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San Diego Restaurants


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#181 C Simril

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 06:08 PM

I'm going to be in San Diego next Feb and have been looking at the Mr A's website as a possibility. I haven't seen it listed on this thread as a reccommended place. Is it all hype? The lobster struedel sounds good, on line at least.

#182 kalypso

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 06:25 PM

I'm going to be in San Diego next Feb and have been looking at the Mr A's website as a possibility. I haven't seen it listed on this thread as a reccommended place. Is it all hype? The lobster struedel sounds good, on line at least.

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No, not hype at all. Mr. A's has been around for over 35 years and doesn't get much buzz because it's not a trendy, new restaurant. It is a very good restaurant turning out very good food. It does have the absolute best views in town and the food is up to the challenge of being on the same par as the view. It's elegant, understated and the food is very good. It attracts an older (i.e. over 35, maybe even over 40) customer base and that customer has disposable income.

#183 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:15 PM

I wanted to report on a few good dining experiences that I’ve had in the past 6 months or so.

the better half. They have a $20 “stressed economy” menu that is a steal, although I had opted to order a la carte for my first meal there so I could explore the menu more fully. The "tower of beets" appetizer was delicious with its crunchy green beans and gold & red beets. The savory tart du jour was excellent (I forgot what it was that day, it changes daily). I had quail as the entrée, which was a bit on the dry side and was served with a mushroom risotto; my husband had a terrific lamb shank which I would order next time. We enjoyed our meal and the ambiance very much. The wine selection (half bottles, hence the restaurant’s name) is very good and service was attentive. We will be back.

crescent heights - this place is fantastic. I started with their signature salad which was a delight (a chino farms beets and burrata salad, with prociutto and aged balsamic). Then I had an enormous lamb shank with north african flavors (couscous and preserved lemons), which managed to be both extremely hearty and quite delicate, the tart lemons balancing this extremely rich dish. The service was top notch and we will definitely be back. Too bad that they stop serving dinner at 10 pm. We are always on the lookout for good places to go after the opera (which typically ends around 10 pm).

nobu - this was my first time there; my husband had been at nobu in New York City. The ambiance is very casual (to my disappointment – I was expecting something a little more refined); it's located inside the noisy hard rock hotel in downtown San Diego. I had their signature dishes which are served family style - yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, and back cod with miso which I enjoyed a lot. We also tried the lobster roll which was very good. For dessert, the coconut haupia was overly sweet, so the bento box with valhrona chocolate cake and green tea ice cream is definitely the way to go. They are open late so it’s a good post-opera option.

quarter kitchen at the ivy hotel – this is Nathan Coulon’s new place. He joined as a sous-chef after leaving modus, and recently took over the executive chef position. I had dinner there back in January, when they still had the “old” menu and he had not had a chance to change it much. We started with the raw oysters, and the steamed mussels that were prepared in a very delicate cream based broth. For the main course, the lobster risotto was very nicely prepared. Overall, we liked everything but thought that it was more expensive and slightly less refined than crescent heights. Service was average. We will have to come again to try the new menu.

Jay (a wolfgang puck restaurant). I wanted to like this restaurant but overall it did not leave a memorable impression. Everything was well prepared and portions were big, but it lacked subtlety I thought. And the service was average. I had the duck with bing cherry sauce for the main course, and the hamashi sashimi (with jalapenos) as an appetizer, which was nice but not in the same league as nobu.

Other places I’ve tried in the past year were blanca in Solana Beach and market in Del Mar. Of the two, I preferred market because they seemed to take themselves less seriously. The service at blanca was overly fussy in my opinion. Their concept seems to revolve around revisited American classics (shrimp cocktail, Rossini, etc) with the “latest” techniques (foams, sous-vide, “deconstructed” dishes, and the like). Regardless of the gimmicks, blanca has an excellent sous vide duck magret that I recommend – duck breast can be tough but cooked sous-vide, it was a revelation. My friends were less impressed with their Rossini steak (very skimpy on the foie gras which was just a terrine, not even a slice of lobe; truffle was only present in the béarnaise that was served on the side but did not seem to belong to the dish). We had a good shrimp appetizer. But overall, dinner was quite expensive for what we got.

