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Survey of San Diego Hounds

I saw this posted on the Los Angeles Board and thought it might be fun to try on our board.

The questions:

1. SD restaurants everybody loves but you (either actively dislike or think is overrated.)

2. SD restaurants nobody loves (either actively derides or just doesn't know about) but you.

3. SD restaurants everybody loves that you also love.

4. SD restaurants everybody loves that you've never been to.

For me:

#1 Bencotto - I only ate their once, but I must have either ordered the wrong thing or they were having a bad night. It wasn't terrible, but I didn't love it.
I also need to mention Searsucker, as our meal was terrible and overpriced.

#2 - Trattoria I Trulli (Encinitas) - I never see this restaurant mentioned. They make the best lasagna I've ever had and I love their bur-rata.
Mi Ranchito - Amazing taco shop in PQ that I never see mentioned. Fresh seafood and quality ingredients.

#3 - Farmhouse Cafe, Sushi Ota, Market, Trulucks, Sea Rocket Bistro

#4 - Kitchen 1540, Georges on the Cove, Mariscos German Truck

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  1. Interesting that you mentioned Sushi Ota and Market and Trulucks under #3 - based on the comments on this boards these three restaurants are quite controversial and definitely not loved by everybody (over even the majority). (Never been to Sushi Ota but not very impressed by Market and exerperiences at Truluck were more than disappointing for the price)

    1 Reply
    1. re: honkman

      I think you are wrong about Ota. It is universally liked but always takes a back seat to Kaito. I think they are almost in different catagories.

    2. I'm pretty certain that Super Sergio's is a universal answer for #3.

      1. #1 Urban Solace
        #2 Sultan Baklava, Cafe Istanbul
        #3 Farmhouse, Addison, Buga
        #4 Kitchen 1540, TBL3 at George's,

        1. #1 Super Cocina, Cowboy Star, Marine Room, Bencotto
          #2 Costa Brava, Muzita Bistro, Bleu Boheme, The Smoking Goat
          #3 Urban Solace, Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano, Cafe Chloe, Mariscos German truck in City Heights
          #4 Kitchen 1540, Sab E Lee, Kaito Sushi

          1. I will limit myself to 2 places per answer:
            1) Cowboy Star, Jsix
            2) La Playa Taco Shop, Sam Woo
            3) Georges at the Cove, Yakitori Yakyudori
            4) Sea Rocket Bistro, Kitchen 1540

            3 Replies
            1. re: shouzen

              1. Urban Solace (Encinitas), Blue Ribbon Pizza
              2. Saffron
              3. Bencotto
              4. Super Cocina and lots more.

              1. re: pantani

                I agree about Urban Solace in Encinitas. After enjoying a meal at the North Park location, I was excited to learn they were opening shop near my home in Encinitas. Was very disappointed after visiting that location, though.

              2. re: shouzen

                I love La Playa. Happy you do too!

              3. 1. Bronx Pizza

                2. How about lesser known? Toshi-San, Mister Sushi, Izakaya Masa

                3. Kaito, Flavor, Delicias, Urban Solace

                4. Super Cocina, AR Valentien, wayyyy too many others

                3 Replies
                1. re: Rodzilla

                  Gotta quibble with #1; you will find a large number of SD Chowhounds that do not Bronx Pizza - even those that junkies of NYC pizza.

                  What' I've yet to see in #2 is a place that most people here slam. Everybody's going for the under the radar picks. I want to see somebody defending a Phil's (for example). :)

                  1. re: RB Hound

                    That's why it's a survey, based on 'individual' opinion, not your quibbles. Rodzie thinks it's overrated.

                    1. re: cstr

                      I didn't want to sound like I was trashing anybody's answer; I was just trying to understand the context. I probably read "everybody" in the categories too literally, or perhaps as being specific to the local Chowhounds and not the population at large.

                2. don't get. 1. Addison, Super Cocina

                  old shoes. 2. Zinc Cafe, Coffee Cup, Lanna, La Playa Taco, Craft & Commerce

                  all stars. 3. Tender Greens, Rocky's, ARV, Farmhouse, Fishery

                  ashamed to say. 4. Linkery, Sea Rocket, Cowboy Star, Kaito and that other one, Bice, Smoking Goat.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: pickypicky

                    Linkery is worth a try, excellent housemade links, great slaw but, in general over priced and limited.

                    1. re: cstr

                      Heard nothing but good things, but the night we went to try it several years ago, we saw the TV screen, and balked. Silly, I know. . .

                      1. re: pickypicky

                        I like the Linkery for a casual, kick back with a beer, kind of dinner.

