San Diego Must-Eats
I'll be visiting SD for three days next week and would appreciate a list of must-eat spots. These should be critical SD chowing experiences that locals make sure their out-of-town loved ones go to. I'm most interested in regional specialities -- seafood, "california cuisine," Mexican/Latin Am, and Asian. I will have a car so location doesn't matter much, but let's keep it to SD. Be it a swanky hotel resto or a street vendor, if it is not-to-be-missed, I would love to know about it. Bonus points for anyone who can put together a 3-day B/L/D eating itinerary.
Try "Fresh" in La Jolla, pricey but very good. "Tapanade" in La Jolla, very pricey, but very,very good. Dumpling Inn on Convoy, cheap but very, very, v ery good.
Must "eats" in San Diego?!?!? Surely you jest ;-). But if you're serious, here's a list of 30 places you might want to try. They are in no particular order and do not necessarily reflect my tastes or opinions.....
1. Chilango's - Hillcrest
2. El Por Venir - Barrio Logan
3. Los Cuatro Milpas - Barrio Logan
4. La Posta #8 - Hillcrest
5. La Playita - Kearney Mesa (ceviche)
6. El Zarape - University Heights
7. Aquarella - La Jolla
8. New Shanghai - Kearney Mesa
9. Sushi Ota - Pacific Beach
10. Original Pancake House - Kearny Mesa
11. Saigon Noodle House - El Cajon Blvd.
12. Chicken Pie Shop - El Cajon Blvd.
13. Nicolosi's - Allied Gardens
14. Bully's Mission Valley - Happy Hour (bartenders pour heavy and they serve their prime rib bits as a free happy hour treat on Fridays)
15. Indigo Grill - Little Italy
16. Qwiggs - Ocean Beach (for the view and the clam chowder, not much else. Bartenders just let the drinks sniff at the liquor bottle)
17. Adams Ave. Cafe - University Heights
18. Parkhouse Cafe - University Heights
19. Hash House a Go-Go - Hillcrest
20. Crest Cafe - Hillcrest
21. Terra - Hillcrest
22. The Mission - North Park
23. MooTime Creamery - various throught the city (great ice cream)
24. El Agave - Old Town
25. Marine Room - La Jolla (been around in SD since dirt)
26. Cuvee - La Jolla
27. Point Loma Seafood - Point Loma
28. Anthony's - various (been around 50+ years). Just brought back the Zabbione cake from their original dessert menu
29. DeMille's - Kensington
30. Parallel 33 - Mission Hills
You really might have better luck just doing a search (Ctrl-F) on this page. The above list just scratches the surface of the possibilities and doesn't even take into account anything in the Gaslamp district or other tourist destinations.
A nice list, Gayla. I would have to add Seoul Barbecue (best Korean I've ever had), Balboa Tofu House (wonderful Korean specialty house for soft tofu soups), Phoung Trang (sp?) (the best Vietnamese in town (imho)), all of which are on Convoy. While I haven't eaten there often enough to be sure, Celadon Thai in Hillcrest seems excellent also.
Actually, Gayla, I generally do Asian in SD. Out here in Yuma, I get tons of pretty good, working class, border Mexican. Yesterday for lunch, for example, I had a mixed seafood cocktail (oysters, shrimp, krab, and tender octopus) and empenadas (deep-fried half moons of orangish dough surrounding ground shrimp filling) served with the hottest fresh green salsa at Mariscos Nayarit, a taco wagon parked at the edge of fields a few miles west of downtown. You know, if you ever want to eat some varied and interesting Mexican over here, just let me know when you're coming. Even if I'm too busy to be much of a host, I would be delighted to point you in the right directions.
Nice list, Gayla. I would like to add a very good, casual, Korean place on Clairemont Mesa Blvd called Do Re Mi as well as another vote for Phuong Trang on Convoy. What a street...Golden City is quite good for dim sum without being as nutsy busy as Jasmine and Thai House shows off with wonderful, subtle curries.
While in this area, make a visit to Zion Market at Mercury and Engineer. HUGE asian market leaning heavily on Korean. I could go on forever, I think.
Wow, some of the stuff that comes up on these searches. When I lived in SD, before Buga, before Boo-Cho, I at a lot at Seoul BBQ. It was far better than Korea House, Arirang, and the place that used to be on Adams Ave. I especially enjoyed the wide range of lunch specials. It was the first place I ever had cold noodle soup, black cod and daikon in spicy sauce, Hwoe dup bop, etc. But the meat is not as good as Buga, and I haven't been there in a couple years - though I still have a fondness for hwoe dup bop which may eventually require a return.
Have any of you eaten at Friends House? It's in the shopping center just south of Tajima. It's on the corner. I'm not real familiar yet with Korean food, but it sure tasted good to me! Add the sides were great. The daikon was fabulous, the fish ball was very good. I had the spicy beef with onions over rice. I will go back and try more. What are the classic Korean dishes to try? I asked the waitress and she said "everything"
Oh whoops, now that you mention it I was thinking about Shanghai City. Although I once had Hot Pot at New Shanghai which was decent but not extraordinary. Does anyone have any opinions on Jamillah Garden (which took over the space where New Shanghai was)? I ate there about 6 months ago and it was nothing special.