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Weekend Group Lunch in La Jolla/PB

Thanks! The numbers aren't final but I am guessing 30-40. I like Piatti a lot but the parking down there is difficult even on a cold afternoon mid-week. Hmmm.

Mar 08, 2012
pooch in San Diego

Weekend Group Lunch in La Jolla/PB

San diego chowhounders....we are looking for a spot to hold a rehearsal lunch on Memorial Day Weekend. The rehearsal itself will be in La Jolla, so we are hoping to find somewhere either in downtown La Jolla, Birdrock, PB or possibly UTC (although I cannot think of anywhere I like up there). Given that it is a holiday weekend, I know that parking and reservations are going to be a hassle. We would like somewhere with chow worthy food, but not crazy expensive (maybe $20-25/person for food plus drinks or less) and with a private or semi-private area. Ethnic food is ok too, although some of our guests are not particularly adventurous. Any bright ideas?

Thanks in advance!

Mar 08, 2012
pooch in San Diego

San Diego New Places Opening

In the newly "revamped" Del Mar Highlands, I noticed a sign for a Towne Bakery coming soon. Odd as there are already two bakeries (Champagne and Village Mill) not to mention Ralphs and Jimbos bakery items in the same complex. Also, looks like Urban Plates, Rimels and Enoteca Divante should be opening in the upcoming weeks. Curious to see what the menu is like at Urban Plates. Sounds like it may be along the lines of Tender Greens, which would be a welcome addition to the 'hood.

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Tender Greens
2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

Sep 07, 2011
pooch in San Diego

SD Malarkey leaves Oceanaire

In the land of Carmel Valley where the longest wait in town is for breakfast at Ihop or dinner at Red Robin (both a couple doors down from the future Burlap) I cannot imagine that this concept is going to fly. The only "fancy" restaurant in the immediate vicinity, Arterra, seems to struggle to find its way even with the business from hotel patrons. Not only are the name and the concept ridiculous, the choice of location is curious. I suppose Market has done well one exit up the freeway and a bit off the beaten track, but it also is any easy hop skip and a jump from the racetrack and for the RSF crowd. Nonetheless, I hope he proves me wrong. I would be quite happy to have a great new restaurant a few blocks away.

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Arterra Restaurant
11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130

Feb 12, 2011
pooch in San Diego

Burger upgrade in UTC

I quite enjoyed the Counter on my first visit, but on my second visit, I had a dry hockey-puck like turkey burger. I think they just overcooked it but I was too lazy to send it back. As an FYI, there is a new outpost of the Counter opening in the strip mall at the corner of Del Mar Heights and El Camino. Also saw signs up for a place called "Urban Plates" in the same mall. Not sure what that's going to be.

Jan 05, 2011
pooch in San Diego

Best Pizza that will deliver in or to Pacific Beach?

Throwing it out there...any bright ideas re. pizza delivery in carmel valley? All I can find is Oggies (not a fan) plus Dominos/Papa Johns. Del Mar Pizza will deliver up there sometimes but they take ages and are pretty pricey (and not great, in my opinion).

Unless I'm missing something, CV is totally lacking in delivery options for all types. I am pretty sure there is not even chinese delivery, unless you go through restaurants on the run. I guess "someone" is trying to tell me that it is time to start cooking or get up and go somewhere rather than having it come to me!

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Del Mar Pizza
211 15th St, Del Mar, CA 92014

Nov 10, 2010
pooch in San Diego

PrepKitchen - Del Mar

We hit up Prep Kitchen Del Mar last night. Overall, a nice addition to the neighborhood, but a little on the pricey side. The restaurant is a few blocks down from 15th street, so parking was not a problem at all. Most of the seating is outside. We were not very close to a heat lamp so it was a little chilly but not unbearable.

We started with the soup special (chicken and farro) and a beet, avocado and pistachio salad. Both really tasty. The salad portion was pretty small for $7. They were out of a key ingredient for the first entree I ordered (a pasta dish) so the waitress suggested the Niman Hotdog. I decided to give that a try. 10 minutes later she came back to let me know they were out of hot dogs. I ended up with the chicken salad sandwich, which was pretty tasty, but could have used some dijon. Because of the issue with being out of the first two things I ordered, they comped us with a berry bread pudding. I really liked it because it was not too sweet or soggy. I thought that was a nice touch.