Market (Carl Schroeder formerly of Arterra) seems to have a more straightforward approach. The dishes I had were a little underwhelming but I did really appreciate the fact that everything seemed to be in season, with lots of well prepared vegetables. Also, service was very attentive and we felt at home.

Regarding post-opera options / late dining, we have been dining at starlite quite a bit since it’s open late (starlite lounge on india street). The food is realty unpretentious and quite reasonable. It’s clearly not the same category as the various restaurants discussed above, however they are a few very nice options such as the steamed mussels, and their Jidori chicken which is cooked under a brick. I had an excellent grilled octopus and arugula appetizer there last weekend (not a dish that you often find on menus), which was very tender and well executed. The menu is seasonal and they make their own sausages. And their cocktails are excellent – I highly recommend their signature mule served in a copper mug.

Last but not least, whisk and ladle in la jolla. This is a real “foodie” place. First, the cocktails. They put their own spin on classic cocktails and use homemade infusions/bitters/ etc. For example their version of the sidecar had grapefruit liqueur and honey as a sweetener. For appetizers, they have a new flatbread everyday which is almost like an Alsatian flammenkuche – very thin and crisp, delicious. Their charcuterie “cutting board” is full of homemade goodies – that night it was a delicious duck and pistachios terrine (really, really good), a foie gras mousse, and a delicious cured sausage with fennel. Next, I tried the bone marrow, a rarity on menus that I could not pass by. With this kind of restaurant, you are really tempted to mostly eat appetizers. I understand that they are opening a take out place/small market next door – I will keep lobbying until they offer their terrine for sale!

Overall, there are quite a few nice restaurants that have opened in San Diego in the past few years (and I was very sad to see chive close last year). I’ve discussed nine ten and tapenade in previous posts; these are places that I’ve been frequenting regularly and always enjoy greatly. I am always disappointed that our city seems to have such a bad reputation in terms of fine dining. So I will continue to post to correct this (wrong) impression!

#184 cjbleid

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:26 PM

nice post! El biscocho is doing some good stuff too

Edited by cjbleid, 28 April 2009 - 11:28 PM.


#185 Kouign Aman

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 02:54 PM

We were surprised to find that El Gran Tapa is closed on Sundays.

Its tough to find food post-opera, especially within walking distance. All recommendations perused eagerly in preparation for next season.

It would be fun to eat thematically, but I really didnt want the sort of food suggested by Peter Grimes. Perhaps Nobu after Madame Butterfly.
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#186 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:40 AM

Maybe British pub food would be appropriate for Peter Grimes? Or you could still follow a Peter Grimes' theme by dining out in Escondido.

We don't restrict our search to restaurants that are within walking distance of the opera - just any good restaurant that is open late (after 10 pm) would work for us!

#187 AVFOOL

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:44 AM

Maybe British pub food would be appropriate for Peter Grimes?  Or you could still follow a Peter Grimes' theme by dining out in Escondido.

We don't restrict our search to restaurants that are within walking distance of the opera - just any good restaurant that is open late (after 10 pm) would work for us!

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Yakitori on 5th is a good choice for late night dining (they open till 1am). It is Japanese BBQ chicken and its parts, beef, and vegetable on a skewers. It has a great selection of Sake and Japanese beer. It is inexpensive but can get busy late at night.

Emerald Seafood Restaurant on Convoy is another place that open till midnight and had a special disconunted menu for after 9pm dining.

Sakura is a Izakaya on Convoy that open till midnght also. It had no sign outside so it is hard to find. It cater to mainly Japanese. It is located in the shopping center where Original Pancake House is on Convoy. It tuck away in the back and just look for a Japanese Restaurant with no sign.

Here are 3 more restaurant that you can add to your list.

