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Oct 2, 2010 12:08 PM

S.D. Foodie spoilers - Has this happened to you? - Since 'A' opened, I hardly ever/never go back to 'B'

Let's hear yours, whether it's a market, restaurant, product, bar, store, farm, or a vendor...

What Foodie businesses or products have been spoilers (in a good way) for where you used to go since you've discovered them? Do some of these form a chain of spoilers? (e.g.: Since I stumbled upon 'C' I haven't been back to 'D', since I discovered 'B' I rarely went to 'C', after 'A' opened I no longer like 'B'...)

Just to kick things off, here are a couple of mine:

Since I tried Fra Mani, it has spoiled me for most other salumis

Since I started going to the LI Mercato, I seldom go to other farmer's markets

Japanese markets
Since Nijiya opened, I hardly ever shop at Mitsuwa (Yaohan)

Since Yakyudori (Hillcrest) opened, I no longer go to Suzuya
--> Since Yakyudori (Convoy) opened, I haven't been back to Yakyudori (Hillcrest)

Since Chopsticks opened, I never went back to Otemoyan
--> Since Tajima opened, I never go back to Chopsticks
--> Since Santouka opened, I rarely go to Tajima
--> Since Yakyudori (Convoy) opened, I haven't been back to Santouka

Since I've had Saito-san's Sushi at Samurai, I nearly stopped making "Sushi bar rounds"
--> Since I found Morita-san's Sushi at Tomiko, I "left" my earlier Itamae
--> Since I've had the Sushi at Shirahama, I continue to go to Kaito as my 1st, and Shirahama has become my 2nd when before there was no 2nd
--> Since I followed Morita-san to Kaito (El Camino Real), I rarely consider other Sushi bars (exc. Shirahama)
--> Since I followed Morita-san to Kaito (Enc. Blvd.), I rarely consider other Sushi bars (exc. Shirahama)

Since I've had Analyn's espresso at Caffe Calabria, I finally have found a consistent barista in S.D.
--> Since I've had Yvonne's espresso at Kaiser, Kearny Mesa, I finally have an alternative barista
--> Since Zumbar has improved their game, we finally have a reasonably consistent espresso in S.D. with Nicole since losing Analyn from the bar at Calabria

Since discovering Agostino Recca's salt-cured anchovies (at Mona Lisa market and Filippi's market in L.I.), I haven't gone back to oil-packed anchovies

Since trying purple hardneck garlic, I seek them out before using any other market garlic

Red Wine Vinegar
Since making my own red wine vinegar, it has spoiled me for any store-bought red wine vinegar

Since trying Matsushita's Uni at Kaito, it has consistently surpassed all other Uni I've had in S.D. and now get revved up whenever I see it in their case

Kumamoto oysters
Since having Washington State Kumamotos from Kaito, it has spoiled my for my past fave of the Hog Island Kumamotos.

Since trying the Wagashi fresh from Hogetsu's shop, I now think better of San Diego Wagashi (prior to that I've only had their Wagashi in distribution...)

Global knives
Since acquiring my first single-edged Global kife, it has spoiled me for my double-edged Globals knives

Kyoho grapes (Nijiya and Mitsuwa) have spoiled me for any other grape

Soy sauce
Since tyring the Yuasa Ki-Ippon Shoyu at Nijiya, it has spoiled me for all other premium Shoyus... (please bring it back!)

Since trying the Ito no Chikara Natto at Nijiya, I finally have a single favorite Natto... (please bring it back!)

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  1. Since Bruno and Blind Lady opened I have not been back to Bronx or Luigis.

    2 Replies
      1. Since Aiberto's No. 9 opened, I haven't been back to Adalberto's No. 11.

        Seriously, though- my ramen/yakitori/izakaya trajectory has closely followed yours. Ditto for the pizza situation.

        Since I've been thinking about BC's rec for a patty melt at Longhorn, I've been thinking less of trying one elsewhere.

        Café Chloe's fries have put me off all others.


