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Sep 23, 2013 08:24 PM

Dan Diego's on Morena

I can't believe I've driven past this relatively new place for so many months without stopping in. Turns out it's been open since February. Tonight I felt in the mood for Mexican, and so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Guess what. It's not Mexican, which I'd just assumed by the name (as in "Don Diego"). It's Irish. They had a special on shepherd's pie, which was truly yummy and very satisfying. Basic home-style cooking.

This is an earthy place, and has some of that "dive-bar" aspect to it. I liked it. I got friendly, attentive table service; in fact, the whole place seemed to exude "friendly". There's a large outdoor patio if it's too noisy, but the atmosphere is completely different.

I had an on-tap Karl Strauss dopplebock with the "pie". They have a good selection of beers, although not exactly extensive.

Not quite a match for the mindbending experience that FN had yesterday at La Valencia, but in its own league it was really nice. I'll go back. I was just wondering what others who've been there (if there are any) think of the other menu items.

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    1. re: MrKrispy

      But you don't like the food there, I guess. Well, fair enough. I've been exactly one time and had an off-menu item (a special) and enjoyed it. Not exactly a large sampling. Seemed like tasty Irish comfort food.

        1. re: RB Hound

          Yes, MrK's reply was definitely written in Fakish.

          1. re: DoctorChow

            don't worry, I fully support the local craft beer scene and will be wearing shorts the next time you see me eating.

      1. The place is pretty Short Money, most of the menu is under $10, certainly worth a try. Also, I like the divey aspect. Can't get hurt too much. I'd like to see how they do their chic parm sandwich or their spicy sausage sandwich tastes. I'm game to head over this week.

        2 Replies
        1. re: cstr

          I was about to order the spicy sausage sandwich, but when the server arrived she told me about the specials, one of which was shepherd's pie, and that just sounded like it might hit the spot. Which it did. I'll be interested in what you think.

          1. re: DoctorChow

            They had made a Shepherd Pie for the few weeks before St. Patrick's Day and it was off the menu about three weeks later; said it was just for the holiday. Good to know they brought it back.

        2. In the spirit of fairness I will go back and report. I often get confused where to go between Dan Diegos and Don Diegos (a few miles away on Genesee) especially when I want a Shepard's Pie with carne asada filling.

          7 Replies
          1. re: MrKrispy

            No worries. The same similarity in names had me confused for over half a year. I guess I just assumed that "Dan Diego's" was a take-off on "Don Diego's", in the same manner as the several variations on "Roberto's", such as "Royberto's", etc., that you see around town.

            1. re: MrKrispy

              Ooops. Just re-read your post and I think I mis-interpreted it. Duh. Sorry. Ignore my previous reply.

              1. re: MrKrispy

                LOL we do have chunks of beef not just hamburger in our Shepherd's pie :-)

                1. re: MrKrispy

                  Guess there won't be any confusion about the similar names in the future. Don Diego's next to Sprouts on Genesee has ceased to be, and in its place there's now Balboa's Tap House. Looks like it has a pretty decent collection of beers.

                  1. re: DoctorChow

                    They changed their name a while back. Same owner, he just changed their name and made them more beer oriented. Same guy that is running the liquor store next door (Jimbo's - has one of the most comprehensive beer selections in San Diego).

                    1. re: RB Hound

                      Aha. I'd noticed that the general setup looked very much as it did before.

                      1. re: DoctorChow

                        Weird place. Decent prices on most stuff, but every once in a while the hard to find stuff (e.g. a barrel aged beer from Firestone Walker) will go for a lot more than you see elsewhere.

                2. Hi! It's Larry and my son Ryan is the owner and chef and GM of Dan Diegos. Thank you very much for all your kind remarks.

                  Dan Diego was our 3rd son and he worked in NYC so his nickname after a while went from "Dan from San Diego" to just Dan Diego. He even has some movie credits to his name as a sound editor listed as Dan "Diego" Fulton.

                  He passed away right when Ryan was planning his restaurant (you can read about it on our website So, Ryan decided to name it after his brother. We like Don Diegos too they are a great family run business like ours. The shamrock on all our branding we hope give it away that we are a Euro Cafe and Pub.

                  Anyway, thanks again for your comments and we hope to see you again! Slainte!

                  1. A friend went with us last night and while we were chowing down on Irish stew and shepherd's pie (yawn, the usuals), our friend ordered the 1/2 chicken dinner. She raved about it from first to last bite; even the veggies that came with it were wonderful, she said. Perfectly cooked, moist and tender, with crispy blackened skin and a great herbal flavors.

                    I've decided that the patio is the only place to dine here at night, by the way. Much too noisy inside; the patio is quieter and has a nicer ambience, including those tall fire-in-a-tube, pyramid-shaped heaters that keep the chill away.