HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >

New to SD -- here's what I've eaten so far

DipCone Sep 15, 2010 06:35 PM

Hi all, recent transplant to your lovely city. Excited to get active on the Chow board, so here goes: (Lengthy post ahead.)

Smashburger – Surprisingly good burgers. I like the skinny onion rings, sweet potato fries, and the rosemary+garlic fries. Yes. I like fries. I had the San Diego burger with cilantro and appreciated the choices of (what I’d consider) regional add-on ingredients like cilantro, avocado slices and lime. It was delicious, kid-friendly and clean. Even more impressive, Mr. DipCone left his iPhone on the table, and they had it waiting for him the next morning when he called panic. They get bonus points for that.


L&L Hawaiian BBQ in Pacific Beach – First exposure to anything remotely related to Hawaiian BBQ, so I don’t have anything to compare this to, but I thought the Lau Lau pork was very good. The Kalua, mmmm, it was okay. Serving macaroni salad and rice seemed weird to me, but I thought the pasta was pretty good. Certainly an inexpensive lunch. Has anyone had breakfast here?

PB Alehouse – Went here on a Tuesday night which turns out to be All You Can Eat Crab night. Crab defined as Alaskan King, not the more delicious Dungeness. But the staff was really nice, and every table in the place had ordered the crab-deal. Beer was good too. Fun night. Not sure I’d go back, but I would if I were 20-something, which I'm not.

Whisknladle – Terrific time here. Was with a fairly big group that liked to share so we tasted plenty. Best cocktails I’ve found so far, but not on par with NYC, Boston or Chicago places that specialize in Prohibition era drinks. We tried everything from the bone marrow and charcuterie to halibut cheeks and fried chicken. I will definitely be back.

Osteria Romantica – Tried to go here one night after spending the day at La Jolla Shores, but the wait was too long for hungry, tired children, though the food coming out of the kitchen looked and smelled delicious. Came back another evening and I’d rate it a disaster. Ordered the Cioppino and something in the dish (mussels?) clearly had gone bad. The smell was rotten. Strong enough, in fact, that I was shocked the kitchen sent it out. Certainly, they had to have smelled it. Sent it back and ordered a smoked chicken w/ cream sauce on special which was overpowered by the amount of “smokiness” that I suspect was added with liquid smoke, and derived from wood -- the old fashioned way. Kid number two ordered pasta with sausage. Seemed to like it and ate quite a lot of it, but when he got home, he started to feel ill, and, cough, was. Definitely, we will not be back.

Longboards – Stopped by on a whim in the afternoon. It was just okay. Good service, but food-wise, nothing interesting, nor anything that was delicious enough to bring us back.

Bencotto – While I’m kind of new to your board, I understand there’s a buzz about this place. I thought it was just okay. I didn’t care for the “choose your pasta/choose your sauce” concept, and the execution of it was unimpressive. The riso fritto (which I would call mini arancini) had a nice crisp to them, but were dry, and fairly flavorless. The bresaola e rucola was good, but unremarkable. I chose the arabbiata with tagliatelle and again, just found it okay. Nothing that really sang to me. Leftovers languished in my fridge, and that says a lot on its own.

Buon Appetito – Compared to Bencotto, I’d say this is the winner. A little cheesy with the Italian ambiance, but the food was good, the staff was terrific, and it was a very good experience. Also with a group that evening, and tried a number of items, but the pan-fried chicken liver salad (called Insalata di Rucola con Fegatini di Pollo) was my favorite. The piccata was just okay. I’d rate this one worthy of another visit, but suspect it's hit or miss on some of the dishes.

The Mission – breakfast place in PB. Had the Mission Chilaguiles which came with a surprisingly tasty roasted tomato ginger sauce. Coffee is priced a little steeply, considering it’s just coffee at a breakfast place, but the food was good, the staff was pleasant and the vibe was nice. Good place from what I can tell.

Sweet & Savory Café – Chowed a tri-tip sandwich for lunch one day. It was very good – meat was rubbed with coffee spice, smoked gouda and a garlic mayo. Easy, quick, fairly cheap. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there, but I did, indeedy, like my sandwich.

Wahoo Fish Taco, La Jolla – I liked this place too. Had a couple of fish tacos with rice and beans. Was wishing the beans had more spicing to them, but the tacos were solid, and the place was clean and bustling, which I take as a good sign. Not sure what the fish was in the taco. I suspect basa, but didn't have the opportunity to ask.

