San Franciscan moving to Lower Mission Hills!
Hi SD CHers!
I am moving to America's Finest City at the end of the month. I've lucked out on a fab place in lower Mission Hills. I was down there this weekend and checked out Brooklyn Girl, which I really enjoyed. Can y'all please share your favorites in my new neighborhood? I'm walking distance to India Street so if you have favorite dishes at places in the area, please let me know!
*snif* I miss my old neighborhood. Anyway, congrats on the move. +1 on Starlite, Blue Water (some of the best seafood in town), and Wine Vault and Bistro. For beer, check out the Regal Beagle (the food is okay-ish), and the Aero Club. Lefty's Pizza isn't a bad substitute for Chicago-style pizza (though my significant other prefers Berkley Pizza), and Gelato Vero is pretty decent coffeehouse (though perhaps not "chow-worthy"). Saffron is a nice place to eat, though, it is a very Americanized version of Thai. And the chicken is addicting.
For Mexican food, skip Lucha Libre, which stopped being the fun and clever neighborhood taco shop due to a visit by one Adam Richman (damn you Man v. Food!), and go around the corner to Dos Brasas Taco Shop over on San Diego Avenue. DO NOT, however, visit Dos Brasas every day for three months to order the special breakfast burrito, or else you will gain 30 lbs. You may be tempted, as my friend Eric was, but moderation is important. Oh, and while the food at El Indio is okay, it is a tortilla factory and their tortillas are second to none in this town.
Shakespeare's Pub, drinking wise, is a bit more expensive than I'd like, but the food is pretty good. Go with English pub specialties, and you will be fine. Up the hill, Bronx Pizza is a pretty good version of a New York style pizzeria, complete with guys behind the counter who will make fun of you. Lastly, I have no idea what Rubicon Deli is like, but if its doing any business whatsoever, its doing a lot better than the last couple of restaurants in that location, so that's a plus.
I also recommend Starlite; even though I've had some misses there, it's generally quite good. Just south of your new digs is San Diego's Little Italy, and while much of the Italian food there is mediocre to insipid, I find Bencotto very tasty - they do braised lamb shanks especially well. For classic Italian-American, red sauce and cheese drenched dishes, I like Mona Lisa; it's not a "foodie" type place, but what they do, they do very well. They also have a small grocery. Underbelly is a quirky ramen shop with good craft beer, although the beer is priced higher than average. Craft and Commerce, an affiliate of Underbelly, has good American food with some interesting twists. On Saturday mornings, the Little Italy farmers' market is among the best anywhere.
Mona Lisa at the corner of Hawthorne and India has excellent sandwiches to take away and totally authentic Italian grocery items. Outstanding pancetta and a good selection of prosciutto. Take a pass on their restaurant. Apparently the good ingredients from the grocery side can't make the trip through their kitchen to become good cooked food.
I'll try to be upbeat about SD food and dining. At least you've chosen a decent location for some basics. You'll eat well enough in the general vicinity, and beyond walking, SD traffic and parking are a breeze compared to SF's. ( We also have a car-sharing fleet of electric Car2Go's.)
Farmer's Market = Little Italy, Saturday mornings w, Hillcrest, Sunday mornings w or d
Bread = Bread & Cie, Hillcrest w
Cheese = Venissimo w
Mona Lisa = Italian grocery, good sandwiches for takeout w?
Underbelly = noodles, craft beer and wine on tap w?
Starlite = w
Craft & Commerce - brunch, cocktails, open aire w?
the better Whole Foods, with rooftop parking w or d
Tender Greens - salads, hot plate specials (near a Trader Joe's) d
Farmhouse - neighborhood bistro d