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#41 mmm-yoso

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:31 PM

I forgot to mention two places in Hillcrest....One is Celadon really exceptional Thai with very interesting uncommon appetizers. Its been a few years since I've been back but it was very good. Another fun place is Kemo Sabe on 5th. Kind of East meets west, and wild presentation but good because its done differently. I like that whole part of town for people watching. There is also an awesome bakery Bread et Cie that is incredible its also in Hillcrest on University if I remember correctly. (Ok so thats 3 now I'll stop!)


I don't know when you last visited Celadon, but the restaurant has again moved - to 5th and Pennsylvania.
Personally, I think that Celadon has taken a real nosedive in the last few years since the Chef, Songsri Thammasuckdi retired, and the young Owner Alex Thao decided to devote most of his time to Rama Thai in the Gaslamp. It used to be my favorite Thai Restaurant in San Diego.

Personally, I think there's no need for anyone from PDX to have Thai Food in San Diego, there's nothing remotely close to Pok Pok in flavor and quality here.

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#42 tammi

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:58 PM


I forgot to mention two places in Hillcrest....One is Celadon really exceptional Thai with very interesting uncommon appetizers. Its been a few years since I've been back but it was very good. Another fun place is Kemo Sabe on 5th. Kind of East meets west, and wild presentation but good because its done differently. I like that whole part of town for people watching. There is also an awesome bakery Bread et Cie that is incredible its also in Hillcrest on University if I remember correctly. (Ok so thats 3 now I'll stop!)


I don't know when you last visited Celadon, but the restaurant has again moved - to 5th and Pennsylvania.
Personally, I think that Celadon has taken a real nosedive in the last few years since the Chef, Songsri Thammasuckdi retired, and the young Owner Alex Thao decided to devote most of his time to Rama Thai in the Gaslamp. It used to be my favorite Thai Restaurant in San Diego.

Personally, I think there's no need for anyone from PDX to have Thai Food in San Diego, there's nothing remotely close to Pok Pok in flavor and quality here.

http://www.mmm-yoso.typepad.com/

Well thanks for the heads up. Things do change especially over a few years.Its too bad because it was fantastic. I like Pok Pok, but Celadon was elegant. I'm actually headed to San Diego this weekend and I'll stick with HH at The Brig! :)

#43 PDXWine

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 03:52 PM

Inquiring minds want to know if Stu and/or Gugel have made the trek and whether they found any help from our suggestions.

#44 tammi

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:23 PM

Inquiring minds want to know if Stu and/or Gugel have made the trek and whether they found any help from our suggestions.

Ditto there PDX
I'll report back what little I can...I'm actually going for a funeral...not an eatting trip :) I'll still manage a fish taco or 2 or 4

#45 PDXWine

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:30 PM

I'm actually going for a funeral

I'm sorry. Not a happy trip. Be well.

#46 tammi

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:31 PM

I'm actually going for a funeral

I'm sorry. Not a happy trip. Be well.

Thanks PDX

#47 tejon

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 07:35 PM

Dan and I are flying to Escondido next weekend for a wedding and will have some free time to kick around as well. I used to visit my grandparents in San Diego, but we rarely ate out (both are excellent cooks), so I don't really have a clue about what's good and what's not. Mostly looking for less expensive, interesting fare.
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#48 bakemeacake

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:38 AM

If you want to head down to the beach in North County (which I suggest you do) I would head over to Encinitas/Leucadia/Solana Beach (the string of small beach towns along 101). I grew up in Encinitas and think the best cheap taco shops on earth are located along this strip. At the top of my list are Juanita's (290 N. Hwy 101) and La Especial Norte (664 N. Hwy 101) both in Encinitas. Juanita's is acclaimed for their carnitas which
are some of the best on the west coast (I also have a huge fondness for their rolled tacos with guacamole which is a true so. cal border food treat). At La Especial Norte it's all about the tortilla soup which is just about the finest thing on earth. So simple, so divine. If you are in town over the weekend you might want to try to sneak in a visit to the farmer's market in Vista which is also fantastic. It's a gem and always listed among the best with farmer's bringing small quantities of interesting/non-commercial fruits/veggies. It only runs from 8-11 am since things go fast! Have fun. I am headed south next weekend for a wedding too and already thinking about those rolled tacos...

