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Leucadia-Encinitas Bound - CH recs?

I love this time of year when my family can escape the desert and hit the beach. We are migrating down from Carlsbad after a couple of years, just a little south to Leucadia- Encinitas area and are looking for some great recs. I've read and heard great things about Kaito and Yu Me Ya, so I think we have Japanese/Sushi covered. We are looking for the lowdown on the best recs for the area for other foods (pizza, Italian, burgers, taco stands, and anything else totally chow worthy. We have a lot of meals to cover and a budget that goes from taco stands in between surfing to a couple of nice meals out.

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  1. Aloha danieli...my doppelganger on Chowhound!

    My fave's:
    Juanita's taco shop
    Blue Ribbon pizza
    VG's donuts
    Bull taco Cardiff
    Roberto's taco shop in Solana Beach
    Claire's on Cedros
    Pizza Port
    Paon Carlsbad
    Brigantine..everyday happy hour fish tacos
    Fish Market Del Mar Oyster Bar only
    Red Tracton's
    Flavor Del Mar happy hour
    Kitchen 1540 at L'Auberge Del Mar
    Board and Brew for fab deli sandwiches
    Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
    Delicias in RSF
    Betys taco shop in Encinitas
    Pellys seafood in Carlsbad
    Tony Jacal's/Rudys/Fidels (best chile relleno and all white chicken burrito) in Solana Beach
    Solace in Encinitas
    George's at the Cove in LJ ocean terrace for lunch or sunset

    Too bad the best dive bar Leucadian just got shut down.. : (
    Hit up the Kraken for a cold beer ..across from the Chart House
    Stone steps in Leucadia is a great body surfing spot.
    Sundays at Swami's for surfing and oceanfront temple gardens

    Have a great time in SD..report back!

    1. Go to Raul's Shack. Get a variety of tacos, with drinks. Stroll a few blocks West down the street to the benches over looking the beach. You're welcome.

      I'm not a surfer, but I usually see them there.

      1. KC's Tandoor for casual and takeout Indian
        Seaside Market for sandwiches
        Rosanna's Pasta Shop for pasta and paninis
        Jersey Mike's (yes it's a chain) for italian subs

        2 Replies
        1. re: Encinitan

          Forgot to add the Kebab Shop for chicken and falafel doners/schwarmas, and shish kebabs. Avoid the lamb though.

          1. re: Encinitan

            Avoid everything at Kebab Shop - horrible

        2. My favorites echo a lot of Beach Chick's, but here we go:

          Claires - great brunch spot
          Blue Ribbon - best "gourmet" pizza around
          East Coast Pizza - good slices
          Mozy's Cafe - delicious healthy(ier) vegetarian burritos
          Peace Pies - awesome vegan food...surprisingly filling
          Rudy's - best carne asada, I personally love their street tacos, huevos rancheros, and tortas
          Swami's - good acai bowls
          Rosanna's - can't beat her paninis
          Jorge's - best Mexican spicy chicken soup
          Seaside market - great sandwiches and deli treats

          1 Reply
          1. re: gator28

            Thanks everyone...I will try and report back!

          2. Market
            Blue Ribbon
            El Q'ero
            Kitchen 1540
            3rd Corner

            1. Ok folks, here is the update:

              We had a great trip, as always, and the weather could not have been better. We didn't even have marine layer in the morning most days, so you cannot beat sunrise and sunsets over the ocean!

              On to the food, we started off at Casa de Bandini on our first night. I know its not the best Mexican in the overall area, but it is a nice spot with above average food. My fish tacos were fresh and well put together. Nachos, enchiladas, and all the sides were solid as well. Overall, a good start to the trip.

              There were plenty of days we packed lunches for picnics or cooked at home, but we did hit Juanitas for some great carne asada tacos, fish tacos, shredded chicken nachos, and a solid carnitas burrito. My wife liked the burrito and carne asada tacos best, however, my little guy loved using the fresh flour tortillas to make tacos for everyone with the fish tacos. My only knock on the spot was the tepid heat in the two fresh salsas in the bottles (green and red), I like a little more heat with mine. Everything was really good and this was one of the best meals of the trip and fueled us up for an afternoon of surfing and fun.

              We did it up at Kaito Sushi and it was awesome. I would love to go back and sit at the sushi bar and just let the chef go omakase Tokyo style, but it really didn't matter as the fish was top notch and without any criticism. I like the fact we went on a sleepy Monday night, so we just walked in sat down and ordered.

              We hit Pizza Port as is our tradition and it wasn't nearly as crowded or crazy for some reason. Might be we showed up a little later than usual and missed the earlier crowd. The pizza, wings, salads, and brew were as good as ever.

              One day we went down to the USS MIdway carrier museum for the afternoon. This was a very neat adventure and we enjoyed the views, the history, and the excellent guided tours. We headed over to the Fish Market restaurant right on the bay to keep the views going and have a quick bite. Yes, it was a bit touristy, but a good meal nonetheless. The clam chowder I would pass on as it didn't have much flavor and tasted like it was out of a can. We had a nice blackened tilapia, simply done and fresh, Louie salad with shrimp and crab, and some sashimi-sushi as well. All were fresh and even though it wasn't exactly chow-craziness, it was good.

              We carried in from Tai-Pan for a relatively cheap and easy night in. The food was solid all around. Not the best Thai food, but far from the worst. I was pleased with the lack of onions/green peppers or "BS filler" as I call it in their curries. I would carry out from there again and would recommend it.

              We hit Claire's for our big brunch day out and it was excellent. A top spot for brekkie/brunch/lunch. Service was a little shaky as it doesn't appear that the service team communicates well with each other, but otherwise, the place was charming and we had a great experience. We would definitely go back. All dishes were good, with a tasty fresh fruit yogurt parfait, excellent eggs and turkey sausage, good scones, and super fresh fruit. It is so nice to find a place that absolutely puts out great fruit. It is not acceptable in CA to do otherwise!

              Last, but not least, we love I Trulli in Encinitas and enjoyed a fabulous meal there on the last night out. All the pastas are so good and the lasagna, ravioli, and bolognese were excellent. We had an out of this world zucchini blossom starter stuffed with goat cheese goodness, a great salmon carpaccio, and their refreshing take on burrata with spinach and tomatoes. My son devoured the tiramisu on his own, so I think it was good.

              That is it. We can't wait to go back and hit up a few more taco shops, Blue Ribbon, and a couple of other recs.

              3 Replies
              1. re: danieli10

                Thanks for the report back, sounds like a great trip!

                1. re: danieli10

                  Sounds like a great trip!

                  Love I Trulli!

                  1. re: danieli10

                    Nice trip. I literally have dreams about the Tuscan Eggs Benny at Claire's