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4 Nights in Pacific Beach. Recs please.

Island Dec 2, 2010 11:34 AM

This week 4 night beach staycation for 2 San Diegans with a goal to stay local and only dine in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Bay.
I know that limits chowhound worthiness, but we're open to anything from white table cloth to hole in the wall. Breakfast is taken care of.
We thought we'd try Baleen if they've got grouper on the menu and Olde City Grill if still best spot in that area for a cheesesteak??
Can you help us out with some of your favorites for lunch and dinner? Thanks.

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  1. Beach Chick RE: Island Dec 2, 2010 11:57 AM

    Maitre'D in Bird Rock is quite good and very old school continental.
    Saska's in MB for a burger and beer on cruisers along with happy hour lobster tacos at the Surfer hotel.. oceanfront at World Famous.
    Taco Surf for burritos and Cafe Athena for Greek..Caffe Bella for Italian.
    Bahia Don Bravo's in Bird Rock for 99cent fish tacos and lobster burritos.
    Oriental chicken salad at Cass Street Bar and grill and don't forget to have a pitcher at Lahainas!
    Luigi's for a slice and Rocky's for a cheeseburger and a pitcher..no flames. ; )

    1. d
      daantaat RE: Island Dec 2, 2010 08:06 PM

      Isabel's Cantina in PB--brunch and lunch
      the little Peruvian place on Garnet--the name escapes me.
      Cafe Athena--dinner

      2 Replies
      1. re: daantaat
        cstr RE: daantaat Dec 3, 2010 05:48 AM

        Latin Chef, great little place on Garnet. I'd also add Kono's for breakfast and big 2nd for Taco Surf.

        Latin Chef
        1142 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

        1. re: cstr
          daantaat RE: cstr Dec 3, 2010 06:54 PM

          thank you!

      2. j
        JRSD RE: Island Dec 3, 2010 06:15 AM

        I haven't tried it but Pop's Jersey Style Cheesesteaks has gotten some mentions for sandwiches/cheesesteaks in PB as well.

        1. Ed Dibble RE: Island Dec 3, 2010 09:11 AM

          Another vote for Taco Surf. Not authentic, but good. Also Latin Chef is well worth a visit. Love the cebiche there.

          Another favorite of mine is the Fishery on Cass for good fresh local seafood well prepared. On Tuesday evenings, they have a reasonably priced 3 course tasting menu.

          The Tap Room on Garnet has a good beer selection.

          Latin Chef
          1142 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

          Tap Room
          1269 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ed Dibble
            Ed Dibble RE: Ed Dibble Dec 3, 2010 09:14 AM

            Oh, I forgot Costa Brava, the best tapas in SD.

            Costa Brava
            1653 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

          2. bizzwriter RE: Island Dec 3, 2010 10:33 AM

            If you're doing your staycation over the weekend, I recommend Enoteca Adriano on Cass for Italian. They have a killer osso bucco and seafood/black squid ink pasta confab on special Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure to check out the pope's pillow for dessert!

            1. s
              sdnosh RE: Island Dec 4, 2010 09:43 AM

              I'd add JRDN for the higher end restaurant with a great view before night falls and Zanzibar on Garnet for after dinner sweets and coffee.

              1. c
                carli RE: Island Dec 4, 2010 05:34 PM

                I just tried Olde City Grill last week because we had family in town from the east coast, and after several days of fine dining, we had some requests for what was referred to as good old "bar food". We decided to go for Philly cheesesteak at Olde City, and it was great. They offer either the classic or they let you build your own, so you pick add-ons (i.e. mushrooms, onions, Cheese Whiz, Provolone, etc, or none of the above). Olde City looks/feels very much like a pizza place (which they also serve) with TVs on every wall and not much ambience. But, it's great for what it is. Super friendly servers. We all loved our Philly cheesesteaks, and the bread/rolls they were served on were excellent (flown in from Philly, according to our server). It was great after a morning of riding bikes on the PB boardwalk. I always forget how much fun it is to ride beach cruisers along that boardwalk, especially with out-of-town guests interested in a glimpse of real SoCal beach life.

                Olde City Grill
                967 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

                1. k
                  karaethon RE: Island Dec 5, 2010 07:33 AM

                  I'm going to get flamed for this, but since you're limiting your geographical radius, Sushi Ota will provide the best sushi options for that area.