Karl Strauss – I realize there are a few of these, but it was the first time we’d ever heard of it. Beer was good. Our server brought over several samples. The Piggy Bank mac and cheese (with bacon, ham and sausage) was really good. I’m kind of over the mac and cheese thing, but this was good.

So far, the La Jolla Farmers' Market is the only one I’ve had a chance to get to. While I like the ceviche-lady, she’s serving shrimp and supposedly red snapper, neither of which I feel happy about ordering since I try to keep my fish selection on the sustainable side. I’m suspicious she’s not serving red snapper, but she bristled when I started asking the origins of her fish, so I backed off. Does anyone know?

I’ve kept it simple with the crepe lady, staying with the sugar/butter option. Delish. Tried the Filipino pork stew, which was okay. Love the sweet potato pie (and key lime cake) man, Brian. Not impressed with the egg-lady’s eggs. I’ve bought a few times, and was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be a lot of strength in the shell when I cracked it, nor did the whites/yolks really stand up the way they should for extremely fresh eggs. And some of the farmers I’m having a harder time understanding exactly where it is they’re coming from. They don’t seem like “small farmers” to me, and I’ve had some disappointing results when I got home and dug deeper in that basket of tomatoes only to find some tired ones hidden underneath. That makes me feel a little swindled. Not a feeling you want to have when you come home from a farmers market. I’ve heard there are better farmers markets to try, including Hillcrest and the one in Little Italy.

Excited to be here. Looking forward to hearing your chow-worthy spots. Hope I didn't wear out my welcome in my first post!

-----
Buon Appetito
1609 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Whisknladle
1044 Wall Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

Wahoo Fish Taco
1006 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024

Osteria Romantica
2151 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037

Sweet & Savory Cafe
4614 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. bizzwriter RE: DipCone Sep 15, 2010 06:43 PM

    Wow -- impressive report -- thanks! I've been meaning to get to Osteria Romantica, but now I think I'll pass. If you liked Smashburger, be sure to try Burger Lounge in La Jolla on Wall, kitty-corner from Karl Strauss. Also, check out the Coffee Cup next door to Burger Lounge for breakfast.

    -----
    Osteria Romantica
    2151 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037

    Coffee Cup
    1109 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037

    1. DiningDiva RE: DipCone Sep 15, 2010 06:47 PM

      Hi DipCone, welcome to the board

      Since you've been to a couple of places in Little Italy, you might want to check out the Farmer's Market there every Saturday morning. It's on Date St. between Kettner and State (I think). The prepared food vendors are all on the south side of Date and almost all the farmers and other non-prepared food vendors are on the north side of Date. It works out pretty well. I've had good luck with the eggs from the San Pascual Academy that are sold at the LI farmers market.

      As you correctly surmised, fish labeled Red Snapper here in SD is not usually true Red Snapper. It is most often one of the west coast rock fish varieties.

      1. d
        daantaat RE: DipCone Sep 15, 2010 08:33 PM

        Hawaiian plate lunch always comes with rice AND macaroni salad. It is part of what makes a plate lunch a "plate lunch." L & L is decent for plate lunch, certainly cheaper than flying to HI for the real deal. However, I've found their kalbi to be on the greasy side for me. There's another plate lunch place in Liberty Station, Da Kine's. They're not too bad, although I recall their standard plate not being as "large" as one associates with plate lunch and ended up getting more kalbi b/c I wasn't full enough.

        I 2nd the rec for Coffee Cup on Wall St for breakfast. It's one of our favorite breakfast/brunch places.

        El Pescador in La Jolla is supposed to be quite good, although I have never been.

        I think some of the vendors at the LJFM get their produce from the standard produce sources and aren't really truly "farmers" or "local." They are the ones that don't have a banner above their stand that has the name of their farm on it. The guys from Reedley have pretty good peaches and nectarines in the summer (although they picked their Satsuma tangerines WAAAY too early last year and tried to pass the acidity off as they way the fruit is supposed to be...NOT.) Valdivia Farms from Carlsbad have decent squashes, tomatoes (decent enough that if we're too lazy to get them from Chino Farms, we'll get theirs) and blueberries. The organic guys that sell grapes, apples, blueberries and cherries are pretty decent as well. Their stand is usually on the end of the row, closest to the entrance. The biker guys towards the back of the aisles have good lettuces, beets and root vegetables. There is a citrus stand (farm is in Valley Center or somewhere way up north) that has good oro blanco, pink grapefruit and oranges.

