d

DoctorChow's Profile

Title Last Reply

Stuck in the Gaslamp District. HELP!

Well, in your line of work, you've probably heard them all, but "the lamp" is new to me. A good one, though. I like it.

about 18 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Stuck in the Gaslamp District. HELP!

Yes, I looked back, and seven of the roughly 20 restaurants mentioned on this thread are in the "official" Gaslamp area, a reasonable number. (The rest are in the more inclusive "downtown" area.) There are more, but this particular thread is focused on places that serve at least some non-meat dishes.

I couldn't agree more with RBH's comment that choosing a restaurant at random in "the lamp" (is that Dagney's coinage?) isn't a good idea.

about 18 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Plan Tijuana: The Interrupted Renaissance of Avenida Revolución

Javier Plascencia has the right idea: TJ needs to bootstrap its restaurant scene into the public awareness, and this kind of article helps.

about 21 hours ago
DoctorChow in Mexico

Plan Tijuana: The Interrupted Renaissance of Avenida Revolución

Well, I liked it then, whatever it was, for what it was.

1 day ago
DoctorChow in Mexico

Plan Tijuana: The Interrupted Renaissance of Avenida Revolución

Hmmm...I think I have a losing hand here.

Maybe the word I was grasping for wasn't "vibrant". Maybe "lively" is closer. I liked that about it. Really did. I would never use the word "enchanting" to describe it, though (and didn't).

I do remember having had some decent meals in the "Av Revo" area, some just off the main strip, some on. Nothing memorable enough to name a name, but good. Now, nothing but Ceaser's.

Well, I really don't want to argue about it. I think we can both agree that it will be great if that area succeeds in its revitalization effort.

1 day ago
DoctorChow in Mexico

Plan Tijuana: The Interrupted Renaissance of Avenida Revolución

Thanks for your comments, DD. I do wish the revitalization effort well and hope for its eventual success, even if it seems to me to be a long reach.

In looking back to the former Av. Revolucion, I was thinking of its vibrant, actually exciting, character -- that's what was alluring to me and my out-of-town friends when they came to visit. And if we walked far enough down the street, the tourists thinned out, and there was a local market, maybe still there, where I would stock up on hard to find hot sauces, chilis, etc. That, a great taco from a stand in the same area, and a fresh lime margarita en las rocas on the balcony of my favorite bar were the perks for me for being their "tour guide"!

I don't miss the seedy stuff, the drunk college kids, the dirt, and the beggars, but I do miss the vibrance and I don't know how long it'll be, if ever, before that returns. I agree that Calle Sexta has what appear to be some nice places for young locals, but I've been suggesting to visitors for the past many years that they avoid Av Revolution area entirely and head towards the Zona Rio instead.

I remember well when downtown San Diego was a seedy place, but it was only that; it never had vibrance -- not during the day, and definitely not at night when it was almost deserted and downright scary. Av Revolution had its seedy and rowdy side, but it also had vibrance going for it, day and night.

2 days ago
DoctorChow in Mexico

Zona Rio - Tijuana

Do others agree that this area is now among the best areas to go for dining in TJ?

I'm not sure about the boundaries, but along Paseo de los Heroes and environs, there seems to be a lot of good places to eat.

Also, along Agua Caliente and Sanchez Tobdaba there are numerous places to find really good cuisine, and not just "Mexican".

Av Revolucion, I'm afraid, is lost (except for Ceasers).

Apr 15, 2014
DoctorChow in Mexico

Mr. A's

Ha! Yeah, really. Well, have fun, and Happy Anniversary!

Apr 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Plan Tijuana: The Interrupted Renaissance of Avenida Revolución

I find the demise of Av Revolucion to be a depressing testimony to the real and perceived loss of order in TJ and Baja in general. It's a fantasy to think that strip will ever be anything close to what it once was -- not going back to the prohibition era, not even going back 20 years ago. I'd like to believe it, but can't get there.

That was a street that I always took visitors to when they came to the San Diego area; they were always so excited to "go to Mexico", another country. Now Av Revolucion is like a dreary, scary, lifeless ghost town. In truth, like DD, the only place I ever go to on Av Revolucion now is Ceaser's, and then only on those rare occasions when I can convince visitors that they still make the "original, real thing" salad there.

I did enjoy the historical photos in the article. Thanks for sharing.

Apr 15, 2014
DoctorChow in Mexico

I'm craving...

Oh man, now there's a list!

And the mayo on that BLT is freshly house made, of course...

Apr 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

Mr. A's

So it's back to Plan A, so to speak.

Good choice. You'll have a nice time there.

