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DoctorChow's Profile

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My List for San Diego

I wasn't criticizing, just observing. I don't get very crabby about "best of" lists, just a little, and in your case you started your post with "My", so that should make it clear to uninitiated readers that it doesn't reflect all of us, just your opinions. But some publications do make sweeping pronouncements of the "best of" (followed by a list of categories), and in those cases some people here (me included) do sometimes get testy about them, although I just usually roll up my eyes and move on.

Anyway, just to add my two cents to your thread, we share the same favorite Italian, French, Japanese, and Vietnamese restaurants.

P.S. By the way, nice to hear from you. :)

about 13 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

My List for San Diego

It's interesting that some of us get crabby when we see "Best Of" lists like this elsewhere, but here we go with one of our own. And 27 replies in just five hours (including mine).

about 14 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

My List for San Diego

Boddington's on tap is fun to order just in a pint glass. It's like a chemical reaction that takes place before your eyes, as what appears to be an entire glass of foam transforms into liquid. I can't imagine what a whole pitcher of it would look like. Sounds exciting.

about 14 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

Giant Lima Beans

I stand corrected.

about 14 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai Papaya Pok-Pok

I think you'll love it. We shall see.

1 day ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Giant Lima Beans

Whoa, that looks delicious. Good shot!

But when has there last been a thread with 26+ posts about a single (howbeit special case) veggie?

1 day ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

I think Romesco was a baby step in the right direction, first taken a decade ago in an effort to bring TJ-style food and service to the SD area -- while keeping stateside tastes in mind. I'm betting that Bracero will be much bolder. We'll get a clue when the "secret menu" is posted on Saturday.

Their comments in the Eater article of plans to open "several" other spots in the SD area sounds pretty exciting, and my eyebrows really raised when they suggested that Romesco itself might possibly relocate, soon.

I like Romesco. You've mentioned before that you've never been sufficiently motivated by the menu to go. Fair enough. But for my part, I enjoy the food, and the service is very TJ-like.

Apr 22, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Thai Papaya Pok-Pok

If the salad I had here today is any indication of the quality of the whole menu, this is destined to be a winner -- a must-try place.

Open since Monday at the prior Sab-E-Lee location in Linda Vista, they specialize in papaya salads, with a dozen varieties on the (relatively short) menu, plus soups the likes of Yen Ta Fo noodle soup, Super Star Pork Ribs soup, and I-san Style Three Kinds Mushroom Soup. There are numerous other intriguing non-salad menu items as well, like Karom Jean (rice vermicelli served with soup), and “snacks" like fish cake, Thai sausage (Isan or northern style), and fried meat balls.

I ordered the first salad on the long list, at my server’s suggestion: Som Tom Thai, a simple green papaya salad with tomatoes, green beans, peanuts and dried shrimp, etc. It was absolutely delicious, wonderfully fresh, and beautifully presented. It was enough by itself for a satisfying mid-afternoon lunch, and only $7! And as an option, it could have been had with pickled crab, at the same price.

The entire staff of Sab-E-Lee (which is undergoing minor remodeling until Friday) were dining there when I went in, including the owner, and as it happened we had an opportunity to chat a bit. He mentioned that he hadn’t yet received his beer/wine license for the original Sab-E-Lee (now across the street) in the mail, but it’s presumably on the way. Here's looking forward to having a Singha with their food.

Thai Papaya is a different kind of place. It's not Sab-E-Lee, apart from having the same ownership and an obvious team-effort dedication to efficiently serving up high-quality Thai food. Which, actually, is saying a lot.

But that's what makes Thai Papaya seem special, because, in my opinion, Sab-E-Lee is our city's premier Thai restaurant, and this inventive off-shoot is something new for them.

Hence the separate thread.

Looking forward to hearing others' experiences. I wish Thai Papaya Pok-Pok the very best and can’t wait to return to try other things on their menu.

Apr 22, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Thanks for the link. I found it interesting in the Eater article that Bracero is going to have the same menu upstairs and down, just different classes of service.

Apr 22, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

El Agave is a very good restaurant, a favorite of mine, and certainly the only one I would recommend to anyone in the Old Town area. Their tequila bar is certainly one of our most comprehensive.

Bracero, like Romesco, will be very different from El Agave though.

I'm not Mexican, but I've been waiting for a long time for a substantive influx here of genuine regional and new-generation Mexican restaurants that go far beyond tacos and burritos and the like.

Apr 22, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

I saw today's article about Bracero on Eater. And of course you did too.

http://sandiego.eater.com/2015/4/21/8...

To me, places like Romesco and Bracero represent the future of SD's emblematic identity: A dining opportunity unique to our area and nowhere else. It's a dream coming true. To all of the people supporting this new wave of culinary specialty local only to San Diego, I say "Cheers", and "Gracias".

I'm glad to hear we don't have too much longer to wait: Late May is the current projection for Bracero. Being very visible at their LI location, I think it'll be one of the most forthelling restaurants in town.

The time has come for SD and TJ to have a common culinary essence.

