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Posts posted by mmm-yoso

  1. Pho Ca Dao (5223 El Cajon Blvd.: stand-alone building in the same shopping center as the World Foods Market, an Asian supermarket that is also very worth a visit) -- I've only eaten here once so far, but it was good! Had a bun soup with duck that was very yummy--the broth is not anywhere near as hot as it looks, but is quite tasty. This place apparently does not get very many non-Asian customers; they tried to talk me out of ordering the bun, fearing I wouldn't like the un-deboned duck and chunk of congealed pig's blood they serve in it. But I prevailed, and I'm glad I did. For a change, a very generous pile of add-ins, including, for the bun, both mint and basil plus other herbs, and shredded cabbage as well as bean sprouts.

    Hi mizducky - Your Pho'/Bun Bo Hue diet seems to be in full swing. One thing about the Bun Bo Hue at Pho' Ca Dao - which I think is good, BTW. Is that instead of giving you the fermented shrimp paste and chili oil on the side, it's already been mixed into the broth, which may be a bit off-putting for some people.

    So fay I've really enjoyed the Pho' at Lucky Pho' which is attached to Lucky Seafood Market in Mira Mesa:

    Lucky Pho' in Lucky Seafood Supermarket

    9326 Mira Mesa Blvd

    San Diego, CA 92126

    Which would probably appeal to those who enjoy a darker - richer broth.


  2. A good sichuanese resturant is also located in (you guess it CONVOY!). It called Dede's (it's in the strip mall that has a korean bank in it near the Pacific Honda dealership).

    I would also recommend Boo Choo (a korean bbq place off engineer road). They serve prime beef for their galbi, bulgogi among others. Will happily recommend the sang gul sa (or bershire pig belly meat). They are kinda pricey though.

    Check the San Diego Reader for some reviews about odd places to eat!

    I used to really enjoy Boo Cho, but since they've changed owners, I think they've gone downhill a bit. I rather have Buga.

    Dede's is pretty good, and IMHO not as spicy, nor as high in oil as Ba Ren. My Wife who is from China calls is Pseudo-Sichuan.....pretty good, though alot milder. Though let it be said we enoy the cuisine from ChongQing more then what we've had that represents ChengDu


  3. There's also a new branch of Pho Hoa Cali in Mission Valley, next to Hooter's, across the street from Target

    Wow, it's good to see this thread is alive and well!

    Just a couple of things:

    Pho Hoa Cali on Clairemont Mesa Blvd - is now Pho T Cali. I really can't tell the difference in food, but notice that some of the people working there are different.

    In Mission Valley, it's Pho' Cali - co-owned by a former EE at Kodak and a Mechanic - so I really don't think there's any affiliation with Pho Hoa Cali on Mira Mesa Blvd. Had lunch there a few weeks ago, but didn't have time to post. A bit more expensive then most $6/bowl of Pho'. Very mediocre, and some of the worst Banh Pho' I've ever had, also skimpy on the garnishes, though Ngo Ngai was provided - the broth was pretty good. This is also the place where you can get Banh Mi for $4.99, just in case you feel guilty paying 2 bucks for it elsewhere! But if you really can't wait the extra 10 minute drive to Linda Vista, you can get Pho' here.

    I though Pho Pastuer was pretty good, though if I recall they were a bit more expensive then most Vietnamese Restaurants at the time. I also had an alligator dish, and all I remember was that the meat was sour, and slimy - though the first bite tasted like chicken! Go figure.....


  4. Mizducky - If you're looking for Spam Musubi; L&L will do just fine. In addition, perhaps a little closer to you; right down Garnet in the same mall as Great News cooking store(which will keep you occupied for quite a while); and Lotsa Pasta.

    Hawaiian Island Barbecue

    1768 Garnet Ave

    San Diego, CA 92109


    In addition, I've had Spam Musubi from Nijiya as well. For a plate lunch I think at this time that Da' Kitchen makes the best - right up the 15, Carroll Canyon Road exit.