#49 supersly

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 10:21 AM

I have no idea how good it is since I haven't been there, but you might want to try Stone Brewing's World Bistro and Gardens, which is in Escondido. And while I can't vouch for their food, I can definitely vouch for their beer, which is absolutely spectacular.

As for their philosophy on food, this is from their Web site: http://www.stoneworl.../philosophy.htm

"At the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, we endeavor to use as much in-season, locally and organically grown produce as possible. We do this not just because we believe in the very simple principles of freshness and sustainability, but also because fresh, local and organic tastes better. Sure, itís better for you too, but letís not get too caught up in that or someone might think weíre crazy health nuts here at Stone. Sure, some of us are, but try not to pay any attention to that. Instead, pay attention to the way our food tastes, and do your best not to think that itís healthy for you in any way (have another onion ring and try not to concentrate on the beer goodness in it).

Not surprising to hear that we also use 100% naturally raised meats. And the same fresh / honest / artisanal / natural standard goes for all our food. Our sauces are all house-made unless specifically mentioned otherwise in the menu. Our kimchee and pickled items are also all house-made. Of course, it is crazy expensive, and our prices reflect some of that reality. However, we also feel it is the much, much better way to go. So thatís the way we roll."

And my husband and I are planning a San Diego/Escondido trip in November, so I'd love to hear what you think about any of the places that you try!

#50 tejon

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 02:36 PM

I have no idea how good it is since I haven't been there, but you might want to try Stone Brewing's World Bistro and Gardens, which is in Escondido. And while I can't vouch for their food, I can definitely vouch for their beer, which is absolutely spectacular.

That's where the wedding is being held! I've been reading their website and can't wait for the reception so we can try the food B).
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#51 tejon

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 02:37 PM

If you want to head down to the beach in North County (which I suggest you do) I would head over to Encinitas/Leucadia/Solana Beach (the string of small beach towns along 101). I grew up in Encinitas and think the best cheap taco shops on earth are located along this strip. At the top of my list are Juanita's (290 N. Hwy 101) and La Especial Norte (664 N. Hwy 101) both in Encinitas. Juanita's is acclaimed for their carnitas which
are some of the best on the west coast (I also have a huge fondness for their rolled tacos with guacamole which is a true so. cal border food treat). At La Especial Norte it's all about the tortilla soup which is just about the finest thing on earth. So simple, so divine. If you are in town over the weekend you might want to try to sneak in a visit to the farmer's market in Vista which is also fantastic. It's a gem and always listed among the best with farmer's bringing small quantities of interesting/non-commercial fruits/veggies. It only runs from 8-11 am since things go fast! Have fun. I am headed south next weekend for a wedding too and already thinking about those rolled tacos...

Sounds like we need to travel North a bit, then. I'll do just about anything for good carnitas.
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#52 bakemeacake

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:21 PM


If you want to head down to the beach in North County (which I suggest you do) I would head over to Encinitas/Leucadia/Solana Beach (the string of small beach towns along 101). I grew up in Encinitas and think the best cheap taco shops on earth are located along this strip. At the top of my list are Juanita's (290 N. Hwy 101) and La Especial Norte (664 N. Hwy 101) both in Encinitas. Juanita's is acclaimed for their carnitas which
are some of the best on the west coast (I also have a huge fondness for their rolled tacos with guacamole which is a true so. cal border food treat). At La Especial Norte it's all about the tortilla soup which is just about the finest thing on earth. So simple, so divine. If you are in town over the weekend you might want to try to sneak in a visit to the farmer's market in Vista which is also fantastic. It's a gem and always listed among the best with farmer's bringing small quantities of interesting/non-commercial fruits/veggies. It only runs from 8-11 am since things go fast! Have fun. I am headed south next weekend for a wedding too and already thinking about those rolled tacos...

Sounds like we need to travel North a bit, then. I'll do just about anything for good carnitas.


