How many of these dishes have you tried?
According to the UT these are the 53 must-try dishes in/around San Diego.
I must admit, the lamb shank tacos look quite intriguing but that scallop burrito looks like an ice cream bar had a bad "milk day".
The lamb shank tacos at Luce are indeed excellent. I think you'd like them.
They actually did name some pretty good places, like Tiger! Tiger!, Cantina Mayahuel, Urban Solace, Fish Public, Carnitas Snack Shack, Donovan's Prime Seafood, etc...
But--haven't had the specific things they reviewed at most of the ones I've been to.
Hmmm...flipping through the print version... guess I've had the fries at Blind Lady. They were OK, but I don't think I'd write home about them.
Alas, that's the only other specific thing in their list of 53 that I can comment on.
I've had the curry fries at Tiger!Tiger! (fantastic), the pork belly app at Carnitas Snack Shack (good, but not the best thing there), the sirloin tacos at Cantina Mayahuel (okay), and the mac & cheese at Urban Solace (fantastic, of course). Overall, its not a bad list.
I like the place.
Yes, my first visit (the first week they opened) was unspectacular, but have since been a few times and enjoyed it more each time.
But there's more to the story. The Cavin/Stroud team is the antithesis of the Malarkey ethos. These are two great people that worked very hard for other industry leaders in town, and took an ill-advised leap to convert a former taco shop/bahn mi stand into something much, much better. In that process, they brought more people to a neighborhood that can use the traffic and the income.
They make some damn good food at a place where people can spend their money without feeling like they just supported the political agenda of a billionaire titan of business, or even a champion of mediocre run-of-the-mill establishments.
Yes, some here would say it's all about the food, but comments here would indicate otherwise. A recent comment like," The food at UVW is supposed to be good, but I won't spend any money to support XYZ".
I believe that, in the hospitality business, the host(s) matter. In the case of Carnitas Snack Shack, better hosts would be difficult to find.
I do wish the lines were shorter. I've never mastered delayed gratification.
re: Fake Name
I have really enjoyed Carnitas Snack Shack. I actually live within (almost) walking distance. I find the food a bit heavy for warm days, but this time of year, I only wish I could go more often. However, the lines are often daunting and I just won't do lines like that. So, I am left to going there on the all-to-rare occasion when my meal time is during one of CSS's "slow" times.
re: RB Hound
Here's the thing.
Not everyone has to like every place mentioned or discussed on this board.
It's what makes this board great, and so informative (if not entertaining).
No one, you included, should have to rationalize or make excuses for not like Carnitas Snack Shack or any other place.
I've had the mac n cheese at Urban Solace because someone else at the table ordered it and insisted I try it. It was good, but not mac n cheese just isn't something I "must try" at any restaurant.
I do love the squash blossoms at Cucina Urbana and the Brussels sprouts at BoBeau.
Lamb shank tacos at Luce were pretty good too.
I don't get why people go crazy for pork belly - I've never found one with a texture that's appealing - but I do think the carnitas torta at Carnitas Snack Shack is delicious. I've waited in the pouring rain for one of those suckers and it was well worth it.