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Who's familiar with 'old' San Diego restaurants?

Howdy!
SF post got me thinking about old restaurants in SD and wondering which ones are still around?
Albie's Beef Inn in Mission Valley comes to mind and Bully's East..and the beloved Bali Hai..

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  1. Baci, Troy's, Perry's, Jimmy's (Santee), Aunt Emma's. All since the 70's.

    If you consider the 70's to be long ago.

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    Baci Restaurant
    1955 West Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

    1. If you ever watch Ken Kramer's About San Diego on KPBS, he will hit one of the old places every couple of weeks. I will add Chicken Pie Shop, Filippi's, and the Marine Room. And I think they may been around longer than your three. The Pie Shop moved, I think, in the 50's, The Marine Room has been renovated, but I don't think Filippi's has changed much sinse it opened.

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      Marine Room Restaurant
      2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037

      1 Reply
      1. re: littlestevie

        Oh yes. Chicken Pie Shop since 1938...

      2. I'll add Old Trieste, Anthony's, Niederfranks (okay, that's not a restaurant but their ice cream's been around a long time), Nicolosi's has been around for 50+ years. FWIW, Hob Nob Hill and Mr. A's, the Westgate, El Indio, Tony's Jacal, Posiden, and the Grove Bakery.

        I'm pretty sure I can come up with more if I think about it.

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        Tony's Jacal
        621 Valley Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075

        Hob Nob Hill
        2271 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

        Old Trieste Restaurant
        2335 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

        1. I was at Albies last weekend, just for drinks and appetizers. Closed the place down with some friends. I had never eaten there before. The artichoke was just about the worst I've ever had -- boiled to a soggy, limp and overly acidulated mush. The calamari was better -- a pounded steak, fried with a light breading and covered with a too lemony sauce. But the martinis are fine as is the singer.

          1. Crown Room (Sunday Brunch)
            Restaurants at La Valencia since 1926
            Hob Knob Hill 1944
            Tony Jacal 1946
            Red Tracton's established 1948
            La Especial Del Norte
            Grant Grill established 1951
            Red Sails Inn established 1957
            Old Trieste
            Harry's Coffee Shop 1960
            Red Fox Steakhouse
            Imperial House early 70's (feels older)
            Lubach's . . . oh, wait.

            7 Replies
            1. re: foodiechick

              Red Tracton's was up in LA, I remember going to it as a kid. I think it moved down here in the mid 70's.

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              Red Tracton's
              550 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, CA 92075

              1. re: littlestevie

                And I was forgetting Lola's up in Carlsbad, they have been around sinse the 40's.

              2. re: foodiechick

                I don't think there was a finer restaurant than Lubach's. Many a memory was made there. I lived in Los Angeles but handled court cases in San Diego. Impressed girlfriends with Lubach's and the mock turtle soup and the duck in Montmorency.

                1. re: Hughlipton

                  Ran across a Lubach's menu from 1976 and see that the mock turtle soup was $1.25. The lobster Newburg and thermidor were both $9.50.

                  1. re: DoctorChow

                    Now an old menu like that is worth photoing and attaching for us all to see. I LOVED Lubach's.

                    1. re: Hughlipton

                      Would love to, but it's in a book published that year called "San Diego Restaurant Menus", and I don't think it would be legal, copyright-wise. (No, I didn't steal an actual Lubach's menu back in '76.)

                      I had several restaurants that are in the table of contents circled; this is one of them. It was fun looking back -- hadn't looked at (or even run across) this dusty old paperback in decades.

                      1. re: DoctorChow

                        I suspect you'd be covered under "Fair Use" if you credit the book and are clearly not profiting from the publication.

              3. How 'bout El Porvenir, since 1910!

                8 Replies
                  1. re: foodiechick

                    It's (or was) in Barrio Logan, specialized in carnitas. I thought it closed a couple of years ago.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      They were temporarily closed for a bit when the prior operator left in the hands of another relative, all from the same family as the original founder. So as far as I know it never left the original family's hands.

                      Anyway before they reopened, now quite a while ago, I had a chance to talk with the new operator, apparently an Uncle of the former operator. He said that when he takes it back he'll re-introduce the founder's original Carnitas recipe. Apparently he felt that they had deviated a bit and he was keen to bringing the old recipes back... ...not that I ever noticed... They've always been good...

                      They're still in the same 'ole spot in Barrio Logan, right across the street from the Fruitlandia...

                      1. re: cgfan

                        Try El Quatro Pilpas in Barrio Logan. Has been there since the '30. Still some of the best Mexican food in town. Get there early and they close around 2:30 every day. Worth the long wait in line outside.

                        1. re: wcarpenter01

                          It's called Las Quatro Milpas - or to the locals, the Green Fly :)

                           
                      2. re: DiningDiva

                        I think the closing was temporary. Sounds like a field trip is in order to verify.

                        I used to eat there a LOT when I worked on Newton Street. I'd grab a dozen of their freshly cooked harina tortillas, or a couple of their little mixto carnitas burritos -- just homemade carnitas, a dab of beans, and some salsa. Crazy good.

                    2. re: cgfan

                      Damn it -- you beat me to the punch! The OLDEST restaurant still alive in San Diego!

                      1. Not a restaurant per se, but the Cheese Shop La Jolla since 1972...

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              Hey with the recent turn over rate and closures around town consider that vintage! :>)

                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                I thought they were 72. Still like Bully's better.

                                1. re: cstr

                                  It was actually founded in 1970.
                                  The Oceanside location is known as very haunted.
                                  ; )

                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    Was it a ghost of a cow? and not a commodity cow!

                            2. The Venetian, The Godfather, Mona Lisa, Cafe 101, Roberto's taco joints.
                              Beach Chick how long is your beloved old school Longhorn in business?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Island

                                Since at least 1976, probably much earlier.

                                What about Charcoal House, La Mesa?

                                Wrangler Pit BBQ, El Cajon?

                                Sun Cafe Downtown- just relocated.

                                Hob Nob Hill

                                Filippis

                                -----
                                Charcoal House Restaurant
                                9566 Murray Dr, La Mesa, CA 91942

                                Hob Nob Hill
                                2271 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                              2. Having grown up in the South Bay, I have a whole other list for you.

                                LaBella's Pizza - 1955, still family-owned and operated (Chula Vista)
                                Jalisco's Cafe - since the early 1960's; spent my share of "wee hours in the morning" sobering up there in college (Imperial Beach)
                                El Juan's - see commentary on Charcoal House (National City)
                                Venice Pizza - family-owned and operated since 1954 (El Cajon Blvd., San Diego)
                                Aunt Emma's Pancake House - see commentary on Jalisco's (Chula Vista)
                                Charcoal House - I remember going there as a kid, so the place has to have been around a long time! (La Mesa)

                                -----
                                Charcoal House Restaurant
                                9566 Murray Dr, La Mesa, CA 91942

                                El Juan Cafe
                                2316 Highland Ave, National City, CA 91950

                                Aunt Emma's Pancake Restaurant
                                700 E St, Chula Vista, CA 91910

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: phee

                                  OMG phee...you mentioned El Juan's across from the Pink Pig in National City and when I was young we would get our meal comped because I would eat jalapeno's and no one could believe it...my mom always dragged my butt in there for a comped meal!
                                  Jalisco's cafe has some excellent tamales and the Charcoal House next to Anthony's still has some of the best blue cheese dressing and a damn good cheeseburger!

