Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Jan 17, 2002 05:18 PM

How do these SD places rate, hounds?

  • l

These places were recommended to me for an upcoming trip to San Diego. I couldn't find any reference to them on this board, and trust this group's opinions more than Zagat. So, hounds, what's the story on these:

Rhinoceros on Orange in Coronado
El Agave in Old Town
Pamplemousse Grille in Solana Beach
Jasmine on Convoy
Original Pancake House
Fish Market on Harbor Dr.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. El Agave is excellent. Pamplemousse is good, but very pricey...Tapenade in La Jolla or El Bizcocho (in the Rancho Bernardo Inn) are better choices at the high end. Fishmarket is ok, but Blue Point Coastal Cuisine would be a better choice for downtown seafood. The Pancake house is a chain, but a very good chain. Jasmine is excellent, but in sea of strip malls...if you are here for an extended stay great, but not a must if you are here for a limited time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: buzznutter

      While I agree with most of the comments in the last post, while the Original Pancake House may be part of a small chain, it's food is absolutely top notch. One of my favorite places for breakfast in town (but often with a long line on weekends)

      1. re: Bob Foster

        I must concur -- the Original Pancake House is great. But yes, they have long lines (30-45 minutes, easy), particularly on Sunday when everyone's gone there straight from church.

        If you're in the mood for Italian, try Caffé Bella Italia. There's one on Mercury, and one on Garnet (I think). The one on Mercury is only open for breakfast and lunch, though. Fantastic place -- I rarely get past the specials because they're all so good, and they make the best foccacia in San Diego.

    2. Pamplemousse Grille is fine...but doesn't remotely compare to any of our continental-in-flavor LA restaurants (in food or bang per buck). I say stick with Tapenade or one of your other choices.

      1. d
        David Naimark

        In my opinion:

        El Agave is overrated for food--probably because everybody is drunk on the excellent tequila selections.

        Pamplemousse used to be great, now is only good, and is expensive. I stick with the regular items because the specials have been roundly disappointing. Tapenade or George's or El Bizcochco are clearly better.

        Pancake House is great--try the baked apple pancake and side of bacon.

        1. The Fish Market is uneven, ranging from B+ to D-. Worst offense: heat lamping until the fish is accidently over cooked.
          To their credit, they redid the dish (both times)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Amfortas

            I've never done the Fish Market itself.
            My comment was for Top of the Market, which is the 'better' room above.

          2. Cafe Pacifica near old Town
            Rappongi in LaJolla (asian fusion tapas)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Amfortas

              I have never been impressed with Cafe Pacifica.