Apr 21, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

San Diego restaurants OPENINGS (2015 edition)

Just an update. When I was there last week Sab-e-Lee had a liquor license notice posted on the window at their new location. So it seems that finally we're going to be able to get a Singha there, if all goes well!

Although I've become really partial to their $2 Thai tea.

As an aside, it seemed like there was serious activity at their forthcoming "Thai Papaya Pok-Pok", at the original location, but still not open when I stopped by and looked.

Apr 21, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Giant Lima Beans

Balboa Market didn't have these today when I was there. Probably best for OP to call before going. They're very accommodating there.

Apr 21, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Had any great salads around town lately?

Had the Thai Basil Chicken at JT tonight, but IMO both their Chicken Noodle Soup and Pork Stew Rice are far superior choices. I tried the samabal sauce on the veggies, as you did, and I love that kind of sauce on things like cold Vietnamese bun dishes, but here it seemed to clash with the ground chicken flavor. I must say the veggies were very fresh and well-cooked.

Glad you mentioned this dish here: It's always fun to try something new that someone else on this board really enjoyed! :)

Apr 21, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Who's familiar with 'old' San Diego restaurants?

Hardy har. No hot sauce at all.

Apr 20, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Who's familiar with 'old' San Diego restaurants?

On Goldfinch, it was Perfect Pan, and was there long before the Mungers opened Pirets. It was the very best place in town to buy cooking utensils at the time, and they had cooking classes.

Apr 20, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

Who's familiar with 'old' San Diego restaurants?

Yes, the ill-fated Marina Village, bougainvillea trellises and all.

But I know, well, pretty sure, that Just For The Halibut was there too.

So, was Salmon House the place with a bar upstairs that had live music and a dance floor? Because I went to that bar frequently, even when Marina Village as a restaurant and specialty shop destination was dying, but I seriously don't recall the name.

Also, a friend's son had a wedding reception there, where I spilled wine on a favorite tie and caught the garter, maybe 6-7 years ago. Also right on the water. There aren't a lot of sizeable spaces in "Marina Village" (long since a conference center), so it has to have been one of those.

Apr 20, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Who's familiar with 'old' San Diego restaurants?

Just For The Halibut was on Quivira Basin long ago, and I liked the food and ambience, being right on the water. But I don't recall Salmon House. Or am I confusing things?

I also very much miss Pirets and Lubachs. Especially Pirets (and The Perfect Pan, for that matter).

Apr 19, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

best mexican food San Diego

Si. In fact, I keep Tajin on the table as a spice, mainly for veggies. I've had chamoy in Mexico, but not here.

Apr 17, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

best mexican food San Diego

Aha! I knew part of this but not the whole story and was trying to figure it out. Thanks!

Yes, there used to be a young woman behind the counter at Maritza's, but I just assumed she was hired help, not family.

Apr 17, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

best mexican food San Diego

LOL. No, but maybe I should try it.

My companion, who's a chilanga, got me to try chili powder on fruit and veggies the first time she took me to Mexico City, ca 25 yrs ago. I couldn't imagine that combination and resisted until I tried it.

Apr 17, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Had any great salads around town lately?

Perfect! That'll make for a really nice light meal sometime.

Apr 17, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Baci

Great spot to be. Cheers!

Apr 17, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Baci

Maybe BC, or possibly your squad? Gotta be someone that knows you personally.

Very nice thing to do, whoever it was, given the wonderfulness of the occasion.

So was it martinis or scotch?

Apr 16, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

best mexican food San Diego

Yes, "pretty decent" describes their chile relleno well.

I had one today (they don't have them every day), and it was tasty but not really outstanding. Same as at Maritza's, pretty much.

But the same great hot sauce recipe, so it made a wonderful light lunch, with tons of the hot sauce poured on!

(Literally here, you have to unscrew the top of the shaker jar and pour the hot sauce on -- to get any chiles. Otherwise just boring liquid with a few chiles comes out.)

Apr 16, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Had any great salads around town lately?

That's what I'd call a truly creative dish. I'd have never thought to order a "carrot salad", frankly -- for whatever reasons -- but will go to ARV now just to have one. I love things that have layers of "mystery" to them, like this wonderful-sounding salad does, per your description.

What did you have with it, if I may ask?

Apr 16, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Cocktail Hour: Grownup Time

Apr 16, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Baci

Sounds like a great evening is in store for you. Please do post a debrief after!

Apr 15, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

Mariscos Godoy alternative sought

No need to go all the way up to Claremont.

Have you tried Oscar's?

Apr 13, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Juniper & Ivy with kids

No, not crazy at all. As ipsedixit said, it isn't nearly as noisy that time of day, and I'd think particularly so on Sundays.

Your mention of "well behaved" is appreciated; thanks for your sensitivity to that. Some parents just don't get it, I'm afraid, and there's nothing worse than an uncontrolled noisy child in a quality restaurant.

J&I is primarily an adult venue, but I think your whole family will be comfortable there. It's almost a certainty that you'll enjoy the food.

Apr 12, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego