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Are there any restaurant or fast food chains you desire for San Diego?

Although it is always nice to dine at quality homegrown establishments, for some foods, I find that chains are better options than the food available at our local establishments (chain or non-chain). Also, there is nostalgia for chains you grew up with. With that in mind, I list 3 chains that I wish opened an outlet in San Diego.

White Castle
White Castle, creator of the slider, is the original fast food chain. It is the hamburger I grew up with in New York. In my opinion, there is nothing like it, with the perfect melding of the bun, grilled onions, and hamburger patty. (As a side note, their sliders are awful as cheeseburgers, although some people appear to love them.

Probability of establishing an outlet in San Diego: 0.0%

Lucille’s BBQ
Lucille’s is a chain that now has 13 restaurants, 11 in California. They offer true smoke bbq, and their menu is extensive and creative. I love their smoked tri-tip. They also have a great inexpensive kids menu.

Probability of establishing an outlet in San Diego: 35%; If they did open an outlet in San Diego, I suspect it would be in the Sports Arena area.


Portillo’s is an Illinois-based chain of giant cafeteria-like restaurants that has opened 2 establishments in California (Buena Park and Moreno Valley) in the last few years.Their Italian beef sandwiches are very good and cheap (< $5). Their Chicago style hot dogs are also pretty good.

Probability of establishing an outlet in San Diego: >5%

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  1. This East Coaster is hard up for some Dunkin' Donuts.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mayache

      Costco usually carries DD coffee.

      1. re: cstr

        I'm actually not a coffee drinker. I'm in it for the donuts (mmm...DD Boston Kreme...), for which there are no substitutes that I can find. I even tried VG's, but while they were fancier and perhaps technically better, taste-wise I gotta give it to Dunkin'.

      2. re: mayache

        Dunkin' Donuts might be the only chain I wish was in San Diego. We do buy the coffee from Costco, but it's not really the same.

        I can think of a few chains we always visit when we travel to certain parts of the country, but we really don't eat at chains regularly enough to miss them when we come home. I still haven't been to the Sonic that opened up and I rarely stop at In 'n Out, either. Even if we did have a DD, we wouldn't go every morning. But it would definitely replace the occasional Starbucks run on weekends.

        1. re: mayache

          DD had several locations here in San Diego until the early 1990's or thereabouts. IIRC, most of them were taken over by Golden Donuts and they are still fairly close in style to DD. Seems unlikely that DD would try to re-establish themselves in San Diego given their history.

          1. re: mikec

            I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers that we used to have Dunkin' Donuts in San Diego. Its interesting that they didn't last here.

          2. re: mayache


            Never understood what the big deal about their coffee is but I really miss the donuts.

            1. re: mayache

              They used to have Dunkin' Donuts but they all went out of business because they couldn't compete against the local shops.

            2. I've seen a few Lucille's up in Orange County but never eaten there. Might have to give it a try next time. Have you been to Woodfire Ranch? It's another chain that exists up in LA that I haven't seen in SD. I ate there once and the food was ok but nothing to write home about. I'm wondering how Lucille's compares.

              In any case it would be interesting to see another BBQ joint go head to head with Phils in the Sports Arena area.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mliew

                I heard of it but haven't dined there. I'm a little suspicious of a bbq joint with an extensive wine menu.

                1. re: mliew

                  it's Wood Ranch, not Woodfire. i met a friend at the one at the Grove in LA to watch a game once, and the only thing i remember about the food is that whatever i had, i wasn't interested in it beyond the second bite.

                2. I'd be curious to know which foods you think chains are better for.

                  Anymore, after reading so much about the industrialization of our food supply, I've come to see the vast majority of restaurants (chain and "independent" included) as little more than Sysco reassembly fronts - with pre-made commodity food defrosted, reconfigured, and assembled by low-paid, unskilled workers. Chains in particular exemplify this depressing trend.

                  Also, historically, I'm pretty sure the dubious honor of inventing the fast food chain goes to Carl's Jr.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Josh

                    Totally agree, I try to avoid all food chains. I'm for the local guy.

                    1. re: Josh

                      White Castle was founded in 1921 and had multiple locations by 1923. Carl's Jr. was founded in 1941 (hot dog carts) and didn't have an actual restaurant until 1946.

                      1. re: mikec

                        Burger Lounge is a chain that I really like, but usually I find the independent restaurantes more interesting and prefer to support them for the reasons already stated.

