind the strip mall location Kaito is a very strong choice, I would rec omakase only. Pamplemouse should be avoided, Naomi Wise's review was spot on.

              1. re: stevuchan

                I would second stevuchan's rec of Addison. IMO, Addison is the only fine dining available in San Diego. It's overpriced by any other city's standards, but the food is very good.

            2. Pamplemouse is pretty good most times but falls under the "Nine-Ten, Market, and Kitchen 1540" category.

              For old Del Mar, Red Tractons is worth a shot, but better during track season so you can talk to the owners and jockeys and get in on the "fixes".

              1 Reply
              1. re: stevewag23

                Love Red Tracton's during racing season...a bunch of characters roaming around the bar.
                Sorry to hear that Pamplemousse..does Jeffrey Stauss still owner/chef?
                Still the fave among the Turf Club set with Tim Conway holding court.