    Da' Kitchen

    9823 Carroll Canyon Rd.

    San Diego, CA 92131

    Open Mon-Sat 10am - 8pm


    I'll pass on a funny story about World Sushi; it's right up the street from where we live. I once dropped by and decided to have some Sushi (they do pretty good tempura and stuff). My usual drill with the Itamae is to first order a few nigiri, so I had some Maguro(what I call buffet grade fish), Hamachi(lousy), Hirame(decent), Albacore(lousy). Then asked the Itamae(real quiet Vietnamese Guy) what is good today? He tells me "The California Roll is really good tonight!" WHAT! Was he even paying attention to what I was eating? Since then I've stayed away from the Sushi at this Vietnamese owned Japanese Restaurant. The other Japanese style dishes are pretty good and that's what I stay with.

    Nijiya will sometimes have okara, it'll be close to the fish and sushi! It may be hard to come by; but since Nijiya has their own brand of tofu, sometimes they do sell this tofu by-product. Next time I'm there I'll ask if they still carry it.



  5. Crispy crispy.... is there any way to BBQ the little tummy?

    Alas, I currently do not own a barbeque grill. Shocking, I know--I'm guess I'm not living up the the SoCal ideal here. But at least the apartment complex I'll be moving to has a community grill right in the courtyard. :laugh:

    Is the hope of Kurabuta Kakuni out of the question????

    Basically Nagasaki Style Braised Pork - it dies use okara - which is tofu lees

    1 1/2lb Pork Belly

    1 1/2Cup Okara

    1 Cup Water

    1/4 Cup Sake

    2-4 Tb Mirin

    1/4 Cup Sugar

    4 Tb Soy sauce

    Place pork and okara in a pot and fill with water, and bring to a boil. When brought to a boil reduce the heat to med-low, and continue slow boil for 2 hours, adding water as necessary until the pork is tender enough for a bamboo skewer to pierce the meat without difficulty. Turn off heat and let stand until pork is cool. When the pork is cool, rinse the pork under cold water, and eliminate unclean parts and excess fat. Cut into bit sized cubes.

    Place water, sake,sugar, and pork into a pot, and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil add soy sauce, and cover. Reduce heat slighly, and simmer until liquid ids reduced to half. Increase temp to a boil and pour in mirin in a circular motion. boil until alcohol is burnt off.

    Arrange in a bowl, garnishing with shredded snow peas and mustard.



  6. If you go to Fillipi's it's right next door to the seductively named Camel's Breath Inn, and if you go there, I want, no I demand, a full report :wink:

    Y'know, kalypso, I've been intrigued by the name of this joint ever since you so provocatively let it drop, so of course I had to do the Google thing--and this is what I found. Other than the possibility that the scene there might be a tad more "straight" than my usual speed, this sounds like it could be a helluva fun time to this dive-bar-lovin' chick. :smile:

    I'm not sure if I'll get in to check it out before the end of this blog, but I'll certainly check it out sooner or later. And yes, you will indeed get a full report--especially if I succeed in making a karaoke fool of myself there. :laugh:

    Hi mizducky - I'm enjoying the proceedings thus far....I've been to Camel's Breath Inn - it's mainly a neighborhood watering hole. Lot's of off-duty SDPD'ers, and Mexican Bar Grub.



  7. What about the "strip mall" next to Jasmine on Convoy?

    There used to be a Chinese market towards the back called Woo Chee Chongs (sp?) that changed ownership.  Is the store gone?

    The Market in that strip mall is now First Korean Market/Orient Bowl - A Korean Market. It does have alot of "stuffs" from Hawaii, though if tyou're interested.




  8. The reason I'm asking is I'm looking for an area that has shops with which to purchase cooking supplies such as woks, cutlery, steamers, rice cookers, etc. similar to the Chinatown in San Francisco.  It's been several years since I've been up north to shop but is there anything like that down here in SD?  I'm trying to find some Hong Kong made cleavers (brand name Chan Chi Kee) locally and I would appreciate any help.  Of course while I'm there, I will check out all the other offerings as well since I love to shop.  A 99 Ranch type place is not what I'm looking for as they really don't have what I would call "genuine" quality.  Small mom and pop shops like The Wok Shop in SF I think would be more of what I'm trying to find.  I understand that Convoy area would be a good place to start but anyone know for sure what is out there before I spend a day walking up and down that street?