                                  Did anyone mention Mt. Etna Pizza and my beloved Waterfront or NuNu's?

                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    Yep - El Juan's was one of those places offering a "flying saucer". Makes me laugh now.

                                    -----
                                    El Juan Cafe
                                    2316 Highland Ave, National City, CA 91950

                                2. Rudford's on El Cajon Blvd. I first went there around 1956 and I swear, it hasn't changed a bit since then. True Diner experience.

                                  -----
                                  Rudford's Restaurant
                                  2900 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: mcgrath

                                    Are you sure Rudford's has been around that long. I thought that was the old Carnation location.

                                    -----
                                    Rudford's Restaurant
                                    2900 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      The website actually says "since 1949". DD, I'm pretty sure the Carnation place used to be about a block or so.........east, I think.

                                      1. re: phee

                                        You could certainly be right, that was a long time ago and Carnation's been gone a long time too. Too bad, they had great sundaes

                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                          They were two more blocks East and on the East corner of the block, not the West corner, as Rudford's is...We used to go to Carnation's for late breakfast and get a scoop of ice cream when we were leaving.

                                          -----
                                          Rudford's Restaurant
                                          2900 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

                                          1. re: Cathy

                                            Yep, verified with a friend this morning - Carnation was on Ohio and ECB.

                                            1. re: Cathy

                                              I have loved Rudford's since the '80s. Their salsa is the best in San Diego--but they won't bottle it and they won't give out the recipe, either. It's made in house and a deep dark secret.

                                              Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                                        2. re: DiningDiva

                                          Yes, Carnation's and Rudfords always two separate locations.

                                          But if you're one who even remembers Carnation, it would be very cool to get together a group of near native San Diegans who went to any of the places mentioned back in the 50's or 60's. Membership in this group could be expanded to include those who went to Rudford's or Carnation in the 50's (or early 60's), OR, to Nicolosi's at the 40th / EC Blvd location.

                                          While I'm at it, does anyone reading this remember (in same general neighborhood), the Red Arrow Cafe, The Owl Cafe, Baker's Hamburgers or a Malt Shop at 37th / University??

                                          -----
                                          Rudford's Restaurant
                                          2900 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

                                          1. re: mcgrath

                                            it's been years.. since I have been to the Carnation restaurant.. I know it was closes soooooo long ago.. but I was at lips and I can swear that is the old carnation location. 3036 el cajon blvd. am I correct?

                                        3. re: mcgrath

                                          I was just there on Tuesday for breakfast, again, and they have not changed at all...which is good!

                                        4. Although I haven't lived in the area nearly that long, I'd add two places in National City --- McDini's, which has been open since 1890 (not always in National City), and Cafe La Maze, which has been in business since around 1940.

                                          -----
                                          Cafe La Maze
                                          1441 Highland Ave, National City, CA 91950

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: beantowntitletown

                                            Ah, McDini's, formerly the Italian restaurant Dini's - run by the same family, no less.

                                            I'm kinda shocked no one has mentioned Nob Hill yet.

                                            1. re: jmtreg

                                              I did, and I'm offended that you've not been reading my every word and every post.

                                          2. I believe El Patio in Chula Vista has been in business since the 1940s. Nati's in OB has been going since the early 1960s.

                                            -----
                                            El Patio Restaurant
                                            410 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Josh

                                              Spot on, Josh. I'd forgotten El Patio. We didn't go out for Mexican food much, as my Nana had Mexican nationals who worked at her cafe. Why go out for it when they would bring the most wonderful food from home to share? No one would remember Miller's Cafe anymore, but that was hers. When we did go out, we'd head for El Juan's. I think it was the flying saucers. :)

                                              -----
                                              El Patio Restaurant
                                              410 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910

                                              El Juan Cafe
                                              2316 Highland Ave, National City, CA 91950

                                            2. A coffee shop/semi-dive in El Cajon called Kozak's (there was some other "upper-scale" place at the back, but we ate at the front Kozak's. Served real cooked oatmeal, not the instant stuff. Waitresses had been there for 20+ years. We'd sit at the counter and look at all those slices of pie in the old-fashioned glass upright display cases.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: pine time

                                                Kozaks has been closed at least three years. Hammurabi has been in that location at least two years.

                                                I miss Kozaks and the three bean salad in a crock on every table.

                                              2. Marino's in Pacific Beach. My Mom just turned 70 and she used to go there on dates in her teens, so 50+ years for them! (still have the greatest pizza!) Also the Frosty Shop on Garnet has been there for at least 50 years.

                                                1. "Landmark" restaurant Anthony's Fish Grotto in Chula Vista - 37 years on Bay Boulevard - now closing its doors.

                                                  http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/20...

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: foodiechick

                                                    Wow. I hadn't read that. They (the city of CV) really wanted to do something spectacular with the bayside development down there, and I remember this place called Shangri-la that opened up at the end of what I think was E Street. It just didn't get the business. So they brought in Anthony's, an already established restaurant in the county. It flourished for many years, but a friend told me recently they weren't getting near the business of the other Anthony's in SD. All the "bay" business went into the marina at the end of J Street, and I think most people even forgot Anthony's was there.

                                                  2. Turf Supper Club

                                                    -----
                                                    Turf Supper Club
                                                    1116 25th St, San Diego, CA 92102

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Wisey

                                                      I don't recall the Turf being that old - maybe 15 years.

                                                      1. re: jmtreg

                                                        It had been there for a long time, but was repositioned/rebranded about 15 years ago. Now under new management with something of a cloud.

                                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                                          I just know that my parents remember going there in the early 60's...I go there now, and love the low key ambiance. They make a killer bloody mary!

                                                          1. re: Fake Name

                                                            Well, from what I hear, the new management is the former landlord who evicted Tim Mays (who refurbished the Turf and turned into the grill-your-own-steak place that it is) specifically to steal the restaurant.

                                                            1. re: jmtreg

                                                              Yeah, that's what I heard as well, (the aformentioned "cloud") but have no facts nor primary sources to support that.

                                                      2. Isn't there a longstanding Chinese restaurant in that pink and neon "landmark" building on Pacific Coast Highway downtown? Drive by when I'm heading to the airport, but the name escapes me. Bugs me that I can't remember now!

                                                        11 Replies
                                                          1. re: Island

                                                            China Camp ? I think it is closed

                                                            1. re: honkman

                                                              China Camp closed recently, and Fat City I believe is still open. But those are fairly recent- 70s maybe.