#188 Dryden

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 07:56 PM

Hi, coming out with the family for a long weekend in a few weeks, was looking for some good recommendations. Coming from NYC, specifically looking for some things we can't get here, really don't care one bit for ambiance or anything like that, staying in La Jolla but perfectly happy to travel great distances for a good meal (we plan on shooting up to Chino farms at least twice during our stay).

We'd love to find some good fish tacos, mexican, vietnamese (I heard there were some good places?) and anything doing a lot with really local, seasonal stuff.

Lunch and dinner recs would be very helpful. Thanks! Will report back after.
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#189 kalypso

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:09 AM

Hi, coming out with the family for a long weekend in a few weeks, was looking for some good recommendations.  Coming from NYC, specifically looking for some things we can't get here, really don't care one bit for ambiance or anything like that, staying in La Jolla but perfectly happy to travel great distances for a good meal (we plan on shooting up to Chino farms at least twice during our stay).

We'd love to find some good fish tacos, mexican, vietnamese (I heard there were some good places?) and anything doing a lot with really local, seasonal stuff.

Lunch and dinner recs would be very helpful.  Thanks!  Will report back after.

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Some of the best fish tacos are at Marisco's German at 28th and Ocean View in Barrio Logan. Try the taco de marlyn, marlin, tastes almost like carnitas. Their shrimp quesadilla is pretty awesome too. There are a number of other seafood related tacos there as well. Marisco's German operates a couple of taco trucks as well. The one on University Ave. around 35th in a dirt lot next to a grocery store is very good.

Super Cocina serves about the best home-style Mexican in SD. It's on University at Cherokee in City Heights. Don't be put off or fooled by the steamtable service. The bulk of the menu are guisados and things that do best with moist heat. The owner hires home cooks to prepare the food and each woman does her own specialties. There is a rotating selection of items and almost all of them are infallibly good. They will give you a taste of anything (and everything) you want to help you make up your mind what to order.

On the next corner down from Super Cocina is Fruitlandia where you can get great smoothies and wonderfuly bionicos and fruit salads. It's a little ratty around the edges, but the fruit is pretty good.

Further down in south county is Marisco's Godoy which is a full service restaurant. Excellent seafood, usually full of families, mariachi on weekends, all locals, not tourists.

Also is Chula Vista is Aqui es Texcoco serving lamb barbacoa. It's extremely good. You can get different cuts like costilla (ribs), cabeza (cheeks), pancita (offal) and more. It'll come with fresh, hot corn tortillas and a really, really good salsa negro (which really isn't black). They also do tacos dorado, which are taquitos/rolled tacos. They come with either the lamb barbacoa or mashed potatoes. I prefer the potato ones, they're about the best rendition of the potato taco I know. Aqui es Texcoco is in a strip mall and looks like a fast food place. Don't be fooled. If you like lamb, you'll love this. It's worth the trip from La Jolla to Chula Vista

Don Vincente's is in National City and is the place to go for menudo and pozole. Really delicious on a Sunday morning. And if you get there too late - i..e after about 10:45 am there is a long wait.

Also in National City, and not necessarily a place to eat, but a fun place to visit if you're in the neighborhood is the Gonzalez Northgate Market. It's an enormous Mexican market with in-house bakery (excellent bollilos and teleras), specialty cheese and ceviche counters, tortillaria, 2 meat counters, a fishmonger, Mexi-Deli and taco shop. The food from the taco shop and deli are okay, but the store itself is the star. Great produce, not Chino or Crows Pass by any stretch, but if you're cooking Mexican they've usually got it, including the exotics.

Try El Pescador in La Jolla for fish sandwiches. Also in LJ try Nine-Ten. Love breakfast there and their burger is really good.

The Little Italy farmer's market on Saturday morning is great. Pick up a Womack chicken ($20 yikes); 1-man operation (literally) out in the Julian area. Completely organic, beyond free range, humanely slaughtered, with to-die for flavor.

The Linkery in North Park is San Diego's only completely sustainable restaurant. It's quirky and prices can be steep, but you'll know exactly from where you meal came.

