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Food Network looking for a 'troubled restaurant' in SD...your picks

Beach Chick Dec 29, 2010 04:32 PM

Production company of the Food Network show 'Dinner Impossible' is looking for a troubled SD restaurant and this was in the UT Food section today.
'Seeking restaurant owners with strong personalities who are passionate about their profession'.
'They must be willing to overhaul the menu and decor'...'family run business a plus'

Whom would you nominate?

  1. thirtyeyes Jan 13, 2011 07:55 PM

    Phat on Convoy, it's an odd Vietnamese Buffet restaurant. It is by Chop Stix which is always packed and this place is always empty, though I hear it is busier during lunch. I can't understand how they stay in business unless their lunch is a huge part of the business.

    4 Replies
    1. re: thirtyeyes
      daantaat Jan 13, 2011 08:01 PM

      Out of curiosity, what do they serve in the buffet?

      1. re: daantaat
        mikec Jan 14, 2011 03:04 PM

        They have a Pho bar, and some pretty typical Vietnamese/Chinese stuff (potstickers, egg rolls, spring rolls, noodles). I didn't think it was awful, but Sunrise is probably better. At least it's better than Phat's bizarre "boiled chicken" concept, that quickly was replaced by the Buffet...

        1. re: mikec
          daantaat Jan 14, 2011 08:28 PM

          What is in a pho bar?

      2. re: thirtyeyes
        mliew Jan 15, 2011 09:54 AM

        The place was always dead during dinner time when it used to be Luong Hy Ky (sp?) as well. Never understood how the place managed to last 10+ years before it become Phat, but obviously people must be eating there. Either that or they are selling crack out the back door.

      3. m
        miked Jan 10, 2011 04:30 AM

        Coffee shop with limited food options of sandwiches and panning maker. Strong personality owner and workers. Please check it out.

        Cafe Loma
        3960 W Point Loma Blvd Ste M, San Diego, CA 92110

        1. g
          gator28 Jan 7, 2011 02:36 PM

          Station Sushi in Solana Beach. That place has had the worst service lately and the sushi has been lacking (I know it's no Kaito).

          1. DiningDiva Jan 6, 2011 08:49 AM

            Somebody needs to nominate the "San Diego Home Cooking" restaurants for a makeover. They're pretty dreadful, though ususally full of customers in spite of bad food and even worse decor

            1 Reply
            1. re: DiningDiva
              Island Jan 6, 2011 07:28 PM

              2nd that!

            2. e
              Encinitan Jan 5, 2011 09:18 AM

              I nominate Elijah's deli in La Jolla. The food and decor could definitely use a major upgrading, and we need a good Jewish deli in San Diego. That said, I don't think Jewish deli food is part of Robert Irvine's forte.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Encinitan
                daantaat Jan 5, 2011 07:10 PM

                excellent idea! We need a good Jewish deli around here!

                1. re: daantaat
                  RB Hound Jan 5, 2011 09:15 PM

                  Yes, I know that the large majority of Jewish families in the UTC area are not from New York, but it still seems almost unfathomable to me that Elijah's (and Samson's before that) stay in existence.

                  1. re: RB Hound
                    littlestevie Jan 6, 2011 08:42 AM

                    Heh, I would love to see what Robert Irvine could do with a Jewish deli.

                    1. re: RB Hound
                      jturtle Jan 6, 2011 07:53 PM

                      Maybe it is just my childhood memories speaking but Samson's in the 80's was way better then Elijah's or Miltons.

                      1. re: jturtle
                        Josh Jan 6, 2011 10:19 PM

                        That is true, and Samson's sucked - which says a lot about Elijah's and Miltons.

                2. s
                  sdnosh Jan 3, 2011 06:11 AM

                  Red Sails Inn in Point Loma. Although I'd be afraid to see what they would pull out of the dark recesses of that place!

                  Red Sails Inn
                  2614 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sdnosh
                    Beach Chick Jan 3, 2011 06:53 AM

                    LOL..I think the Gordon's Fisherman hides under one of those stools in the bar and Jimmy Hoffa is buried out on the back patio.
                    It's hard to go there for breakfast since sunlight darkens it door and this is one of those places that dark is good!

                  2. m
                    mjsp1 Jan 2, 2011 08:53 AM

                    Papachino's in Del Mar - this is a trainwreck of a restaurant. also a family business, the owner is a cattle rancher from Descanso or Ramona or something, his Son who i think is about 21 or so helps run the place...

                    Papachino's Restaurant
                    2650 Via De La Valle Ste C210, Del Mar, CA 92014

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mjsp1
                      ohnothankyou Jan 2, 2011 10:36 AM

                      SUCH a good suggestion, and accessible to the general public.

                      1. re: ohnothankyou
                        Island Jan 2, 2011 02:15 PM

                        That bad, but it's been there for years hasn't it? Wonder what keeps it in business; unsuspecting mall or movie goers?