        -----
        Coffee Cup
        1109 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037

        1. foodiechick RE: DipCone Sep 15, 2010 09:29 PM

          Great report. I would urge you to try the Little Italy, Hillcrest, North Park or Adams Avenue Farmer's Markets over LJ (and I live very near the latter). Wahoo's Fish Tacos are pretty good, but next time you are tempted to go back to the LJ location, walk across the parking lot and get a fantastic, and large fresh grilled fish torta (or salad) at El Pescador! Welcome.

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodiechick
            s
            shouzen RE: foodiechick Sep 15, 2010 09:56 PM

            Second the recommendation for El Pescador.

            Having been to Whisknladle multiple times recently over a very short time span (work, etc...), I've decided I really like it, but I agree re their cocktails. There always seems to be a lack of balance with every one I get. Not anything huge, but just a little too much alcohol here, or a smidge too much lime there, to make it less-than-great.

            If you want good cocktails, perhaps you should check out Noble Experiment. I'm fairly new to SD too and haven't had the chance to go myself, but everyone seems to agree that they have the best cocktails in SD.

            -----
            Whisknladle
            1044 Wall Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

          2. septocaine_queen RE: DipCone Sep 15, 2010 10:02 PM

            Nice report!

            At Wahoo we always get the spicy white beans and then ask for the cilantro salsa and the super hot salsa for the tacos.

            1. Josh RE: DipCone Sep 15, 2010 10:24 PM

              Next time you're headed to Wahoo's, eat at the neighboring fish shop instead - El Pescador. Get the grilled fish sandwich. You won't be sorry.

              28 Replies
              1. re: Josh
                foodiechick RE: Josh Sep 15, 2010 10:34 PM

                JINX

                1. re: foodiechick
                  DipCone RE: foodiechick Sep 16, 2010 09:12 AM

                  Thanks all! Forgot to mention The Cottage. We see lines streaming out from there all the time, and had high hopes. Had lunch there yesterday, and I think breakfast may have been a better call. Had the Chinese chicken salad. Lettuce seemed tired (or overdressed maybe?) and the grilled chicken incredibly tough. Mr. Dip Cone had the tortilla soup, which was good. He also ordered the guac and chips and for $8.95, we strongly felt it was overpriced. That said, I think the error was ours and that the appeal here must be the French toast. :)

                  Grocery stores in the area have been perplexing. Back East, I had my regular spots for meat, for breads, for cheese, etc. I'm having a harder time finding my feet here. Ralph's in PB is close to me, and seems fine for everyday items. (The Mexican popsicles (Helados?) were a fabulous find! Delicious!) The newly remodeled Albertsons was good too but tiny. The Whole Foods is marketedly different than the one I'm used too. Cheese section is not as good. Meat guys have been mixed - one terrific, one was almost snotty to me. Fish counter there is excellent, and the dark-haired chick with the tattoos was knowledgable and really great about fielding all my questions. But the store is SO crowded. Wow. I heard there is another WF in the area, but haven't found it yet. Henry's in PB also seemed interesting, but I didn't get to spend a lot of time there. Any opnions on it? And yes, I saw Trader Joe's across the street from Henry's, but didn't go in yet. I like TJs, but we don't eat a lot of processed, pre-packaged foods, and that's kind of their strength.

                  What I am missing most is an excellent source for cheese; a Chinese supermarket; a kick-ass liquor store that carries more than just Bacardi Rum (suggestions welcome!) and a decent authentic Italian market for olives, sauce, handmade pastas, etc. Do these things exist or are they all day trips to LA? Oh! And I'm looking for Korean fried chicken. Can you help a girl out? :)

                  1. re: DipCone
                    c
                    cstr RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 09:26 AM

                    The Cottage does have great breakfast offerings, usually very busy in the am. Most mega-marts (Vons, Ralphs et al) are OK but, I wouldn't get much there other than emergency stuff. You should look in to farmers markets, I'd search CH for the thread, you'll find some good produce and they also have vendors offering prepared and cooked things. Don't overlook Costco, they have pretty good cheesew selections, liquor and wines and also Bev Mo stores.

                    Here's a thread

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5924...