                        1. re: mikec

                          Interesting - this prompted me to do more digging, and it looks like there's some dispute between whether or not A&W or White Castle is the second fast-food restaurant. New York's Automat is considered the first fast food place. The MacDonald brothers are credited with the first hamburger-oriented fast food place, with a menu limited to burgers and fries only, and assembly line production.

                          1. re: Josh

                            If wikipedia is right (as it usually is about everything, excluding bios and politically charged topics), the first automat (Horn and Hardart) opened in Philadelphia in 1902. The first automat in New York (also Horn and Hardart) opened in 1912.

                            White Castle is "hamburger-oriented" and is fast food, so why would you state that McDonald's is the first "hamburger oriented" fast food place?

                            1. re: Encinitan

                              Seeing the name Horn and Hardart is a blast from the past! I used to go there as a kin growing up in Philly. It was the highlight of a trip downtown.

                      2. I like Le Pain Quotidien. I tried it in NYC and know they are in SoCal and not SD yet. The tartines are really nice for lunch. I also actually like the Pret a Manger chain in NYC for a quick decent lunch to go (or stay).

                            1. I wouldn't mind seeing a Beard Papa open up somewhere for an occasional treat, though I heard one once opened up somewhere in East County... It's a Japanese chain noted for their Shu Creams (Choux à la Crème or cream puffs).

                              I'd also like to see Aji Ichiban, a Taiwan-based chain (with the Japanese name!) of Asian confectionery stores, particularly specializing in various forms of preserved fruits (particularly plums - think Ling Hi Mui and the like) and seafood (such as Sawagani, squid, and cuttlefish) and sold by weight.

                              The small Hawaiian chain Crack Seed Center would be a good substitute in lieu of an Aji Ichiban.

                              And really I wouldn't mind at all the Japanese version of 7-11's to replace all of the 7-11's we have here. They actually offer, as well as the other so-called Combini's (convenience stores), decent food at a good price for a quick grab and go meal, and is nothing like the pitiful stores we have here. On my last trip to Japan I remember briefly walking into the nearest Combini from my hotel to pick up a small bunch of the incredible Kyoho grapes. If only I could do the same here!

                              ...and not a restaurant or fast food chain, but would love to see UK's Waitrose chain of grocery stores open up here. They've managed to strike the perfect balance between cost, quality, selection, customer education and service, and cutting edge food products that will give Whole Foods and the like a serious run for their money. And their magazine and free recipe cards are incredible, a Foodies resource to be sure!

                              Oh I think I can go on and on...

                              24 Replies
                              1. re: cgfan

                                Aji Ichibans! I love those.

                                I think I loved it because it was new to me, but Culver's in Wisconsin/Minnesota wins my vote for a chain I'd liked to see here.

                                1. re: cgfan

                                  There was a Beard Papa that opened in Plaza Bonita last year, but it closed, mostly because it was disgusting. I doubt they will be building another location in San Diego, if word got out...

                                  (I'm guessing that whoever was running the place was "doing it wrong," because there are bakeries on Convoy that make much, much better creme puffs-- which in turn pale in comparison to ones I've eaten in LA.)

                                  1. re: ikeg

                                    Wow, that's really surprising. Any details?

                                    I've never come across a Beard Papa that produced anything but a very good cream puff. Yes one can find better, but there will always be independents that can outdo a chain. Never saw the one in Plaza Bonita, but I'd still give BP (oh oh, bad initials these days...) a second chance in San Diego... Wonder why they located there in the first place? The demographics would favor a location like Kearny Mesa...

                                      1. re: cgfan

                                        Well, from what I remember, the shell was very soggy, like it had been made much earlier in the day and then refrigerated. The fillings were way too sweet as well, and the filling had a weird, thick texture that kind of reminded me of cheap pudding. Actually that mmm-yoso review sums it up pretty well, so I guess it wasn't an outlier.

                                        As far as Plaza Bonita, my guess is that they were probably trying to cater to the large Filipino population that lives in the area. This place was in the new addition they built on, a stones throw from a Jollibee and and the new theatre.

                                        1401 E Plaza Blvd, National City, CA 91950

                                        1. re: cgfan

                                          Plaza Bonita Beard Papa started incredibly strong and then went downhill incredibly fast as if they had very little turnover and their inventory sat longer than they intended it to, resulting in a vasty inferior product. It was no suprise they didn't last.