I will definitely be back, but the price point is a little high for the regular rotation.

Jun 27, 2010
pooch in San Diego

San Diego Breweries

And, on a slight tangent, any thoughts for a good brewery/place with good beer selection with good food for a beer-lover's bday dinner? No stone, Ritual Tavern or Toronado or Blind Lady (because we have been to all those recently) but something along those lines would be good. Preferably somewhere that takes reservations because this group might get cranky waiting forever for a table for 10-12.

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Ritual Tavern
4095 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

Apr 12, 2010
pooch in San Diego

Any feedback on CSAs (community supported agriculture)?

We signed up for a 4-week trial at Seabreeze and I cannot say that I am very pleased with it. I chose them because they deliver to your door and with work schedules, I knew it would be difficult to pick up mid-day at some of the drop locations for other CSAs. For example, for approximately $60/week (I chose large box with fruit) last week I received maybe 2-3 oranges, 3 apples, 2 avocados, 1 tomatoe, 6 small carrots, a bouquet of flowers and a bunch of different greens. The quality is great, everything is tasty, but I feel like the price is very excessive for what you get. For me personally, I am not a huge fan of cooked greens (and I am not sure that swiss chard and the like are very tasty raw), so the offerings have not been to my liking. I also know that for $60, I could go to the farmers market and get a LOT more for $60.

However, I cannot always make it to the farmers market and having this box of veggies and fruit "forced" upon me has resulted in me eating many more veggies and fruits, so I do not consider it a total failure. I signed up for Be Wise Ranch, which requires a pickup but the location is right on my way home from work so it should work. It looks to be about half the price so hopefully this one works better for me.

Mar 15, 2010
pooch in San Diego

Dinner delivered in Carmel Valley area

I live in CV and, as far as I can tell, the pickings are quite slim on delivery options. All that I have found is Oggi's pizza, which has pastas and a few other entrees in addition to pizzas. It's a step up from dominoes and the like, but I find the pizza's way too bready and not that exciting.

Otherwise, you might want to check out restaurantsontherun.com. They will deliver from many local restaurants. Be warned, however, that they charge a pretty steep delivery fee and you need to order well in advance if you want something at a particular time.

Feb 24, 2010
pooch in San Diego

Yakyudori Rev. 2.0 - Nabesan does it again!

Question: Does Yakyudori do takeout? I presume this type of thing is enjoyed best at the restaurant piping hot and fresh, but I wasn't sure if it would be sacrelige to request isome ramen "to go."

Feb 03, 2010
pooch in San Diego

Shimbashi-New Izakaya In Del Mar

Not too busy. I would say 3/4 full. The place is pretty small...maybe 6 tables of 4 plus a sushi bar. There is also a u-shaped bar that seats around 12. I have not seen any advertising and the location in the plaza is not likely to get much pedestrian traffic. It did have a nice vibe and is very unique to that neighborhood. Because the food is so far off of the offerings in the usual japanese restaurants in North County (no teriyaki chicken to be found) I hope that it works out for them.

Jun 08, 2009
pooch in San Diego

Shimbashi-New Izakaya In Del Mar

We tried out this recently-opened restaurant in the Del Mar Plaza this Sunday and thought it was really quite good. (It is in the same spot as the sushi restaurant used to be, but has been extensively remodelled). I am far from an expert on this type of Japanese food, but I thought it was really good. The menu was not as varied as Sakura and Okan, and was certainly much more pricey. Apparently all of the veggies are organic and come from Chino Farms and I believe they said the meat was "local" as well. We tried a sashimi salad (excellent), specialty sushi roll (very good), gyoza (best I've ever had), tempura (good, but not as good as Okan) and a few other dishes I can't remember. We at a lot, and it was close to $50/person.