                    1. re: cstr
                      DipCone RE: cstr Sep 16, 2010 09:37 AM

                      Yes on Costco! Have already been once and found some real gems in their cheese section. Good nuts too. The organic chicken was a good deal, especially when stocking up the freezer. Pork looked to be Swifts brand, which I really try to avoid because I think they're evil. ;)

                      1. re: cstr
                        l
                        littlestevie RE: cstr Sep 16, 2010 02:20 PM

                        San Diego Wine Co. on Miramar Road really can't be beat for good quality wines at a decent price. Some Vons (the ones in Solana Beach, Encinitas and La Costa are the Ones I know of) have fairly extesive wine selections, but their stuff is from the larger producers.

                      2. re: DipCone
                        honkman RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 09:28 AM

                        There are two WF - one in LJ and one Hillcrest
                        For cheese you should go to Venissimo cheese. They have three locations - Hillcrest, East Village and Del Mar
                        Asian markets - Ranch 99 on Clairemont Mesa but there are also many smaller one throughout SD, e.g. Lucky Seafood (Mira Mesa).
                        For meat (but not organic) you could look into Tip Top Meats (Carlsbad) or Bisher's Meat (Poway)
                        Decent Italian market in Little Italy is Mona Lisa. Fresh pasta at Assenti Pasta also in Little Italy which is OK but not great.

                        1. re: honkman
                          s
                          stevewag23 RE: honkman Sep 16, 2010 11:43 PM

                          "Assenti Pasta also in Little Italy which is OK but not great."

                          What do you think would make them better?

                          1. re: stevewag23
                            honkman RE: stevewag23 Sep 17, 2010 12:15 AM

                            Better pasta. The pasta is OK but compared to homemade or at good pasta at excellent Italian restaurants as for example Osteria Mozza it is nothing special. It is also one of the reasons why the pasta dishes at Cucina Urbana (which uses Assenti Pasta) are not too impressive.

                            1. re: honkman
                              Josh RE: honkman Sep 17, 2010 12:50 AM

                              For me, the more I eat good dried pasta the less I care for fresh.

                              1. re: Josh
                                honkman RE: Josh Sep 17, 2010 09:45 AM

                                You should go to Osteria Mozza or B&B and try their fresh pasta. On the same level as some of the best fresh pasta in Italy and not comparable to any dried one.

                                1. re: honkman
                                  Josh RE: honkman Sep 17, 2010 11:36 AM

                                  I'm up to try it for sure, but I have to say that even in Italy I preferred the dried pasta to fresh. There's something about the firmer chew and nuttier flavor that I really enjoy. I do like fresh pasta, but I just find dried to be more pleasing texturally.

                                  1. re: Josh
                                    p
                                    palmtree38 RE: Josh Sep 17, 2010 12:12 PM

                                    Josh. Do you like cucina urbana?? As your palate on other chow revs has not steered us wrong.

                                    Also do you cook at home with rubs. As we would like to pick up some rubs we cannot get here and spices.

                                    My gf got me into garlic dude dust from gilroys and can ship to my hotel for$7. The bottle is $25 that's alot of one spice!

                                    1. re: palmtree38
                                      Josh RE: palmtree38 Sep 17, 2010 01:50 PM

                                      We were lukewarm on CU. Or rather, divided. The appetizer stuff we had was very good. The entrees were just OK (I suppose they'd be considered secondi). We didn't try any pastas.

                        2. re: DipCone
                          bizzwriter RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 09:30 AM

                          Ugh -- HATE Albertson's and Henry's in PB. And I agree that The Cottage is overrated. Breakfasts are definitely the best bet, though it gets REALLY crowded.

                          Check out Jonathan's Market on Fay -- pretty good selection of things you won't typically see in an average super. Also, if you guys are carnivores, then DEFINITELY don't miss Homegrown Meats in the little strip mall across from The Cottage. GREAT source for grass-fed and dry-aged prime-grade beef.

                          http://www.homegrownmeats.com

                          p.s. One more vote for Costco -- good cheese selection and awesome wine shopping. Also, their price on wild sockeye salmon is crazy-low right now: $7.99 a pound for skin-on fillets, then they knock $3 off the package price at the register. Needless to say, I've been grilling a LOT of salmon lately -- that crispy skin is to die for!