                                          Luckily the one on Sawtelle in LA is close enough to my in-laws to give me my Beard Papa fix.

                                          Hoping for a Dunkin Donuts to return, very unlikely.

                                          Any good bagel chains? I'd love to have them as well.

                                          Although not a chain, Japadog in Vancouver would be a nice addition to the city. Yes, hotdogs with a Japanese twist. Yum.

                                          1. re: Ewilensky

                                            "Any good bagel chains? I'd love to have them as well. "
                                            nope. the problem with bagels is the water - if you want true NY or Montreal bagels, you need the same water they use in those cities. it's been years since i had a bagel, and even longer since i had one from a chain, but no chain bagel i've had was anything more than a roll with a hole in it.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              I was thinking about the bagel issue today in response to this thread. I had always heard the water argument in regards to pizza and bagels, but now that there are good pizzerias here, does that mean that bagels can be done?

                                              1. re: JRSD

                                                i imagine so, if they use water with the right mineral content. any idea if the "good" pizzerias use local water? unfortunately i'm no longer able to eat pizza so i can't judge for myself. i've actually never even eaten a slice - good OR bad - here in SD (or in LA, for that matter)!

                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                San Diego used to have excellent bagels back when Baltimore Bagel Company was in business. Then in August 1995 the chain was purchased by Progressive Bagel Concepts, Inc. (PBCI, later renamed Einstein/Noah Bagel Corporation) and the existing stores were converted to Einstein Bagel stores.

                                        2. re: cgfan

                                          Love the Japanese 7-11's version of oden. Just delicious...

                                          A Zankou chicken here or there would be nice. But at least we have Mama's Lebanese for my torshi fix.

                                          And DD- let's leave the apostrophe out of Sanborns :-)


                                          1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                            Okey Dokey on the apostrophe. At least it not VIPS

                                            1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                              I used to eat at Zankou Chicken when I lived in LA back in the late 80s. It was praise by radio food commentator Merrill Shindler that got me to try the place. Supposedly it has gone downhill since the owner died in a double murder suicide with two other family members.

                                              1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                                I like the Philippines' 7-11 version. They sell all-kinds of different hand-held foods inside...even lots of varieties is siopao. Oh yeah! they even sell booze ib them.

                                                I like to see a Cattleman"s here.

                                              2. re: cgfan

                                                I'd 2nd Aji Ichiban--wandered through one in Honolulu and it was the Asian version of the Sweet Shop (?) stalls that used to populate the malls.

                                                I'd LOVE Brent's Deli down here. Or any good Jewish deli, for that matter.

                                                King Hua from Alhambra for excellent dim sum.

                                                Burma Superstar and Kowloon Tong Dessert from SF.

                                                Fugetsu-Do from Little Tokyo (the mochi from the place Chula Vista's were strangely salty--at least the ones I got from Nijiya).

                                                Pearl Bakery from PDX. Ohhhh, I can taste their croissants and gibassier bread!!!

                                                1. re: daantaat

                                                  daantaat - I, too, was missing Fugetsu-Do ever since I moved out of LA, that is until I actually visited Hogetsu-do's store in Chula Vista. What a difference over the items pre-packaged for distribution. Fugetsu-Do still remains my reference, but since my first visit to Hogetsu-do's shop the difference seems to be much, much smaller...

                                                  However I still wouldn't complain if Fugetsu-Do were to open up here, as unlikely as that'll be...

                                                  BTW have you ever come across the Crack Seed Center in Honolulu? Very much like Aji Ichiban, but with a country store kinda feel...

                                                  1. re: cgfan

                                                    No, never been to Crack Seed Center, but I'll add it to our list when we go back next year!

                                                2. re: cgfan

                                                  cgfan, I hold your comments in really high regard...but I'll respectfully disagree for this one for Beard Papa. I thought them meh at best; I thought their creme to be too heavy and their choux just okay. But ITA on Crack Seed Center and a J-version 7-11 (for their oden and pretty good rice in their riceballs)!

                                                  1. re: OCAnn

                                                    OCAnn, while we're on the subject by chance is there anything close to a Crack Seed Center or an Aji Ichiban in OC? If so a drive from SD would be worth it. (On the other hand have you ever checked out Aji Ichiban in San Gabriel, in the Focus Plaza? A good alternative to not having a Crack Seed Center if you happen to be in the area!)