Sea Rocket Bistro just down the street from The Linkery is doing the local and sustainable seafood business.

San Diego is well know for it's craft beers. Why not give one of the local places a go. You can try The Blind Lady, Ritual Tavern, Hamiltons or O'Briens.

A.R. Valenteins, JSix and the Farmhouse Cafe all get a lot of love from locals for good, well prepared, fresh, seasonal good, all of them making some use of sustainable products. Cafe Chloe downtown is also quite good.

Urban Solace was recently named best restaurant in SD. Not sure if I agree but it's a pleasant dining experience.

SD is not a fine dining mecca. In fact, most of the fine dining places here are having a hard time of it and have closed. What SD does do well are the small bistro type of places where the price points are not quite so steep and the food considered more approachable. Cutting edge food generally doesn't play well in SD, but good, straightforward, uncomplicated and "safe" food does. We're getting more places like that, and they're doing a pretty good job at it.

#190 AVFOOL

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 06:25 PM

Hi, coming out with the family for a long weekend in a few weeks, was looking for some good recommendations.  Coming from NYC, specifically looking for some things we can't get here, really don't care one bit for ambiance or anything like that, staying in La Jolla but perfectly happy to travel great distances for a good meal (we plan on shooting up to Chino farms at least twice during our stay).

We'd love to find some good fish tacos, mexican, vietnamese (I heard there were some good places?) and anything doing a lot with really local, seasonal stuff.

Lunch and dinner recs would be very helpful.  Thanks!  Will report back after.

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If you like Chino Produce than you have to go to Market Restaurant on Via Della Valle and Mille Fluer in down town Rancho Santa Fe. You can find both of these restaurants in the web.

#191 WK2

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:41 AM

Hi all - I'll be in San Diego from NYC for the first time next Thursday for a business meeting. The meeting is short, so I'll have the whole evening to spend wandering around. I'll be downtown, no car.

What I'd like to eat, predictably enough, is really good mexican food, since I have never been anywhere that has it. I'm also looking for a excellent cocktail place where I can molt comfortably with something gin based for a few hours. I read about Modus in this thread. Does that fit the bill?

I'm happy to walk about a mile at a time, about.

Thanks.

#192 kalypso

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 04:32 PM

What I'd like to eat, predictably enough, is really good mexican food, since I have never been anywhere that has it.  I'm also looking for a excellent cocktail place where I can molt comfortably with something gin based for a few hours.  I read about Modus in this thread.  Does that fit the bill?

I'm happy to walk about a mile at a time, about.

Thanks.

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Modus closed last week.

If you're in downtown, you're more or less in, or close to, the Gaslamp district where there are more watering holes per square foot than pedicabs on the street. You will have your pick of just about anything.

Oceanaire at 4th and Island does a terrific clubby, oyster bar happy hour.

Top of the Hyatt (40th floor or so) at the embarcadero will provide you with a spectacular view of the harbor. If the marine layer doesn't come in early that day, you'll be able to see for miles and miles and miles.

Dobsons is good for cocktails and mussel bisque.

And then there is Candelas, one downtown and one on Coronado. Upscale Mexican in the style of Mexico City. Good to very good. You can get to Coronado via the water ferry and then it's a short walk to the restaurant which is right on the bay. Here's thelink to the Candelas web site

El Vitral is very new downtown at 8th and J. Upscale Mexican, good selection of tequila. Buzz and early review have been decent.

Downtown is pretty easy to navigate especially if you use the trolley system. There is an around downtown pass you can buy that I think is about $1. In what part of downtown is your meeting?

#193 WK2

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 07:09 AM

Just reporting back on where I ate in the evening. My meetings were a little busier than I expected, but I still managed to get out to Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill. Despite the extraordinary wait (at least an hour) I enjoyed the food very much - a bracing seviche to start, wolfed down next to the counter with El Indio tortilla chips, and then two delicious mahi mahi fish tacos. I chased it all down with a Ballast Point wheat beer.