Escondido is pretty much due east from Encinitas. It is likely a 20 minute drive without traffic. If you have time avoid the highway and take the back way along Lake Hodges, into Rancho Santa Fe and onward into Solana Beach (it's a beautiful hilly drive dotted with fruit trees, horse farms, and huge homes). If you like carnitas you MUST go to Juanitas. It is a hole in the wall but there is a reason its been a favorite of surfers, skate kids, and soccer moms for dozens of years. It's a gem.

#53 tejon

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:13 AM

Oops. I have zero sense of direction, as is evident. But I will definitely take a swing by Juanitas!
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#54 PDXWine

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:28 AM

Escondido is pretty much due east from Encinitas. It is likely a 20 minute drive without traffic. If you have time avoid the highway and take the back way along Lake Hodges, into Rancho Santa Fe and onward into Solana Beach (it's a beautiful hilly drive dotted with fruit trees, horse farms, and huge homes). If you like carnitas you MUST go to Juanitas. It is a hole in the wall but there is a reason its been a favorite of surfers, skate kids, and soccer moms for dozens of years. It's a gem.

Excellent advice. Not only is it a prettier drive along the Del Dios Highway it's shorter than taking the freeway which, no matter if you go north to 78 or south to Ted Williams Parkway, is a bit like going from downtown Portland to the airport by way of Oregon City.

Going through Rancho Santa Fe, you have four options. First is to turn right on El Camino del Norte before you get to the "town" (or village) proper. That will take you into Olivenhain and then, by turning north and subsequently west, into Leucadia. The second and best option is to go right into the village and turn right on La Granada which will eventually put you on Encinitas Blvd. Turn right at Coast Highway (101) after going under I-5 and Juanita's is, as I recall, on the left and La Especial on the right. The third option is to continue through the village, bypassing La Granada. This will put you on Linea del Cielo and take you into Solana Beach.

The last option is to bear left before the village and take Via de la Valle past Morgan Run Golf Club and right to the race track and fairgrounds. Just off this road and to the north (on the west side of I-5) is a little enclave called Eden Gardens which is home to a number of Mexican restaurants that have been there for years - Fidel's, The Blue Bird and Tony's Jacal, the original. Of the three I recommend the Blue Bird. Fidel's has a branch in White Salmon or Bingen, I don't remember which.

All the strip mall taco shops are good - especially any ending in "'berto's" - Roberto's, Royberto's Alberto's . . . etc. Fine dining at Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe, The Winesellar and Brasserie off Mira Mesa Blvd (incongrously in a mixed-use industrial park), Pamplemousse Grill, 150 Grand near the Wild Animal Park in Escondido (WAP is a don't miss if you have time), Arterra, The Market (former chef from Arterra), Cavaillon and El Bizcocho. Waterfront with reliable food is Jake's Del Mar. Also reliable is the Brigantine by the race track on 101.

Have fun.

#55 daawgon

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 10:44 AM

A short drive west on Highway 78 freeway will bring you from Escondido to San Marcos - I especially like Fish House Vera Cruz (I believe they might have another location in N. County as well). This is also a fish market.

Fish House Vera Cruz

760-744-8000

360 Via Vera Cruz
San Marcos

#56 Piper

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 10:07 PM

Okay Foodies....... Help! I will be in San Diego for 2 days. Can anyone suggest a good restaurant? I'll have a car, so I can go anywhere within San Diego (Balboa Park area, Gaslamp District, Old Town, etc.....). I'd love something that is the essence of San Diego. Mexican Food? Seafood? You name it.

I'd prefer something not overly formal or ultra expensive. I'd like entrees to stay in the $25 range.

Can anyone out there help me and suggest something?

Thanks,

#57 SauceSupreme

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:18 PM

Okay Foodies....... Help! I will be in San Diego for 2 days. Can anyone suggest a good restaurant? I'll have a car, so I can go anywhere within San Diego (Balboa Park area, Gaslamp District, Old Town, etc.....). I'd love something that is the essence of San Diego. Mexican Food? Seafood? You name it.

