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NYC hound seeks SD aid

I'll be in SD for 3 days and would greatly appreciate help with my list of where to eat. Here's what I have so far:

La Fachada and/or Tacos El Paisa for tacos
Las Cuatro Milpas for the chorizo bowl
Ota for sushi
Green Flash brewery for beer tasting

Kitchen 1540

Here's what I'm looking for:

A nice restaurant for a celebratory meal in SD proper (i.e. not Del Mar) with good cocktails, seafood, and wine. No $100+ tasting menus but anything beneath the top $$ level would be fine.

A good place for oysters and beers (perferably outdoors but indoors with a view would work) in the afternoon/early evening.

A good place for fish tacos. I'm already going to be getting my Mexican meat taco fix (see above) but would also like a more SD taco shack experience with some fried fish action.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I would add George's on the Cove dining on the casual ocean terrace or Eddie V's in LJ.
    Flavor Del Mar or Kitchen 1540
    Kaito for sushi
    Aqui es Texcoco in Chula Vista for potato taquitos and barbacoa
    Super Cocina or Mama Testas
    South Beach in OB for fish tacos but get the sauce on the side
    Bull Taco
    Fish Market Oyster bar downtown for oysters and anchor steam on tap..sushi bar is great too with bayfront patio for drinks and apps.
    Island Prime outside patio for drinks and apps.
    Stone brewery for beers and then head to Hacienda de Vega for dinner

    Have fun!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Beach Chick

      +1 for Kaito. It's much more relaxed (read: less crowded), the chefs are more personable, and (I think) the fish is better. Reservations at the bar are recommended.

      It can be a bit out of the way depending on where you're staying and what you're going to be doing in SD, though.

    2. Thanks for being so specific. Makes it much easier.

      A nice restaurant for celebratory meal etc = George's Bar, with a seat by the window. Their mussels are some of the best I've ever had or The Fishery in Pacific Beach, although no cocktails, just a decent wine list, but very fresh fish. It's associated with a premier fish wholesaler in the same building.

      fish tacos = if you're not doing a taco truck, my personal favorite is Don Bravo Bahia in Bird Rock. It's a locals place, and there are stools out back where you can sneak a peak of the Pacific. Maybe not the best fish tacos in SD, but a place my NYC friends and Brooklyn daughter love.

      1. The Fish Market has a decent oyster bar and fish taco, or you can try the upstairs patio at its sister restaurant Top of the Market. Both serve solid seafood with a great view.

        1. South Beach has 1/2 price appetizers for HH and that includes getting the plate of oysters at around $1/per. Their beer selection is not great but there are usually at least 1 or 2 taps of the flagship beer from a local brewery. Indoors but ocean views in a few spots of the bar. I don't dislike their fish tacos but any of the Mariscos trucks mentioned on the board will be better.

          I am not the biggest Green Flash fan so I would suggest Alesmith or Ballast Point (Old Grove location) for beer tasting in that general vicinity. If you are hitting multiple breweries, Hess is also in that area.

          1. Eddie V's outside patio in La Jolla for oysters - best view in San Diego (even better than George's). Follow it up with their lobster taco (house made herb corn tortillas). Not authentic fish taco mexican style, but it is excellent. Be sure to make a reservation or you will probably be out of luck on the outside view tables.

            1. I enjoy the Oyster Bar at the Fish Market downtown. and if you sit outside on the patio there is a very nice view of SD Bay. The view at the La Jolla places mentioned previously is more spectacular but it can be kind of a pain to get there (traffic and all) if you are staying downtown and need to be back downtown later in the evening.

              If you do end up at the Fish Market be sure to talk to the person behind the counter and ask what is "best" (freshest). The Oyster Bar and the Sushi Bar there are good, but I wouldn't advise going into the dining room and ordering off the menu.

              I don't know how much free time you have, but if everyone in your party has a passport you might want to consider spending part of a day in Mexico. It's really pretty easy to take the trolley down to the boarder (or drive down and park and walk across the boarder) and spend a few hours in Tijuana. It would be off topic to discuss it here, but a quick post on the Mexico board would get you a bunch of suggetions.

              1. I'd look into wine vault for celebratory dinner and wine. Solid place. I'd try tiger tiger for beers and oysters diring day. They have benches in front and while it is el cajon blvd it's decent on a nice day. I like blue water fish tacos but there is a ton of good fish taco spots. Point loma seafood being another good choice. Not on list but maybe worth looking into, tj oyster bar, coops west Texas BBQ or romesco.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mjill

                  I would second the Romesco Baja Med suggestion--would give you a good exposure to Baja Mexican cuisine along with Baja wines....Tuesday night (1/2 price tapas menu) or Wednesday night (1/2 price wine...you can grab a great bottle of Santo Tomas wine for the ridiculously low price of $15). The original Caesar salad recipe as they have at the family's sister restaurant in Tijuana, ahi tostada, and more.

                2. Where are you staying?

                  Why Kitchen 1540 but no other Del Mar spots? If you happened to be looking for McCabe he's now at Delicias Restaurant. I haven't been, but I've read/seen very good reports.

                  IHow nice? Georges Modern is somewhat of an SD institution like others have mentioned, you said Del Mar is out but Flavor Del Mar would be an ideal spot for me to bring friends. Maybe the Fishery in northern Pacific Beach). Whisknladle in La Jolla and Urban Solace in North Park are always recommended to people visiting SD. Visitors will likely enjoy the Ron Burgandy at the latter. If you want Gaslamp Cowboy Star has a good selection of Seafood though it's known as a steakhouse.

                  I agree on Kaito over Ota for Sushi, there is also Sushi Dokoro Shirahama which I have seen mentioned as comparable quality

                  oysters and beers - maybe pacific beach fish shop (not to be confused with the fishery) they don't have much of a view but the are outdoors, have a good beer selection and offer $1 oysters every Thursday from 4pm until they run out.

                  Tacos - mariscos german truck, or again the pacific beach fish shop had their voted pretty highly.

                  1. As far as your SD proper request for a celebratory meal (I am guessing it will be for a group?) I would suggest Farm House Cafe, Jayne's Gastropub, Brooklyn Girl, Bankers Hill, Cucina Urbana or Searsucker. All of these are downtown or uptown. If you go to Jayne's ask to sit outside in their back garden. (No cocktails at Farm House, but good wines.)

                    For oysters and beers - if you really love beer, Tiger! Tiger! in North Park is worth a visit - they serve only one kind of oysters but they have them, and they have fancy sandwiches and lots of great microbrews. Otherwise, if you want a view you are pretty much down to Fish Market. If you don't mind paying a little extra, their upstairs spot Top of the Market is a little nicer and has a great view.

                    For fish tacos - you are going to get a "shack" experience at Tacos el Paisa. Frankly I think what you are looking for exists primarily in Mexico but the closest you'll find is probably at Mariscos el Pescador's truck in the Toys R Us Parking lot in Chula Vista. At least I assume that is where they are still parking - I haven't been there in ages.

                    You might also consider adding Carnitas' Snack Shack, Starlite, Cafe Chloe & George's Ocean Terrace to your list. George's California Modern is fine dining, but the terrace upstairs has a great view and serves burgers, sandwiches, salads and good cocktails for lunch and dinner (same menu as the bar - the bar also has some nice view tables.)

                    1. I'm glad to see that you are visiting a brewery while you are here - though, Green Flash isn't my favorite. In the same part of San Diego (Miramar/Scripps/Poway) there is also Hess Brewing, Alesmith, Ballast Point and Lightning, any of which is as good, if not better than Green Flash.