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Drinks and apps at Tom Ham's Lighthouse.

I haven't posted here in forever but I had such a terrible experience at Tom Ham's on Saturday night that I feel compelled to share. In short, the service was uncomfortably, embarrassingly awkward. It was so bad that when the server came to tell us that they were out of the special I ordered (20 minutes after I ordered it), we decided to cut our losses and leave after the apps. Our mussels were served with stale bread and the "mignonette" with the oysters was just a ramekin of vinegar. We were never able to flag anyone down to get cocktail forks for the oysters, and we took matters into our own hands and stole knives from another table in order to saw through the tough tenderloin tips.

The view was excellent.

Jul 08, 2013
bethsd in San Diego

Bistro 60 (nee SD Desserts)?

We live right down the street and go pretty frequently- it is a great place to have in the neighborhood. Very much like "Cheers" where everyone knows your name. Regulars are even given wine glasses with their names on them. Solid, reasonably priced comfort food, good wine selections, and live music on the patio most nights. I recommend checking them out on facebook or twitter where they post on their specials every day. They get their fresh pasta from Assenti's so when I see it as a special, I make an extra effort to stop in.

Feb 28, 2013
bethsd in San Diego


This might sound like a strange option, but I had a wonderful sope at Alchemy last week. Much thicker than typical, but moist, flavorful masa and delicious shredded pork. I like the toppings on the sopes at El Comal, but find the cakes to be hit and miss with consistency.

Nov 10, 2010
bethsd in San Diego

10 Best Things to Eat in San Diego

Stone porter milkshake, Ritual Tavern
Pozole (red), El Comal
White bean puree appetizer, Jayne's
Schnitzel and gruyere spaetzle, Jayne's
Tuna nicoise, Tender Greens
Spicy tuna on eggplant tempura, Red Pearl Kitchen
Whole belly fried clams, Studio Diner
Mushroom/ricotta pizza, Luigi's
Potabello poblano quesadilla, Ortega's
Any pasta dish, Antica Trattoria

Jan 10, 2010
bethsd in San Diego

seeking apps /drinks type venue in San Diego

Mosaic Wine Bar in North Park is similar to Wine Steals- you can buy whole bottles and only pay a $5 corkage fee which makes it a fantastic deal for a large party (and even for 2 of us). You can take any bottles that you don't finish home with you. They also have a good selection of flatbread pizzas. They will reserve a space in the back that's great for mingling- couches and high tops- if you call in advance. Or, you can get a large table by the window if it's a nice day.

May 13, 2009
bethsd in San Diego

Chive Restaurant in San Diego Closed?

It closed about a month ago- I don't have any more info about it. I hope we don't see a wave of these...

Nov 25, 2008
bethsd in California

New Jersey Pork Roll in San Diego

You can also buy Taylor Pork Roll at Iowa Meat Farms. We fry it up and serve it with eggs for breakfast, or on a roll with melted cheese. I always thought I enjoyed it so much because of the nostalgia- it is interesting to hear from someone trying it for the first time as an adult.

Nov 18, 2008
bethsd in San Diego

Crazy Burger in SD-feedback?

Tioli's has a veggie burger, and more options if your vegetarian friends eat fish. I tried their salmon burger last week and it was pretty tasty- although a little bit overcooked. Their hamburgers are good, but that said, I agree with Josh that I would choose the Ritual over Tioli's. Both the portobello sandwich and the burger at the Ritual are better than their counterparts at Tioli's, and as a bonus, you can get the porter shake for dessert.

Oct 08, 2008
bethsd in California

Peking Duck in SD?

We had perfect fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth Peking Duck when we were in Philly a few weeks ago and are craving it again. Any suggestions?

Sep 20, 2008
bethsd in California

Bun in San Diego

I actually had a not so great experience with the bun at the Ca Dao on El Cajon on Monday, but it could be because I got it to go. Believe it or not I really enjoyed the bun at the Pho Superbowl in La Mesa.

Sep 04, 2008
bethsd in San Diego

San Diego Take-out for Dinner Party

It's probably about 30 blocks from you, but BMH Italian Deli at 76th & El Cajon has great take out- I have served their meatballs and sauce, antipasto, and lasagna for parties before and people rave.