    TIA,  :biggrin:


    In all honesty, I get most of my Cooking "gear" in Los Angeles. there is one place on Convoy that you can check out.

    It's called Chef City Restaurant Equipment and Supplies

    4927 Convoy St

    San Diego, CA 92111

    It's located South of Clairemont Mesa Blvd, on the East side of the street. It's an Asian Restaurant Supply Store - you can even get high BTU, "fire-rings" there. The quality of many items there may not suit your requirements, but it's a good place to get odds and ends - several Asian Restaurants buy their equipment and other items from them. And I've shopped there a few times in the past - they do sell to the general public.

    Utsuwa No Yakata is the porcelain shop located in Mitsuwa marketplace, and sells only porcelain(i.e. bowls. plates, dishes). There's a kitchen section within Mitsuwa, but it's mostly Rice Cookers, ginger graters, and such. But I remember seeing pretty good sashimi knives.

    I still have my left handed fish knife I bought at the Wok Shop many years ago....

    Good Luck,



  9. i just talked to sushifoods (a supplier in sd) and they mention with the current storms and rough water, there will be no uni until after the new year. so that means i'll probably forego my plans for sushi while in sd.

    for those who do live in sd, check out sushifoods for your supplies (here's the uni page for ya!):


    ps. i was thinking of purchasing a couple of trays of uni and just going to town on em. yes, i am hardcore :biggrin:

    You are going to eat an entire "styrofoam" tray of uni? You are hardcore. I'd rather just wait until I can get 1 "live uni" and have the Itamae prepare it for me. You'd use that tray of Uni, maybe for a sauce in the end? Catalina Seafood has some of the best Uni around. I know that misspelling "omakase" can be a bit irritating, but we understood the subject. I get this all the time from people who really don't understand the "Nihon" translation. You should see how people screw up my name!

  10. You won't find "Omakase" in the sense of say Urasawa, but many times if you have developed a "relationship" with your Itamae, you'll be able to set-up a very nice menu. Usually there will be some set items, and Omakase Nigiri, or Sashimi, in which the Itamae who understands your taste will provide what is best that day.

    A recent dinner at one of our local neighborhood joints:


    The live/fresh Uni in San Diego is superb.



  11. miz - Ba Ren is an excellent restaurant. One of the few that IMHO would survive in the San Gabriel Valley. The Chef at Ba Ren used to be the Chef at ChungKing restaurant in Monterey Park. The cold dishes are very good - I love the FuiQiFeinPein(Husband and Wives). If you have any questions one of the Owners, her name is Wendy is very helpful.

    They are starting to get alot of business since the review in CityBeat:


    The food is very good and not "dumbed-down", we've been going there since it opened. And it's really funny that I was one of the first Non-Chinese customers.

    Kirk(yes, I'm the kirk mentioned in the review)


  12. Made it to Super Sergios the other night, this is the taco stand on Convoy with the big yellow sign that is open 24 hours and has 2 drive thru windows...it was delicious and I will be back!!! Thanks for everyones recomendations - really appreciate it.

    jrichman - I emailed you the prices that I remember from Sammy's - did you get it?


  13. Yeah, I'm curious about the Barnes BBQ too.  It's close to home so I'll check it out. 

    I do have to plug my favorite (so far) bbq place called PHIL'S on Goldfinch and Washington.  I absolutely love this place.  My wife and I eat there just about once a week.  After I moved down here from the bay area I printed out a list of bbq joints in SD and Phil's was #3 on the list.  I never made it to #4.


    Phil's is my favorite too - though call ahead, otherwise chances are that you'll wait!

    Phil's BBQ

    4030 Goldfinch St

    San Diego, CA 92103

    (619) 688-0559

    Full rib dinner all fries - side of sauce......and a place to sleep afterwards!

    But it ain't cheap at almost $20.

  14. Some other interesting SD restaurants:

    - Wired Cafe le Bistro: Nice little French-like cafe. Good for a nice lunch - 8935 Towne Centre Drive

    - Tropical Star: Small shop for south american stuff with a very small restaurant (few tables) attached with good south american food (peruvian etc.): 6163 Balboa Ave.

