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Jul 29, 2011 12:00 PM

Convoy New Restaurants

Haven't seen much (if any) talk about Convoy changes recently. Have noticed a couple new places popup and wanted to see what people think:

- Nam Am Vietnamese restaurant ( in the same strip mall as China Max/Spicy City. Seems they don't have any official website yet. Couple of the reviews mention handmade noodles in the pho which sounds promising.

- Koon Thai Kitchen ( Read a review from Kirk a few weeks ago and he didn't sound too impressed. Looks pretty americanized but was wondering if maybe they have a couple standout dishes.

- Reopening of Luong Hai Ky where Phat was (their original location). Never really understood how Phat and LHK were related but it definitely seemed they had a connection. Perhaps same owner wanting to try out a different menu that failed? In any case LHK is back. I wonder how the quality is compared to the Mira Mesa location.

Luong Hai Ky Restaurant
4633 Convoy St Ste 107, San Diego, CA 92111

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  1. I also noticed a Cali Baguette next to Chin's. Not sure how new that is though...

    7 Replies
    1. re: karaethon

      Yeah, I noticed that also. I think it's been there for about 6 months or so. Haven't tried it either, but have heard it's pretty good.

      1. re: mliew

        One of my friends loves Cali Baguette. He swears it's the best deal in town. Something like $3-4 for a banh mi on fresh bread. I have yet to check it out.

        1. re: mliew

          Its the best in town I have had and my favorite right now. Bread is tasty and texturally spot on, veggies and meats super fresh. Saigon Sandwiches, Cafe Dore are close to it though.

          Cafe Dore
          4135 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92105

          1. re: kare_raisu

            Is the Cali Baguette on Convoy the same/related to the Cali Baguette on Mira Mesa and Black Mountain? I thought the one in Mira Mesa was allegedly "the best"

          2. re: mliew

            I think they're ok, but since you're in the area, why not just go to K Sandwiches? I think they're bread is much better.

            K Sandwiches
            7604 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92111

            1. re: AtomicSuplex

              No way - K's is beginners banh mi. and bread is better at cali

          3. re: karaethon

            I've had it 2 or 3 times. I really like it a lot, maybe better than k's. They have decent but not great noodle soups as well.

          4. According to the waiter at LHK on Convoy, the owners of LHK wanted to try something different, so they tried the Phat concept through its two renditions (boiled chicken and then Vietnamese buffet). I think the quality at the LHK on Convoy is at least as good as the MM location of the few things I've tried.

            1. Had a chance to try Nam Am over the weekend. Bullet points are:

              - Ambience is nice and modern, much more classy than most other pho places in the area (on par with Pho Mignon + Grill).
              - Prices are comparable to Pho Convoy and Pho T Cali.
              - Meat quality seems to be a notch above the previously mentioned places. Both in the sliced beef in the pho and the grilled pork chop.
              - Noodles are supposedly handmade. They are wider than the standard pho shop noodles and had a nice chew to them.

              - Pho broth is on the weak side.
              - Pork chop/ steamed egg meatloaf was also on the bland side.

              The staff is very nice and friendly and most of them seem to speak english. Will definitely return to try the special appetizer menu which contains the more authentic Vietnamese dishes.

              Pho T Cali Restaurant
              7351 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111

              Pho Convoy
              4647 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

              4 Replies
              1. re: mliew

                How weak is the broth? As weak as Pho Ca Dao?

                Pho Ca Dao Restaurant
                8373 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126

                1. re: daantaat

                  It's been a few years since I've been to Pho Ca Dao so it's hard for me to compare. I don't remember the broth being particularly weak at Pho Ca Dao. In any case the broth at Nam Am was probably one of the lighter ones I've had anywhere around SD, very sparse on the fat/oil and was pretty one note without the addition of any of the condiments. Perhaps they are following the style of Pho Mignon by trying to make the broth more "healthy" by removing most of the oil.

                  Pho Ca Dao Restaurant
                  8373 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126

                  1. re: mliew

                    You can ask for extra fat/oil from any pho restaurant and they should bring it out for free. If the broth itself is too thin though, no amount of fat/oil will help.

                    The broth at Pho Mignon isn't thin in the sense of flavor, but it definitely tastes like it is missing the "comfort food" quality of pho. Adding the fat/oil just to their broth just brings back that "comfort food" quality (but doesn't really add much flavor).

                    1. re: karaethon

                      Yeah I think in this case the broth was just too thin and adding the fat/oil probably wouldn't have helped.

                      Interestingly on Yelp people seem to recommend the chicken pho. Seems that they use free range chicken. Might have to give that a try.

              2. Couple updates:

                I went to LHK a couple weeks ago. The place looks more or less the same as it did before. Had the garlic pork chop and the noodle soup. Like MikeC reported the quality seems to be more or less the same as the MM location.

                Also I noticed there is a new fusion place called Coconut Tree that opened in the Tapioca Express strip mall (aka worst strip mall to find parking in ever) where Crepe World was/is. Seems that they divided up the space that Crepe World used to have into two restaurants, perhaps it's the same owners? Reviews on yelp seem to be mixed for Coconut Tree. Has anyone been there?

                1. I had read that Liang's Kitchen was opening a location in San Diego. It's a taiwanese chain with various locations in CA. I read on Kirbie's blog that they had taken over the space next to Tajima on Convoy. I thought they wouldn't be open for another few weeks at least but we happened to be thinking about eating at Tajima and to my surprise they were open! I guess they soft opened yesterday with their grand opening scheduled for next week sometime.

                  They seem to be working out the kinks in their service as expected but they were attentive enough and the mistakes were minor. The food quality was excellent and on par with their Irvine location. Definitely nice to know there is another good Chinese option in the area, as I feel SD severely lacks in good Chinese food options.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: mliew

                    Really? I'll have to check it out... I'm a fan of the Irvine location...

                    1. re: karaethon

                      karaethon, I have this strange feeling that I've eaten there a number of times without ever having known their name...

                      By chance are they that tiny eatery just to the "right" of SW Seafood & BBQ on the very south side of the plaza? Just trying out a hunch...

                      1. re: cgfan

                        I think you're thinking of Nice Time Deli (now 101 noodle express). I think the place you're describing is between Chef Chen and Sam Woo. It's on the outer corner closest to Walnut and next to Tapioca Express.... It used to be a Japanese "fast food" place...

                    2. re: mliew

                      ooh, will have to check it out!

                      1. re: daantaat

                        I did check it out last night. They are giving 10% discounts to all bills for their grand opening. It's not as good as Irvine, but (at least some dishes) it will be easy to say it has the best "Taiwanese" food in San Diego.

                        Should have a review up early next week

                      2. re: mliew

                        Will have to check this place out, too.