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Juniper & Ivy with kids

Seconding the patio. We went in early January for my dad's last dinner in town. We were able to (more or less) corner my son in the back corner. Pretty sure we were there about the same time and the patio was completely empty, apart from us. So, even when he did ultimately escape, he didn't bother anyone else while we collected him.
Full disclosure - I had to leave and walk around Little Italy while my wife and my dad finished desert and paid the bill ;)

Apr 13, 2015
CampySD in San Diego

Good budget dinners ($10-20 pp) that aren't Mexican or Ramen

Apr 08, 2015
CampySD in San Diego

Kid-friendly/oriented, but Chow-worthy

I looked through the archives and didn't really find any threads centered on this topic... My son turns 2 next weekend. For the past 2y, dinner out has been a compromise of timing and accounting. The previous ten years, most of my free income was set aside for a few lavish meals per year.
Now that he is (moderately) well-behaved at restaurants and my S-O is back at work, I'd like to get re-acquainted with SD restaurants that cater-to/tolerate annoying families and are Chow-worthy, for our limited income.
We've tried, and liked: Fathom, California Kebab, Bird Rock Coffee, Tajima, PhoTime II (and most pho places), JRDN (breakfast/lunch), Sab-E-Lee (Santee), PB Fish Shop.
Thanks!!

Mar 27, 2015
CampySD in San Diego

Non-Mexican good for 17-person group in Escondido / San Marcos?

It may not be your cup of tea, but Stone Farms re-opens March 7. On Saturdays only, they serve pizza from a nice wood fired pizza oven. Other than Saturdays and the pizza however, you have to bring your own food and eat picnic style. They have the normal assortment of Stone brews, plus some unique ones to that location. There are plenty of picnic tables and chairs located under a huge oak tree - it can get pretty hot and the shade is kind of a necessity. You can walk around the grounds where there are hops, passion fruits and gardens growing various veggies. Finally, there are a bunch of small animals, goats, chickens, that the kids cab watch.

Feb 05, 2015
CampySD in San Diego

Cheeseheads looking for good San Diego food advice!

Forgot to mention. The best bottle shop in your immediate area is PB Express (3503 Ingraham). Huge selection. The turnover is a little slow at times, but they carry a huge selection of local and select CA beers (Russian River, Rogue, etc...).

Dec 24, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Cheeseheads looking for good San Diego food advice!

I'll add in seconds for:
Fish tacos at Oscars and Don Bahia Bravo.
La Playa taco shop does have great breakfast burritos and the shrimp tacos are also pretty darn good post-breakfast hours.
Sushi Ota is the closest, good, sushi you will find in the Mission Beach neighbourhood area - don't bother with the sushi in Mission Beach/Pacific Beach, it's all tourist trap crap.
The Fishery is a favourite restaurant of mine and visiting guests, but their fish counter leaves a lot to be desired inventory-wise and I find their fish counter prices pretty high. The restaurant is a nice locals spot though.
For good selection and price, the drive to Catalina Offshore is definitely worth the short drive. Alternatively, you could head north to El Pescador, in La Jolla, fish counter prices are still a little high, but the main attraction are the freshly grilled fish sandwiches.

I'll add in my 2c for casual and beer since the other points are pretty well covered.
Tower 23 - beach/boardwalk view, a little pricey at dinner, but lunch and breakfast are quite reasonable.
Thai Village - there are better Thai places in SD, but this is my favourite in PB.
Isabel's Cantina - breakfast or lunch. California/Mexican. Good coffee.
The Mission - breakfast or lunch.
California Kebab - home of Amplified Aleworks (onsite brewery). Great tap list. Patio Pints specials on the weekends. Mediterranean food. PB's undiscovered gem, imho.
Barrel Republic - pour your own pints, pay by the oz. Great way to taste a significant amount of brews without having to go a pint/pitcher at a time. No food.
Tap Room - (next door to above) Also a good tap list and pretty chill environment. Food is nothing to write about, but it is a beer bar after all.
Everything above is mainly in Pacific Beach. I've yet to be impressed by anything in Mission Beach...

Dec 23, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Anywhere to get Russian River Pliny the Elder in San Diego

Too late to help OP, but I have it on good authority that Fathom has Pliny consistently on their roster (they're not on TapHunter). Fathom, imho, doesn't get enough cred here - on the water, solid beers, solid food and well priced.

Dec 09, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

The Belly Up -- When Should I Be There?

I'd be surprised if you had to go that early... Been to my fair share of sold out shows at Belly Up and parking is way more of a problem than getting a seat. That being said, the seated areas are the worst parts of that venue to enjoy the show, soundwise - blocked views, off to the side, weird acoustics.
If the start time on the ticket is 8pm, I would expect they won't take the stage until 9, maybe, 10pm. Get there at 6-7 and you should be fine to get a seat in the "stadium" seats in the back left and eat some bar grub to build up your constitution to dance the night away when they finally come on.
One last note - the bar is cash only (can't remember about the food service) so make sure to hit the bank beforehand or prepare to get gouged by the bar ATM!

