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Jun 26, 2011 11:20 AM

Restaurant recommendations

I may be in San Diego for a few days around 20 July. I would like to have lunch on the 20th in a nice Chinese restaurant, preferably Sichuan or Hunan cuisine with outside seating. Other restaurant recommendations are also appreciated (no Mexican or steak houses, I live in Mexico). I like Greek, seafood, Italian, Japanese, Thai.

Thank you.

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  1. RevImmigrant, San Diego is a big area geographically. Where will you be on the 20th and will you have access to a vechicle? Unlike Mexico, cabs are not especially cheap and rapid transit most likely doesn't go to where you do without a transfer (or two)

    Most of the Asian food in San Diego can be found on and around Convoy St. which is in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood. Ba Ren is one of the few Sichuan restaurants in town and it is quite good. It's also a pretty small place with not a lot of amibence (i.e. no outside seating, worn decor inside) on a side street off a larger road.

    Outside dining is pretty easy to come by in SD. Let us know the general area in which you'll be, I'm sure we can come up with more than enough suggestions for you.

    8310 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Thank you. I will probably stay at the Motel 6 on Hotel Circle and will have a rental car. I would prefer outside seating since I smoke (unless the restaurant has an indoor smoking area).

      1. re: RevImmigrant

        There are posters in the airport "Welcome to California, a non-smoking state". That'll be your first clue.

        Izakaya Sakura has very good Japanese and one table which has an ashtray in front.

        Little Italy has quite a few restaurants with tables outside, but I do not recall seeing ashtrays on them.

        I cannot think of any Thai places with tables out front, but Sab E Lee is the best. I suppose you can smoke out in the parking lot of either Sab E Lee location.

        Good luck and I hope you enjoy your stay otherwise.

        {Private clubs, like the VFW, allow smoking. The food isn't very good though. The casinos in California are sovereign Indian reservations and allow some level of smoking, but not in the eating areas that I can recall.}

    2. Mr. Dumpling has an enclosed patio with pool tables where I think people were smoking. They brought burners out there for hot pot.

      8 Replies
      1. re: JRSD

        Stevewag23, lucky you! I left eastern Germany on the Polish border last year. You could still smoke in restaurants in Poland, but Germany passed smoking ban that took effect in January 2009 (I think that's when it started).

        I will consider one indoor, non-smoking Chinese restaurant if the food is really good for just one time. Where I live in Mexico and, in fact, all of Mexico, is a wasteland for Chinese food. No good Chinese restaurants that I've found. There are two good Japanese restaurants in Guadalajara; one has smoking in the bar and the other has outside tables.

        When I travel, I only eat out one meal a day and get food from the grocery store to eat in my room, so I only have to worry about one meal a day for about 3 days.

        I'm going to the zoo. Does anyone know about the food places at the zoo? Are any of them any good, cost, etc?

        1. re: RevImmigrant

          The "nice"/sit down/table cloth restaurant at the Zoo is Albert's. It's sort of a treehouse location. The food is very good. Otherwise, pretty standard food from the kiosks.


          As far as Chinese goes, I agree with the first response in this thread, from DiningDiva about Ba Ren being the best Sichuan. Chinese breakfast on the weekend at Chins (on Miramar Road at Kearny Mesa, inside the hotel) is very authentic.

          1. re: RevImmigrant

            Just FYI, there is no smoking permitted at the zoo.

            1. re: RevImmigrant

              "There are two good Japanese restaurants in Guadalajara"

              Which ones?

              1. re: stevewag23

                stevewag23, Suehiro (I think it's on Av. LaPaz) has a bar where you can smoke and beautiful decor - the food's the best Japanese in Guadalajara. It's close to downtown. Suntory on Av. Chapultepec in the Zona Rosa has outside seating and also has good food. Both are expensive by local standards.

                The local zoo's nice too, although it can't compare with the German zoos, particularly the Tierpark in Berlin (the old East Berlin zoo during the Communist era),which has the best cat house I've ever seen; the Berlin Zoo (the original Berlin zoo downtown near the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaenktnis Kirche - the one damaged in the war with the unrepaired, but covered spire, now a museum to peace),also with a good cat house; and the Thueringen Zoo in Erfurt. The German zoos exhibit the animals, particularly the cats, better than anywhere I've ever seen, although the new zoo in Poznan has an excellent Siberian tiger habitat, much like their habitat in the wild.
                Thanks to all of you for your help.

                1. re: RevImmigrant

                  Oh, my.
                  Even the Zoo is better in Berlin.

                    1. re: honkman

                      Let us just hope that there's no direct connection between the restaurants and the zoo, nor vice versa.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Not far from Hotel Circle area-

              King's Fish House. Not big on atmosphere but the food and service are good. In Mission Valley, on Camino De La Reina.

              Andre's. (on Morena Blvd.) Cuban and Caribbean food. Casual place, entrees and appetizers you don't find much in California. I go there for lunch but I think the menu is the same for dinner.

              Taka. In the Gaslamp district on 5th. Good sushi/Japanese.

              King's Fish House
              825 Camino De La Reina, San Diego, CA 92108