                  2. 1) In'n'Out, Cowboy Star, Sab E Lee

                    2) Avenue 5, Golden City, Tropical Star

                    3) Cafe Chloe, Urban Solace, Starlite (and many more)

                    4) TBL3, Addison

                    1. Will limit to 3 responses for each

                      1) Point Loma Seafood, Kebab Shop, Dumpling Inn
                      2) Chef Chin, Akinori, Urban Plates
                      3) Kaito, Cowboy Star, Sab E Lee
                      4) Wine Vault, Kitchen 1540, Super Sergios

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: karaethon

                        Are you limiting 1540 to post Chef change?

                        1. re: Rodzilla

                          yes - reflection of now vs before

                      2. 1. Cucina Urbana
                        2. Avenue 5, Wine Vault (not that these are actively disliked but just not talked about)
                        3. Super Cocina, Kaito
                        4. Addison, TBL3 at Georges

                        1. "1. SD restaurants everybody loves but you (either actively dislike or think is overrated.)"

                          I want to avoid trouble with Honkman- who's "everybody"? Are we discussing popularity, or the CH seal of approval?

                          For example, the never ending line of people to eat at Lucha Libre. I know any self-respecting,San Diego-deprecating Chowhound wouldn't bother.

                          But I see the constant lineup and wonder if they're all new customers. Because once you've had their food (nothing wrong with it, but..) you wouldn't stand on line to get it. Are their lives so worthless that time queueing up is of no matter?

                          Obviously, Phils is another. Snooz. Hash House.

                          I wouldn't wait in line for hours to go to French Laundry.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Fake Name

                            Good point FN, everybody is a broad statement, everybody in the US, SD, world ??

                            Super Sergio's may fit that criteria for everybody to like!

                            1. re: Fake Name

                              "I want to avoid trouble with Honkman" - Are you getting old ?
                              But to answer your question (even though I didn't raise the initial questions including the word"everybody") but I think we could only talk about the "opinions" of CH as just discussing long lines in front of restaurants (which are important for the success of the restaurant) don't mean much to the quality of the restaurant (I think we all agree that Cheesecake Factory is most likely not the restaurant with the best food in SD but the one with the longest lines)

                              1. re: honkman

                                "Are you getting old ?"

                                Nah. I'm a new leaf.

                            2. "2. SD restaurants nobody loves (either actively derides or just doesn't know about) but you."

                              Thus begging another philosophical question: What is love?

                              I don't love Sushi Deli, which is universally (and appropriately) derided here.

                              But I go there often for lunch, and have a pleasant and inexpensive experience. I never wait in line- either I go to the bar and sit down, or I leave. Not worth waiting for.

                              But I do look over my shoulder in case I see a fellow Chowhound on the street. If I did, I'd keep walking to preserve my elitist status.

                              1. "4. SD restaurants everybody loves that you've never been to."

                                Cheesecake Factory.

                                1 Reply
                                1. 3. SD restaurants everybody loves that you also love.

                                  Again, "everybody" has notable exceptions (pickypicky) but for me Addison is a no-brainer.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                    A no-brainer indeed.

                                    We just made reservations at Addison for our 5 year wedding anniversary. We are going ALL out...10 course tasting menu with pairings.

                                    1. re: Dagney

                                      We're doing the same next week- we're ready.

                                      1. re: chetatkinsdiet

                                        Excellent! We are also very excited. We were looking at a few places in LA (Melisse, Urasawa), but decided to stay local so we could spend the majority of our anniversary budget on the food instead of travel costs.

                                        1. re: Dagney

                                          If you ever do get the chance, I would highly recommend you try Urasawa sometime.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              Yes! I did a ton of research on the LA spots and Urasawa sounded absolutely divine. Maybe for our 10th. In any event, we are completely jazzed about Addison.

                                              Just to appease the Chow Powers That Be: I'll add one more comment so we stay on topic:

                                              Vinny's Pizza in Alpine is a place that many folks don't know about, because it's in Alpine, but they rival Bronx all day.

                                              1. re: Dagney

                                                I wouldn't wait another 5 years to try Urasawa. It might not be around in 5 years.

                                    2. Glad to see this thread has some interesting dialogue going on. I guess there can be different interpretations of the questions, but I just copied exactly from the LA board. Looking forward to reading more replies. Hope everyone stays "cool" this weekend.

                                      1. "4. SD restaurants everybody loves that you've never been to."


                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                          Does "everybody" really love those places? I feel like they are pretty new post-chef changes and I don't think "everybody" has been to those places yet

                                          1. re: karaethon

                                            Thus proving my earlier point.

                                            I don't think (but I could be wrong!) the op meant everybody, I think it was meant as "everybody".

                                            Let's avoid the literal.

                                            1. re: karaethon

                                              Besides, everybody I know likes them. At least everybody who's anyone.

                                              Oh, I crack myself up....