    - Don Chuy: Nice mexican restaurant in Solana Beach: 650 Valley Ave.

    - Thai Garden: Best Thai in SD (or closeby since it is in Oceanside): 4750 Oceanside Bvd., Ste. A-18

    - Barnes Bar-B-Que: Good Memphis style BBQ: 2625 Lemon Grove Ave.

    - Mediterranean Cafe: Good mediterranean food, kabob, gyros, spanakopita etc. : 112 Washington Ave.  (And please don't go to Daphne (as somebody else wrote). That is the worst greek-style restaurant in SD.)

    - Mucho Gusto: Don't know why but their Carnitas Burrito is great: 5650 Balboa Ave.

    So Mucho Gusto is worth the effort - we live close by - in Bay Park and I pass it at least 5-6 times a week...

    Med Cafe - One of my regular stops for lunch since I work in Hillcrest - $5.95Gyros Pita plate is a bargain - something that always makes me laugh is that if you look at the lunch menu posted on the door it says 1/3 Hamburger Plate $5.95 - almost sounds like you'll get only 1/3 of a hamburger instead of 1/3lb Hamburger! Service is very nice! - Don't forget El Cuervo next door!

    Daphne's - People don't know - it's one of those "fast-casual" chains - like Chipotle, etc... not very cheap, but food is consistent.

    Next to Tropical Star is Noble Chef - But you've got to know what to order! DO NOT order any of the Orange Chicken, Beef Broccoli garbage, it's terrible! Instead, try the Shrimp with XO sauce Fried Rice or Chow Fun, or the like - got some "wok hey" going on. Stay with the Chiu Chow style dishes or home-style stuff like turnip cake w/scrambled egg. I like the Shrimp Tomato on Rice too....it's soooo 60's Chinese, but has a strange attraction!

    BTW - hzrt8w, I haven't forgotten ,but need to check the addresses before I post!

  15. Another hole-in-the-wall:

    Good Guamanian food (lumpia, empañadas, chicken Kelaquin, bbq pork ribs, marinated beef, etc) can be found at Islander Grill (3645 Park Blvd.). It's right next to the Embassy Hotel and if you blink you will miss it.  There's only street parking so good luck with that. :wink:

    Chileheads take note...they have a Finedene (fini-dini) sauce that will clear your sinuses for a year.  Use it sparingly unless you like it very, very spicy!

    And thanks for posting the info about the Filipino buffets.  I was surprised there are so many in National City and all in the same area.  That will make exploring all that much easier.

    If you enjoyed Chamorro food you might like Bamboo Hut - it's a plate lunch place - sorta, but they had Chamorro stuff too, at least they did when I last visited over a year ago!

    9172 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126

    I've always gotten a kick out of Islander grill - the Grill is right out on the sidewalk!

  16. Allright here we go....I concluded that I want mexican one night and then sushi another night, but I want the best...so what is the best mexican in the area and what is th ebest sushi in the area, I can drive there...thanks!!!!! oh and in the area I mean all around san diego not just the convoy street area....thanks!!!

    Many people claim Sushi Ota on Mission Bay Drive is the best

    4529 Mission Bay Dr

    San Diego, CA 92109

    One of my favorrites is Izakaya Sakura - not quite a sushi bar - but an Izakaya. They will not make any "rolls" - alot of Japanese Nationals as customers and pretty pricey


    Shirahama - also in the area, is another quite expensive place. Will not make rolls either - Koji-san is known as the Sushi-Nazi for a reason also.

    Sushi Dokoro Shirahama 4212 Convoy St.

    There are alot of Neighborhood Sushi places like Katzra (same owners as Tofu House next door). My favorite little Neighborhood Sushi place is Sammy Sushi on Engineer Road:


    Though the quality of fish can vary, Sam usually has something good - prices are also cheaper and Sam will make anything you want - even Poke.

    You can tell him Kirk-san sent you!

    Btw next to Sammy's is Boo Cho - they are the only Korean Restaurant I know of in San Diego that does charcoal BBQ:


    alot of people enjoy Boo Cho.