        3 Replies
        1. re: SaltyRaisins

          Had the patty melt this week at Longhorn's and truth be told, I wasn't feeling the love for all!
          It was open face and never remember it being that way so the cheese didn't goo all around the meat was meh and the grilled onions didn't have the carmelization to them..
          A patty melt should never be open faced..what the hell was Bill the cook thinking?
          : (

          Looks like Studio Diner might be the winner chicken dinner for the beloved patty melt..
          This message was approved by BC..

          1. re: Beach Chick

            Since thinking about the PM at Studio Diner, I have ceased to think about the open-faced abomination at Longhorn's.


          2. re: SaltyRaisins

            Yeah, it's taken forever for the Japanese food to scene develop in S.D., hasn't it? (And there's still so much further to go!)

            As to pizza, unfortunately for me ever since having Two Amy's Neapolitan pizzas (in D.C.), no Neapolitan-style pizza in S.D. has yet excited me.

          3. I should also add:

            Since having Rudy's Carne Asada, I now know that CA can reach new heights - and this after having had Tacos el Yaqui's (in Rosarito) version...

            Since having Ba Ren's Shichuan dishes, all other contenders have fallen short.

            Since having Strauss Dairy's non-homogenized whole milk, nothing else has come close.

            Since trying a Double Devon Cream butter (once at the Carlsbad Costco, no less), it has forever been my reference. (Anyone know where I can find some in S.D.?)

            Fortt's Original Bath Oliver biscuits has spoiled me for any other water cracker. (Any sources in S.D.? I used to get them decades ago at the Bronte House Inn in P.B.)

            Since trying Pho Saigon's (Escondido) Pho, I forever compare any Pho noodle (yes, the noodle), against theirs.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cgfan

              Since the Copper Chimney truck opened, I haven't been back to Madras Cafe or Annapurna

            2. Since going to Kaito, I've quit going to Edo Sushi, Sushi on the Rock and virtually all other sushi places in SD.

              For corn, tomatoes and lettuces, we only go to Chino Farms and quit getting them at Trader Joe's.

              For cheese, we quit getting them at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods after going to Venissimo.

              Strawberries are only from Chino's or Be Wise, may Whole Foods bring back the latter next spring/sumer!

              Edo Sushi
              8895 Towne Centre Dr, San Diego, CA 92122

              1. I like that the more I read this post, the more I knew it was probably written by cgfan. Excellent taste as always!

                Seconded on Fra Mani, best salami around.

                Same sequence on ramen. I'd also recommend trying Daikokuniya in LA if you ever visit. They're even better than most places in Japan.

                Okan also replaced Tajima for Japanese lunch. Tajima's fallen since almost their entire staff turned over, and Okan is just excellent. Oton for Japanese dinner. I'd go to Yumeya but it's just so packed.

                Buga's great and gotten even better lately. That's eclipsed all other Korean for me.

                1246 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

                6 Replies
                  1. re: daantaat

                    The last couple times I've been to Buga I've been underwhelmed. I had a meal at Dae Jung Keum a couple days ago which was much better than Buga. I think the real charcoal used on the grill makes the biggest difference between the two places in terms of the meat.

                    1. re: mliew

                      Oh, I should clarify that I never, ever, ever get BBQ. =) I'm talking about just regular Korean food. These days Tsuruhashi's the goto place for BBQ. But yeah, charcoal makes a big difference.

                      1. re: mliew

                        Interesting. We were at DJK sometime over the summer and I remember it not being as good as Buga. Bulgogi was a little too sweet and the kalbi felt undermarinated. Panchan wasn't as fresh, either. I think the ideal Korean BBQ is Buga's menu with DJK's charcoal grills.

                      2. re: daantaat

                        I always get their Yukgejang, and their panchan is excellent.

                      3. re: royaljester

                        Thanks, royaljester...

                        I hear you on Daikokuya, and have been there many a time.

                        Honestly though a good Tonkotsu Ramen is something that I crave for very infrequently and can quite easily tire of (that is if there are good alternatives). For me my favorite has to be a good Shio-men followed by a nice Shoyu-men. I guess Tonkotsu for me is a bit like candy - good as an occasional treat, especially given Daikokuya's Kotteri style.