I had also eaten at some fast food taco stand for lunch, downtown. I'm sure for you people it was entirely pedestrian, but I promise you if it opened in New York there would be riots. Just excellent.



What I'd like to eat, predictably enough, is really good mexican food, since I have never been anywhere that has it.  I'm also looking for a excellent cocktail place where I can molt comfortably with something gin based for a few hours.  I read about Modus in this thread.  Does that fit the bill?

I'm happy to walk about a mile at a time, about.

Thanks.

View Post



Modus closed last week.

If you're in downtown, you're more or less in, or close to, the Gaslamp district where there are more watering holes per square foot than pedicabs on the street. You will have your pick of just about anything.

Oceanaire at 4th and Island does a terrific clubby, oyster bar happy hour.

Top of the Hyatt (40th floor or so) at the embarcadero will provide you with a spectacular view of the harbor. If the marine layer doesn't come in early that day, you'll be able to see for miles and miles and miles.

Dobsons is good for cocktails and mussel bisque.

And then there is Candelas, one downtown and one on Coronado. Upscale Mexican in the style of Mexico City. Good to very good. You can get to Coronado via the water ferry and then it's a short walk to the restaurant which is right on the bay. Here's thelink to the Candelas web site

El Vitral is very new downtown at 8th and J. Upscale Mexican, good selection of tequila. Buzz and early review have been decent.

Downtown is pretty easy to navigate especially if you use the trolley system. There is an around downtown pass you can buy that I think is about $1. In what part of downtown is your meeting?

View Post



#194 kalypso

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 04:43 PM

[quote name='WK2' date='Aug 10 2009, 07:09 AM']
Just reporting back on where I ate in the evening. My meetings were a little busier than I expected, but I still managed to get out to Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill. Despite the extraordinary wait (at least an hour) I enjoyed the food very much - a bracing seviche to start, wolfed down next to the counter with El Indio tortilla chips, and then two delicious mahi mahi fish tacos. I chased it all down with a Ballast Point wheat beer.

I had also eaten at some fast food taco stand for lunch, downtown. I'm sure for you people it was entirely pedestrian, but I promise you if it opened in New York there would be riots. Just excellent.

Good call on Blue Water. Their fish tacos are some of the best in SD

G

#195 Octaveman

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:13 AM

This is just a quick write-up on a visit I had a short while ago at Tommy's Italian Resturant and Deli on 2nd Street in El Cajon.

http://www.tommysita...rantanddeli.com

It's a nice little place with indoor and patio seating. We first went on Valentine's Day and sat on the patio. They had a guitar player out there and was playing some really good stuff. My wife and I both thought it greatly added to the embiance and gave him a nice tip at the end of our meal. The second time I went there was to pick up some deli meat and cheese and stayed for a quick pasta meal with the kids.

The food both times I thought was excellent. On Valentines Day I had the Veal Picatta and not only was the portion pretty sizable it came out piping hot as if it only took 30 seconds from frying pan to table. The flavor was rich and not too runny like I've had at other places. The veal was not breaded and was very tender. I despise when restaurants bread their veal. Makes me think they're trying to hide something. The second time I went with my kids we just had some basic pasta dishes that again were delicious and lots of it as well.

The service was also very good and the waiter did a very good job of understanding our questions and was never unsure of his responses. Service was very attentive as well.

All in all each experience has been positive and will most definately go back. Matter of fact, we drive by it every day to pick up our kids and we've been trying to find the time to go. I'll try to get pictures next time. Good stuff.

Edited by Octaveman, 26 August 2009 - 10:14 AM.

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#196 Octaveman

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:48 PM

Went to Tommy's last night. It was the Veal Marsala that rocked my boat, not the Veal Picatta.

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#197 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 05:55 PM

I have quite a backlog of restaurant reviews I have been wanting to post. It looks like this thread has been inactive for a while, so I thought I should reactivate it. So here we go for part 1.

