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Hidden gem spots on the way to San Diego from LA?

Hey all! I'm finally venturing out of my Los Angeles bubble and making the short trek to San Diego next weekend for my birthday.

Any breakfast or dinner spots along the way that you recommend? I'm open to any price point and cuisine! A unique and memorable menu, atmosphere and experience is what I'm after :)

Thanks in advance xoxo

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    1. re: Servorg

      Has anyone ever actually eaten there?

    2. I really enjoy Red Tracton's, an old-time steakhouse that specializes in prime rib located just off the 5 in Del Mar, across from the racetrack. (Exit Via de la Valle right (west) towards the ocean, it will be just a few blocks on the right (north) side, with valet parking that was free last time I was there.) Horse-racing theme, very comfortable, servers and bartenders who have been there forever. Not at all inexpensive, but everything done with quality. And some of the sides are laughable -- they used to serve the french fries in a basket made for baguettes -- narrow but well over a foot long. The fried onion strings served at happy hour are crisp and addictive and can easily feed four or more. Very detailed website gives info including prices.

      3 Replies
        1. re: jessejames

          It's a pretty cool old school joint.

        2. re: nosh

          We used to drive to Red's from OC when it was located in the Valley just for the prime rib.

          1. re: kevin

            Break of Dawn has been closed temporarily since early March. They are working on getting another location (I believe in the same shopping center) ready to go. I don't know when they will reopen.

            Edit: Just saw others have already noted this.

          2. Hodad's Burgers in Mission Beach.
            Point Loma Seafood in Point Loma.

            4 Replies
            1. re: wienermobile

              +1 +1 +1 for Hodad's

              a real do-not-miss

              1. re: laliz

                There will be a line. It is worth the wait and it moves fast.

                1. re: laliz

                  The DTSD one is the same Hodad's? Doing some kind of Hawkin's thing, but with a beach bum vibe?

                  Gross. I tossed out half the burger into the hotel lobby.

                2. It really depends on *where* in LA you are leaving from.

                  LA, bubble or not, is sort of a sprawling area.

                  Let me know, as I do the drive regularly. From various points in Los Angeles.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Ipsedixit -

                    Jumping in, we do that drive to visit friends at least once a year. Ww bring them Brooklyn Bagels (from Beverly Blvd.), honey smoked salmon from costco and, homemade jams.

                    Once we get there, they have fab fun restaurants right by their house.

                    But I'd love to know of good places along the way, or the way back! We leave from Glassell Park, right by Glendale/Eagle Rock.

                    1. re: happybaker

                      Take some sandwiches from Big Tummy Sndwiches.

                      1. re: happybaker

                        We leave from Glassell Park, right by Glendale/Eagle Rock.
                        _______________

                        Baked goods from Proof
                        Baked goods from Portos
                        Seasonings, salts, jams, etc. from Nicole's (Pasadena)
                        Mochi from Fugetsu-do
                        The Big Chicken Plate at Omar's (Monterey Park)

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        Departing from Koreatown, heading to SD Gaslamp. :) LOVE everyone's input! Greatly appreciated!