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Boston hound in SD, looking for fish tacos and sit-down Mexican

greenzebra Mar 25, 2011 10:25 AM

I'll be in San Diego for a conference at the Town and Country Resort (near Fashion Valley) next week; meals during the conference are mostly taken care of, but I'll probably have at least one afternoon and evening free to venture out on my own, plus an early dinner on Sunday before catching my red-eye back to Boston. Any good sit-down Mexican, taco trunks, or places for fish tacos accessible by public transit from the Fashion Valley Transit Center? Or long walk - happy to walk 30 minutes for good chow, or I guess cab it a short distance (but already planning on probably cabbing to the zoo or the beach and then to and from the airport so trying to minimize cab expenses).

Mostly interested in Mexican of all kinds, as we don't have a great variety here in Boston. Any price except very high end (say, under $50 pp).

Thanks in advance!

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  1. DiningDiva RE: greenzebra Mar 25, 2011 12:29 PM

    Aarrgghhh...I just had a long reply with links to the restaurants and appropriate bus and trolley routes just about done and I lost it. I hate it when that happens.

    The good news is that Fashion Valley has a pretty large transit center which will open up some options for you. Walking in Mission Valley is perfectly safe but no matter how far or how long you walk, it would take you a long time to get to restaurants serving what you've requested.

    I've got to leave for an appointment in a few, so here's what I remember was on my list of Mexican places that are reachable by rapid transit in SD:

    Sit Down Mexican
    El Vitral - Green line trolley to Old Town, Blue Line trolley to downtown - http://www.elvitralrestaurant.com/
    Candelas - Green line trolley to Old Town, Blue Line trolley to downtown - http://www.candelas-sd.com/candelas_main2.html
    El Agave - Green Line trolley to Old Town, walk to restaurant - http://www.elagave.com/

    More casual sit down
    Mayahuel - http://cantinamayahuel.com/ - visit transit site for directions from FV transit hug, there's a trip planner on the site - http://www.sdmts.com/
    El Comal - #6 bus from FV, walk rest of way - http://www.elcomalsd.com/

    Super Cocina and the Marisco German taco truck can both be reached by taking the #6 bus from the FV transit center and transferring to the #7 bus east bound at 30th & University

    Mama Testa - won the fish taco Throwdown w/Bobby Flay - http://www.mamatestataqueria.com/ - #6 bus from FV, walk rest of the way. I dont' think the fish taco is the best thing Mama Testa does and the place hasn't been quite the same since Throwdown

    And, if you get into a time crunch and exploring San Diego's (not so) rapid transit system is no longer an option, there is a Rubio's in the food court in the FV mall. Sure it's not as good as it used to be before they became a big publicly traded company, but their fish tacos are still pretty decent. There is also a Wahoo's in Mission Valley that does pertty decent fish tacos.

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    Mama Testa
    1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103

    Super Cocina
    3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

    El Comal
    262 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910

    El Vitral Restaurant
    815 J Ave, San Diego, CA 92118

    El Agave
    2304 San Diego Ave Ste B, San Diego, CA 92110

    8 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva
      c
      cstr RE: DiningDiva Mar 25, 2011 02:03 PM

      I'd also add Marisco's Godoy restaurant, take the Green line trolley to Old Town, then the Blue line trolley to Palomar St, it's one block to the restaurant and well worth the ride.

      1. re: cstr
        e
        Ewilensky RE: cstr Mar 25, 2011 04:14 PM

        +1 - try the pescado zarandeado - get the whole fish, the filets tend to dry out when cooking.

        1. re: Ewilensky
          c
          cstr RE: Ewilensky Mar 25, 2011 04:41 PM

          had it just over a week ago, one of my fav dishes there.

          1. re: cstr
            DiningDiva RE: cstr Mar 25, 2011 04:58 PM

            Just so the OP is clear, getting to Mariscos Godoy is probably an hour trolley ride in each direction from Fashion Valley and the walk from the Palomar trolley station is a long block and fairly unattractive (but certainly not unsafe). S/he may, or may not, be up or that.

            I couldn't open the Mariscos Godoy web page, my computer kept blocking it as being unsafe. But this little video might be more effective - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwsmuW... - I don't think I've ever been there when it was that crowded, but I think it's a pretty good representation of the food :-

            )

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            Mariscos Godoy
            651 Palomar St 25A, Chula Vista, CA

            1. re: DiningDiva
              c
              cstr RE: DiningDiva Mar 26, 2011 09:52 AM

              When I was there, on a Sat at about 6pm, the bands were warming up and the place was pretty full, with just a few open 4 tops. Needless to say, very lively and friendly. I agree, it's a long block, about 10 minute walk but, IMO, very safe as is the place itself. They've always gone out of their was to explain the preparation of the entrees, they're really proud of what they serve and I've always been impressed with the food quality, prep and taste.

              1. re: cstr
                DiningDiva RE: cstr Mar 26, 2011 10:53 AM

                cstr, I'm not saying it isn't safe, just a long trolley ride and a long walk through a rather unattractive part of CV. Also, not saying it's not good. I like MG and I think the You Tube video I posted does a pretty good job of showing of their food.