                                                    Believe it or not there once used to be an Aji Ichiban kiosk just outside of the Cineplex in Mission Valley Center, but the selection was really abbreviated and most who passed by the cart seemed to be puzzled by what they carried! Would have been a killer business had it been located in Kearny Mesa!

                                                    1. re: cgfan

                                                      I'm not aware of a Crack Seed Center-like shop or Aji Ichiban in OC. =( The closest of something like that is the Hawaiian section of Marukai in Gardena, which is a very small portion of an aisle. Perhaps the Rowland Heights area (just north of OC) would have shops similar to that, but I've not been adventurous in my middle age.

                                                      And unfortunately, I've not been to Aji Ichiban in SGV. =(

                                                      If you ever make it up to OC, you might try Cream Pan. Their cream puffs are better than BP's. =)

                                                      1449 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

                                                      1. re: OCAnn

                                                        Cream Pan sounds awesome - thanks for the tip, OCAnn!

                                                  2. re: cgfan

                                                    Also wouldn't mind a reincarnation of L.A.'s fabulous Wil Wright's, whose complementary amaretti macaroons were as delicious as their ice creams.

                                                    But of course if it were ever to be resurrected L.A. must have first dibs, while S.D. patiently waits...

                                                    1. re: cgfan

                                                      not necessarily...perhaps they should be punished for letting it die. they had their chance, now it's SD's turn ;)

                                                      1. re: cgfan

                                                        Oh gosh what a time warp. We had one by the house where I grew up, which I think closed in the very early 70's. The last one I remember being open was the one in Newport Beach, and I think that one was gone by the late 70's. I just loved the cookies.

                                                    2. I'd like to see a chain of Ad Hoc, beginning with one in Mission Hills.


                                                      6 Replies
                                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                                          If you're going to ask for that, a Bouchon would be nice so I don't have to drive to Beverly Hills

                                                          1. re: shouzen

                                                            Actually I would prefer an Ad Hoc restaurant over a Bouchon restaurant in SD. We had three meals at Ad Hoc and all were great. We had now about ten different dinners at Bouchon Las Vegas and Yountville with very mixed results.

                                                            1. re: honkman

                                                              It's pretty easy to see why dining at Ad Hoc would be a lot more consistent than at Bouchon. For each day, there is only one type of salad, one type of entree, one type of vegetable dish, and one type of dessert available. At least that's my understanding from visiting the website.

                                                              1. re: Encinitan

                                                                Ad Hoc has only one 4-course menu everyday but it is not only the consistency which we found missing from Bouchon (which shouldn't be an issue anyway at that level) but quite a lot of dishes are way overpriced for what you get compared to similar restaurants and are mainly reasoned by the name Keller not the quality. In addition we found the service at Ad Hoc overall much better than at both Bouchons

                                                              2. re: honkman

                                                                Nonspecifichigherpower strike me down now, but I am forced to agree with the Honkyman. I've not had a bad meal at a Bouchon, but I did enjoy the Ad Hoc entire schtick- the limited, family-style menu and high quality meal.

                                                        2. Zaxby's Chicken
                                                          Bruster's Ice Cream
                                                          Del's (the frozen lemonade people from Rhode Island)

                                                          1. i'm another one who's curious about the statement that chains are better for some foods than our local spots.

                                                            i've tended to avoid chains & fast food like the plague pretty much since college, with two exceptions when i lived in NYC...

                                                            the tossed-to-order salad places:

                                                            and The Pump:

                                                            those were my go-tos for a quick, healthy lunch or dinner when i wasn't cooking or brown-bagging it. i've always wondered why there's nothing similar to either of those concepts in So Cal - i think both would be a huge hit here in SD and up in LA. there was one build-your-own salad place up in Sherman Oaks called the Dressing Room, but they closed over a year ago.

                                                            14 Replies
                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              There are a couple of places in SD that do salads tossed to order. One is at SDSU in Monty's Den in Montezuma Hall called Salad Spin. The other is downtown and I'm forgetting the name of it.

                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                of course there's one at SDSU now, because i've been gone for years! ;)

                                                                re: the downtown place, are you thinking of Tender Greens? they have an extensive salad menu but they're set combos, not tossed to order.

                                                                Tender Greens
                                                                2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  I think she may mean Salad Style. They make very good salads, tossed to order.