Aug 29, 2008
bethsd in California

Dive Bars..San Diego

It's a good place to get a beer- if you don't mind a slightly smelly carpeted floor. No food- no exciting wine list- but stiff cocktails and they are usually kind enough to card me. It is a mix between college age kids and the 30-40ish crowd and most people look like they just rolled out of bed. Pool tables and dart boards and high tops.

Aug 22, 2008
bethsd in San Diego

Dive Bars..San Diego

I'm with you- a good dive bar makes me forget I am in sunny, shiny CA and brings me home to Philadelphia. The Waterfront is my favorite hands down. We also like the Alibi in Hillcrest and the Kensington Club. When we stay closer to home we hit the Library in San Carlos and Pete's Place in La Mesa. Gotta love a bar with no windows.

Aug 22, 2008
bethsd in San Diego

Costo Single Malt Scotch in San Diego

I'm on my way! Thank you!!

Aug 11, 2008
bethsd in California

Costo Single Malt Scotch in San Diego

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal last week about 18-year old Macallan-made whisky selling at Costco under the Kirkland brand:


Apparently, 20 years ago, Macallan was producing more than it could sell, and so they sold off some of their surplus to independant bottlers. Now, Costco is selling the 18yr Macallan for only $60 and I would love to find some. I tried La Mesa Costco yesterday without success. Has anyone seen this at another SD area Costco?

Aug 11, 2008
bethsd in California

Comic-con still need some help (SD)

Yes- great research! I would second Alice's response that Cowboy Star might be more fun than Donovan's- especially for a 15 yr old. I haven't been to the downtown Donovan's yet, but the one in La Jolla is quite formal and I found Cowboy Star to be much more relaxed. The service was excellent, just in more casual atmosphere. For pizza, if you want to sit down (vs. Ciro's takeout) try Basic Urban. It may assault your husband's ear drums, but the pizza is quite good.



Jul 22, 2008
bethsd in California

Yogurtland in the College Area (SD)

This could be dangerous... Yogurtland has opened up within walking distance of my house and I went for the first time last night. The problem is, I went again for lunch today. What a great treat! I haven't had tart frozen yogurt before, so I can't compare it to Yogurt World, Pinkberry, or any of the others I have read about, but at least I can finally say that I understand the craze. It is absolutely delicious.

The store is in the Von's shopping center at College & El Cajon and has been open for a week or two. They have about 12-15 flavors of yogurt available for self serve - I can attest that the plain tart and the cafe con leche are both great choices. There are literally dozens of toppings including fresh fruit, mini-cheesecake bits, and even captain crunch. At $0.30/ounce at least my new habit won't break the bank! I might have to go back tonight to try the green tea...or maybe the mango...oh dear.

Jul 17, 2008
bethsd in California

Coming to San Diego for a Bachelor weekend. Looking for good eats.

I'll second Cowboy Star- I agree that it has a better atmosphere and I also think that it has a more interesting menu that Donovan's or the Palm. Items like seared scallops with foie gras and the bison ribeye take it to a different level. If you want to go the more traditional route- I think I heard that Donovan's has opened a new location in the Gaslamp.

Jul 15, 2008
bethsd in California

Sushi Pizza- California specialty?!

I was in Toronto last week and sampled the sushi pizza out of curiosity. I have to admit that when it arrived at the table we all sat mutely staring for a minute. It did not look particularly appetizing. After we all tried it, we agreed that it was pretty good. It did not resemble the pizza roll served at Japengo and elsewhere in SD at all, but I can see how the similarity in names could cause some confusion about origin. I have to say that while I would rush back to Toronto for another peameal bacon sandwich, hot dog with corn relish, dim sum lunch, or even a double double with dutchie timbits, I wouldn't rush back for another sushi pizza...

Jul 14, 2008
bethsd in California

Prepared Foie Gras in San Diego

We went to Cowboy Star recently and had really good sweetbreads for an appetizer and then a totally decadent main course of scallops topped with foie. We were sharing and 3 of us were practically stabbing each other with our forks trying to get to the scallops.

