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Dec 7, 2011 12:05 PM

SD CHers What's Your "Holy Grail" Dish [Moved from SD board]

Those SuperDiners are at it again. This week's column was on the ONE dish they seem to try over and over again searching for the quintessential or perfect version -

So just out of curiosity, what is the 1 dish that my fellow San Diego Chowhounds seem to always be on the lookout for? Or the dish you try over and over again no matter where you go searching for that perfect version.

There are a couple of mine:

* Arroz con Leche - it's more than just simple rice pudding. It's more creme anglaise based, not to thick, not too thin, plump (not overcooked) rice, hints of lime and canela

* Corn tortillas & Carnitas - there is NOTHING that compares to soft, plushy corn tortillas wrapped around bits of crisp, soft and velvety pork. And nothing like eating it at Carnitas Aeropuerto on the free road just outside of Zamora, Michoacan, MX at 9 am in the morning after a red-eye flight from LAX-GDL. I've yet to find that perfect match of pork and corn NOB <sigh>

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  1. This isn't really limited to San Diego, but I guess I have a few things I feel like I always need to order
    - pho
    - foie
    - charcuterie
    - raw beef (sashimi, carpaccio, tartare, etc)
    - chinese beef roll
    - hong kong style wonton noodles
    - fried turnip cake
    - roasted bone marrow
    - cold soba with real wasabi

    1. Steak Tartare.

      I rarely see it on S.D. menus, but usually order it if it's there. I haven't found any that are memorable, though. I guess the best I've had was at L'Atelier at the MGM in Vegas.

      My favorite is the version I make at home. I like to use sirloin or chuck for the beefier taste rather than filet, which seems the norm. I grind or scrape the beef myself and serve balls of it on each diner's plate, dressed up a little with something green like parsley. On a lazy susan type device, but with at least 10 or more containers on it I'll put out every imaginable ingredient that one might like in theirs: dry mustard, paprika, horseradish, capers, quail eggs, minced onion, catsup, Worcestershire, etc. Its a lot of fun. We like to serve it with icy vodka. Quite a wintertime treat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcgrath

        Cafe Chloe has it quite regular as a special and it is the best version we had in SD. Cowboy Star has it as an appetizer but it was surprisingly bland and a bit disappointing.

      2. Thanks for a great topic, DD!

        I'm always seeking the perfect Espresso Ristretto.

        The pure essence of coffee and nothing more, extracted into an unctuous little cup of joy that, while tiny, clings to your palate for 15 minutes, and to your memory for far, far longer.

        1. For me it's:

          - Foie gras - life in California will be a little less enjoyable come next July!

          - Toro -

          Two different types of buttery goodness!

          1 Reply
          1. re: steveprez

            "Foie gras - life in California will be a little less enjoyable come next July!"

            It's not exactly easy to come by now.

          2. I always seem to be on the lookout for...
            ...delcious eggs benedict
            ...velvety gelato
            ...good fish tacos
            ...excellent fried chicken