                          1. re: bizzwriter
                            DipCone RE: bizzwriter Sep 16, 2010 09:34 AM

                            I had to go to the UPS Store yesterday and saw Homegrown meats. I am all for pasture raised beef, pork, chicken, but the sticker shock there made me gasp for air. Basically, one aged Prime New York Strip would rougly come to $20-25 bucks. And then I'd go and risk cooking it wrong, because it's grass fed and not grain-finished. :) But thanks for the suggestions. I saw Jonathon's but haven't been in yet. Thank you, Honkman for the market suggestions. I will check them out!

                            1. re: DipCone
                              bizzwriter RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 10:01 AM

                              Yeah -- I hear you on the prices at Homegrown -- it was definitely a special-occasion place for me. I bought a prime porterhouse there a couple of years ago for my birthday and grilled it on my barbecue. It was sublime -- in my top-3 steaks ever (#1 was at Peter Luger's, #2 at a bar in Kalispell, Montana). Costco gets in excellent prime-grade standing rib roasts during the holiday season. They are worth waiting for.

                              1. re: DipCone
                                foodiechick RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 11:41 AM

                                Try the meat at Jonathan's. Brant beef is a step up over what you usually find around town, but it is grain finished so the sticker shock is not as high as grass fed. Very helpful peeps behind the meat counter.

                                If you are looking for one stop shopping a bit out of the area, try the Ralphs at La Jolla Village Square. Huge store that underwent an expensive renovation last year. Standard supermarket fair, but extensive Kosher section and a ton of fresh bakery items. Great produce section as well. I also like popping into Britol Farms in UTC about once a month.

                                1. re: DipCone
                                  m
                                  mayache RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 12:13 PM

                                  There is a great meat market at Seisel's in Bay Park (just east of PB). The place is a temple to the consumption of things that used to walk around. Not cheap either, but the meat is fantastic and you're not paying the grass-fed premium.

                                  1. re: mayache
                                    Josh RE: mayache Sep 16, 2010 05:44 PM

                                    This is weird to me: the "grass fed premium" seems no different than USDA Prime's premium. Cheap food is only cheap because the costs are artificially externalized.

                                    Homegrown is locally raised, so keeps the money in our local economy. I think it's worth the small amount of extra cost for the benefits that brings.

                                    Plus Homegrown dry-ages their meat, and it's really very good. $10/lb for some of the cuts is well worth it.

                                    1. re: Josh
                                      m
                                      mayache RE: Josh Sep 16, 2010 06:01 PM

                                      > Cheap food is only cheap because the costs are artificially externalized.

                                      That's true but you have already paid for the difference in taxes, so your argument here is a basic sunk cost fallacy. Too bad the primaries start in Iowa.

                                      Anyway I was just pointing out that if the OP doesn't limit himself to grass-fed beef (which it seems he doesn't), he might enjoy Seisel's. IME the same cuts are cheaper at Seisel's and the meat is high quality.

                                      1. re: mayache
                                        Josh RE: mayache Sep 16, 2010 11:25 PM

                                        Government subsidies are but one small component of cheap food's high external cost. You left out pollution, encroachment of GMOs, and disease.

                                        If current agricultural subsidies are $20b/year, then with a US population of roughly 300m that works out to $65/year per person. I think it's pretty obvious that won't cover all of the other high costs I mentioned (and probably doesn't add up to much feed, either).

                                        Palomar Mountain's meat is raised locally, and isn't fed GMO corn, and isn't polluting the Gulf of Mexico or local groundwater. Seems to me that's worth the few extra bucks.

                                  2. re: DipCone
                                    Josh RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 05:42 PM

                                    Homegrown is a good spot, buy the cheaper cuts. Get the hangar steak for $10/lb, or the skirt. Those are quick-cooking and delicious.

                                2. re: DipCone
                                  c
                                  CTDub RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 09:59 AM

                                  In PB the best large grocery store is the Vons at Garnet & Jewell, better than either Ralphs or Albertsons. We used to go to Ralphs because it was closer too, but it's worth making the switch.

                                  The Ralphs in the UTC area (across the street from Whole Foods) is impressively big, but can't see how it's worth a drive (as opposed to WF). There's also a Bristol Farms in UTC at Genesee & Nobel (but again a bit of a hike).

                                  2nd what cstr said -- BevMo (La Jolla) is a good all around liquor store unless you're looking for more off-beat stuff.

                                  1. re: DipCone
                                    z
                                    zare_k RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 10:44 AM

                                    Euro Food Depot in Sorrento Valley has some nice cheeses and other French import items. However, I believe their storefront is only open on Fridays.