Jul 11, 2008
bethsd in California

stone road grill - notl

We just ate there a few days ago and the experience was absolutely wonderful. The charcuterie plate was exceptional with a liver mousse that was cool and creamy and almost tasted like ice cream. It also had amazing, bison, venison, and a variety of homemade chutneys and condiments. Really a special dish and a large portion. The 3P risotto (peas, prosciutto, and parmesan) was delicious, but tiny- it seemed almost like a tease. The goat cheese tart that was topped with arugula that was really unique and addictive- the crust had a sweetness to it that almost made it taste like dessert. Lamb 3 ways was a big hit as was the flatiron steak. The desserts were probably the least memorable part of the meal- we had the creme brulee and the banana split. And eatereater123 was right about the breads- the cabernet bread was- oh- too good to describe.

Jul 03, 2008
bethsd in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Little Italy San Diego

It is Argentinian, but like many Argentinian restaurants it has an Italian-influenced menu. Really great calamari and pastas- it is usually my first choice in Little Italy as well with Buon Appetito running a close second.

May 28, 2008
bethsd in San Diego

Good Eats in Little Italy

I used to be a restaurant mgr in Philly and am now a fan of the Better Half so I am just curious- which restaurant did the owner used to manage there?

May 16, 2008
bethsd in San Diego

Help me plan my meals in San Diego

The Ritual Tavern in North Park has a very tasty vegan portobello sandwich and a vegan shepherd's pie. They work hard to accomodate people with dietary restrictions- my mother is gluten-free and dairy-free and they took terrific care to make her comfortable.

Apr 20, 2008
bethsd in California

Casual dinner tomorrow in Miramesa (SD)

Thanks for the tip- we ended up at Mr. Wasabi and it is the perfect spot for post hockey. Great hamachi nigiri!!

Apr 13, 2008
bethsd in California

Casual dinner tomorrow in Miramesa (SD)

Aha- two words- and Callahan's looks perfect. Thank you very much!!!

Apr 11, 2008
bethsd in California

Casual dinner tomorrow in Miramesa (SD)

My husband is playing hockey at 6pm tomorrow night at the rink in Miramesa. He'll be showered and done by about 7:45, and will be hungry. Miramesa is a pretty unfamiliar area to me- all I can think of in the neighborhood is a sea of chain restaurants. I did a search of Miramesa on the board and didn't find anything at all. Is there anywhere we could get a good dinner and a couple of beers in a place we can go in jeans and sweatshirts? We like all types of food.

Apr 11, 2008
bethsd in California

Best Upscale Italian San Diego

Here's a second vote for Antica Trattoria. I was there last night and had housemade sacchette (beggar's purse shaped pasta) stuffed with wild mushrooms in a cherry tomato sauce with asparagus and sausage. I literally had to fight off my dining companions who kept attacking my dish with their forks. Dinner for three with appetizers, wine, and a great cannoli was $115.

Apr 08, 2008
bethsd in California

San Diego- Chilean, Argentinean, Peruvian?

We came back from two weeks in Argentina and went on a tear looking for good Argentinean food here in SD. We started at Pampas and the food is good, but it isn't anything we have rushed back for. They have tango dancers swirling around the dining room which sounds interesting, but ends up feeling gimmicky. I think that Puerto La Boca in Little Italy is a much better choice both for food and atmosphere. Their entrana has made us repeat visitors, the staff is mostly Argentinean and extremely friendly, they have a strong Argentinean focused wine list, and the atmosphere is perfect for a special birthday dinner. It's also a really quick cab ride away from the gaslamp.


Mar 18, 2008
bethsd in San Diego

Cafe Bleu (SD)

I would use the coupon. I went for the first time a few weeks ago and enjoyed it- it is reasonably priced, has a good atmosphere, good service and good (not spectacular) food. I really liked that they had a nice wine list and you could order 2 ounce tastes of various wines. They also have a daily cheese selection with probably a dozen cheeses that you can order in groups of 3,5, or 7. Our cheese plate and our appetizer (some sort of small beef tips topped with gorgonzola- unbelievably rich and delicious) were the best parts of our meal. I had the bouillabase- it was good, but I would have enjoyed it much more with bread than with the rock hard crouton they served with it. My husband's lamb was actually better- and was cooked perfectly. 2 for 1- give it a shot!

Mar 03, 2008
bethsd in California