                                                                  Salad Style
                                                                  807 F St, San Diego, CA 92101

                                                                  1. re: phee

                                                                    hmm, i can't tell from their website if it's the kind of place i'm talking about. at the places back in NY, *you* create the salad from all the items they have available, and then they toss it for you. so you choose your lettuce mix/base, and then pick from an extensive list of add-ins (veggies, proteins, cheeses, beans, croutons, nuts, etc), choose a dressing, and they toss it all together for you. does Salad Style have that option? if so, i need to lobby for them to open a North County location :)

                                                                    Salad Style
                                                                    807 F St, San Diego, CA 92101

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                      No, that's not what they do. The salads are just prepared when you order it, but you can make changes/substitutions. On the other hand, what you've described, I'd really like to see. Kind of like a salad bar but you don't have to do the work!

                                                                      Any entrepreneurs out there looking for a good restaurant idea? :-)

                                                                      1. re: phee

                                                                        i figured as much. bummer. the places in NY are practically on every other block, and they've been there for YEARS. it boggles the mind that no one ever brought the concept here - i've been saying for a long time that if i had the investors to back it i'd do it myself!

                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        SDSU does the salads the way you described. You select what you want and they toss it for you, in front of you. They also offer a selection of hot protein add-ons including, steak, chicken, salmon and tofu. They offer chopped romaine, spring mix and baby spinach as the bed and about 35-40 veggies, fruit, herbs, cheeses, nuts, crunchies, etc. to add in.

                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                          it kills me that SDSU has that option now. when i was in grad school there i used to bring a mini-cooler with my meals because the dining options on campus were so awful.

                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  YES! I completely agree - when I moved here from NYC in 2003, the build your own salad (with exceptional ingredients) concept was just taking off in NY, and I thought for sure that Californians would be all over it, but I haven't seen anything like it here. This is the place where you pick out your greens (of various types) and thenthe chef behind the counter puts them in a stainless steel bowl, and you tell him what additional ingredients you want added. He works down the line, adding whatever delicious fresh things you specify, starting w/other veggies (from standard to exotic, either raw or grilled, steamed, etc), then starches (from items like cous cous, quinoa, homemade croutons, etc) then proteins (fresh grilled salmon, tofu, steak, etc) and then you pick a dressing (again all original, fresh and delicious - not your standard goop). Then they toss it all in the stainless steel bowl with tongs, put it in a takeout container and you go eat it at your desk, like most other NYC midtown office workers.

                                                                  When I worked in the Chrysler bldg, there was one around the corner on 43rd St that I loved but I can't for the life of me remember the name. It was a new chain (in '03) with only a couple locations around Manhattan...I thought about contacting them and seeing about opening a franchise out here but never did. I've since heard of the good salad place in Liberty station in Pt Loma but haven't tried it and don't know if it's same concept. Also, I see there's a place called Croutons near Trader Joe's in La Jolla...is that similar?

                                                                  My favorite bagels come from Myer's Bagels in Montreal. I'd be living on them if they were out here - so fantastic!!

                                                                  1. re: carli

                                                                    The name of the Liberty Station restaurant you are thinking of is Tender Greens. Locally farmed produce and other sustainable ingredients. They make every salad fresh to order, you can also choose greens/dressing and add your own "hot stuff" (protein). Great soups, sandwiches and desserts as well.


                                                                    Tender Greens
                                                                    2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

                                                                    1. re: foodiechick

                                                                      while visiting sd, checked out CH. saw good reviews for tender greens. so true. good draft beer (lightning,) reasonably priced 'healthy' delicious food. freshly ground beans for coffee. wish they had one back east. after a taco hit, crave a healthy meal.

                                                                    2. re: carli

                                                                      @carli, Croutons is a set menu...funny you would ask me that, because my next-door neighbor is the founder & CEO and i've never been there!

                                                                      oh, and i think the place you're talking about on 43rd is Devon & Blakely. they've got 7 Manhattan locations and 3 in DC now!

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        It's one of their most popular concepts. It went from $0 to $30,000 a week when it opened. Think there's a market for this concpet? You betcha

                                                                        There's a concpet in Colorado that does this. I ate there several times when I was at a conference in Denver. I can't remember the name of the little chain, but even though I really liked it, they had some operational issues I didn't care for. They had 18 "signature" salads that had set ingredients and were reasonably priced. If you chose to do create our own salad from their ingredients it was super expensive. Their signature salads were good and had some creative aspects to them but sometimes you just want to specify certain things and be done with it. The place was set up cafeteria style so you walked down the line as your salad was being assembled. This wouldn't have been so bad if their staff hadn't been so inept. Good idea, marginal execution.

