Restaurant Recs For A Girls Weekend in San Diego
Hi San Diego Chowhounders,
A girlfriend and I are taking a long weekend and visiting San Diego. We are from Vancouver, so we eat a lot of seafood and Cantonese / Thai / Indian / Vietnamese / Sushi day to day, and are looking for whatever's great in San Diego. We are looking for 2 nice dinners and some casual lunch spots. Our hotel is near the Midway, and we won't have a car, but are willing to walk/cab/transit, and intend to be out and about exploring your fine city, so we're not restricted to that area.
Thanks in advance!
For pho and bun dishes, my favorite Vietnamese place is Pho Hoa (the one in Linda Vista). For a far wider range of offerings, Phuong Trang on Convoy is very good. The egg noodle soups (mi) at BaLe are very tasty, and for bahn mi look no further than K-Sandwiches. As for Thai, you have a big selection. I'd personally suggest Sab-E-Lee and Koon. Sushi places seem to be on every block these days. Two of my favorites are Hive (I've enjoyed the sushi there but not everyone will agree!) which is near SD City College, and Ikiru in Liberty Station. Alas, we're not real big on Chinese and Indian food in SD, but China Max, also on Convoy, is pretty decent if you're looking for Cantonese.
What I got from your post is that you're not looking for the types of cuisine you enjoy in Vancouver and are perhaps looking for something you can't get there.
I will limit my recommendations to places that are a mile or less from your hotel:
Lion's Share: unassuming little spot with top notch cocktails and interesting, somewhat exotic dishes. Casual, comfortable.
Blind Burro: upscale Mexican coastal cuisine; part lounge, part restaurant. The dishes are well executed and probably unlike anything in your great foodie town. You'll fit in especially well if you're 20 or 30 somethings and don't mind noise and crowds.
Prepkitchen in Little Italy: Very fun menu for both Lunch and Dinner; all dishes prepared with care; freshest ingredients and top notch service
Top of the Market: this is the 2nd floor of the popular but not so great Fish Market restaurant very close to the Midway. Upstairs is much nicer and better food, plus you get a fabulous view of the bay. Mostly very fresh seafood. A very close and convenient choice for one of your nice dinners
Cowboy Star: a top notch place for steaks, but not limited to that. Western motif and music, interesting cocktails, and a friendly vibe.
Check these out online for more details. Hopefully this'll get you started.
For Lunch recently I felt like an entree salad but also a little meat. I'd never before fooled with a Caesar, but ordered it with chicken (chicken or shrimp is offered with all salads for a bit extra) and it was really good, especially the chicken breast. A generous portion pan roasted and cut into strips. It had the most delicious light crust and must have been brined, it was so moist and flavorful. A companion had the Poblano Torta which she raved about.
On another occasion for dinner, had the Fusilli Bolgnese, which was satisfying and authentic. My companion then had the mussels and frites, which she loved.
One caution: lots of windows and on a hot day, tables near them are uncomfortably warm.
+1 for Caesar salad with jidori chicken at Prep Kitchen--they use something very similar to the original caesar salad recipe that was invented in Tijuana.
Great list above...you might also wish to give Romesco's Baja Med Bistro a shot...excellent Baja Mexican dishes, such as gobernadores tacos, ahi tostada, pulpo (charcoal broiled octopus), and THE original caesar salad recipe (family of this establishment owns Caesar's in Tijuana where the salad was invented)...don't forget to wash down your meal with a great Baja wine--such as a glass of Santo Tomas wine.....Romesco's is a bit off the tourist trail in the Bonita section of Chula Vista, about 20 minutes southeast of downtown and in a strip mall, but unique to the area and worth it--though you have to factor in taxi fare....tough call, although if you change your mind and decide to rent a car even for only one day to do some sightseeing that public transportation won't take you to you could always work in a trip to Romesco's.
Oh. You mean The Midway, as in the *ship*, not Midway as in the *street* (which is what I was thinking). The places I suggested are a long way away from The Midway as in the *ship* area, and it would take a looonnnng time to get there via SD's half-fast public transit system. I really think you'd come out ahead if you rent a car. Taxis will end up costing about the same if you really want to explore SD.
Having said that, mcgrath's suggestions are good ones for you if you really definitely positively don't want to rent some wheels and are willing to switch away from an Asian cuisine focus. By the way "Bottom of the Market" (Fish Market) has a really fun bar that serves oysters. Great view, too. (The oysters might have come from Vancover, but hey, who's asking?)
Blind Burro in the Gaslamp.