                                                              -----
                                                              China Camp
                                                              2137 Pacific Hwy Ste A, San Diego, CA 92101

                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                Yup, Fat City and China Camp. That's the place. Thanks.

                                                                -----
                                                                China Camp
                                                                2137 Pacific Hwy Ste A, San Diego, CA 92101

                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                    Lubach location was on N. Harbor Drive, now corporate hdqtr/offices. Fat City/China Camp was around in the 70's at the same time as Lubachs. FC/CC on Pacific Highway at Hawthorne across the street from Body Beautiful Car Wash.

                                                                    1. re: foodiechick

                                                                      Thanks, I always get that location confused. That was a long time ago and memories just aren't what they used to be ;-)

                                                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                                                        The old Lubach's location now serves as one of the training rooms for Solar Turbines on Harbor Drive. The Fat City corporate office, which sits atop Denny's/FC/CC, is the former site of Tops Supper Club. I miss Tom Fat.

                                                                        1. re: EddieB

                                                                          You could always fly up to Sacramento. The Fat empire is very much alive and well up there

                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                            Since Tom passed away though, Fat City San Diego appears to be the red headed step child of the Fat empire. Tom's nephew now runs the corp. out of Sacramento. Rumor has it that a deal is in the works to sell the San Diego Fat compound.

                                                                            1. re: EddieB

                                                                              Could well be. My nephew went to school with one of Tom Fat's grandchildren (last saw him this past Xmas when everone was home) and they all seem to be going in directions other than the restaurant business.

                                                            2. Saska's Steak House in Mission Beach is 60 years old...it opened in 1951.

                                                              The Barbecue Pit (the last remaining restaurant of the chain is on University Avenue) is 64 years old...it opened in 1947.

                                                              The Pernicano's restaurant on Turquoise in Pacific Beach is pretty old though I'm not sure precisely when it opened.

                                                              -----
                                                              Saska's
                                                              3768 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: nileg

                                                                Pernicano's opened its first restaurant (in Hillcrest?) in 1946. Not sure how long the PB one has been there.

                                                                I still remember when there was a Barbecue Pit on Garnet in PB.

                                                                  1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                    I used to live near Pernican's (Hillcrest) in the mid-50s and it was our Friday night date for cheese pizza and a pitcher of dark beer. A magical combination! They cleared the stuck pizza dough from the ceiling every night after closing, the result of zealous hand tossing.

                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                      Funny, I thought zealous hand tossing was the main reason the old man won't sell the building.

                                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                                        The old dude is just stubborn. He won't sell his 3% ownership of the Chargers either :-)

                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                          Seems to be the polar opposite of his sweet brother that owns the PB Pernicanos.

                                                                    2. re: bizzwriter

                                                                      I believe the original BBQ Pit was in La Mesa, on Fletcher Pkwy. It is still there. Also a location on Plaza in Nat City. I think they used to be the same owner, but not sure now.

                                                                  2. Point Loma Seafoods - 1963
                                                                    Pete's Sausage in Little Italy looks like it's been around for a century.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Point Loma Seafoods
                                                                    2805 Emerson St, San Diego, CA 92106

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: sdnosh

                                                                      Speaking of sausage, I'm thinking that Sausage King in Mission Hills must have been around for many decades by now. Great old-school/old-world vibe.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Sausage King
                                                                      811 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

                                                                      1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                        Ah, we used to stop at Sausage King for Landjäger every Sunday when heading back home from the Unitarian Church back in the late 60s.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Sausage King
                                                                        811 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

                                                                      2. re: sdnosh

                                                                        I know Pete moved his family down here from L.A. in the 60's.

                                                                      3. There is quite a list going here. didnt know there was so many old restaurants in san diego

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: xTommyjordan

                                                                          Me either, but wonder how many are worth trying.

                                                                        2. Fidel's (since early 60s)
                                                                          Roxy's (since late 60s)
                                                                          Su Casa (1967)
                                                                          Jose's Courtroom (1972)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Encinitan

                                                                            Yeah, but Jose's Courtroom was sold a couple of years ago, dropping the Courtroom from the name. A mere shadow of its former self both in terms of vibe and food, it has become more like a La Jolla El Torito. Sad, I miss grouchy old Doc.

                                                                          2. Maybe I've missed their mentions, but hand in hand with Bali Hai is Tom Ham's Lighthouse, which he opened after rescuing Bali Hai. And don't forget Kona Kai as long as we're doing Shelter Island.

                                                                            Oh, and Su Casa, in La Jolla, opened in the '60s.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Bali Hai Restaurant
                                                                            2230 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

                                                                            1. Nati's Mexican Restaurant in OB. It's still there. Shouldn't be, but it is.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Nati's Mexican Restaurant
                                                                              1852 Bacon St, San Diego, CA 92107

                                                                              1. EL INDIO! Since 1947, still good, and not fallen into mediocrity like the other old Mexican restaurants (like The Casa De Pico).

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: tplife

                                                                                  Still good?

                                                                                  I think I'd word it differently. I'd say it's never been good, at least since my first visit in '84, and has maintained its mediocrity quite well.

                                                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                                                    Josh, I don't think your statement is true either. I'm pretty sure you weren't around in 1947 to know how good El Indio was, or wasn',t back then ;-).

                                                                                    There was a period of time, however, say 1947 - about 1970 when El Indio was really pretty good. The tourist trade hadn't yet found them and they were very quietly and successfully feeding San Diegans what San Diegans "thought" was good, authentic Mexican food, despite the proximity to the border. It was a smaller volume place than it is now and doing with the founders knew how to do best. It was for a long time the best place to get masa and some people still swear by El Indio masa.

                                                                                    Time and popularity have not been particularly kind to El Indio. I don't think it's anywhere near as good as it used to be but there was a time when everything truly was made from scratch and really pretty good. That time just isn't now

                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                      Was there a lot of outdoor activity in san diego in 1947?

                                                                                      1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                        I don't know, I wasn't around in 1947 and I don't think that was the point of my comment 8 months ago.

                                                                                        My parents and grandparents were here then and, yes, they did spent a good deal of time outside. But then again, it's pretty hard to own and operate a chicken ranch (real chickens, not the NV kind) from inside the house.

                                                                                        We did spend a lot of time outside growing up whether it was playing, riding bikes, going to the park, the mountains, the beach. When we were in school or in the house because it was dark we were outside. Remember, this was the era before video games and TV was still black and white.

                                                                                    2. re: Josh

                                                                                      Josh, how do you know it has never been good? Did you eat there in the 40s.....or 50s.....or 60s....or even 70s?

                                                                                      1. re: Encinitan

                                                                                        Fair enough - I didn't eat there in the '40s. I did eat there in the early-mid '80s, and don't remember it being memorable at all. I ate there maybe once in the '90s, and felt the same way. Last time I was there was around '00 and same deal.