                                                                        SDSU has gotten it right. They have an order sheet with every ingredient they offer listed. You check off what you want, give it to the server who makes and tosses it and hands it back to you. No muss, no fuss and you're out the door fairly quickly, and for about $7 +/-.

                                                                    3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                      looks like we're finally getting a similar franchise here in LA - made-to-order salads, plus wraps and rice bowls, including breakfast! hopefully it'll make its way down to all of you in SD...

                                                                    4. Habit Burger...yes, I know lots of burger places allready but I like them better than In and Out.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: chris2269

                                                                        The only thing habit-forming from The Habit is their onion rings & ranch combo. If I could only IV that ranch directly into my veins....

                                                                      2. Brophy Brothers seafood in Santa Barbara and Ventura. My fave is the cold seafood platter!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. Houston's does an excellent job for casual food and cocktails. They are all over Orange County, LA and the western states.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. Another thing I miss from living in Pennsylvania is Rita's Ice. Nice and refreshing in the summer.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: zare_k

                                                                              There is better water ice than Rita's, but I would welcome them here with open arms. Gosh, I miss water ice. Chocolate, with a soft pretzel with mustard on the side. Sigh!

                                                                            2. I am going to pick a strange one, which is Movenpick (sp?) from Canada. It is really an upscale version of Golden Corral or your generic casino buffet. The food is cooked to order, and there are a huge range of choices. It was not all you can eat, which I feel keeps the quality up. Another, perhaps more realistic choice, is Daily Grill. They are the downscale version of the Grill in BH. They do versions of diner classics. When I am up in Newport, I stop by to get a fix.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: littlestevie

                                                                                Movenpick is a large hotel/resort/restaurant chain from Switzerland. The restaurants sometimes work under the Marche International name. There is also Movenpick ice cream which is owned by Nestle

                                                                                1. re: honkman

                                                                                  You are right! I was thinking that there was a Swiss connection (one of the stands had Swiss dishes) but I was not sure.

                                                                              2. Goodberry's Frozen Custard...or really, any good frozen custard chain!

                                                                                I wouldn't mind an outlet of Patsy's Pizza from New York either

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: ipsit

                                                                                  Frozen custard places do not survive in San Diego. True Hearts in eastern Poway had passable frozen custard, but few people ever ordered it - probably because it sounded "weird" to them. When they were in their death throes, they ended up more of a cold stonish ice cream place (another concept which seems to have faded).

                                                                                  I laugh at the White Castle suggestions. Your taste buds might remember them fondly, but I think many of you have forgotten the effect those things have on most digestive systems. :)

                                                                                  1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                    Ironically, my college-age son had been bugging us to take him to White Castle ever since "Harold and Kumar" came out. Of course, my wife and I kept going: "But it really, really sucks unless you're drunk or stoned". Finally got a chance to take him to one in the midwest last year and after taking about two bites he just went: "This really, really sucks!".

                                                                                2. I'd really love to see this -- a San Diego Fish Taco specialty restaurant. Put Jason Neroni in charge of the menu -- after all, he seemed to really know what San Diegans expected in their fish tacos.

                                                                                  Sorry, but couldn't resist.

                                                                                  1. We just got back from Kansas City and they have a place that Anthony Bourdain states its one of the '13 places to eat before you die'..it's Oklahoma Joe's BBQ..it's in a converted old gas station and though I don't eat meat, the chicken was off the hook.

                                                                                    Would love to see the Chase from Santa Barbara and Brophy's Bros. too!


                                                                                    1. Puka Dog and a shrimp truck from the islands..

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                        Add a shave ice truck while you're at it...

                                                                                        1. re: Ewilensky

                                                                                          How about Matsumoto Shave Ice and Leonard's Bakery for their malasadas?

                                                                                          1. re: daantaat

                                                                                            excellent call on the shaved ice at Matsumoto's and Leonard's for the malasadas..
                                                                                            I'll be hitting them both in a couple of months..can't wait!

                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                              hit up Matsugen in Waikiki Beach for sublime soba and udon! All Japanese speaking clientele.
                                                                                              the musubi at the ABC Stores make a good, tasty and cheap snack too!

                                                                                      2. There are better pastramis out there but sometime The Hat hits the spot.