            2. re: cstr
              e
              Ewilensky RE: cstr Mar 26, 2011 08:31 AM

              One of my fav dishes anywhere.

        2. re: DiningDiva
          j
          Jenkay RE: DiningDiva Apr 6, 2011 01:03 PM

          For Mayhuel, take the #6 bus to 30th & El Cajon Blvd then either walk north on 30th 4 blocks to Adams or be lazy and transfer to the #2 bus :)

        3. y6y6y6 RE: greenzebra Mar 26, 2011 03:14 PM

          The places people are mentioning are all good. But in case you are wondering why no one is mentioning anything near Fashion Valley, it's because there really is no Mexican food worth mentioning near there. And the good trucks are all a bit south of you. I would suggest El Comal for a good sitdown meal. And Tacos El Paisa on Imperial for tacos, although I'm not sure how easy it is to get there by public transport.

          San Diego has tons of places you'd like, but all of them are eaither way North or way South of Fashion Valley. I have a map of my favorites here -
          http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...

          Also, the robot here insists I mean the Tacos El Paisa on 47th. That one is rather bad actually.

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          Tacos El Paisa
          840 S 47th St, San Diego, CA 92113

          El Comal
          262 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910

          1 Reply
          1. re: y6y6y6
            e
            Encinitan RE: y6y6y6 Apr 6, 2011 10:37 AM

            There is a Groupon today for El Comal. 12 dollars for 25 dollars worth of food and drink (including ETOH,) and worth 30 dollars for Monday through Thursday dining.

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            El Comal
            262 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910

          2. Josh RE: greenzebra Mar 26, 2011 06:17 PM

            Rent a car, then you'll have more options.

            1. l
              LisaZee RE: greenzebra Apr 4, 2011 07:36 PM

              Are you going to the NAPO Conference by any chance? This NYC hound posted a similar request! May we can connect?

              1. p
                pickypicky RE: greenzebra Apr 6, 2011 05:21 AM

                Don Bravo Bahia in Bird Rock is one of the few places in San Diego where you can eat fish tacos (or lobster burrito), have a beer or Tamarindo, and sit outside with a view of the ocean. It's a locals place, but I know I've heard buses roar past. You'd have to figure your own route. But it's open all day; in a pretty, whitie neighborhood; and totally San Diego at its best. After you eat, walk down the street to watch the surf. It's a mini-vacation.

                For ocean view make sure you go to Bird Rock: http://bahiadonbravo.net/

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                Bahia Don Bravo
                5504 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037

                2 Replies
                1. re: pickypicky
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                  chezwhitey RE: pickypicky Apr 6, 2011 10:14 AM

                  " in a pretty, whitie neighborhood; and totally San Diego at its best."

                  Interesting, care to explain this statement a bit more?- the original whitey

                  to the op, just rent a car or hook up with some people and go to South Beach in OB, or brigantine for fish tacos.

                  1. re: chezwhitey
                    p
                    pickypicky RE: chezwhitey Apr 6, 2011 10:34 AM

                    well there was some discussion above re: neighborhoods that may appear dicey or unexpected for a Boston visitor. I also think of Don Bravo Bahia as a different experience, than say, La Fogata or Tacos Paisanos. Just trying to be descriptive so Boston person can make an informed decision. Aint many places in SD whiter than Bird Rock.

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                    La Fogata
                    7303 El Cajon Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91941

                2. jmtreg RE: greenzebra Apr 6, 2011 03:29 PM

                  Not too far from the Washington Street trolley stop is Blue Water, which serves impeccable seafood. The fish tacos have a bit too much crema for my taste, but the fish is outstanding.

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                  Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill
                  3667 India St, San Diego, CA 92103

                  1. greenzebra RE: greenzebra Apr 14, 2011 12:39 PM

                    Reporting back: ended up not having as much time to explore as desired, but did manage a few pretty good meals (although unfortunately no outstanding Mexican this trip).

                    Had dinner one night at Pho Point Loma (walking from old town trolley stop, not too bad of a hike) -- although I'm not an expert seemed quite good, and we were certainly happy. Another great meal was lunch at an Ethiopian place on University in Hillcrest -- I think it was called Bayu's authentic Ethiopian. Definitely better than any Ethiopian I've had in Boston, and close to on par with the Ethiopian in DC. A highlight, for sure, and not a bad 15 minute walk from Fashion Valley if you don't mind the steep uphill.

                    Ended up mostly at rather disappointing Mexican places, mostly due to trying to find places to go with large crowds. Casa Guadalajara in Old Town was okay, but certainly nothing special. Most other meals were Rubio's in the food court, which is what it is.

                    Next time I will have to stay an extra day and rent a car to really experience the best of San Diego dining, but thanks for the advice this time around. And while I didn't manage to get particularly great Mexican, that Ethiopian place in Hillcrest was really very good. Worth checking out (I think it is pretty new, I couldn't find it on Google Street view).

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                    Casa Guadalajara
                    4105 Taylor St, San Diego, CA 92110

                    Point Loma Cafe
                    4856 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

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