Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Dec 24, 2004 02:26 PM

Exotic Restaurants In San Diego?

  • t


I love exotic/ethnic food. I've been to a wide variety of Thai places and even the Afghan restaurant in Hilcrest (Khyber Pass). I was just wondering if you guys had any suggestions for other exotic/unique places in SD?

Thank you in advance ;)!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It depends what you define as "exotic," as there are lots of good places around, but I don't think SD is known for being ahead of the curve in terms of new restaraunts that have less known cusines (ie: Burmese, Chinese Islamic, Vietnamese/Thai street food, modern Indian, etc.)that you can find in SF, LA, NYC or OC.

    Saffron on India St, near the Washington, has very good Thai food. Most of it are the usual noodle, rice and grilled chicken dishes. However, the owner runs daily and seasonal specials and that's where you'll find more "exotic" dishes, like pumpkin with tapioca and coconut cream for dessert, or chicken noodle soup done the street style way.

    Bandar in the Gaslamp Quarter has terrific Persian food. Lots of kabobs, soups, salads. Generous portions and if you're eating with less adventurous diners, their grilled meats and rice aren't so exotic that they won't enjoy them.

    There is a Lebanese cafe in North Park called Mama's Lebanese Cafe (or something like that). It's been mentioned on this message board. I've never been, but have heard from several friends that it is very good. fresh falafel, etc.

    If you consider Korean BBQ, Korean tofu soups, Szechwan hot pot "exotic," there are a few places in the Convoy area that are very good. I posted list of them earlier this month in reply to someone else's request.

    please report back if you discover any new finds!

    5 Replies
    1. re: daantaat

      Of the places mentioned in this post, I recently eat at Mama's Lebanese restaurant on Alabama St, just off El Cajon and it was very good. A small shop in a converted house, they had very fresh bread for the falafel sandwich. They have a fairly extensive Middle Eastern menu, i.e. stuffed grape leaves, shewarma, hummus, etc.

      1. re: jrettny

        Mama's makes a fantastic Garlic Chicken Sandwich.

        1. re: KirkK

          love Mama's...I think I posted them as Mama's Bakery

          1. re: happyeats

            Doesn't matter, Mama's is a board favorite, almost everyone loves 'em. We knew what you meant :-))

            Chilepm swears by their eggplant sandwich.

            1. re: Gayla

              thanks...hmm have not tried the eggplant sandwhich..will go for it next weekend:)

    2. Lately we've been going to two Ethiopian Places:

      Red Sea - 4717 University
      Awash - 4979 El Cajon Blvd.

      At Awash stay with the Ethiopian Sampler. the Somali Food is not quite as tasty.