All in all a welcome addition to the neighborhood, but because of the prices I cannot put it on my everyday rotation. I realize the rent can't be cheap there and they use high quality ingredients, but I will have to reserve the spot for special occasions. I am not sure if the Del Mar crowd will warm up to this type of restaurant, but I sure hope it works out.

Jun 08, 2009
pooch in San Diego

Which 3rd Corner is better?

I like the original (I assume you mean Ocean Beach and not Oceanside) better. The menus are largely identical from what I recall and I found the food eqivalent during my one trip to Encinitas. The Encinitas location has more seating and easier parking, although I have never had a problem finding street parking within a couple of blocks of the OB location. I think the reason I like OB better is that it has more of a homey ambiance, while the Encinitas location feels more stip mall restaurant to me, if that makes any sense. Be prepared for a wait at the OB location...we have had to wait up to an hour for a table of 4 during prime time. However, you can spend your time picking out wines for dinner and testing them out at the bar.

Jan 29, 2009
pooch in San Diego

Delicious Eats around La Jolla for Large Party

$25-30 a person limits things a bit but if your coworkers are into greek/middle eastern food you could have quite a feast for that amount. Alborz in Del Mar (persian and greek) has a lot of space and could probably accomodate you. Likewise, Cafe Athena (Greek) in PB has a room on the side that I have seen large groups take over.

I was at Brockton Villa for brunch on Suday (not the best food, but the view was to die for) and they had a huge table (proably 25 people) set up on the balcony for some sort of family gathering. You could probably get away with that price range there.

Also, not exactly chowish, but PF Changs always has a lot of big groups and (most) people seem to enjoy it.

As far as Italian I would imagine Piatti and/or Osteria Romantica in La Jolla Shores would set something up for you, but it might be a bit tough to keep it in your price range.

May 20, 2008
pooch in California

Tahini in San Diego?

I recently bought tahini at Vons. It comes in a can (I think green?) in the "international foods" aisle. Trader Joe's also has a tahini dip (?) in the fridge section near the hummus, however the consistency is different than straight tahini.

Apr 07, 2008
pooch in San Diego

San Diego Restaurant Week 2008

Market attire is dressy casual to somewhat dressy. I have seen people in jeans with a button up shirt, but I think most men were in slacks/polo shirt/button shirt when I went.

We hit up Laurel last night. Mixed reviews...the lobster fritters were cold and tasteless, the salmon had good flavor, but was WAY undercooked, The surf and turf (I think they called it land and sea) got rave reviews. I don't eat lamb, but the two people who ordered it in our group were quite pleased. And the chocolate banana bread pudding with peanut butter ice cream was superb. I need to find out where they buy that ice cream and/or if they make it themselves, if they will sell it to me. Yum.

Jan 28, 2008
pooch in San Diego

San Diego/La Jolla & Soccer Tornament

Do you know where in La Jolla you are staying? (e.g. UTC area or downtown La Jolla). It is only about a 10 minute drive to one or the other, but working in the UTC area I would say that it is mostly chain restaurant hell. Although a couple of the chains aren't so bad (Roy/s (hawaiian/asian fusion) and Sammy's come to mind). As far as your group dinner, not exactly chowish, but there is a place called Pat & Oscars a couple of exits up the freeway in Carmel Valley. They have a covered outdoor patio where I quite frequently see large groups including soccer/baseball teams. They have chicken/pasta/salad/pizza/sandwiches, although I would personally stick to the chicken and salads as I find the pizza pretty bad. It is pretty reasonable (probably around $10/person) and I am sure they are accomodating to big groups of even rowdy kids.

Again, not chowish, but decent food if you pick the right thing and it might be up your alley in terms of menu and price.

Asian inspired, you might want to look at Roy's and Roppongi, both in the La Jolla/UTC area.

Jan 28, 2008
pooch in California

Where are the SD bakeries?

I second (third?) the rec. for Village Mill. If you take Del Mar Heights east off the 5 and turn right on El Camino, you will see the mall. Excellent breads (my office always begs for me to bring in the Italian Parm. bread, which I find a bit salty but they adore), the challah is quite good and they also have really good scones, cinnamon rolls and the like. Mmmm.

