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

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?

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  1. 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 :)

    1. 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

        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

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

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

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

            4 Replies
            1. re: honkman

              I would definitely second Searocket Bistro.

              1. re: Josh

                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

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

                  1. re: mikec

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

              2. 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

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

                2. 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

                    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

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

                      1. re: SDGourmand

                        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

                      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

                        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

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

                    3. 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

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

                        1. re: ohnothankyou

                          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

                            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. 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

                          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. 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

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

                            1. re: daantaat

                              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

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

                                1. re: RB Hound

                                  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

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

                            2. 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. 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. 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. 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

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

                                      1. re: daantaat

                                        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...

                                      2. re: thirtyeyes

                                        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.