Apr 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Mr. A's

I think Dobson's would be a nice place for your anniversary dinner. No view though, of course.

Apr 15, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Solana Beach/Del Mar Eats

I'll add that the Hillcrest market gets going around 8:30, but doesn't seem to be in full swing until later in the morning. At least when I've been. Hillcrest folks tend to sleep in late (it seems).

Personally, I like the market in Little Italy better. Not sure of the hours, but similar to Hillcrest, I think. Best to park at Eldertown and trolley.

Apr 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Stuck in the Gaslamp District. HELP!

Hmmm...yeah, that's what I thought. Or used to.

Who am I to argue with The Map Gods at Google Maps, though??

Apr 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Stuck in the Gaslamp District. HELP!

McGrath, I think you're thinking of the Westin on Columbia St. He's staying at the one that's at Horton Plaza.

Apr 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Pizzeria Mozza--Underwhelmed

Well, OK. I'll defer to your expertise. But that's not my personal preference. I like a thin, crispy/chewy crust. I'm very happy with a sorta-soggy center -- on top -- but not with a squishy, deteriorated "crust". If a slice sags/droops a little after it's been at the table for awhile, ok, but I'm talking completely structureless here. Even as I sawed through the mushy "crust" with a knife, it mushed up more. That just wasn't what I was craving or expecting.

I think two things could have come into play here:

First, I'm speculating, I don't know, but I don't think the pie was brought to my table immediately from the oven. It was warm but not hot, not even the outer crust. If so, that would give the liquid more contact time with the crust. A pie like this in a place like this should be brought to the table with no gap in time whatsoever after baking.

Second, I think that a pie that has "liquidy" toppings like halved fresh grape tomatoes should only be sliced moments before it's carried to the table, maybe even sliced right at the table by the server. That would reduce the amount of liquid that gets under the crust. Maybe they did that, again I don't know. Just a thought.

Anyway, for my $22 + tip, I was expecting something much more. Not a little more, MUCH more. The toppings at Mozza were great. The end-to-end "product", meh, not worth it -- not for me. That's IMO and for my money, but it's why I won't be returning.

Apr 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Stuck in the Gaslamp District. HELP!

I'll second the salad bar at Fogo de Chao, as well as Oceanaire, and I'll add Spike Africa (for fish), and Dobson's (some good seafood dishes, and don't miss the mussel bisque!). Those two are very close to your hotel. Also, it's a bit further, but The Hive has excellent sushi. (Don't let the bare-bones exterior and the stairway down fool you.)

Apr 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Pizzeria Mozza--Underwhelmed

I think maybe I’m the last kid on the block to try this place, but today I was in a pizza mood and so had lunch at Mozza downtown. The place was almost deserted, so I encountered no problems with seating, and of course got good service. Unlike ElC, who referred to it as "designed by Ikea", I rather liked the simple, minimalist setting/décor, but could easily have done without the cutsie printed paper placemats; plain ones, or some with a stylish logo maybe, would have been more in keeping with what I was expecting to find.

I ordered the Napolitana pizza, which came with a thin layer of tomato sauce and anchovies, and was topped with halved grape tomatoes, capers, some very good tiny brown pitted olives (don't know what kind they were), blobs of buffalo mozzarella, and herbs. All of the ingredients were clearly first class, and the combination was intensely flavorful.

The crust on this $22 12" pizza was a huge disappointment, though. The puffy outer rim was about one and a quarter inches wide, meaning that the flat area in the middle where those delicious toppings were was maybe 9-1/2 inches in diameter. Of that, the crust in a five inch circle around the center was completely soaked through and mushy, and could only be eaten with knife and fork. The remainder of the flat part was firm enough to be manageable by hand, but still not at all crisp. Just firm enough to not flop down when I picked it up by the outer crust. The only really crisp part of the crust was that big, wide, puffy, outer crust. That part was good; perfectly baked.

I won’t be going back for more. That’s a steep price to pay for a fresh-baked crispy bread ring (the puffy outer crust), plus an extremely thin, mushy-to-just-manageable nine inch flatbread and a few toppings (howbeit very good toppings).

Not nearly enough value, IMO. I was "underwhelmed", as ElC said in his original post.

I left kind of unhappy, so I was gladdened when I was able to take home some Chebris, a sublime French Pyrenees sheep and goat cheese, from Venissimo next door.