Dec 12, 2007
pooch in California

Italian San Diego

One place that I do not see mentioned much here (or maybe I'm the only one who likes it) is Trattoria Romantica in La Jolla Shores. I am not quite sure what qualifies as "New Jersey" Italian, but if that is something like FIllipes, then this might not fit the bill because I get the sense that itis more Italian Italian food as opposed to American Italian. Regardless, everyone we have taken there loves it. The pumpkin ravioli special a few weeks ago was fantastic. Not exactly kid friendly, but it seems to be family run and I'm sure kids would be welcome.

Nov 20, 2007
pooch in California

Del Mar (CA) Dinner recs

Also Cafe Del Mar is pretty good for breakfast and dinner. Nothing spectacular but decent and reasonably priced food in a nice outdoor setting (no view). I would skp the food at En Fuego, but the drinks are good and it is a fun bar setting. Up the street a bit in Solana Beach (if you have a car), you might also want to check out Beach Grass Cafe (known for breakfast but not bad for dinner and pretty casual). There are not too many cheap places in Del Mar proper, other than Board & Brew which is not open for dinner.

Oct 25, 2007
pooch in California

Are there Dog-Friendly restaurants in San Diego?

Yep, if you check out the "indulge outside" section you can click to see the dog menu:

www.pacificcoastgrill.com/

I have only seen maybe one or two other dogs when I have gone, which is probably a good thing so that they don't start fighting over the dog burgers.

Oct 15, 2007
pooch in California

Are there Dog-Friendly restaurants in San Diego?

I would suggest Pacific Coast Grill in Solana Beach. The food is decent (nothing spectacular) but for $5 they will bring your pooch a giant burger (no bun), turkey burger or chicken and rice served up in a dog bowl. My dog starts salivating when we get to the parking lot.

Oct 15, 2007
pooch in California

Looking for Potato Salad (San Diego)

Or were you possibly thinking of East Coast Deli? They were in an office building on Executive Drive right across from the Wells Fargo building, the one with (former) Tutto Mari (curently Venice). They up and disappeared about 6 months ago, but IMO were the best deli around this are. Boars Head meats, interesting combinations, good prepared salads.

Oct 09, 2007
pooch in California

Urban Solace in San Diego

We too went there this weekend. It was a mixed review. After having waited 40 minutes (they said a 20 minute wait, but they're small and new so I don't fault them) they offered us to sit outside because they did not know how much longer it would be. They admitted the seats were not near heat lamps, but we decided to freeze because we were starving (and noted that the patio was quite empty so we could have sat there from the get go).

Some folks ordered soup, I ordered the butternut squash and goat cheese dip. The soups came and were tasty, but lukewarm, which was quite a disappointment because we were looking to warm up. About 20 minutes later, I inquired about the dip and was told that it wouldn't be coming out until after the entrees (???) so I cancelled the order.
I had the chicken and dumplings, which was tasty, but not spectacular and quite a small portion compared to the rest of the entrees. Someone else had the lobster pot pie which was quite yummy. The salmon BLT was also a hit. The waiter offered us a dessert for free due to the dip issue, which I thought was nice. We had the peanut butter and chocolate creme brulee. It was quite tasty. However, the chocolate layer at the bottom of the dish was quite watery. So visually a little off, but the taste was divine.

Another complaint is that the website said that they validate parking at the lot across the street, the waiter confirmed it and "validated" the parking ticket. When we got to the gate, the attendant said "we don't validate for them" and we had to pay $5. I think this was an issue with the parking lot and not the restaurant, but it did leave a bit of a bad taste in our mouth on the way out, because we would have found street parking if not for the representations of validated parking.

Overall, an enjoyable place and I think it will be quite good once the kinks get worked out.

