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Best Steakhouse in SD + other recs

pfish Jun 6, 2012 08:40 AM

I'll be visiting San Diego for a week around Christmas, but apparently have enough AMEX points to pre-pay some restaurant dinners. I love San Diego, loved growing up there, but don't remember any restaurants other than Anthony's.

I see a number of Steakhouses, and am trying to discourage the family from voting for Ruth's Chris (that sizzling platter destroys a good steak, IMHO). I live in DC, and like the Palm here well enough. Not familiar with Rei Do Gado or Gaslamp.

Any San Diego chowhounds with opinions? Goes without saying we need a good wine list and a good bar.

Also, would take recs on other can't miss spots. Thanks in advance for your knowledge and advice!

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  1. Beach Chick RE: pfish Jun 6, 2012 08:50 AM

    Cowboy Star

    Eddie V's in La Jolla
    George's Modern or the ocean terrace for casual dining
    Marine Room for drinks and apps
    Flavor Del Mar
    Kitchen 1540 at L' Auberge Del Mar
    Crown room for brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado...gorgeous at Christmas
    Jsix at Hotel Solamar
    Grant Grill at the US Grant Hotel
    La Valencia Hotel...brunch/lunch on the back terrace overlooking the Pacific
    Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
    Mariscos German seafood truck
    Aqui es Texcoco..best potato taquitos

    Native SD and it has changed quite a bit....you probably remember Lubachs too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick
      pfish RE: Beach Chick Jun 6, 2012 08:57 AM

      Thanks, that's a lot to look at. I do remember the Hotel Del - thanks, can't believe I didn't think of it!

      Is there a good food truck scene in San Diego, and if so - where to check it out? There's a lot in DC, the easiest way to keep track is Food Truck Fiesta (http://foodtruckfiesta.com/). Could use something similar.

      1. re: pfish
        Beach Chick RE: pfish Jun 7, 2012 06:41 AM

        Hotel Del is stunning at Christmas with all the decorations..ice rink on the sand.
        Mariscos German seafood truck and Devilicious is the 2 trucks I love.
        Maybe hit up the happy hour at Donovan's for their free prime rib sandwiches to go with those cocktails..

    2. chris2269 RE: pfish Jun 6, 2012 09:59 AM

      Cowboy Star hands down In my humble (or not so humble) opinion. I am all about dry aged steak their bison steak is great but i still go dry aged rib eye every time. Though you wont go wrong with the other recs.

      10 Replies
      1. re: chris2269
        sdnosh RE: chris2269 Jun 6, 2012 02:13 PM

        Cowboy Star is definately the best 'steak house' in San Diego today. It's been a while since I have been to either Ruth Chris or Morton but I remember thoroughly enjoying Mortons. Donovan's, however, was a huge disappointment. A friend and I found ourselves downtown craving a good steak on a Monday. Cowboy Star was closed so we headed over to Donovan's. Nothing was above mediocre and at the prices they charge, about double Cowboy Star, I was not a happy camper.

        1. re: sdnosh
          yanks26dmb RE: sdnosh Jun 8, 2012 11:11 AM

          I know everyone raves about Cowboy Star..and personally, I'm willig to give it another chance...but the only time i was there I received an undercooked, grisly, extremely fatty rib eye. It was NOT good. Not to mention the 75 minute wait between appetizers and entrees...

          1. re: yanks26dmb
            eatemup RE: yanks26dmb Jun 8, 2012 12:24 PM

            I think you mean 45 minutes since that is what you wrote in April. Still pretty long.

            1. re: eatemup
              RB Hound RE: eatemup Jun 8, 2012 04:42 PM

              Maybe the next time it will be 2 hours between appetizers and entrees.

              1. re: RB Hound
                sdnosh RE: RB Hound Jun 8, 2012 04:52 PM

                I'd say give CS another shot, they are worth it, but 45 minutes is a long time. This does bring up a good question, what is the "appropriate" wait time between apps and entree, between entree and dessert and bill wait time?

                1. re: sdnosh
                  RB Hound RE: sdnosh Jun 8, 2012 04:56 PM

                  Worthy of a retry or not, this is yet another example of Chowhound posters employing hyperbole to the extreme. 45 minutes -> 75 minutes?

                  1. re: sdnosh
                    honkman RE: sdnosh Jun 8, 2012 09:41 PM

                    There should be at least 30 minutes between appetizers and entrees. We also normally ask for 15-20 minutes before deciding on a dessert.

                    1. re: honkman
                      cstr RE: honkman Jun 9, 2012 06:37 AM

                      I agree, I usually ask the server to check back before 'firing', sending the request to the kitchen, the entree.

              2. re: yanks26dmb
                chezwhitey RE: yanks26dmb Jun 9, 2012 07:07 AM

                I'm with you yanks. cowboy star is a fine steakhouse, but not necessarily that special. I don't think it is head and shoulders above a place like Donovans. Coming from DC, I'm sure you have plenty of options where CS won't be a revelation. Rei do gado is a 2nd tier churascuria, skip it unless your kids need lots of visual stimulation.

                1. re: yanks26dmb
                  El Chevere RE: yanks26dmb Jun 12, 2012 12:35 PM

                  For San Diego, Cowboy Star is good and I agree--can take awhile between appetizers and steak.

            2. Rodzilla RE: pfish Jun 10, 2012 12:22 AM

              My vote is Cstar as well, but where are you staying? Urban Solace isn't far off, has a good wine list, the food is excellent and will likely have enough options to appeal to the steakhouse crowd. They're also a *can't miss for many CHers

              if you can get past the overuse of double entendres, I've heard good things about Red Light District - New American, larger wine list, also downtown

              4 Replies
              1. re: Rodzilla
                pfish RE: Rodzilla Jun 10, 2012 09:08 AM

                We're staying at a house in Point Loma, but travel distance isn't really a factor. Thanks for all the information. My next question is where to find the best sushi.

                1. re: pfish
                  karaethon RE: pfish Jun 11, 2012 12:32 PM

                  Kaito - don't think you'll find much resistance on this board for that...

                  1. re: karaethon
                    daantaat RE: karaethon Jun 11, 2012 09:17 PM

                    as my previous post was deleted for no good reason, Kaito is the best in the county. However, you will get lots of hits for Sushi Ota in PB, b/c it is closer to you than Kaito, which is in Encinitas. However, if traveling is not an issue, as you said, it's a nice trip up north to the less heavily touristy parts of the county.

                    1. re: daantaat
                      pfish RE: daantaat Jun 12, 2012 08:23 AM

                      That looks great, thanks!

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