Apr 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Old Town rec

Ha -- nothing at all worth recommending at "x", sorry. Here's what happened:

[yawns]

OK. I posted places in Old Town that I think are good -- Berta's, El Agave, and Sushi Tadakoro. Then I looked back and saw that that I'd said that before on this thread, so it was redundant. Then I re-read nessy's question and realized that what she actually wanted to know was if there were any NEW places of merit in Eldervlille. I couldn't think of any, so I scratched my whole post (changed it to "x" and asked the mods to delete the "x"). Guess I didn't act fast enough. Or they didn't. Whatever.

Come to think of it, though, maybe "x" is the correct answer to nessy's question...

Apr 14, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Born in the Year of the the Dragon

OK, soooo...GJ, tell us...where did you end up? Did you have a great time and great food?

Apr 13, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Real dairy frozen custard in San Diego?

I still have family back there, and if I go to visit in the summertime, we invariably go out to get frozen custard. My personal favorite is Kopp's. Yum!

Apr 12, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Born in the Year of the the Dragon

Hmmm...tough one.

Well, this isn't related to the Year of the Dragon (I don't have a clue when it comes to those things), but how about using the occasion to check out the new Tidal at Paradise Point?

Apr 12, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Real dairy frozen custard in San Diego?

Yes, MKE.

Apr 12, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

Real dairy frozen custard in San Diego?

Nope. No such thing here. You'll have to go to Milwaukee to get the real thing. Airfare varies.

Apr 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

JV's Mexican Food

OK. I see.

Apr 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

If you could change the restaurant/bar scene in SD. .

"more outside dining options"
...Absolutely agree.

---

"I love a good burger, but do we need to be the burger capital of the United States? I think not."

...No, we don't, and I hope that's not how people in the rest of the US think of us.

---

"ditto for taquerias. Could we please have a place or two that does "real" Mexican? Squash blossoms, pozoles, pipianes, alta cocina D.F. style?"

...There used to be a place on Garnet, by the church, that had real Mex. City food. Slow service, great food. Long gone.

-------

"I wish we could have the variety of Baja wines that are being produced without having to go south or mortgage the house."

...Me too, and so does a close friend of mine who was trying to establish a Baja wine tasting, wine tour, and import business. It's just not economical for the vinyards.

-----

"I wish someone would open up a good, centrally located, pie shop"

..There used to be a Marie Calendars near me on Balboa. Yeah, yeah, I know. But I liked it a lot. They closed and eventually tore it down.

-------------

"I'd like for the wait staff not to refer to the table as "you guys"

...Where I live there are a lot of kids, ages 6 - 12. Their parents yell at them all (girls and boys) as "guys". And that's what they call each other: "You guys". Times and meanings have changed...

-------

"I'd like fellow diners not to bring small children to adult restaurants after 8 pm, they tend to be cranky and disruptive and put the restaurant in the awkward (and unfair) position of having to manage a customers' poor choice."

...YES!!! Sheese, what are these people thinking when they bring their screaming kidlets into a restaurant?? Completely destroys the pleasure of dining.

--------

"I wish restaurants would realize that excessive noise does not equal trendy or pleasant dining."

...Totally agree. And with my screwed up hearing, all the worse. I do tolerate the places that have exceptional food, though, like Cucina Urbana, but would really prefer a little more acoustic conditioning.

------------

"I wish some restaurants had easier/better parking"

...No shishkabob. That was part of my fantasy about Convoy St.

----------------

"I'm kind of on the same page with everyone else on seafood places, but maybe not the seafood shack genre."

...I think cities/towns with an abundance of seafood shacks near the water create a way of life, one that I'd love to be able to live here.

Apr 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

If you could change the restaurant/bar scene in SD. .

You don't wish for much, DD. ;-)

I'll have to re-read your bullet points a few times to absorb!

Apr 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

JV's Mexican Food

I think you mean Armstrong's, but Anderson's isn't that far away. I'm big into gardening these days, and go to both.

I have a 35 ft queen palm that I bought from Anderson's about 35 years ago (hmmm...two 35's). It was about 15 ft at the time. It was growing in the ground at their outpost on Morena, north of Balboa, where they grew full-sized trees. It took my contractor a whole day to dig up the palm at their place and transport/plant it at my house! A crane was involved!

Apr 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

List some of your fave lunch spots. .

Interesting list!

Hmmm...Small Bar. Been once and had fish & chips -- very good. I've heard that their hamburgers are pretty good too, but have never had one. I need to put this place on my long "return to" list.

Apr 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego

JV's Mexican Food

I like your description: "weird". Yeah, they do serve up some unusual things, all right!

No, definitely not in the Best Burrito category. But good enough. And good for the biceps, as ipse says.

Apr 11, 2014
DoctorChow in San Diego