  17. Unfortunately, Tepee, the stretch from Carlsbad to San Diego is coastal, high-rent areas.  Most restaurants are expensive.  There is no known good Chinese restaurants (in our standard) until you hit Convoy, which is about 27 miles away.

    The Chinese restaurants on Convoy are good, but not necessarily "cheap".

    I have asked my college roommate about this. Just like me, he grew up in Hong Kong but has been living in Oceanside/San Diego for many years. Here's what he said:

    1. Are there any good (in our standard) Chinese restaurants in the Carlsbad/Oceanside area? (Name and Street)

    Nothing is good in North county, period.

    2. Which Chinese restaurants in Kearny Mesa (in the Convoy area) would you recommend?

    Jasmine, Emerald, or China Max. They are OK, but better than nothing.

    My note: San Diego Chinese food prices in general are much higher than those in the Los Angeles/San Francisco areas.

    Sorry - By Chinese you mean Cantonese, right???

    BTW - China Max is pretty good Hong Kong style seafood, but you will pay..as you will in Los Angeles - lived there for 4 years! And yes, San Diego is more expensive, but for Guangdong style - the prices at Sam Woo - $2.95 for weekend breakfast is not bad - though I don't think prices would ever compare with HK!

  18. Unfortunately, Tepee, the stretch from Carlsbad to San Diego is coastal, high-rent areas.  Most restaurants are expensive.  There is no known good Chinese restaurants (in our standard) until you hit Convoy, which is about 27 miles away.

    The Chinese restaurants on Convoy are good, but not necessarily "cheap".

    I have asked my college roommate about this. Just like me, he grew up in Hong Kong but has been living in Oceanside/San Diego for many years. Here's what he said:

    1. Are there any good (in our standard) Chinese restaurants in the Carlsbad/Oceanside area? (Name and Street)

    Nothing is good in North county, period.

    2. Which Chinese restaurants in Kearny Mesa (in the Convoy area) would you recommend?

    Jasmine, Emerald, or China Max. They are OK, but better than nothing.

    My note: San Diego Chinese food prices in general are much higher than those in the Los Angeles/San Francisco areas.

    Sorry - By Chinese you mean Cantonese, right???

  19. Miz Ducky Octaveman, et al,

      I mentioned this to my brother and his wife (her mom is from the Phillipines) and they were interested to know if you knew of any Filipino buffets in the area.

    Some of my recommendations:

    The Great Moon Buffet at 1840 Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.  Their lunch is about $7 and the food is very good.  They have American, Chinese and Japanese food in the buffet.  The local weekly free paper called The Reader usually has a 10% off coupon in it (you can print it out from the Reader's web site, too) and they're always packed.

    Da Kin'es - They have a location in National City (south of San Diego) and another at 4120 Mission Blvd., #208 right on Mission Blvd in PB (Pacific Beach).  It's Hawai'ian/Pacific Islander food.  My brother always gets the Loco Moco (2 hamburger patties with gravy and onions topped with two eggs) and my SIL likes going on Sundays to get the Lau-Lau which is (from the website menu) "Pork with fish wrapped in taro leaves and slow roasted in the oven".  They also have dishes like Chicken Adobo and Soyu Chicken and serve the "traditional" Spam and Eggs.  End the meal with a slice of their delicious Kona cake.

    I also recommend La Torta Mexican Deli for cheap eats (their website seems to be down).  Cheap but very good eats!

    Hi Toliver - An "interesting" buffet is Manila Tokyo it's a Filipino Buffet (I like their Lechon Kawale, my Wife likes the Daing Bagus), that has a Karaoke (thus the Tokyo) and they have a dance floor as well - 3421 Plaza Blvd, National City, CA 9150. Conching "upstairs" supposedly has a good buffet with lot's of seafood, but we haven't made it there yet. Conching is right around the corner (or visa versa) from Manila Tokyo.

    Have you tried East Bufett on Miramar Rd yet? I like it better than Great Moon and Sunrise (another new Buffet - this one on Convoy). 8998 Miramar Rd, San diego, CA 92126.