                        1. re: Island
                          littlestevie Jan 3, 2011 08:03 AM

                          You would think that the Flower Hill Mall rent isn't cheap. Maybe Papachino's owners know someting about the landlords. But seriously, the food isn't expensive, its not busy, the only place that seems busy in that mall is Milton's (which I can't see why), I don't how Papachino's stays in business.

                          Papachino's Restaurant
                          2650 Via De La Valle Ste C210, Del Mar, CA 92014

                    2. SDGourmand Dec 30, 2010 06:18 AM

                      I would like to see Fulano's on Leucadia Blvd featured.. I have never seen more than one table taken at this place over the course of 2 years.. I have no idea how they stay open.. From what I hear it's a one man show.. That one guy owns, cooks, serves, etc... Would be great to see..

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: SDGourmand
                        littlestevie Dec 30, 2010 07:46 AM

                        We went there once, and we were the only ones there. The food wasn't bad but the same guy told us what to order, and then he went and cooked it. It was a strange experience to say the least, and we haven't been back.

                        1. re: littlestevie
                          SDGourmand Dec 30, 2010 08:37 AM

                          I think it would be a great Kitchen Nightmares.. Have Ramsay come in and yell at just the one guy..

                          1. re: SDGourmand
                            MrKrispy Dec 30, 2010 10:34 AM

                            LMAO I would watch that.

                            Ramsay needs to visit that little Hawaiian place over near Mesa College & Linda Vista Road, that was a disaster.

                        2. re: SDGourmand
                          cgfan Jan 3, 2011 05:56 PM

                          Ha ha! Only been there once, and indeed, what a joke of a place it was. But I wonder if that area has a hold on weird restaurants, as right across the street is the strange (though never been - do I really need to?) Chinese/Italian restaurant!

                          Also worth mentioning is Kim's Vietnamese in the Lumberyard. Their combination of an expansive menu and paucity of customers is a joke. I can practically hear freezer compressors and microwave ovens going off as I read their menu...

                          1. re: cgfan
                            littlestevie Jan 4, 2011 08:04 AM

                            And we could always add Roxy for another oddball Encinitas restaurant. I love their food at the fair, but the restaurant, yikes! That place looks like it is time warped from 1969, and not in a good way. I really don't get how the food can be better out of a truck on the del mar fairgrounds than at their restaurant.

                            1. re: littlestevie
                              SDGourmand Jan 4, 2011 08:10 AM

                              so true!! I love them at the fair.. They should sell the restaurant and open a food truck..

                        3. foodiechick Dec 29, 2010 08:11 PM

                          Ha ha BC. I was going to post something similar after seeing that today. I would nominate Cosmopolitan, La Valencia Hotel (how can a management co. screw up a classic so badly), Del Mar Brig (same owner ran LJ location into the ground), Maitre D' Olivetto in Mission Hills.

                          Olivetto Restaurant
                          860 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: foodiechick
                            littlestevie Dec 30, 2010 07:42 AM

                            Aren't all the Brigs, Miguels, etc. owned by the same group? or are you talking about the manager at the DM Brig?

                          2. honkman Dec 29, 2010 06:09 PM

                            Haven't dine there but I heard that Searocket Bistro might be good for the show

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: honkman
                              Josh Dec 30, 2010 08:01 AM

                              I would definitely second Searocket Bistro.

                              1. re: Josh
                                mikec Dec 30, 2010 10:40 AM

                                Curious. I haven't heard that Searocket was struggling. And the typical reviews here are always pretty positive. Are there specific issues that you think need straightening out?

                                1. re: mikec
                                  MrKrispy Dec 30, 2010 12:18 PM

                                  was just about to post that too...I didn't realize SeaRocket was struggling based on when I have been there.

                                  1. re: mikec
                                    Josh Dec 30, 2010 03:08 PM

                                    I don't think they're struggling financially - I just mean that I've found the quality to have declined so steeply.

                              2. artgalgenius Dec 29, 2010 05:36 PM

                                This sounds like a copy of that Gordon Ramsey show on BBC America.

                                1. i
                                  Island Dec 29, 2010 05:33 PM

                                  Haven't been, but from what I've read here and in reviews it sounds like Cosmopolitan could use some help.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Island
                                    MrKrispy Dec 29, 2010 06:55 PM

                                    I was going to mention Cosmo but that place is limited on the decor (and the menu somewhat) by the lease with the State Park.

                                    1. re: Island
                                      mikec Dec 30, 2010 10:28 AM

                                      Whatever they did at Cosmo, no doubt three months later the Owner would complain about food costs and undo everything that was done...

                                    2. m
                                      MrKrispy Dec 29, 2010 05:06 PM

                                      hahaha I was going to nominate Pomegranate based on the personality thing (i like the menu in general) but I have a feeling they don't want a lot of attention :)

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