Cavaillon
We had a great dinner there. My brother and sister in law treated us to a gift certificate. We had not had dinner there in a long time so were not sure what to expect. We had the tasting menu which involved a fantastic foie gras au torchon (very similar to Tapenade’s) served with toasted brioche, delicious seared scallops with vanilla foam and corn risotto, duck breast sous vide (my favorite preparation for duck breast since I’ve tried it at Blanca – tender and pink, perfection), and their specialty for desert, chocolate pastilla. Overall a very enjoyable meal and attentive service. Only one area of improvement that I can suggest– the wine pairing could have been optimized (the white that was paired with the scallops really clashed with the dish as it was way too acidic), and our first glass came a bit late. We ended up spending less than $200 total for the two of us with wine, and I felt it was a great value for the quality of the meal.

Café Chloe
We had a pre-symphony lunch there with a couple of friends. Service was poor but they did apologize profusely, comped the drinks and gave us an appetizer to compensate for the wait - there had been a mix-up in the kitchen and our order was never fired, which resulted in a > 45 min wait for our meal. The food was great when it finally arrived. I had steak frites and the skirt steak was very tender and “rare” as requested. The fries had been cooked with scallions with gave a them a very nice & interesting taste. My husband had the moules frites – we love the curry sauce that they are served in and use it as a dip for the fries. Our friends loved their croque madame and omelette. The bill was reasonable and we will be back.

[to be continued]
As a side note, we need to hear about your dining experiences in San Diego! So many restaurants I used to frequent have closed down recently – La Vache, Better Half, Modus, Chive, and my new favorite Crescent Heights, etc. It would be great to have a few new recommendations.

#198 Honkman

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 07:11 PM

As a side note, we need to hear about your dining experiences in San Diego! So many restaurants I used to frequent have closed down recently – La Vache, Better Half, Modus, Chive, and my new favorite Crescent Heights, etc. It would be great to have a few new recommendations.



Here are a few suggestions (even though I don't think any of them can replace Better Half which for us was by far the best and most creative restaurant in San Diego. Hopefully Chef John Kennedy will reappear on ther culinary scene soon):

The Linkery (farm to table restaurant. The last few dinners were very, very good and service has improved a lot over the last few months)
Jayne's Gastropub (very solid food, nice service)
Restaurant at the Hotel Pearl (surprisingly creative food. Not your typical hotel restaurant)
Wine Vault (fantastic $30 5-course dinners on Saturdays but also a lot other good wine dinners throughout the week)
Alchemy (new restaurant in South Park with good food, Service can be mixed depending who is in)
Cowboy Star (very good steak/meat focus restaurant)
Terra (flies under the radar but has very good food)

#199 Kouign Aman

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 11:44 AM

La Gran Tapa has improved. We havent yet tried any entrees, but have been pleased with the tapas menu. The lamb chops are especially good; tender, lamby, herby. The short ribs are nothing special in flavor or texture. The gazpacho was right up there with the 30 or so bowls of it that I ate in Spain - fresh, snappy and refreshing. The house red is good, and on Saturday evenings, they have an excellent sax player.
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#200 iluminon

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 12:36 PM

I've lived in dozens of places, but San Diego has some of the best food in the world. Is Quel Frommage still there in Hillcrest? They made chocolate truffles and espresso that I still dream about. Then there's the antipasto salad at Filippi's downtown...

#201 DHeineck

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 12:45 PM

To dredge this from the depths--does anyone have a fair evaluation of Bite? I owe a friend a thank-you dinner (she's an amateur foodie like myself) for taking me to/from the airport. Was planning on doing the fixed menu. Thanks!

#202 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:03 AM

No experience with Bite. I see that they are located on University Avenue. We used to be regulars at Café W, Chris Walsh’s first restaurant in Hillcrest. I had not realized he had opened a new place (in 2007!). It looks great on paper – maybe someone can report? If not, I will likely try it in the near future.

#203 kalypso

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 09:57 AM

I've eaten at Bite. It's good to very good. I like it. I don't know that I would do the Prix Fixe, tho'. I prefer to just use the menu and start with a dish or 2 that looks interesting and then build from there.