                                                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                                                          Looks like mediocre food is still very popular - the lines are still long and out the door, just like in the late '70s...somehow the Sanchez' have maintained enough quality and taste to keep 'em coming back!

                                                                                  2. No ones mentioned the Chop Suey - Peking Restaurant in North Park. It has been there since 1931.

                                                                                    http://chopsueysd.blogspot.com/

                                                                                    As to ones I miss, I loved the German place in La Jolla Shores that is now Piatti's. I used to ride my bike there in summer to get their sandwiches.

                                                                                    And how about this menu from the Del circa 1900.

                                                                                    http://menus.nypl.org/menu_pages/434

                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: scottca075

                                                                                      I used to go to Chop Suey when I was a little girl..blast from the past..

                                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                        I think the German place was called Bratskeller? Or maybe it was Rhineskeller. That was a long time ago

                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                          Bratskeller it was; spent lots of nights there when I was but a UCSD college lad in the mid-70's. King Henry's Feast was our usual order...

                                                                                          1. re: sordftr

                                                                                            Had a Feast at the Bratskellar for my 21st birthday. But I thought it was further up in the village, maybe where Chucks Steakhouse was?

                                                                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                              Bratskellar's is where George's at the Cove is located..
                                                                                              Gosh, I miss Chuck's Steakhouse..that was across the breezeway.

                                                                                              Loved going to the LJ Shores German restaurant..what was the name of that place.

                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                That's it.

                                                                                                I knew someone who was significantly older than I at the time would remember.

                                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                    On a roll here. A 1976 menu at Bratskellar has a bratwurst plate that included hot red cabbage and hot German potato salad, plus Bavarian black bread, all for $2.75, until 3 pm.

                                                                                                  2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                    BC, the LJ Shores place was called The Rhinelander. Spent a lot of time there in the mid-70's.

                                                                                                    1. re: mcgrath

                                                                                                      ding ding ding ding ding...winner chicken dinner!

                                                                                                      Had a fake ID and we'd go and get steins of beers..in the 80's..fakey!

                                                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                        Ahhh yes the fake ID....the memories.... except I used mine at the Jersey Shore way before it became Snookiefied.

                                                                                          2. re: scottca075

                                                                                            Still going strong since the 20's, but parking has become difficult. We've been enjoying their basic Cantonese plates for almost 20 years, shortly after moving to North Park. It is a family run operation. We love their tomato beef chow mein and walnut shrimp. It's that's comfortable old shoe of a place you can count on for take-out Chinese. Call them and they'll take it out to you curbside on a busy parking night.

                                                                                          3. Some places that haven't been mentioned yet:

                                                                                            Adam's Steak and Eggs - this was my groups standard Sunday morning hangover recovery place after going to Crystal T's, Flannahan's or Aspen Mine Company the night before, carne asada and eggs was $2.89 during the disco era.
                                                                                            La Pinata - this was around Old Town long before Dianne Powers took over.
                                                                                            Etna Restaurant has been around at least since the 70's. It looked ancient then.
                                                                                            Ponce's in Kensington has been around since at least the 70's.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            La Pinata
                                                                                            2836 Juan St, San Diego, CA 92110

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: mikec

                                                                                              Flannahan's is obviously a conflation of Hoolihan's and Flannigan's. I guess I lost more brain cells in that era than I knew...

                                                                                            2. Anyone remember a place in east county called 'd Angeles? or Angelos? Went there as a very small kid...where was it?

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                DeAngelis was way out on E. Main St. in EC, past Pepper Dr. The elderly gentleman who owned the place would stroll through the dining room singing Italian opera.

                                                                                              2. Pinnacle Peak in Santee. Went there once in 1975 and got the toughest steak I've ever had in my life.

                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: mikec

                                                                                                  Yes, but your tie was cut off, so...

                                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                    I wish I'd worn a tie, it would have been more tender than the steak.

                                                                                                    1. re: mikec

                                                                                                      and the advantage of a smaller portion.

                                                                                                  2. re: mikec

                                                                                                    Did you know, it's still there and, apparently, doing well

                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                      Must be all that outdoor activity in that part of the county.

                                                                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                                                                        So "outdoor activity" is our new catch phrase? Great! If somebody finds a way to meaningfully combine that with the hype machine, Ed Hardy clothing, and striped shirted mortgage brokers, I'll call it a day.

                                                                                                        1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                          What's important to remember is that outdoor activity is not very popular in Berlin.

                                                                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                                                                            Let the record reflect I did not offer that tired tidbit as part of the discussion.

                                                                                                            That typed, the outdoor activities available to San Diegans are not of the same quality as those in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and ******.

                                                                                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                              I felt it was necessary for the sake of completeness. It need never be mentioned again.

                                                                                                      2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                        Sure. It was packed when I went there in 1975 and its parking lot is full every time I've passed by it since then. Every time I do, I shake my head in wonderment. But it's hardly the only restaurant that causes me to do that.

                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                          Is Mulvaney's still around in EC/Lakeside area?
                                                                                                          Loved when it was in PB..along with my fave, TD Hays..
                                                                                                          Hydra is another blast was one of the best in Cardiff..

                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                            The location is still there (Santee), the building (a old military building) interior is pretty much the same, but they've changed the name a few times... now it is Lacey J's Roadhouse Saloon and Grill. Live music, dancing, pretty good food, taco Tuesdays...

                                                                                                      3. How is the food at the Red Fox Room? I just moved in around the corner, and am curious.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: jmtreg

                                                                                                          OK, not great. Pretty much like a steak place out of the 70's. The piano bar is a slice on Friday or Saturday night.

                                                                                                          1. re: jmtreg

                                                                                                            mikec nailed it. It was good enough years ago if you wanted to put down cheap drinks at the Red Fox and grab some average steak or shrimp late night, but now there are so many other options in the area with far better food. last time I got some late night food there I was surprised at the prices being high for the quality of the food.

                                                                                                            Piano bar can still be pretty fun, even though Shirley has departed us.

                                                                                                          2. Cool article about the old Rheinlander and its founder/owner (who recently died):

                                                                                                            http://www.lajollalight.com/2012/02/2...

                                                                                                            1. Anyone know if El Porvenir has re-opened?

                                                                                                              1. I haven't waded through all of the posts to see whether someone has already posted this, so just in case, check this out:

                                                                                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&amp...

                                                                                                                If you've never been there, The Chicken Pie Shop is a very old San Diego tradition. But I don't think the full chicken pie dinner is still $1.10 any more. But I'm pretty sure it's still good!

                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  Ah yes, the Chicken Pie Shop. I've been there once, and ordered the chicken pie (of course), and found it to be fairly good - good crust, good enough filling, and good gravy. It was everything I expected. On the other hand, my significant other ordered the pasta primavera (don't ask me why, as I have no idea what possessed my s.o.), and it was awful. That said, the place is cheap, and really old.