                                    1. re: DipCone
                                      DiningDiva RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 11:22 AM

                                      Another option for meat that won't be quite such sticker shock is Sisals on Ashton, just off Morena Blvd in Bay Park, which is just over the freeway from PB. Yes, most of it is commodity beef, but the butchers are knowledgeable and the quality is better than average. Lots of specialty items (including seasonal turducken). Catalina Offshore is in the same general vicinity and they are probably the best fresh fish source in SD. Very much aware of the local fisheries, what's available, sustainability, etc. Even though they sell mostly to the trade, they do sell retail.

                                      BevMo is a good all-pupose liquor store with a very wide selection. But, if you don't mind taking a little road trip to Escondido, you should check out Holiday Liquors. Awesome liquor/wine store.

                                      Honkman hit the nail on the head with the Venissimo recommendation. Wonderful selection and Del Mar is close to you. Venissimo also offers their Cheese Academy at their downtown location.

                                      I prefer the Hillcrest WF to La Jolla. I think their overall selection is a little better. The Hillcrest store is located at 7th and University. Don't think it's worth a special trip but it's a decent resource. All Henry's are not created equal, some are better than others. Generally, they have really decent prices on produce and bulk items. The turn over in their bulk bins is decent, it doesn't sit there forever.

                                      As you may know, TJs are also not created equal, that what is stocked on the West Coast often is not stocked on the East Coast and vice versa. Produce, dairy and wine are pretty strong selections, plus they are one of the few places to get nuts that are suitable for baking and cooking in reasonable quantities at reasonable prices. The other really, really good source for nuts is Windmill Farms in Del Cerro, which is at least 20 mintues from you on a good day.

                                      The mainstream supermarkets are good for the basics, or if you need to run in for an item or two. There are a couple of Ralph's superstores - Uptown Center in Hillcrest and Friar's Rd/Hazard Ctr in Mission Valley - that are actually quite good (with the edge to Friars), but neither of those is very convenient to the La Jolla/PB area.

                                      I buy very little from the mainline grocery stores. I shop the farmers markets for the bulk of my produce, or get a farmers market bag from Specialty produce, and fill in from Windmill Farms or Keils, 2 indy grocers close to me. I buy cheese from Venissimo, and fish from either Blue Water Grill or Catalina Offshore. I get Mexican products at either Pancho Villa or Northgate and Asian products at (mostly) Ranch 99. Mira Mesa has a good number of independent Asian and Indian groceries. Convoy St. in Kearny Mesa is also an excellent location for Asian products.

                                      You can, more of less, source just about anything here. Specialty items are not necessarily exotic, they just aren't mainstream...which is why you won't find a lot of what you're looking for in regular grocery stores. I make the rounds of my preferred vendors every Saturday beginning with the LI farmers market. I'm pretty sure most everyone else here has a routine that's similar. It takes a few months to figure out where everything is, what you can find and what you can't. Good luck.

                                      -----
                                      Pancho Villa's
                                      3245 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

                                      Kearny's
                                      8310 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111

                                      1. re: DipCone
                                        Josh RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 05:41 PM

                                        Two Whole Foods in SD. One in La Jolla, one in Hillcrest. La Jolla is bigger and has more stuff, though cheese in Hillcrest might be better. For good cheese, Venissimo in Hillcrest is better still.

                                        Henry's is OK, but not my favorite.

                                        Chinese grocery: 99 Ranch in Kearny Mesa. Kearny Mesa also has Zion Marketplace (Korean), Mitsuwa/Marukan/Nijiya (Japanese).

                                        -----
                                        Zion Marketplace
                                        4611 Mercury St, San Diego, CA

                                        Kearny's
                                        8310 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111

                                        1. re: DipCone
                                          d
                                          daantaat RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 09:01 PM

                                          haven't seen Korean fried chicken around here but I haven't been to "all" of the Korean places in SD. Min Suk Chun (?) on Convoy is a Korean bar and may have it on the menu. It's next to Korea House, a place you should skip.

                                          KirkK's blog, mmm-yoso.typepad.com is the best blog for all Asian food in the SD area.

                                          -----
                                          Korea House
                                          4620 Convoy St Ste A, San Diego, CA 92111

                                          1. re: DipCone
                                            SaltyRaisins RE: DipCone Sep 17, 2010 07:18 AM

                                            Del Mesa Foods and Liquor on Friars Rd in Mission Valley for booze.