Almost everything I've had there has been well prepared and flavorful. As small plates is the concept here, portions are kept small on most things so that you can order more than 1 or 2 items and try a nice cross section of the menu. Service can be a bit casual but is not inattentive or careless.

#204 Kouign Aman

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:26 PM

Is it suitable for well-behaved children?
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#205 kalypso

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:48 PM

Is it suitable for well-behaved children?



How old, and how much "alternative lifestyle" do you want to expose them to? Remember Bite is in the heart of Hillcrest and pulls much of it's clientel from the surrounding community including some of the more flamboyant parts :laugh: Your children may be the best behaved people in the place.

Expect waiters with multiple piercings, multiple tats, Doc Martens, and the occasional whacky hair cut. Patrons are less colorful. Their customer base appears to be a pretty even mix of straight and gay, usually well dressed, usually on a date or for a small celebration. I think older (i.e. not under 10) kids would probably be okay, especially if you were willing to eat early.

Bite sites right in between Mama Testa and Baja Betty's. It's pretty much the antithesis of BB.

#206 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 03:34 PM

I've eaten at Bite. It's good to very good. I like it. I don't know that I would do the Prix Fixe, tho'. I prefer to just use the menu and start with a dish or 2 that looks interesting and then build from there.

Almost everything I've had there has been well prepared and flavorful. As small plates is the concept here, portions are kept small on most things so that you can order more than 1 or 2 items and try a nice cross section of the menu. Service can be a bit casual but is not inattentive or careless.


Sounds great, and very similar in concept & atmosphere to Cafe W. I've made a reservation for this weekend.
Thanks for posting this review, kalypso!

#207 DHeineck

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for the heads up Kalypso! Much appreciated and the service sounds just perfect. We'll try mixing and matching the tapas. Hopefully I'll remember to bring the camera for some foodie shots and a report.

#208 Kouign Aman

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 05:52 PM

Thanks Kalypso.
The lifestyle is not an issue. There are parents of classmates that meet all those descriptions, in one.
Would the presence of a 6-yr old piss people off, is more the question.
We go early, and she usually earns fear from the waiter upon first sighting, and respect by the time she's made her choices from the menu and dug into them. But, there are still places I dont want to deal or other patrons dont want to deal with a kid in the room, no matter how well behaved.
The spanish tapas place in Pacific Beach works, the Fish Market works. We havent tried much higher end than that.
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#209 kalypso

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:37 AM

Thanks Kalypso.
The lifestyle is not an issue. There are parents of classmates that meet all those descriptions, in one.
Would the presence of a 6-yr old piss people off, is more the question.
We go early, and she usually earns fear from the waiter upon first sighting, and respect by the time she's made her choices from the menu and dug into them. But, there are still places I dont want to deal or other patrons dont want to deal with a kid in the room, no matter how well behaved.
The spanish tapas place in Pacific Beach works, the Fish Market works. We havent tried much higher end than that.


I don't think Bite is higher end than either Costa Brava or The Fish Market. I think if you eat early you'll be okay. If you're concerned call the restaurant and ask. Or, if you show up and get attitude, you can always decamp for Mama Testa's which is literally right next door and kids of all ages are always welcome there :smile:

#210 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:11 PM

Quick report on Bite. Nice large space; suitable for kids. Decoration is somewhat reminiscent of Café W. I am not sure how they are doing business wise. We (my husband, our 4-year old and me) went there last Saturday and it far from being full.

A few hits (stuffed squash blossoms, piping hot and perfectly crispy; homemade duck terrine, but need to remove the thick pieces of bacon used for lining; sliders with caramelized onions for the little one) and misses (caramelized onion tart had very little toppings; salad of duck confit, not sure the mango was a good match). The trio of desserts was a hit with panna cotta with strawberries and basil, coffee pot de crème (very rich and smooth, the way it’s supposed to be!) and a walnut cookie. I enjoyed my lychee champagne cocktail.

Overall, a fun place, but maybe not as consistent as Café W. Exploring the very long menu may require another visit. Anything I should make sure to try next time?