                                                                                                                  Also, have we mentioned Ruford's? I went there for the first time about a week or so ago, and their menus have a picture of JFK driving by the restaurant, which is cool. On the other hand, its basically diner fare.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jmtreg

                                                                                                                    It isn't "old." It's simply time travel. When you go there to eat, you're having dinner in the 1940s! And you didn't even have to beam up. '-)

                                                                                                                  2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                    Yep, still around. I've heard varying reports about how good it is or isn't. Back in the day, it was good.

                                                                                                                    http://sdpieshop.menutoeat.com/

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                      Pie dinner is $7.50 now and I like it. Carb overload, but they make their own crusts (the chicken pie crusts are different from the dessert pie crusts) and rolls. I crave the coleslaw and appreciate the pies being only meat and gravy.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                                        The rolls at the Chicken Pie Shop are wonderful. We get them for Thanksgiving because, with all the other cooking to do, the last thing I want to make is bread. Apparently, I'm not alone because, when you go to pick them up, there are literally hundreds of orders of rolls sitting there waiting to be picked up. And they make great little turkey sandwiches the next day.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                                          Have to agree about the rolls. The closest thing to the ones my grandmother made that I can find. Once in awhile I have the craving and stop in for a half dozen to go. yum!!

                                                                                                                      2. Napoleone Pizza House in National City (I think it opened in the 50's and Tom Waits worked there)
                                                                                                                        Hernanez Hideaway if it is still out there on Del Dios Hwy

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. I remember Azteca on El Cajon Boulevard, Casa Blanca in Old Town, Our Perry's Pizza (the first square pan pizza), and Leonardo's on El Cajon Blvd and 70th. I recall the wonderful aroma of authentic Italian food at Leonardo's. Other favorites include Pernicano's, Anthony's, Hamburger House, and Consuelo's in La Mesa with their delicious quesadilla appetizer. When I was in high school at Crawford we used to walk to Azteca for the special '10 rolled tacos for $1'. Those were the days. Today I live in Oregon and even though northwest cuisine is scrumptious I still miss the places I ate as a child and teenager. And don't forget DiMille' s Pizza and the flying saucer at El Juan's in National City.

                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: kshaleus

                                                                                                                            - DeMille's is still open and doing well.

                                                                                                                            - Azteca was across the street from the Aspen Mine Company, spent many an evening there after a night of drinking.

                                                                                                                            - Leonardos lasted a good long time.

                                                                                                                            - Our Perry's Pizza, that was some pretty good pizza

                                                                                                                            - We went to the Casa Blanca on La Mesa Blvd. We loved that complimentary app - the crispy flour tortilla with melted cheese - I've managed to recreate a pretty decent version of it. Nothin' fancy, but it is a taste of childhood, which makes it so good :-)

                                                                                                                            - There are 3 Anthony's left, the one in La Mesa is the most consistent and even it isn't so great any more.

                                                                                                                            - There is 1 Pernicano's left and old George Pernicano still refuses to give up his 3% ownership of the Chargers. His Casa di Baffi on 6th between University and Robinson is still there, still closed and still an eyesore.

                                                                                                                            Thanks for the walk down memory lane :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                              Aspen Mine Company...lots of drinking..toga parties..they served food didn't they?
                                                                                                                              Casa Blanca..was that the one by Drew Ford at the end of LM blvd..that cheese crisp was awesome..
                                                                                                                              Pernicano's in Hillcrest...when is George going to clean up that hot mess in Hillcrest..that just so wrong!
                                                                                                                              Aetna Pizza is still there and still really good..had lunch with Stephen Bishop at that Mex restaurant on El Cajon blvd by Crawford HS..what was the name of that place?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                I think AMC served food, but I wouldn't know about that ;-). I usually only made it into the bar (and their bartenders were not real good about remembering to ask for ID ;-D)

                                                                                                                                Casa Blanca was on LM Blvd. between Uni and El Cajon on the east side of the street. I can still drive to but I couldn't, if my life depended on it, tell you what is there now. I don't think the building is a restaurant any more.

                                                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                  Aspen Mine Co. was mostly a steak place (at least that's mostly what I remember ordering there). Decent steaks. Though they didn't have to be that great after a couple of Zombies... Don't remember any Toga Parties, but those were probably right after "Animal House" came out (1978) and that was right around the time I stopped going regularly.

                                                                                                                                  I was wondering if by "Hamburger House" the OP meant "Hamburger Hamlet" which was in front of Hoover High on ECB.

                                                                                                                                  I think George Pernicano is still lucid enough that his family can't sell off that property and George doesn't want to let go of it for less than an absurd amount (about 3x what it's worth). That was what I'd heard from a friend who made a serious inquiry about two or three years ago.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                  Toga parties- got pics?

                                                                                                                                  I think the place at the end of LMB near the Roundhouse of Values is Consuelos.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                    Roundhouse of Values...great marketing still lodged in the cerebral cortex..

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                      Well, in all fairness- not just ANY cerebral cortex ; )

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                        You're sporting one hell of a cerebral cortex..you got that going for you...which is nice.

                                                                                                                              2. re: kshaleus

                                                                                                                                El Juan's...and the Pink Pig across the street...woooo hoooooo!

                                                                                                                                1. re: kshaleus

                                                                                                                                  Yes! Consuelos! I STILL miss that quesadilla (but we favored the one near Hillcrest). Old and theme-y were: Chuy's in a (basically) a quonset near "Chicano Park," Mexican Village in Coronado, and Miyako's.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                    Wasn't Aztec the next street over...didn't it just have a fire..

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                      The Aztec was a family operated restaurant with two locations. As far as I know, both have been closed for years. :(

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                      I still get cravings for The Aztec! I wish they would have written a cookbook. There were two Aztec restaurants in Old Town. I loved their bean burritos with cheese sauce, guacamole tacos and suprema tostados. I lived in San Diego in the '70's and they were the best cheap eats in town.

                                                                                                                                      If anyone knows any of the recipes, please let me know!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                                                        Yoshino's, forgot about that place. How's the food now? Went there first time I visited San Diego in the 80's and had some tasty sesame chicken.

                                                                                                                                      2. Two long-gone greats that I remember fondly are Olinda's (started near Morena, then moved over by Old Town) and Don Jose's on El Cajon Blvd. At Don Jose I remember the "community" salsa vat on the table. Never got sick. That wouldn't fly today...

