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What Are Your Favorite Non-High Concept Dining Places?

Gypsy Jan Jul 1, 2013 04:14 PM

The closing of the various fedora restaurants and the announcements of others leave me wondering - Los Cuatro Milpas, and others in the area, Dsggtonthe other restaurants is Mission Hills that that have been there for a long time (Cuervo?).

  1. Fake Name Jul 1, 2013 05:32 PM

    Dsggtonthe is one of my favorites.

    1. Gypsy Jan Jul 1, 2013 07:20 PM

      Yahh, me too, sitting at computer monitor and blinded by the afternoon sun.

      Oh well, still hoping to hear from CHr's

      Gustav Anders and the Belgian restaurant anyone?

      1. ipsedixit Jul 1, 2013 08:04 PM

        Mexican Fiesta (hamburger)

        Chopstix (unagi don)

        Tajima (ramen, but only after 10 p.m., and only if I'm half drunk)

        K Sandwiches (the "K" Special and Viet cinnamon roll)

        1. d
          DoctorChow Jul 1, 2013 08:29 PM

          Bale (but not for bahn mi), Sab-E-Lee, Pho Hoa, K-Sandwiches (for bahn mi)

          20 Replies
          1. re: DoctorChow
            honkman Jul 1, 2013 09:53 PM

            What do order at Bale if not the bahn mi ?

            1. re: honkman
              ipsedixit Jul 1, 2013 10:04 PM

              Boba, durian shakes, egg rolls, banh bo, ca phe da, spring rolls, etc.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                cstr Jul 2, 2013 04:54 AM

                Durian Shakes??? Wow, you are one tough chick. Has your sense of taste and smell taken a vacation?

                1. re: cstr
                  ipsedixit Jul 2, 2013 06:35 PM

                  You haven't lived until you've devoured fresh durian. Frozen defrosted ones are good too, but the fresh ones ... Yum.

              2. re: honkman
                DoctorChow Jul 1, 2013 10:14 PM

                Com tam (bbq pork -- not porkchop), or com tam ga, bun thit nuong or bun ga nuong, pho bo vien, chow ga or ca, and #99 (can't remember what it's called!). Plus wonton sup, mi xa xiu, pho tai (good, but can't compete with their neighbor), Mi Xa Tom, Mi Xa Te Bo. NOT pho tom. And Never on Sunday.

                1. re: DoctorChow
                  honkman Jul 1, 2013 10:25 PM

                  Which Bale are we talking about ? I have visited the one on Mira Mesa Blvd often for Banh Mi but have stopped about a year ago when the quality really got bad but I can't remember ever having seen all these dishes on the menu

                  1. re: honkman
                    DoctorChow Jul 1, 2013 10:26 PM

                    The one in LV. Yes, the bahn mi is really bad!

                    1. re: DoctorChow
                      honkman Jul 1, 2013 10:31 PM

                      LV ? Las Vegas, Louisville, Little Vitaly, Livorno ?

                      1. re: honkman
                        DoctorChow Jul 1, 2013 10:37 PM

                        Sorry. Linda Vista.

                        1. re: DoctorChow
                          ipsedixit Jul 2, 2013 06:40 PM

                          Don't mean to be anal, but it's "BaLe" ... just kind of weird to see this place referred to as essentially a stack of hay.

                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            DoctorChow Jul 2, 2013 07:17 PM

                            You'e absolutely right, and one of the only people who seems to know that. I pronounce it "Baa Lee". Actually, though, they spell it without the second capital letter on their sign, so I don't know...

                            1. re: DoctorChow
                              ipsedixit Jul 2, 2013 07:20 PM

                              That's because the sign is in ALL CAPS.

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                DoctorChow Jul 2, 2013 07:26 PM

                                Ha! Well there you have it. I haven't really looked at the sign in a long time, although I go there almost every week, and I guess I thought the sign was written out as Bale.

                              2. re: DoctorChow
                                Cathy Jul 2, 2013 07:31 PM

                                When it was located on the other side of that mall (next to the grocery store) there was a definite space with a second upper case letter: Ba Le...but that was a decade or so ago...

                                The website with the almost unreadable headline font is of no help:http://www.balerestaurantanddeli.com/

                                1. re: Cathy
                                  DoctorChow Jul 2, 2013 07:36 PM

                                  This is a handy link. How long have they had this website? They just changed their menu a few months ago and added photos. And increased their prices -- a lot. BTW, since the latest change, they also no longer have plastic chopsticks. Now they have paper-wrapped wood ones. That's ok, but sometimes they have the really short ones, and it's hard to eat with those. Also, you have to ask for yum and pickled chiles -- not on the tables anymore.

                                  1. re: DoctorChow
                                    Cathy Jul 2, 2013 07:49 PM

                                    I saw the website in April, but it could have been up sooner. The lesser prices were when it first opened...last August. I guess they are confident they have a steady clientele now.

                                    1. re: Cathy
                                      ipsedixit Jul 2, 2013 07:58 PM

                                      Cathy and Doc: have either of you tried Bale's Bún bò Huế?

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        DoctorChow Jul 2, 2013 08:13 PM

                                        That's on my list to try. I don't know why I've never had it there. I've had the Bun Bo Hue several times at Pho Hoa next door, and I think it's very good. I have had the Mi Xa Te Bo a number of times at Ba Le, which is similar (and excellent!), but of course not the same thing as it lacks the full mix of flank, brisket, tendons, liver.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          DoctorChow Jul 10, 2013 07:57 PM

                                          I ordered the bun bo Hue at Bale (aka BALE, Ba Le, BaLe) and was pleased except that the meat was far too tough. This kind of meat needs a lot of cooking time. The broth was very good and came with nice toppings, but I had to add a lot of additional sate to bring up the flavor, heat, and oil. The bowl came with a six-inch piece of lemon grass in it, a nice serving touch. I wasn't as enthusiastic about the giant meatball, although at least that was tender. The large bowl came with just the right amount and type of fresh vegetables to add. The sliced meat at neighboring Pho Hoa is much more tender and the broth doesn't need additional sate. The bun bo Hue at Phong Trang is kind of in between, flavorful but not as rich, oily, and spicy as I like it. If the meat at Bale had been more tender, it would be my favorite of those three places for this dish. I've had bun bo Hue at a number of restaurants where it comes to the table almost flavorless (won't name names). It's pretty good at all three of these places.

                                        2. re: Cathy
                                          DoctorChow Jul 2, 2013 07:58 PM

                                          The prices aren't really unreasonable, but since they started out at $4.99 for everything and there there have been at least three price increases since, it's been interesting. Not a bad business strategy, I suppose. As you say, they must be confident in their regular customer base now. Which includes me.

                  2. Fake Name Jul 1, 2013 08:51 PM

                    Saigon, ECB.

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