Dec 09, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Anywhere to get Russian River Pliny the Elder in San Diego

"...equal to or superior to Russian River Brewery Co."

Care to elaborate? I'm a beer nut and love being in San Diego, but Pliny wins year-in/year-out for a reason. Not a shameful thing to bring back a few award winners to your own home-town, n'est-ce pas? Maybe a suggestion to replace said Pliny?

Dec 03, 2014
CampySD in San Diego
1

Lunch in Pacific Beach

I'll add +1's for Isabel's Cantina, The Fishery and California Kebab.

PB Fish Shop and Promiscuous Fork might also work.

I love Sushi Ota, but it's always a pain to get in the door, assuming you have time constraints, and then get out.

Nov 18, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Leaving San Diego on 12/24

I'm not an expert, but it seems that Mission-style burritos are the norm in NorCal. So, maybe some purist Baja-style taco shops are in order...
Also, with wine country being so close, you might miss out on the great selection of tequilas and tequileras in SD - I personally love Cantina Mayahuel (go on on an off-day or off-hours and the staff are super helpful).
Ocean-side drinks and food are also a great excuse to go out and I echo encotte's rec's.

Nov 14, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

La Jolla Thanksgiving

Piatti, maybe?

Nov 07, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Stew. Daube. Hearty Soups. Chili con Carne (not ramen or pho)

FN - I saw the latest New Yorker cover at a friends this weekend and you immediately came to mind. (Not inappropriate to post in a thread about Waypoint Public, methinks).

Santee - birthday dinner with a toddler...

In the end, by a coin toss (literally), we went to Terra over Antica Trattoria. Like you mentioned, it was very, very kid friendly. The family at the table next to us had 3 kids and there was at another couple with a baby by the time we left. They had toys/drawing tablet-thingys for the older kids as well as a kids menu and high chairs. I was quite impressed with the effort they went to for the kids! Thought I would mention this as people are always looking for options for families that are chow-worthy.
Wednesday is free corkage and we brought a bottle of Barbera that I made with my co-worker last year. My wife also had the cocktail of the week, made with one the many in-house infused liquors. We had a potato, red onion quesadilla to start (big hit with the little one); I got the pot-roast, which was solid, nothing special, but very good; and my wife had the fish special, forgot the name, but it was a firm steak, very much like tuna. Dessert, on-the-house for her birthday, was a pan cooked banana cake, candle and all.
Terra's a little out of our normal range, but I'll definitely make the effort to go back for dinner again - even though being in the area was a depressing reminder that Pubcakes is closed :(

Nov 03, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Santee - birthday dinner with a toddler...

Done Bo Beau in OB many, many times (pre-baby). Will add to the list though.
Thanks!

Oct 29, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Santee - birthday dinner with a toddler...

Been to Terra for brunch and really liked it. So, that might be an option. 125 and the 8 is not too far, by any means.
Do you think that Antica Trattoria is appropriate with the toddler, though?
Thanks!

Oct 29, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Santee - birthday dinner with a toddler...

BC, your roaming area is enviable! (Beach to the desert, you've always got the pulse).
We've done Sagmani and Alpine is on our rotation (when we're out that way). The SO is not big on "chains" (Phil's/Mimi's/Oggi's), but I can always entice her with some deli!
Thanks again for the recs!

Oct 29, 2014
CampySD in San Diego
1

Santee - birthday dinner with a toddler...

In Lakeside for the week, housesitting.

It's my wife's bday and looking for dinner ideas, with our 1 1/2 year in tow (sorry baby-haters, we're too poor for a sitter).

We love Sab-E-Lee(2) and will likely end up there, but I figured I'd throw out a line to see if there other options worth considering...
El Cajon and La Mesa options are fine too, but needs to be early and toddler friendly.

Thanks in advance!

Oct 29, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Easy dining for one from the convention center

Prince Edward Island. FAR East Coast of Canada, Maritime province. Normally renowned for mussels, not oysters, as far as I know...

Oct 22, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Escargot

The "fresh" ones were what I was referring to - at the fish counter in mock shells. Already buttered, if I remember correctly.

Oct 20, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Escargot

Last time we were searching, we found them at Jonathan's (for $10 a tin!!). Also found fresh and canned at Whole Foods for about the same, ridiculous, price.

Oct 20, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Good mid-day sushi on Saturday

This looks promising. I avoid Downtown like the plague, but I'm sure my friends wouldn't mind getting down there. Anyone been? How's the crowd situation on a Saturday afternoon?

Aug 01, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Good mid-day sushi on Saturday

Tadokoro's website says hours are 5-10pm... Too bad, it's a pretty easy drive from south PB.