                                                                                                                                        Dan
                                                                                                                                        http://foodobs.wordpress.com/

                                                                                                                                        1. Nicolosi's, gone but not forgotten.

                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: cristina

                                                                                                                                              Nicolosi's is up the street and around the block from my house :-). Within walking distance...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                According to today's Mission Trails Courier, Nicolosi's will open a 2nd location on 2nd St. in El Cajon in February

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                  confession..don't think I've have ever eaten at the Nicolosi's.
                                                                                                                                                  too many toga parties at Aspen Mine Company..hee hee

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                    Those were the days, weren't they ;-D

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, they were..
                                                                                                                                                      So glad we got to live them in all their glory.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                        San Diego in the 70s was glorious :-) And no one cared if their burrito had rice and beans in them or not.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: cristina

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, Nicolosi's is an institution as well...Last I saw off of Waring Rd. Standout for me was the "relish tray" (or whatever they called it) they put out with everything. The cheese slices, pepperoncini, and what not...

                                                                                                                                                  Dan
                                                                                                                                                  http://foodobs.wordpress.com

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dce88

                                                                                                                                                    Nicolosi's is in El Cajon now just across from the El Cajon courthouse and the Downtown Cafe

                                                                                                                                                3. How about Miyako's Japanese restaurant that was in the same location as China Camp? Amazing, "went every Friday" food.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Craving the Kung Pao at Mandarin House in LJ..

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                      I've seen the local cats wink at the chef while walking by the back door!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                        Ha..those kitty Cats were winking at me!

                                                                                                                                                        ; )

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                          Ha. Chuck likes to go get takeout there (blech). Every time he walks in the hostess girls ask him "how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood". Then the owner gives him a free tsing tao beer.

                                                                                                                                                          Chuck likes silly things. And being recognized.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                        I LOVE their Kung Pao Beef! It's pretty much all I ever order when we're there. That & a Scorpion Bowl, that is.

                                                                                                                                                      3. Unfortunately, Ocean Fresh Seafood’s in La Jolla, one of my favorites, closed many decades ago. It's a surf board shop now.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jakespizza

                                                                                                                                                          Loved loved loved Ocean Fresh and several restos have gone in and have all failed..rumor, was built on sacred Indian burial ground.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                            I knew the guy who owned Ocean Fresh--and his whole family. Great people, sad story. He died of brain cancer, very young.

                                                                                                                                                            Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cristina

                                                                                                                                                              Met he and his family a long time ago..
                                                                                                                                                              Wonderful people and very sorry to hear about his brain cancer.

                                                                                                                                                              Ocean Fresh was a fab restaurant and is still missed to this day...tenant improvements were high end and I can still see the inside like it was yesterday..

                                                                                                                                                        2. Remember the Atlantis next to Sea World?
                                                                                                                                                          My BF worked with the whales and we would party with the water ski team and go over in the bucket ride that dropped right to the resto.

                                                                                                                                                          Good times...we ruined it
                                                                                                                                                          for the kids today.

                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                            What year are you talking about? I went to the Atlantis when it first opened. It was the new high class restaurant in San Diego, on a par with Mr. A's

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Hughlipton

                                                                                                                                                              It was very much on par with Mr. A's and Lubach's.
                                                                                                                                                              Mid 70s..Atlantis had a great lounge/bar with some great singers..one of the best brunches.

                                                                                                                                                              We all had fake ID's and driving our xke's, thinking we were all that!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                Then you must have known La Jolla as well. Remember the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club? I used to hang out there. The Marine Room was a very fine restaurant just outside the City of San Diego.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                  Atlantis menu, 1976: Roast rack of lamb, $6.95. Breast of capon sauté muscot garnished with sliced mushrooms, artichoke bottoms, shallots, and white wine, $5.75

                                                                                                                                                                  That's all, folks.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                                                                                                                    Oooooh!! I had the breast of capon with all those wonderful sides. $5.75? That was a lot of money to me back then.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Hughlipton

                                                                                                                                                                  I have a vague memory of Atlantis being up and running as early as around 1966, when I would have attended a high school event there one night. Or maybe it was just at the Atlantis location before it became Atlantis. Either way, it certainly did have the fine dining reputation when it opened as Atlantis.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Anyone remember ..."Florentino's Italian Restaurant", corner of La Jolla Blvd and turquoise street? Anyone remember the great food, entertainment, and the piano bar and the great opera singing there?

                                                                                                                                                                1. What about the Butcher Shop?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Anyone remember Bull Weavel? Your tie was cut off if you wore one. My dad would wear one just for the fun of having it cut off.....1968?
                                                                                                                                                                    Also, Bali Hai, Ceasars, Leonardo's and Anthony's Fish Grottoin La Mesa.

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mctrk05

                                                                                                                                                                      Bali Hai is still in business as is Anthony's Fish Grotto in La Mesa. I think it was Pinnacle Peak that cut the tie off.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                        There is still a Pinnacle Peak in Santee.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes there is, I still drive by it with some regularity :-D

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Can't remember the name of the steak house where they cut your tie off but it wasn't the Boll Weevil. The Boll Weevil might still be there on Mission Gorge Road? It was the first place that let you put your own toppings on their fantastic hamburgers. Speaking of hamburgers, I'd kill for a Char Burger! Tiny, tiny little drive thru's with barbequed burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kshaleus

                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.bollweevilrestaurants.com/ Five locations.

                                                                                                                                                                        The one on Mission Gorge closed and has re-opened, one block East.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kshaleus

                                                                                                                                                                          'Can't remember the name of the steak house where they cut your tie off'

                                                                                                                                                                          Pinnacle Peak

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                            In Santee, right? We went there soon after moving to San Diego, 1980.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Loved taking the car ferry over from Coronado to SD..
                                                                                                                                                                          (That is probably the love for the water taxi)

                                                                                                                                                                          We'd go to a place in IB, called the Red Hawk, that had the best Roquefort dressing and they would give me 20+ cherries with my Shirley Temple.

                                                                                                                                                                          Hands down, Lubachs was one of the best restaurants in SD..
                                                                                                                                                                          What was the name of the pizza place with piano player?

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                            Shakeys.

                                                                                                                                                                            "They have fun at Shakeys, also pizza"

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                              Coronado ferry was referred to as the "Nickle Snatcher".

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                I am sorry to say that the last meal we had at the Red Hook a few years ago was bad - the steak was full of gristle and when we complained, the waiters were nasty and and offensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                Looking on Y+++, they are listed as closed/

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Gustaf Anders, especially the "Easter Smörgåsbord".

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I haven't seen anyone mention "Jose Murphy's" in PB? As a dive bar/restarant/rock music venue, there weren't much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: abailz

                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, I am late to this post. Great reading and good memories.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ceasars is the first rest. that I would mention. How I miss their spag with that brownish sauce. Just had one location when I was a girl and then opened several more. I would pay $100. for a plate of it now. I WISH. And the dressing on their antip. salad was to die for. I ate there every week on the way home from bowling when early 20's. Does anyone, please, have any idea how to make that sauce? I think it must have been a combo of some kind of a beef gravy and tom sauce and the ground beef with a potato masher to get it that fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Saskas, yes. That was the first 'grown-up' rest. that my parents ever took me to. Steak of course. But I didn't get to order. My parents thought well done was the way to get steak. Leather. I never knew better, or any other way. Now I know what a steak should taste like.

