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Aug 3, 2011 03:10 PM

Hotel Circle help needed

The fetching Mrs Grub & I have apparently angered the gods & have been sentenced to spend (almost) a week at a fine Hotel Circle establishment. Pls provide some 411 on reasonably close restos where we can enjoy chow w a relatively high degree of deliciousness. No harbor, downtown, Mission Bay, beaches, or La Jolla please but Old Town, Hillcrest, & Little Italy will work. Thx.

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  1. Tons of posts about Hillcrest and Little Italy can be found w/ the search function.

    In that general vicinity, I would recommend Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano (more Univ Heights/North Park than Hillcrest), Mama Testa, Pete's Quality Meats and Starlite.

    Bencotto and Buon Appetito in Little Italy and Tre Porcellini in Hillcrest have gotten positive mentions on the board as well.

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

    Pete's Quality Meat
    1742 1 2 India St, San Diego, CA

    Buon Appetito
    1609 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

    3175 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103

    Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
    4203 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

    1. Old Town I would look at El Agave and the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant.

      In Hillcrest, Ortega's for Puerto Nuevo style Mexican, Arrivederci Italian Restaurant, Restaurant Kazumi for sushi, Bombay for Indian, Khyber Pass for Afghani, Au Revoir French Bistro, Bayu's Authentic Ethiopian, Tre Porcelli for an Italian wine bar, Saigon on Fifth for Vietnamese and Celedon for Thai.

      A bit down in Banker's Hill Hexagone for French and Cucina Urbana for Italian. There is also Bertrand's at Mr. A's and Azuki Sushi.

      In Little Italy, Puerto La Boca, an Argentine steakhouse, the Waterfront, a dive bar and San Diego's oldest, Davanti Enoteca, small plates Italian, Princess Pub and Grille for fish and chips and Guiness.

      495 Laurel Street, San Diego, CA 92101

      Khyber Pass Restaurant
      523 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

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

      7 Replies
      1. re: scottca075

        If you are into real Indian food, then skip Bombay. It is quite Americanized and lacks the complex spiciness (not just heat-spicy) that good Indian food has.

        Celadon is ok, but again, Americanized. It's worth the drive north into Linda Vista for 5-10 minutes to eat at Sab E Lee.

        Kazumi is ok, at best for sushi.

        Mama Testa's for tacos from around Mexico. Their mashed potato tacos and beef taquitos in spicy beef broth are very, very good. So is their salsa bar!

        Wine Vault and Bistro is one of the best deals in town!

        If you're looking for breakfast, Ricky's on Hotel Circle Drive has a killer Dutch apple pancake. Feeds 4 and will last you all day!

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

        1. re: daantaat

          Agreed. And another thumbs up for Wine Vault, but I would always call there first to find out what (if any) special multi-course meals were happening.

          1. re: daantaat

            Daantaat: thanks for the Sab E Lee recommendation. We live in no. co. inland, so don't get to Linda Vista that often, but will gladly go for good Indian eats. Do they have specialities (hubs presently is craving Hyderbadi biryani).

              1. re: pine time

                Sab E Lee is Thai, as RB Hound pointed out.

                Copper Chimney off Black Mountain Rd inside Spice Court market (next to Ashoka the (not so) Great) in the Little India complex has really, really good Hyderbadi chicken biriyani. Allen's chutneys and dosas are also excellent. If you want a good mango lassi to go w/ your meal, get it from Surati Farsan Mart across the parking lot. The lassi that Spice Court has in the refrigerator case is tasteless and watery. I was very bummed that Allen stopped making his own b/c his were bursting w/ mango pulp and flavor and by far, the best I've ever had.

                Surati Farsan Mart
                9494 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

                1. re: daantaat

                  We weren't thrilled with Copper Chimney's Hyderabadi biryani--close, but no cigar. We do like Surati Farsan Mart for veg. We're awaiting a supposed "secret" Hyderabadi biryani recipe from a relative in Hyderabad; I plan to make it the minute it arrives (if it ever does). When we were in Hyderabad, biryani was our menu choice for 7 days straight, even if it was 115 degrees in the shade. That and a Kingerfisher.

            1. re: scottca075

              For Vietnamese, I'd suggest the esteemed Grubs should head east on 8, get off going south at Fairmont exit, go a few blocks to El Cajon Blvd, and turn left. In a couple of blocks, there is Saigon which is a large good authentic Vietnamese restaurant with a wide menu. Or the Grubs could take a flyer on any of the numerous smaller tasty Viet places of which San Diego has many. If they wish to research options, they could consult Kirk's blog. His postings are extensive and he's traveled in Vietnam and knows the cuisine fairly well:


            2. Sorry to hear Mr. Grub that you have angered the Gods and are spending a week in Hotel must of really pissed them off!

              Close by, I would suggest Bay Park Fish Company..great happy hour fish tacos..casual
              Baci's for Italian on Morena...fine dining
              JV's Taco Shop by and good
              Bencotto in Little Italy
              Wine Vault
              Cucina Urbana
              Avenue 5 in Bankers Hill or Betrand's at the Mister A building
              Guadalajara Grill for touristy Mex and marg's.
              Ricky's or Perry's Coffee Shop
              Albie's Beef Inn in Mission Valley..
              Bully's East for prime rib and a mean pour of a cocktail...burgundy naugahyde is alive and well
              Sab-e-Lee in Linda Vista for some kick ass Thai

              1 Reply
              1. Happy to report we survived our Hotel Circle week. Thx one & all for your counsel. The pizza at Arriverderci was excellent. Nice East Coast crust, tasty tomato sauce, fresh generous toppings. Mozzarella kinda blah.

                Bay Park Fish is a real gem. Steamers absolutely rock (in fact, we had to return for a 2d visit contrary to all Grubrules cuz Mrs G had to have her own bowl). Grilled halibut splendid & the 17-yr-old grandgrub loved his fish n chips.

                What can you say about Albie’s? Button naugahyde! Gold-marbled mirrors! Nekked-lady paintings! Groaning happy hour munchies! Mutant carrots! & meat! Meat! Meat! Both prime rib eaters very happy. The Grubman’s sirloin very tasty if kinda, well, tiny. & the 17-yr-old inhaled his also-tiny filet in about 10 seconds.

                Perry’s Coffee House is a roadside treasure. Bacon, eggs & righteous pecan waffle. Mmmm. Ricky's on Hotel Circle South actually turned out a marvelous club sandwich & a passable patty melt.

                The grandgrub was selected mvp of his baseball tournament & wanted ribs to celebrate. Discovered line at Phil’s stretched to Point Loma, so he lobbied successfully for Chili’s. Ugh. Less said is best.

                Oh, yes. Waterfront’s is a dive-bar burger at its best.

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

                4 Replies
                1. re: Mr Grub

                  Awesome Grub..
                  Glad you had a great time in Hotel Circle's not so bad since your close to everything.
                  Ricky's had a passable patty melt?
                  Was it served with 1,000 island sauce and was it super cheesy so you don't taste the meat?
                  Bay Park is awesome..have to try the steamers.
                  Thanks for reporting back!

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Ricky's melt had lotsa cheese & a proper patty. Only downside was it was grilled on really crappy wheat bread instead of good rye.

                    1. re: Mr Grub

                      Crappy wheat bread instead of Rye...the horror of it all.

                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        Almost, but not quite as bad, as a meatless patty melt.