Jul 31, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Good mid-day sushi on Saturday

Hey 'hounds,

Our babysitter fell through for Saturday night and we are now looking for alternative options to go out in afternoon instead. Both Ota and Kaito don't open until dinnertime so my normal "go-to" options are out.

Any suggestions? 4 adults and a one-and-a-half year old. The other couple lived in SD for several years for their studies and are now visiting from Germany. So, I'd like to do something a little more upscale quality-wise to remind them of what their missing - i.e. I live in PB, but don't really want to entertain the option of PB sushi bars (Ota excluded, obviously).

Thanks!

Jul 31, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Help! Last minute private event--10 people, Wed 6/4

Rappongi?

May 29, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

Which tasting rooms in Temecula have the best Red Wine?

Hart had a Barbera last year that was delicious. However, they have a pretty small tasting room and, unless you're there in the middle of the week, it could get pretty tight with a group of 15...
I don't think I've been to either Gershon or Foot Path.
You might also look in the Ramona area, as they have some up and coming wineries that may turn out to be gems. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to visit out there yet so I can't make any suggestions.

May 15, 2014
CampySD in California

Juniper and Ivy / First visit impressions

Thanks to a visit from the inlaws, we got to celebrate my birthday (a couple of weeks early) as a night out at Juniper and Ivy, on Monday.
Though we had an early reservation, partly due to availability on Open Table and our own personal scheduling, it worked out as the din was almost unbearable by 8pm when we left. I'm not adverse to noise, but the layout really doesn't lend itself to any escape from the crowd. Therefore, conversation, for a two-top, was almost impossible by the time we left.
Almost everything was noteworthy. I didn't really find any of the dishes too small, as some others have remarked (not necessarily here) and the price-point was in line with expectations.
We started with cocktails. My wife's "Ivy" was very pretty, a little sweet, but very good. I went with the "Pena"cillin. Though the description sounded good, it was a little too much orange juice-y for a scotch based cocktail.
We selected several starters and a couple of "mains" (one entree and one pasta).
- Chicken Oysters: tasty, but basically high-end chicken nuggets
- Beef Tongue Pastrami: probably one of our favorites of the night. Beefy and melt-in-your-mouth. The Russian dressing was a little too much, but easily avoidable.
- Corvina Cioppino: nice, playful and well executed. Very tasty!
- Meatball: a meatball. Good, but I thought it was a little salty
- Rabbit Terrine: good, but nothing that blew us away. Again, well executed.
- Abolagna: Really liked this. That they took the time to mimic mortadella to the point of including pistachios was pretty standout to me. (forgot to take a picture)
We had a very nice, and well priced, Zin from Von Strasser with the end of the appetizers, leading into the entrees. I've been to this winery a few times now and was very surprised at the price point ($40, one of the cheaper bottles on the list).
Squid Ink Rigatoni: The "fishy-ness" of the pasta matched very well with the lamb ragu, but I thought this was a little too salty as well,
Swordfish: Simple, pan-fried swordfish with olives, capers and spinach. Second favorite to the beef tongue.
We talked to our server a little about our good luck with free babysitters and were rewarded with a complimentary dessert of the Pine Needle Meringue (complete with candle for my early birthday and eaten too quickly to remember the picture). Though a little daunting in appearance, the dessert was very light and refreshing! At this point, we were really stuffed, having already put half of the pasta in a to-go box. However, I had read a lot of positive reviews about the Yodel and, since my wife is a chocolate freak, we added on an extra dessert. This held up to what I read in others opinions and, even though a little excessive, we made it through.
Our bill came with little sugar cookies for a finale.
I found the service very good at the start, but waned as the dining room filled and filled. The pacing was a little brisk, but we ordered in "waves" to take control and had no complaints from our server. I'd definitely go back, but would take advantage of the the small outside patio to avoid the noise and action inside.

Apr 16, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

JV's Mexican Food

Just ate there last night. JVs is one of my go-to's when visitors are here. Thanks to KirkK's blog, it was my first meal upon arriving in SD, nine years ago - that first burrito was bigger than my wife's head!
Since then, we have discovered a long list of items that you just don't find anywhere else. However, the burritos don't top my list.
Top picks: Sonora quesadilla, mole bowl, potato tacos (awesome), rolled fish tacos (have never seen anywhere else in SD). I also almost always get the roast pork burrito (in green tomatillo sauce) or the Al pastor burrito (not "authentic", but tasty for sure). We also always get the chicken tortilla soup - tastes like it was made by " mom".

Apr 11, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

List some of your fave lunch spots. .

Green Acres (Torrey Pines or Campus Pointe, both are good)
Board and Brew
Pacifica Breeze Cafe
Prep Kitchen (Del Mar)

Apr 11, 2014
CampySD in San Diego

San Diego New Places Opening Thread Numero Tres.

That sounds awesome! Last time I was there, it was little more than a couple of chairs and a pretty weak drink list.

Apr 09, 2014
CampySD in San Diego