                                                                                                                                                                                    What about the old Top Shelf in La Mesa. YUMMY. They had the best green goddess salad dressing on their small salad bar. Anthony's across the frwy from there, I have eaten there forever and still do. Smaller portions and expensive but the cole slaw is great as ever. AND THE VIEW!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Fidel's, memories. We went when I was so young for so long. Again, I didn't get to order. I got 1/2 suprema (tostada) and it was so good. Along with the chips and great salsa. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I went there, got to read the menu, and order what I wanted. YUM. I love their chili rellanos with extra sauce. They charge you for it, but worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Don Jose's Boy, that's a long time ago. Again, I never got to order. My Mom told me a story of the first time SHE went, maybe 70 yrs ago and her Mom didn't know what the salsa was and took a big bite to taste it. For those of you who do not know, it was hot enough to blow your head off. All fresh ingreds. and so good. It is long gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                    There was a middle eastern place in OB very near the pier that had the best falafal and shawarma. I have never been able to find anything even close to that for 30 years. Anyone have any suggestions? I am near La Mesa now.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for letting me talk. This was a fun memory.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Lindy

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindyN

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Top Shelf, yes. Great steaks. It's the Brig now...and much remodeled :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      Consuelo's for the complimentary (Sonoran-style, tho we didn't know it was Sonoran-style at the time) cheese crisp. I still make those occasionally

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, I just love a cheese crisp. There is a darn good one at El Indio. You can just get it plain with cheese or deluxe with meat/chicken, lett, tom, guac, sour cream. Wow, now I have to go there.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, Perry's Cafe (El Cajon and the old location near Old Town) has a great one, huge. You have to order the guac in addition, but their salsa is GREAT.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The Brig, nah, too crowded, too noisy, not great food. Miss my dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Where is Consuelo's?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindyN

                                                                                                                                                                                          Consuelo's is l-o-n-g gone. There was one in La Mesa, one in Hillcrest and I think one in La Jolla

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                          OMG!!
                                                                                                                                                                                          Top Shelf was for the refined gussied up crowd of Mt. Helix, where I grew up.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Besides, Lubach's which I LOVED when I was a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Anthony's La Jolla with the big clam entrance was a fave for me where Sharper Image building is now.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                            OMG...forgot that the Anthony's in LJ had that clam shell entrance. That was so cool...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Beach Chick,

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't remember Top Shelf being fancy. I remember wearing regular pants. Back then girls didn't really wear jeans. My family went there often and loved it. We lived in San Carlos, not far. Still do.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I never went to Anthony's La Jolla, always La Mesa. Unless there was company in town and we would take them down to the bay location. For the view. I like La Mesa and the lake. Oh, what was the name of the restaurant right next to Anthony's on the bay, the fancy one. They are hooked together. Star of the Sea Room. I always got lobster. Best ever. And if you got there early you could sit by the window. They are closed now and only do catering I think or maybe small private parties.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I went to Lubach's only once. I had a big date with this guy I met when I was in Palm Springs with a girlfriend for a short vacation when I was about 22. She was somewhat older and wiser and we met these guys at the bar and had dinner with them. My guy was the editor or publisher of TV Guide back then. He was from the East Coast, prob NY, and he would fly out to see me. He was older. The first visit he took me to Lubach's. The service was the best, but the food didn't impress me. I prefered Mr. A's back then. Great food, great view. And Imperial house, that was and is, a classy place. Do any of you know/remember Felix. He is a class act. They don't do lunch anymore, sadly. Felix must be retiring soon. I hope they don't close the restaurant. Without him, it will never be the same, however. Best Steak Diane I have ever eaten. No, tie with Elario's in La Jolla. Best service, best food ever, and what a view from the top floor. They have been gone a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Bye for now, Lindy

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Anyone ever go to La Fresqueria ?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Anyone else remember Hotel Bar downtown?

                                                                                                                                                                                          The food was so-so, but to me that place is a bit of a sentimental SD legend because of exactly one thing: Their superb, very-fresh-squeezed-lime margaritas. I used to think that those margs were the best to be found anywhere in SD.

                                                                                                                                                                                          But, that's also where I first had a pour of Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia, ca. 1995, one of the finest tequilas to be had and something of a "life-changing event" (cough, cough, ahem) for me. I still have the first bottle of it that I bought (photo) and some of the larger (1.75 liter) bottles. And lots of cool boxes.

                                                                                                                                                                                          That's still the only tequila that we sip like cognac out of Mexico-sanctioned tequila glasses:

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.atlantasfinestdining.com/h...

                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                                                                                                                                            Okay, I'll bite. What the h*ll are Mexico sanctioned tequila glasses???

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                              I attached a picture of one. It's similar in appearance to a champagne flute, but not the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Check out the link I attached, or google for similar articles.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe I should have clarified that this glass was designated as the "official" tequila glass by the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico, a regulatory body that in turn is sanctioned by the Mexican government.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Amazon sells them, among others.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Ok, I have one, inspired by that new thread for the young lady turning 21...

                                                                                                                                                                                            Bobby McGee's in Grossmont Center. My parents took me there for my 16th birthday. The waiter's name was "Dr Midas Welby." I had steak and lobster.

                                                                                                                                                                                            And the old Carlos Murphy's across the parking lot. I spent more than a couple of college evenings there.

                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi again,
                                                                                                                                                                                              I dont remember the Hotel Bar but how I miss Carlos Murphys. That place was great. They did good business, but I guess the place and the rent was just too much
                                                                                                                                                                                              And this blog, or whatever you call it, has really got me thinking.
                                                                                                                                                                                              What about Los Quatro Milpas in Bario Logan. I first went there when I was 20 or so and, I got a good job two or three blocks away. We would get take out every week. The place is a dive. Who cares, clean and the best food. I still go there every few months (it is far for me) and it is the same. DELICIOUS. Very small, very limited menu, order at the counter and they make it right then, hottest sauce (not salsa) you have ever eaten. Cheap. Order the combo rice and beans with whatever else you order. Comes with two of the BEST homemade flour tortillas you have ever eaten.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Does anyone know where to get good Middle Eastern Food around La Mesa please? My fav went out of bus 3 years ago.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Take care,

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindyN

                                                                                                                                                                                                And hi again to you too, LindyN.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Hotel Bar was half a block south of the Old Spaghetti Factory, right on the corner on the same side of the street, right where civilization -- as we knew it at the time -- ended. It was mainly a tourist-type Mexican restaurant, fairly good-sized. But if you sat at the bar, as we always did, a cool atmosphere and the best margs around. We liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                My de la Familia shot there cost $25, and that was almost 20 years ago. But it was worth it, because it was so exceptionally special, although after that, of course, I bought it by the bottle and drank it at home. Main point being that few places had even heard of it, but Hotel Bar had it on the shelf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, yeah..now I remember that place...