                                            Sab-e-Lee makes excellent fried chicken...it might have even been excellent fried backyard coq.

                                            Produce from Nijiya market can be pretty wonderful- they have their own farm and grow Japanese herbs and veg that I would not trust from Ranch 99.

                                            And do try a manakeesh ultimate with torshi from Mama's Lebanese sometime.

                                            Cheers!

                                      2. d
                                        DougOLis RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 12:02 PM

                                        What's wrong with shrimp? Depending on its sourcing, it can be a "Best Alternative."

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: DougOLis
                                          DipCone RE: DougOLis Sep 16, 2010 03:18 PM

                                          I agree. Just that Ceviche lady was getting ruffled about me asking her about the "red snapper" that we both knew wasn't red snapper at all, and when the sourcing of the shrimp came up, she said, "It's from Baja". I hope that it was, but when there's insanely cheap shrimp from Asia, and my flag was already up on the snapper, I just wasn't confident about where the shrimp actually came from and decided to skip it all together. Shrimp can be a best alternative, you are correct. http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr...

                                          1. re: DipCone
                                            c
                                            Cathy RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 04:52 PM

                                            Almost all the fish from Catalina Offshore is caught in Baja waters. They are a major supplier for restaurants and grocers in San Diego.

                                            As DD said, they are very knowlegable about sustainability.

                                            www.catalinaop.com

                                        2. c
                                          Cathy RE: DipCone Sep 16, 2010 05:07 PM

                                          There are over 50 farmers markets in the county each week. http://www.sdfarmbureau.org/BuyLocal/Farmers-Markets.php

                                          I have seen the same people selling at multiple locations. They can't be farming if they are selling.

                                          As DiningDiva stated, the Specialty Produce Farmers Market Bag is an easy way to get weekly supplies from multiple "local" farms. We can't grow everything in this county, but SP fruit and vegetables are sourced from California. When you go to the order form for the FMB, there is a link so you can see 'Past Boxes'. Each has a listing as to which farm grew the various product. www.specialtyproduce.com

                                          There are very very many smaller ethnic markets in the county, not limited to, but in general Mediterranean, Asian and Hispanic .

                                          -----
                                          Specialty Produce
                                          1929 Hancock St, San Diego, CA

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Cathy
                                            p
                                            palmtree38 RE: Cathy Sep 16, 2010 06:49 PM

                                            Happy Birthday Foodie chick!!!!!!! hope it was a good one for you... cheers!

                                            Is there any costco's around La Jolla or Laguna beach???

                                            I like a sauvignon blanc or we like cabs/merlots.. Hoping to get some californian wines and pick up some cheeses for balcony sunset cheers.. We dont have a extensive california wine selection where I live around Toronto. The ones we do have are around $17 which I have seen in Cali for around $7..
                                            Love some nippy cheddars

                                            Is there some good cheap and cheerfull popular around $10 marks you could rec?

                                            Also Costco usa allows canadian costco members to shop???

                                            1. re: palmtree38
                                              d
                                              daantaat RE: palmtree38 Sep 16, 2010 08:57 PM

                                              The closest Costco to La Jolla is the Morena Blvd one. I'm sure there is one in South OC. Costco's website probably has a "search location" link.
                                              Have no idea if your Canadian membership is good here but it's worth asking.

                                              1. re: palmtree38
                                                nileg RE: palmtree38 Sep 17, 2010 02:32 AM

                                                1. The closest Costco to La Jolla is the one on Morena. Incidentally it is also the original store.
                                                2. There are two Costco stores near Laguna Beach in Laguna Niguel...one in the Laguna Niguel Marketplace at 27220 Heather Ridge Road and the other at 27972 Cabot Road.
                                                3. Your Costco card is valid at any Costco worldwide.

                                                1. re: nileg
                                                  p
                                                  palmtree38 RE: nileg Sep 17, 2010 07:12 AM

                                                  perfect!!! will head there..

                                                  When you say good cheeses are these old cheddars or some variety ones?? cheese is our weekness...

                                                  I get lost in your wine stores as I have never seen so much selection and end up choosing a Australian wine that I recognise ie rosemont estates.

                                            2. SDGourmand RE: DipCone Sep 17, 2010 08:59 AM

                                              I love venissmo but find there prices to be extremely high. A lot of the cheeses I can find cheaper online including shipping.

                                              Show Hidden Posts