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Kearny Mesa area dining

Staying at the Residence Inn Kearny Mesa. I know I can find great restaurant recs in the San Diego area easily on this board. But I need some nearby backups in case the kids are tired and cranky. Are there any good options near the hotel for dinner? Any cuisine is fine.


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  1. I actually work about a block or two from Residence Inn. If your kids are fine with asian food, you're very near the asian food mecca of San Diego: Convoy street. Lots of great korean and japanese food along that street (way too many to name). Also some good Mexican food, like Lolita's, Yesenia's, Rigoberto's, and Gualberto's.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Seiji

      And the (in)famous Super Sergios

      1. re: DiningDiva

        DD, I am so glad you stepped up to the plate.

        I was sorely tempted to add in Fake Name's beloved Super Sergio's as a recommendation, but since I have never visited this destination establishment, although I have done a drive by, I f felt that I should stay silent.. ;}

        1. re: Gypsy Jan

          Well, I'm gratified to see excellent judgement being used here on CH. But if one merely mentions a paticular place "was endorsed by FakeName", one will sucessfully convey to our fellow 'hounds that it is a place of high standards and practices where one may be expected to enjoy a meal of the highest quality.

          In fact, instead of using the cliché of "five stars" or some silly reference to the ratings bestowed by a manufacturer of tires, one could simply say "blessed by FakeName".

    2. You will be staying in the middle of food heaven! Try Mongolian Hot Pot, Manna, Convoy Tofu House, Original Pancake House, Little Dumpling, Crab Hut (excellent for kids), Shirahama (NOT the best for kids), Sab E Lee, Yakitori Yakyudori, and if you need a fast fun dinner, In N Out.

      1. do a search for "Convoy," "Clairemont Mesa" and "Balboa." You'll find the most popular Asian places around. Best is Japanese or Korean. Skip Jasmine and Emerald (not very good Cantonese).

        1. If kids are tired/cranky and you want to stay in, go to Nijya Market and pick up the premade sushi and prepared food. Makes a nice, easy meal.

          1. I've actually stayed at that Residence with my kids. They actually have a small dinner every night. Things like taco bar, soup night, etc. Half the time we just stayed there and ate. Convoy is a great food place too, but if your kids are picky, they may not go for it. Fillippis pizza is right there. If I think of others, I'll edit this.

            1. Thanks everyone!! We love Asian food.....I prefer Korean...hubby and oldest son are huge sushi fans. My 3 year old can put away sushi with the best of them...eel is his favorite...go figure. Glad to hear we'll have so many options nearby!

              I will try the search suggested. When I searched Kearny Mesa, nothing valuable came up.

              Thanks again!

              9 Replies
              1. re: rizzo0904

                Sushi Yaro is on Engineer just off Convoy. Fish is excellent and abundant. Sammy is very friendly. Everything from most gringo rolls to fairly exotic stuff like pristine uni, herring row, spanish mackerel, etc. Prices are reasonable for the quality.

                1. re: rizzo0904

                  Buga Korean BBQ on Clairemont Mesa Drive is very good. If you must have charcoal grills, Dae Jung Kim (? on the last word) off Engineer Rd, has them and I think the only place in town that does charcoal. I think Buga has better quality of meat, but that's just me. Manna Korean BBQ is AYCE but I have not been. Have seen the line of hungry students going out the doors.

                  Izakaya Sakura on Convoy, behind the Original Pancake House has pretty solid sushi too. You can either sit at the bar or at the tables. If you don't want sushi, you can go to town w/ all the izakaya stuff.

                  Best Japanese is Okan or Oton. Okan is homestyle Japanese and they do have sashimi on the menu. Oton is robatayaki, nabemono; very good for cold, rainy days.

                  1. re: daantaat

                    Just my 2 cents worth, but the last time I dined at Izakaya Sakura everything we ordered was just awful. It may have been just a bad visit, but ever since a very long spell of underperforming meals several years ago, each return for me has been accompanied with much anxiety.

                    So unfortunately for me they're back in the doghouse again. (Actually for me they've spent more time in the doghouse than not.)

                    But yes on Okan - wonderful place. Haven't been to Oton in a while, but I love their Nabemono!

                    BTW a great choice, especially with the kids, would be Yakitori Yakyudori for Yakitori and Ramen. In fact among all of the Japanese places in the area, I think they might be the best suited for families.

                    1. re: cgfan

                      FYI, reservations are probably a good idea for evening dining at Okan or Yakyudori, since you're bringing a family. (Oton, too, I imagine.)

                      1. re: cgfan

                        I must admit that it's been a couple of years since I was at Sakura, but I used to enjoy it quite a bit. Was the recent bad visit after the reopening?

                        1. re: Ed Dibble

                          Yes, my visit was after the reopening. FWIW my friend enjoyed it, but for me it was one of those situations that for social reasons I just grinned and didn't share my opinion of the meal...

                        2. re: cgfan

                          My kids both love Yakyudori Ramen, but it is no fun trying to explain to a 5YO why we can't eat there because it's too crowded and half the restaurant is already reserved for the night even though she can see empty tables. Pick your visiting times (or the kids' moods) wisely.

                          It's hard enough explaining to her that they will not put her beloved "boily egg" in the ramen if it's to-go.

                          1. re: cgfan

                            we were there a few weeks ago and everything we had was good. Had a sashimi platter (not as good as Kaito but good enough), tempura shishito peppers, natto tuna bowl, tsukemono (Okan's is better, though), beef tongue and a few other things.

                            The things that I don't get at Sakura are their udon. Had it a few times and the noodles are just on that side of overcooked for me.

                            Forgot about Yakitori Yakyudori--good call! And yes on the reservations if you're going at night.

                            1. re: daantaat

                              Drop in sometime the week of Dec 25 (while not on that day or before) and snagged 3 seats by the counter at Yakyudori before 6:15 pm on a weeknight. Being from out of town, it was quite a pleasure to have decent non pork bone soup ramen paired with very decent yakitori. By the time we put in our orders there were already lots of people waiting.

                      2. Anny's Fine Burgers just opened at the intersection of Kearny Villa Rd & Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Huge menu with all kinds including a monster that has pastrami toppings. It's their grand opening so get fries or a drink for free with your burger order.