    La Torta is great, love the Chicken Mole and Carne Asada torta's - though they run about 7 bucks - at least you get fries with them.

    i'm orginally from Hawaii, so am somewhat picky about plate lunches - in some ways Da' Kines is better than the proliferation of all these Hawaiian BBQ places opening everywhere, in some ways not so much so.....



  20. Cool! Thanks, Octaveman--now we have an agent working the east/La Mesa end of things. :biggrin:

    Meanwhile, I continue to work the more northerly neighborhoods:

    K Sandwiches -- 7604 Linda Vista Rd., cor. Mesa College Drive (Linda Vista) -- A few weeks ago when I passed this intersection, I noticed this building in a little corner strip mall, festooned with banners saying "Grand Opening Soon." Other signage indicated the new joint was to be a Vietnamese bahn mi emporium, so I made a mental note to come back when they were fully open for business. And I'm glad I did. K Sandwiches is brand-sparkling new inside, with sprightly decor and perky young counter help. They offer an extensive list of bahn mi, the Vietnamese-style sandwiches on baguettes; they also have a bakery counter where you can buy the baguettes whole, as well as croissants and a small selection of Vietnamese sweets; they also serve boba tea, smoothies, espresso drinks, etc. The bahn mi are surprisingly substantial for their prices (most go for two bucks; the more heavily stuffed baguette sandwiches might run you as much as $3.75). I ordered a bahn mi called a "Pate Pork Meat Loaf Sandwich"; it came with a thin smear of the pate, a few slices of what looked like chopped-ham luncheon meat, fresh watercress, crunchy sliced pickled onion, and a few slivers of jalapeno, on what seemed to be a nearly foot-long length of baguette. All for two bucks. Like to see Subway top that. As this place is directly across the street from a high school and a few blocks away from a small college, I expect they're gonna do a land-office business.

    Pho Pasteur -- 7612 Linda Vista Rd., same strip mall as K Sandwiches (Linda Vista) -- I had noticed that there were several other Vietnamese businesses in this same little shopping center, and decided to also investigate the pho joint. Pho Pasteur is a rambling, slightly dingy space done up in a more traditional Asian-glitz style, with an elaborate gilt arch between the two main rooms, and pink tablecloths that bear an indelible grease stain here and there. Their huge menu lists a lot more than just pho; although the prices of their more substantial dinner offerings fall kind of outside my little cheep-eatz guidelines, the pho offerings definitely fit at between $4.50 and $5.50 a bowl depending on size and contents. They serve a well-made, substantial bowl o' pho, with nicely flavorful broth and decent amounts of the meat-goodies, and the usual side-offerings of sprouts, basil, sliced jalapenos, and lime wedges. By the way: is there some secret art to eating pho without getting it all over you? Somehow, no matter how carefully I try to fish out all the meat and noodle goodies, I succeed in splashing myself innumerable times. I just hope the restaurant staff aren't laughing too hard at the poor Anglo lady with the lousy table manners! :blush:  :laugh:

    P.S. While puttering around the general neighborhood on my way back, I stumbled on various other intriguing-looking ethnic food emporiums, including an international grocery advertising that they carried Halal meats. I have this and a few other places on my list to investigate further sometime in the future.

    Hi mizducky - Were you talking about Kabul Market? They also have pretty good and reasonable Afghan Food - I enjoy the Chapli Kabob, sort of like a very herbacious hamburger steak - all for about 5.99-6.99. All the meat is done in accordance with the House of Halal.


    Also there's Parsian a Persian Market on convoy as well - they used to be on Balboa, but moved to ther new digs when Golden City closed down (now set to re-open on Clairemont Mesa). Funky building once used to house a Mickey-D's - or so I was told.

    There's also a Muslim-Chinese Restaurant up on convoy called Jamillah Garden that does Da-Bing and all the other Muslim Chinese dishes - they are somewhat inconsistent, but sometimes are pretty good.

    I've been to K's several times - one of the times I got a bit ill, but I don't think it was K's - but there's a plethora of Banh Mi type places all over the Linda Vista - Kearney Mesa - Clairemont Mesa area. One good thing about K's is that they open early - like 6am or so!


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