Oct 07, 2007
pooch in California

Sunday Brunch/Lunch Spot (San Diego)

Thanks for all the suggestions. We ended up going with JRDN, which worked out quite well. The view was spectacular, parking was easy (3 hours free valet with validation) and the food was good (but I wouldn't say great). It was surprisingly "reaonable" for being in a hotel. My friend had some ricotta stuffed french toast with blueberry cream that was outstanding. I wish I had ordered that! I had the crab cake benedict which was quite tasty. I would definitely go back.

Sep 24, 2007
pooch in California

Sunday Brunch/Lunch Spot (San Diego)

I am looking for a good brunch/lunch spot for a group of 6 people plus newborn for this sunday. We would be fine with something "lunchy" and don't require breakfast/brunch food, but wouldn't mind it either. Probably something in the area of Claremont to Solana Beach. Because of the baby, plus some time restrictions, I would like somewhere where we can make reservations because this crowd will not be down with long wait to be seated (last time I asked about brunch, someone suggested Beach Grass Cafe, which looked awesome but the wait was well over an hour and some grumpies in my party refused to wait that long).
Price wise, I would say not any , and we are not looking for a buffet. Also, somewhere loud enough where a crying baby won't cause too much of a scene. I am thinking about JRDN. Anyone have any thoughts there?

Thanks!

Sep 21, 2007
pooch in California

Countries largest wine menu in San Diego?

I did a quick google and found the website:

http://www.decanterwinelounge.com/

It looks like it is way out in RSF near a new development called "Cielo". The website does claim 200 wines by the glass and says it is opening this Fall. Hopefully soon!

Sep 14, 2007
pooch in California

Has Anyone Tried Eda-Mami Sushi in Del Mar?

I have not been, but a couple of my neighbors were raving about the gnocchi there (I think it's called Ponte Vecchio (excuse my italian spelling). As an aside, the neighbors also said that they are very dog friendly for those who wish to dine on the patio. The first time we tried to go to Eda-Mami (when it had not yet opened) we stopped by the Italian place, which had a 20 minute wait at 8 p.m., which seemed like a lot for Del Mar at that hour. So it may be advisable to make reservations if you want to try it out.

Sep 14, 2007
pooch in California

Has Anyone Tried Eda-Mami Sushi in Del Mar?

So I finally tried this place last night. Apparently it opened last Thursday. Other than a few kinks in the service, I would give it a B+ for food and would definitely go back again. When we first got there, there were at least 3 or 4 empty tables and another couple waiting to be seated. The hostess (who I am guessing is one of the owners) took about 5 minutes to imput something on the computer, asked for my name and then sat the other couple. About 5 minutes later, she finally sat us. It was odd that she made us wait 10 minutes for a table that was about 5 feet from the hostess stand and had been set up and empty the whole time.

Anyways, our server came promptly and took a drink order. We then started ordering sushi and were informed that the were out of snow crab (boo!). A couple of other things we ordered she had to go back and check with the sushi chef to see if they had. The sushi took a while to come out, and she came by with an order of complimentary edamami and apologized for the wait and asked if we wanted any free soup while we waited (we declined).

The atmosphere was pretty "yuppy" for a sushi restaurant, but was pleasant, with a nice view of Torrey Pines beach from the patio. There were a couple of flat screens, neutral paint and wood floors. Although we had sushi, a peek at the menu revealed that they had a variety of japanese dishes including udon, yakitori, tempura, etc. (and the plates going by looked good) as well as bulgolgi (sp) and a few other meat items.

Finally, the sushi arrived. We had gone pretty light on the ordering so did not get to try much of a variety. First off, the salmon nigiri was pretty good. The two rolls we ordered were really good, although one was spicy (which I don't mind, but my BF does) and had no indication of spicy on the description. Definitely not traditional japanese style sushi or cuisine, but a much better alternative to the two strip mall sushi places in close vicinity to my house.

All in all, a good addition to the neighborhood. For what I presume is a pretty hefty rent, coupled with the "nice" atmosphere (as compared to the many divey sushi joints around town), the prices were reasonable. Nigiri was in the range of $4-5. The rolls were from $6-13 (for the fancier ones). They took off 25% for the "grand opening special", which the waitress said was going on through next month.

Sep 12, 2007
pooch in California