                  Best coffee in that area is probably Bird Rock Coffee.

                  Sushi Ota
                  4529 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: karaethon
                    cgfan RE: karaethon Mar 23, 2011 08:36 AM

                    ...though with Bird Rock Coffee, as in most cafes - it's the rare cafe that has any kind of consistency in pulling espressos worth drinking, their espressos can be like playing Russian Roulette.

                    However given their rather unusual penchant (for San Diego or for that matter most other cities) to focus on a wide variety of Single Origin coffees, and the relative ease of proper execution of brewed coffee, I'd recommend choosing one of their Single Origins brewed either as a French Press or as a pour-over.

                    For a real treat look in particular for a dry-processed Ethiopian, particularly in a dry-processed Yrgacheffe. (Examples include, but not limited to, a dry-processed Misty Valley, Oromia Sidamo, or an Amaro Gayo). Coffees such as these are not in wide distribution and most would not have had a chance to be at a shop that features such coffees.

                  2. Beach Chick RE: Island Dec 5, 2010 08:08 AM

                    Is Lamont Street Grill still around?

                    1. p
                      pickypicky RE: Island Mar 23, 2011 07:38 AM

                      Old thread, but since PB is my new (temporary) hood, I'm getting to see it from the ground up-- not zooming through it as spring break hell which I what I used to do. Our first morning back in SD we headed to the Mission for breakfast, and the line was down the block. We settled for nearby Cafe Mono which turned out to be a GREAT place: lovely outdoor seating and La Calabria coffee served in proper vessels. The owner, who worked ten years in a Little Italy cafe, is such a stickler for well-made coffee that when I ordered a latte in their nice brown Italian cup and saucer, he corrected me and said that it would have to be a cappuchino. And what a perfect cappucchino it was! For breakfast I chose a veg. panini with a twist: cucumber, green olive, hummus, and Cyprian cheese-- made by Mariana, wife and co-owner, who also makes beautiful spinach pie.

                      Cafe Mono
                      3833 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

                      26 Replies
                      1. re: pickypicky
                        menuinprogress RE: pickypicky Mar 23, 2011 08:18 AM

                        Thanks for the report on Cafe Mono - I've been meaning to check them out.

                        1. re: pickypicky
                          cgfan RE: pickypicky Mar 23, 2011 08:41 AM

                          Sounds like I need to check them out.

                          For ages I've heard only "rumors" of a small cafe that also roasts that's a stickler for espresso quality in that general area, but never was able to locate them. Wonder if that's Cafe Mono? Any other details or info would be appreciated...

                          Cafe Mono
                          3833 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

                          1. re: cgfan
                            pickypicky RE: cgfan Mar 23, 2011 09:40 AM

                            Hey Cgfan! No, they don't roast (to my knowledge) but purchase from Calabria. I loved that the owner, who made my coffee, had a protocol regarding which vessel received which coffee. He asked if I wanted my latte in a glass, which I refused (hate glass for coffee.) He offered me a white cup and saucer, and I asked for the brown, Italian cup/saucer. That's when he told me that THAT was for a Cappuchino. That may sound silly to some, but I love tradition and authenticity in food. That he took so much care in how he served made me believe he'd take care in how he made my coffee.

                            1. re: pickypicky
                              cstr RE: pickypicky Mar 23, 2011 10:14 AM

                              I agree, many fuss over wine glasses so, why not coffee vessels.

                              1. re: cstr
                                Beach Chick RE: cstr Mar 23, 2011 10:39 AM

                                when did coffee cups become 'vessels'..is it a Star Trek thing?

                                You all sitting on your vessel drinking from your vessel with the caffeine vesseling to other vessel areas?
                                ; )

                                1. re: Beach Chick
                                  psychotron RE: Beach Chick Mar 23, 2011 11:08 AM

                                  NU-CLE-AR WESSELS. ;)

                                  1. re: Beach Chick
                                    cstr RE: Beach Chick Mar 23, 2011 11:19 AM

                                    must have been feeling nautical!

                                    1. re: Beach Chick
                                      pickypicky RE: Beach Chick Mar 23, 2011 11:31 AM

                                      my options were a tall glass, a white mug or a brown cup and saucer. How else to refer to all three options with one word? From dictionary.com - vessel: "a hollow or concave utensil, as a cup, bowl, pitcher, or vase, used for holding liquids or other contents."

