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What SD restaurants will you try in 2011?

Any San Diego restaurants you definitely want to try in 2011 that you have not been to before? Please tell me what looks good to you; doesn't matter if new or been around forever. Thanks.

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  1. Based on SDGourmand's Kitchen 1540 rec, I'm there for the smoked steelhead roe and a glass of Pino Noir or two to go with it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cstr

      I'm not sure if it's always on the menu.. Definitely call ahead for that one.. They will be doing a complete menu change in March. Chef Paul wouldn't give me much info on it he's trying to keep a secret.. All I can say is expect very good things!

    2. #1 on my list when i head back down for a visit sometime this year is Cucina Urbana - i can't believe i never made it there before i moved away.

      1. I'm really wanting to try Kaito. I keep reading it's amazing!

        5 Replies
        1. re: lisajanae

          I find it goes deeper than being just amazing - it's a revelation...

          Take a Ganko (stubborn) traditionally-trained Itamae from Tokyo (simultaneously apprenticed under two generations of chefs) who doesn't allow any shortcuts and was brought up on the Edo-mae style but eschews celebrity chefs (just mention Iron Chef and you'll hear a handful!) and is humble to a fault ("we don't do anything special", "we're just OK", "we're just average"), and you've got a unique, one-of-a-kind, we're lucky to have it in San Diego gem of a Sushi-ya.

          Go on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, sit in front of Morita-san, tell him a bit of your likes and dislikes (if this is your first visit), and ask for an Omakase. You'll be in for a real treat.

          (And don't be too surprised if you're served some of the very things that you "dislike" - there are some key Sushi Neta [ingredients] that are so poorly executed at almost all other Sushi bars that they really demand to be re-tasted at Kaito.)

          1. re: cgfan

            what does the omakase usually run?

            1. re: SDGourmand

              Anywhere from $40-80 plus drinks, but more normally around $55-70; it really depends a lot on your appetite, plus expect a bit more if there is plenty of Sashimi involved or relatively rare specials. I find that Morita-san normally asks you before he suggests an unusual amount of Sashimi, as well as if there is a rare item that he thinks he should serve as part of the Omakase.

              1. re: cgfan

                Speaking of Kaito, we were there the other day and had some of Joe-san's buta kakuni - so good!!

                1. re: shouzen


                  Even though I just returned from 2-1/2 weeks in Japan, I've been itching to return to Kaito. Only thing keeping me is the wait for Tsukiji deliveries to resume after the yearly New Year's blackout, but then again they continue to get deliveries from the other markets in Japan...

                  A visit tonight is highly likely...

        2. I'm looking forward to going to Rancho Valencia resort in RSF for a weekend stay of tennis/golf and lots of good food at the revamped restaurant and resort.

          Also, that food truck in the Toys R Us parking lot in Chula Vista that cstr raves about.
          Paon in Carlsbad too.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Beach Chick

            looking forward to hearing what you think of RV.. A friend of mine just started cooking there..

            1. re: SDGourmand

              This resort has such good bones and I used to go there years ago but I consider it a new revamped resort and can't wait to spend a long weekend eating and drinking.

            2. I really want to try Flavor in Del Mar

              8 Replies
              1. re: chris2269

                its awful was there after my dinner at 1540.. It's like an sports bar trying to be upscale.. The food is unimaginative and poorly executed.. I expected a lot more for Chef Jason..

                1. re: chris2269

                  We have been to Flavor twice. Once for dinner in November, once for lunch on New Years Day. Very impressed both times. Maybe SDG was unlucky or I was lucky twice. I'd suggest you give it a try.

                  1. re: eatemup

                    I think you got lucky but I think Chris should give it a shot.. I've talked to several chef friends who have went and were shocked that Jason was putting out such poor food.. Also they did 3 million in renovations on that spot.. I don't see where the money went? He had/has a great opportunity to go all out and he's holding back.. Also the bar area was extremely loud that makes Cucina Urbana seem like a library and the hostesses were very rude..

                    1. re: SDGourmand

                      I agree I don't see $3 million in improvements. Perhaps we were lucky.

                      1. re: eatemup

                        That's probably because they did not spend close to $3millions... SDG should check his facts.

                          1. re: SDGourmand

                            Not even close. Sorry but check your facts again.

                            1. re: jaysurf12

                              How do you know they didn't then? I heard it from other chefs in the area that talked directly to Jason..

                2. Here is my short list, some I can't believe I have not been to yet.

                  Blanca (already scheduled for Jan 10th)
                  Kitchen 1540
                  Chins Chinese Breakfast, Miramar
                  Menuderia Don Vicente
                  Birrieria Don Rafa
                  La Fachada
                  Do Re Mi House
                  Las Brisas Taqueria
                  Le Fontainebleau
                  El Take it Easy

                  La Fachada
                  20 25th St, San Diego, CA 92102

                  Menuderia Don Vicente
                  2637 Highland Ave, National City, CA 91950

                  1. We have a reservation at Cucina Urbana soon. Will also be trying El Take it Easy and Wine Vault (babysitter required). Addison is planned later in the year for a celebration dinner.

                    1. Jyoti-Bihanga
                      El Take it Easy

                      1. As I write this list, I'm almost embarrassed. How can a self proclaimed "foodie" not have eaten at these restaurants? In my defense, with the busy year I have had, I've stayed pretty close to home and jean acceptable when making dining choices. This year, I plan to venture further out and wear something other than jeans!
                        Nine Ten
                        Kitchen 1540
                        AR Valentine
                        More varieties of Asian restaurant in Clairemont

                        Nine Ten
                        910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

                        1. El Take It Easy
                          Cowboy Star

                          Those are 3 in no particular order.

                          Maybe Bankers Hill Bar & Restuarant. A couple of others mentioned here already like Kitchen 1540 or Addison but probably not.

                          Maybe a return trip to Cucina Urbana? Or JSix? Cafe Chloe?