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindyN

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lindy, have you tried Alforon for Lebanese? Almost in La Mesa - very close - and the food is very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.alforon.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, there are a couple of places in El Cajon: Alibaba and Sahara. I've never been disappointed with either restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://sahararestaurantsd.com/
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.alibaba421el.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: phee

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks everyone. This is such fun. I wish more of ya’ll would chime in. DrChow, thanks, you made me remember going here, I am almost sure. I was too young to get a drink then, maybe 47 or 48 years ago, does that sound right? The food was great but I didn’t know about drinks then, and I never cared for teq when I could finally drink or even now. I am a vodka girl. Once you said Spag Factory, I said, oh yes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And then that brought back memories of the MANY dinners I had there until they closed. I just thought it was special, the atmosphere and the food. Now I know what good Italian is and I guess the ‘ specialness’ was just in my mind. Has anybody eaten at the new one they reopened? I have eaten at one 20 years ago or so in another city. It was the same. It was on a long trip to the Sacramento area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    $25 a shot, way back then was pretty stiff, VERY! Even now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi phee, thanks for responding. I have never heard of Alforno but am checking out the menu now. Sounds good. Thanks for including the links. That is not too far for me at all. What I like best, what I CRAVE, is Chicken and/or Beef Schwarma, and a good Falafel Pita Sandwich. I have eaten at Ali Baba twice. Their homemade pita breads are the very best anywhere but the food was overcooked, dry, and not flavored right for me and my whole group. Oh, my Dad was raving about the pita, but the food was yuck. He still goes there for lunch sometimes. Do you remember what it was before it was Ali Baba? It was a really reasonably priced steak restaurant for a long time. We ate there often. I knew the owner because we ate there so much. It was called Top Sirloin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have eaten at Sahara as well. Not quite what I was craving. There used to be a place called Tony’s something in the shopping center where the old Campus Drive In movie theater was. He had to go out of business because they were tearing down the shopping center to make condos. I haven’t been by there since. I thought that was three years ago, but probably more like six or nine. You know how time flies. He made the best BEST chicken schwarma I have ever eaten. It was truly authentic, and so were he and his wife. Their kids were 2 years apart from my daughter and when I went, I would get take out. My daughter used to ride her scooter outside in the front, with their kids while I waited and chatted with them. We became friends. He did a huge take out and it did take some time. Worth every penny. I would buy enough for two days, it reheated well. The steak schwarma wasn’t as good as the chicken. Too fatty and tough for me but the flavor was right on. That was the first place I ever had garlic on a sandwich, the way they make/blend it with oil. WOW. I used to get take out of that and use it at home for my veggies, like when I cooked broccoli for example.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am running on at the mouth here, well the fingers. Stop reading if I am too long winded. The best Beef schwarma I ever had was this TINY little place in OB. I can’t remember the name. I remember the owner. He was the best cook. We had a restaurant supply business back there, maybe, exactly, 32 years ago, and I was pregnant and would ride around with my husband for fun on some delivery days. Every time he went there, I was in the truck. He was on the right side of the main road right by the pier. Tiny place, only take out, a window, no seating. He was a great chef all around. He closed to become a famous chef in Las Vegas. He taught me how to make his beef schwarma before he left. I begged him. And he also taught me how to make these incredible breadcrumb coated garlic rack of lamb. That one I don’t remember how to do. I had a house fire and lost all my recipes 12 years ago. Very sad! But I mostly remember how to do the beef Schwarma. I still make it and love it but it is not exactly his. I still love it. If anyone cares I could try to write down quantities. I make it by looks now. It takes long but worth it. I always make a lot because I can eat it for days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now, I eat at Aladdin Café in Clairemont. Not the one in Hillcrest!! Different owners. Their Chicken/beef (this second I cant remember which I get) schwarma is very good, garlic is excellent, hummus good, tahini very good, falafel is very good too, but you have to say “not well done”. They always overcook it. It is an open kitchen so you can watch. I always ask for those tables. They make their salads right when you order and they are delicious and fresh. Everything is very fresh. And they have pretty good wood fired pizza too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Okay, enough from me now, I am off to get some breakfast. Have a great day,
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindyN

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Lindy. It's fun to reminisce. I think that the Old Spaghetti Factory had just opened right about the time I moved to SD, about 40 years ago. Maybe I'm wrong, my memory is a little dim. As to Hotel Bar, the first I recall going there was "only" about 25 years ago. I suppose it could have been around for many years before that, or a different restaurant may have been in that spot. I simply don't recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi DrChow,
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nice to hear from you again. So you are a newbie, almost, here in SD. Me, my kids are third generation. VERY RARE. I just noticed your name and this whole thing, blog, whatever, it is called chowhound. Did you make this? This is the first blog I have ever participated in and it is so fun. If you did start it, then thanks. It is a bit frustrating, tho. Twice now, I typed a long entry, and I couldn't enter it. It got deleted. But I am learning. I will get around to typing that again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have a wonderful Sunday, Lindy

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindyN

                                                                                                                                                                                                          No, Lindy, I most definitely didn't start Chowhound! But I'd be very proud if I had! It's a great site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, and you are very nice. I am new at this for an old gal. Glad to get to know you : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindyN

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry this is not about old San Diego Restaurants; I am answering a question posed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Go farther East on Main Street in El Cajon- Valley Foods has a steam tray area and about nine tables just when you walk in. You can see the two schawarma spits spinning and other items in the steam trays, a menu board and other items available are listed on top of the glass display.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We order kabobs (beef or chicken (or lamb-25 cents more) and also ask to pay for a flatbread- then walk over to the bakery and at the doorway, get a fresh flatbread while waiting for the food. Masgoof, fish filets roasted whole chicken, stews and soups as well as sandwiches made on their fresh baked 'bolillo' rolls. Not fancy but always fresh. You can even order pomegranate juice or yogurt drink from the fountain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.valleyfoodsmed.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                    At Alforon, try the chicken tawook and lahm bajeen...and just about anything else. They have their own imported oven and each bread is made to order. It's small inside and oh so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Cathy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the reply and your input. I have been to Valley Foods about two years ago. I saw their commercial on foodnetwork, I think. I got a sample of the schwarma and a few other things. The people there were very nice. I didn’t like the food I tried, though. However, I did not eat the things you are suggesting, so I will give it another try. I did buy lots of good things in the grocery store part of the store. And their prices were pretty good, lots of choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have tried Vine Ripe in La Mesa and their restaurant. Same thing. I didn’t like the food, but great selection in the grocery section. They have some unusual candy choices. If you like peanut brittle, well, they have the best cashew brittle I have ever eaten. That is all I can say. Have strong teeth. There is a special candy section in a big fresh case. You can buy however much you want by the pound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      At Alforon, have you tried the schwarma, that is what I am missing/wanting? How was it? And how is the tahini? Can’t wait to try the bread, YUM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks and Take, care Lindy