                                      1. re: pickypicky
                                        cgfan RE: pickypicky Mar 23, 2011 11:50 AM

                                        Me thinks when it comes to Starbucks' new Trenta size, "tub" or "bucket" might be a better fit... :)

                                        1. re: pickypicky
                                          cstr RE: pickypicky Mar 23, 2011 01:08 PM

                                          Grazie Picky!

                                          1. re: pickypicky
                                            Beach Chick RE: pickypicky Mar 23, 2011 01:22 PM

                                            no question it was the correct verbiage, it just sounded funny..
                                            humor people..let's not forget it..
                                            ; )

                                            1. re: Beach Chick
                                              cstr RE: Beach Chick Mar 23, 2011 01:33 PM

                                              Oh I get it !! must have wrote the post before I had a coffee.

                                              1. re: cstr
                                                Beach Chick RE: cstr Mar 23, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                I had my coffee at 5am...hee hee
                                                I need stat a double espresso pulled perfectly from cg's place...

                                                1. re: Beach Chick
                                                  DiningDiva RE: Beach Chick Mar 23, 2011 01:46 PM

                                                  Me too :-)

                                                  1. re: DiningDiva
                                                    Beach Chick RE: DiningDiva Mar 23, 2011 01:56 PM

                                                    Does Bully's East have a good espresso machine?
                                                    ; )

                                                    1. re: Beach Chick
                                                      DiningDiva RE: Beach Chick Mar 23, 2011 02:08 PM

                                                      I don't think so, just good bartenders ;-)

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva
                                                        cstr RE: DiningDiva Mar 23, 2011 06:10 PM

                                                        2nd the bartenders, they're excellent, especially the tall 'Stretch'.

                                                      2. re: Beach Chick
                                                        cgfan RE: Beach Chick Mar 23, 2011 02:48 PM

                                                        I'd love to be contradicted on this, but there has not been a restaurant yet that pulls a good espresso... (...except for Vivoli Cafe in North Hollywood when Luigi was still there pulling shots...)

                                                        OTOH I'm overjoyed that Nathan Myhrvold in "Modernist Cuisine" went out of his way to point this out, though in his case he focuses particularly on this ironic state of affairs at the high-end restaurants where every little detail is painfully attended to except when it comes to the coffee and espresso.

                                                        1. re: cgfan
                                                          honkman RE: cgfan Mar 23, 2011 03:24 PM

                                                          It's debatable if it is a "real" restaurant but since it has now a full menu even for dinner (and the collaboration with Cimarusti reflects in the high quality food) LAMill has excellent espresso. Also Gjelina is often very good - it might help that they are just a block from Intelligentsia (but overall I agree that espressos at restaurants are often lousy)

                                                          1. re: honkman
                                                            cgfan RE: honkman Mar 23, 2011 03:31 PM

                                                            You're right - I forgot about LAMill. Though they're the exception, it does make sense as they essentially are a "restaurant" that grew out of a coffee operation, perhaps the only one of its kind anywhere...

                                                          2. re: cgfan
                                                            DougOLis RE: cgfan Mar 23, 2011 06:13 PM

                                                            I'm jealous that you have "Modernist Cuisine."

                                                            1. re: DougOLis
                                                              cgfan RE: DougOLis Mar 24, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                              ...not quite yet, though my copy is in the queue... :-) Apparently the demand has far outstripped the supply, though as luck would have it there was a detailed review focusing on the coffee section of MC by Mark Prince of CoffeeGeek.com, which is where I got my information. http://coffeegeek.com/opinions/coffee...

                                                        2. re: DiningDiva
                                                          cgfan RE: DiningDiva Mar 23, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                          BC, DD: :-)

                                                    2. re: Beach Chick
                                                      pickypicky RE: Beach Chick Mar 24, 2011 07:36 AM

                                                      BeachChick! i was actually curious about the word and grateful for the prodding-- sorry my good humor didn't come through! (and this reply got put in the wrong place. hope you see it)

                                                      1. re: pickypicky
                                                        Beach Chick RE: pickypicky Mar 24, 2011 08:06 AM

                                                        It's all good picky..
                                                        I know you have a wicked sense of humor..
                                                        I appreciate the acerbic wit of my fellow CH's to call me on it..

                                              2. re: pickypicky
                                                cgfan RE: pickypicky Mar 23, 2011 11:51 AM

                                                Me like what I'm hearing...

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