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Out of towner looking for great dinner spot downtown area or North county

I'm visiting family from the east coast and was wondering if there was a great new must try dinner restaurant. I'm looking for something small with character. I've been to Farmhouse, Q' ero, Solterra and a few others around town. Any suggestions?

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  1. Georges Modern in LJ, Smoking Goat in North Park, Cafe Chloe in downtown

    2 Replies
    1. re: honkman

      Thanks. I've been to Georges before too. The Smoking Goat looks good....

      1. re: McBuckel

        second that, i really liked smoking goat... i tried it for the first time a couple months ago... remember it being small and warm, with some deliciously hearty dishes...

    2. When are you coming?

      If it's the first week of March, you might check out Juniper & Ivy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        But how will we know until it's open if this fits the "great dinner spot" request by the OP?

        1. re: DoctorChow

          Sometimes the new kid on the block has to be the canary.

      2. New must-try dinner restaurant downtown?

        Fogo de Chao would be my entry.

        Might not be as small as you'd prefer, but the food is outstanding -- you won't be disappointed.

        1. Eddie V next to Georges Modern with a better view and the best most kowledgeable wait staff!

          Hexagon 6th & Laurel
          A Good meal does not have to cost a fortune!

          1. Morada at the Rancho Santa Fe Inn..
            Pony Room for lunch or Veladora for dinner at the lovely Rancho Valencia resort.
            Oscar's Mex Seafood
            Fathom for sausages and beer on Shelter Island pier
            Blind Burro
            Tender Greens

            1. For downtown:

              Cafe Chloe
              Fogo de Chao

              1. The new (reinvented) Jsix at the Solamar might be worth a visit.

                Some favorable early reports.

                1. If North County..Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub ...also as for Q'ero save money and get better Peruvian food at Panca...not the sandwiches her true peruvian food. Also if you happen to be around the Leucadia or Carlsbad Farmers Markets on the right day ..or Stone Brewery in Oceanside on Fridays...Annel and Drew's kitchen http://anneldrewskitchen.com/ http://pancaperuviancuisine.com/

                  1. In North County- Market Grill, Arterra or Seasons.

                    Downtown- Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant, Fogo de Chao or Small Bar.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: ChrisVFoodie

                      Have you been to Arterra recently? When it first opened about 6 years ago, it was quite nice. It then went rapidly downhill. Unless they have made dramatic improvements, I couldn't recommend it. Seasons is fine but I wouldn't make it a destination restaurant. If you want hotel food, I would go along with BC and suggest Morada at RSF Inn. The patio is really nice on a evening dinner

                      1. re: ChrisVFoodie

                        There are a number of better choices in the "downtown" area than BHB like Cafe Chloe, JSix, Cucina Urbana, Currant (haven't been for some time and it's not great but still a decent option), Pizzeria Mozza, Cowboy Star, Grant Grill

                        1. re: honkman

                          But OP is looking for a "great new must try dinner restaurant" downtown, and I'd say the "new" part rules out most of these.

                          From your review, the "new" Jsix might be an option to consider.

                          Mozza is new, but not everyone agrees that it's a "great" restaurant (and I still have no opinion because I still haven't been).

                          1. re: DoctorChow

                            Mozza is new, but not everyone agrees that it's a "great" restaurant (and I still have no opinion because I still haven't been).

                            There is no restaurant that everyone agrees is "great" - be it new, old, or whatever.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                That is true, ipse, but I've seen widely variant ratings of Mozza.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Yes. I guess what I'm getting at is that there seems to be little middle ground. Some people really seem to have hated it (thought their opinions may have been colored by the overall experience, including service and cost), and some have said it was great. At least as I have read it...

                                    1. re: RB Hound

                                      Actually, I think ipse agrees with you and that "Really?" was a mildly sarcastic rhetorical question.

                                      Right ipse? (NOT sarcastic or rhetorical.)

                                      But I agree with your two posts, and that's why I said what I did about Mozza's status vis-à-vis being a "great new must try restaurant".

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          So you don't think there have been widely different ratings of Mozza?

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              As fun as it is, then get to the point. Do you think they've all been bad, or all been good? Or all mediocre?

                                              1. re: RB Hound

                                                I just think that the opinions on Mozza are not significantly different than most restaurants that seem to get recommended over and over and over again on this board.

                                                Just because there is a vocal dissent (or vocal support) doesn't necessarily make the reviews significantly more divergent.

                                                I mean, it's pizza after all. Everyone has an opinion about pizza. It's like asking for the "best sushi" or "the best burger" etc.

                        2. You might check out Peri Peri, which just opened.