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Mar 15, 2010 09:13 AM

Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina

I will be in San Diego for a conference at the end of the month and I'd like to check out the local cuisine, mainly for dinner. I'll have to depend upon cabs and my feet. Any suggestions?

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  1. Your feet might only be good for excersise. You are in an isolated location. C-Level has a great view, and is on your little island. I have never been compelled to dine there myself. Other hounds may chime in on that one.

    Roseville in nearby Point Loma would be a reasonable cab ride. I have always liked Chef Amy DiBiase, and the French-Med menu is pretty good.

    Cab rides further abroad could get quite pricey.

    1. Another thought for Point Loma is the retro-sheik Pearl Hotel. They have an unusual, open dining room that featrues local, sustainable fare. It has been quite a while since I dined there, so if anyone else has been recently, maybe we could get an update.

      For lunch hit up Point Loma Seafoods for the excellent scallop sandwich, ask them to add lettuce and tomato. You order at the seafood cases, and then take you food to the outdoor tables to watch the sportfishing harbor in action. It is lunch or very early dinner only, but it is close enough to your hotel that you and your mates could jump in a cab, and probably have enough time during your conference lunch break. It will beat the hell out of lunch at the Sheraton.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Captain Jack

        Thanks so much. I've never been to San Diego (I'm from North Carolina), so I'm also hoping to get out for a little sight seeing. That opens up my dinner options for at least one evening, likely Monday. Maybe Balboa Park/Museums, or Old Town?

        1. re: CMFRD

          Are you saying you will have a car for one night? San Diego is very spread out with mediocre public transportation. If you will have access to a car maybe you could let us know more specifically what kind of chow you are interested in trying while here.

          Are you interested in:

          Various ethnic: Mexican, Peruvian, Portugese, Salvadorean etc.

          Asian: San Diego is well represented in Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean
          plus a couple gems in Thai and Chinese.

          High end fine dining: not our forte, but we have some solid offerings.

          Artisinal farm to table: We have strong offerings here as well.

          Craft Beer Scene: Arguably the best in the country.

          1. re: Captain Jack

            I will be meeting up with colleagues, so someone may have a car. If not, I'll use a cab to get away from the hotel and see a little of the area.

            My tastes run the gamut, but I'm a major seafood lover and I prefer to eat local, fresh foods. Asian (especially Thai and Vietnamese) and Mediterranean are high on my list. If you asked me about restaurants in my city, I'd point you in the direction of the small, family-owned places that only a local would know about. Some aren't pretty, but the food is good.

            1. re: CMFRD

              Local fresh foods are found in a restaurant called Tender Greens in the old Naval Training Center development called Liberty Station (just west of the airport). It is a short cab ride away and they are know for their grilled meats served atop locally grown produce. Grilled Flank steak, grilled chicken, grilled Ahi and a nightly special. Tonight was Swordfish. They sometimes have short ribs or some other delicacy served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes. Check it out. I think you'll be pleased.

              1. re: CMFRD

                Point Loma Seafoods sounds like it'd be a great option for you then.

                Regarding Captain Jack's mention of C-Level: The view is great and the food is fine. If it was anywhere else in the city I don't think I'd recommend it, but the location does make it worth visiting.

                1. re: CMFRD

                  Since you love fresh seafood, you must try San Diego's sea urchin. It is known as some of the best in the world (the other contender is Santa Barbara to the north). Combine this with your interest in small, hard to find places and I came up with Izakaya Sakura at 3904 Convoy St. suite 121 in Kearny Mesa. There is no signage whatsoever (most likely to deter neophytes) and trying to order a California roll here will quickly get you expelled. At Sakura you can try our uni, sample fresh omakase sashimi, earn your stripes by ordering shiokara, enjoy tako wasabi made with REAL wasabi, and have a real treat with aji sashimi with fried bones. This Izakaya is the real deal, and in my opinion, is one of our city's gems.

                  Since you are fond of Thai, you probably know that most of this country's Thai restaruants serve dumbed down fare catering to the "American" palate, and lacking many key ingredients found in true Thai cuisine. Not so at Sab E Lee at 2405 Ulrich in Linda Vista. This tiny, Issan style Thai kitchen turns out outrageously good food. I adore the koi soi and order it at level 7 (I like spicy food), at 10 it is incendiary. The catfish larb is another favorite of mine. Few cities offer Thai food of this caliber.

                  Both of these establishments are well covered at my good friend Kirk K's blog.

                  1. re: Captain Jack

                    I completely agree on Sakura as a great gem in SD and also highly recommend it. It is really hard to order anything remotely disappointing there.
                    I know that a lot of people like SEL and I have been so far 3-4 times to SEL2 and without doubt it is the best thai restaurant we have in SD (which is not terrible difficult since everything else is strongly americanized) but on the other side I also think that based on a few visits that there are surprisingly many disappointing dishes on their menu (e.g. I like duck and tried their royal duck (?) and it reminded me why don't like Thai food at many restaurant. It was similar to many americanized version. The pine-cone fish was very dry and the vegetable very bland) and I am not sure that I would agree with that there are hardly any other restaurants on this caliber anywhere. Eating again last week at LOS for example made me realize again how much difference in quality of the food is between LOS and SEL.

                    1. re: honkman

                      LOS may be the best Thai restaurant in North America. I love it too, but they set the bar extremely high. Remember, I said "few cities" and one of those few is Las Vegas.

                      1. re: Captain Jack

                        I am not sure about the few cities. By writing something like this it might imply that SEL is so unique (even compared to other Thai restaurants in the US) that a visit to SD without a visit to SEL wouldn't be complete - and that's something I defintiely don't see. There are good Thai restaurants in other cities which are at least on a similar level as SEL, e.g. Jitlada, Nakorn, I was even on a visit to SF and went randomly to a Thai which wasn't worse than SEL.
                        Just to be clear - I don't want to dump down SEL or imply it is a bad Thai but reading on CH people (including myself before I went there the first time) might get an impression that SEL is playing in the same league as LOS etc. and SEL is not even close, IMO.

                        1. re: honkman

                          Hokey-dokey I get SEL=Sab E Lee, but what is LOS?

                          1. re: honkman

                            I would never send an LA or Vegas hound to SEL. Vegas has LOS and LA has the whole West Hollywood scene. Our OP is from North Carolina. I am not very familiar with NC, but if they only have Americanized Thai, SEL could provide a Chow-worthy experience. I am not implying SEL is on a par with LOS, it is not. But if an OP's city has only Ameicanized Thai (as I am sure is the case with hundreds of US Cities) SEL would give them a chance to experience authentic Issan Thai. You insist on comparing SEL with the best of the best, rather than understanding my point that most US cities do not have a Thai restaurant as good as Sab E Lee.

                            1. re: Captain Jack

                              I am loving this conversation. I live in Raleigh, so with the universities we have around here (NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke), we probably have more offerings than most cities of this size. However, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the Thai restaurants. Indian, on the other hand, is often the real deal because of the large Indian population attracted to the universities and to Research Triangle Park. All this is to say that I'm looking forward to trying this Thai place and hope to talk some work colleagues into going with me.

                              Thank you for the link to the food blog. I see that there are more to explore as well. I was debating whether to lug my laptop with me since I'll be in meetings most of the time, but I just may have to take it along.