I'd prefer something not overly formal or ultra expensive. I'd like entrees to stay in the $25 range.

Can anyone out there help me and suggest something?

Thanks,


You'll probably want to stay away from the Gaslamp, as it's become quite the tourist trap. But I'd say quintessential San Diego is The Brigantine in Del Mar. It's got a patio that overlooks the racetrack and views of the ocean. They've also got a location on Coronado Island.
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#58 Flynn

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:20 PM

But I'd say quintessential San Diego is The Brigantine in Del Mar. It's got a patio that overlooks the racetrack and views of the ocean. They've also got a location on Coronado Island.

Love it. A great part of SD. I try to get back with my pops to go to Del Mar every year. Where the surf meets the turf!

#59 polloelastico

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:49 PM


Okay Foodies....... Help! I will be in San Diego for 2 days. Can anyone suggest a good restaurant? I'll have a car, so I can go anywhere within San Diego (Balboa Park area, Gaslamp District, Old Town, etc.....). I'd love something that is the essence of San Diego. Mexican Food? Seafood? You name it.

I'd prefer something not overly formal or ultra expensive. I'd like entrees to stay in the $25 range.

Can anyone out there help me and suggest something?

Thanks,


You'll probably want to stay away from the Gaslamp, as it's become quite the tourist trap. But I'd say quintessential San Diego is The Brigantine in Del Mar. It's got a patio that overlooks the racetrack and views of the ocean. They've also got a location on Coronado Island.


There's also one on Pt. Loma, that's a bit more accessible than the Coronado location. SS is right - it's pretty quintessential (sort of like the McCormick and Schmick's of San Diego) - good happy hour.

I'll throw this out if you're looking for a "quintessential" San Diego experience: South Beach Bar & Grill. It's located on Newport Ave. in Ocean Beach, right at the mouth of the OB pier, just steps from the sand. Even though they are served on flour tortillas (I prefer corn), the seafood tacos here really do rock. Wahoo, ono, shark, mahi, shrimp, lobster - they are quite large and only $2 during happy hour, too. Their ceviche and shrimp/octopus cocktails are excellent, as well. We'd go there a few times a month when I lived in San Diego, and I was just there this past September.

It's quintessentially San Diego. On the beach, loud, boisterous, combination of older locals and young surf culture. Warning: it gets pretty crowded, tables are first-come, first-serve, and there's a supremely stupid paradigm where the waitress only takes your order for food and you have to wait in line at the bar for drinks.

After dinner I'd walk down to Pacific Shores bar for a throwback experience with insanely cheap drinks.

I also echo SS to stay away from the Gaslamp - overrun with tourists and expensive, to boot. I would also add the La Jolla/Prospect scene to that as well.

I'd perhaps check out the burgeoning restaurant scene just north of downtown on India Street (little Italy).

Also, one of my favorite joints in San Diego is the Turf Club, just east of downtown. Nothing special in terms of food, but it's an old school atmosphere where you grill your own meat communally with fellow diners. You're served a hunk of flesh wrapped in Saran (along with a perfunctory baked potato/veg), and then you mosey on up to the grill and season and sauce it to death over an open flame with long tongs, elbowing other drunkards. Lotsa fun all around.
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#60 PDXWine

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 02:21 PM

Echo The Brigantine, which also sports a branch in La Mesa.

World Famous - on the beach in Pacific Beach
Cafe Pacifica - Old Town
Pacifica Grill - Del Mar
Jake's (no, not that one) - on the beach in Del Mar
Old Town Mexican Cafe - carnitas only
Chuey's - Crosby and Main - daylight hours only
Roy's - near UTC. Yeah, it's a chain but a damn good one
Rocky's Crown Pub on Ingraham - best burger and coldest beer in town

These are all casual. If you want finer dining, understanding that I'm not up on menu pricing:

Pamplemousse Grille - Solana Beach
Winesellar and Brasserie - Mira Mesa
Sally's in the Hyatt - trust me here
Laurel - Fifth and Laurel
Antica Trattoria - La Mesa
Chive - Hillcrest or North Park - don't remember
Mille Fleurs - Rancho Santa Fe