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SD - Ideas for fun restaurant for Sweet 16 party?

cgfan, dantaat and all- Thanks for the great info. We still haven't finalized anything, but her b'day will be here in 2 wks so she/we need to decide asap and are enjoying thinking about the many possibilities. Thanks again.

Jan 06, 2010
susan3733 in San Diego

SD: Restaurant Week

Yes, I've been there twice in the past couple months, both times for lunch, not dinner, but I believe the starters are the same.

The standout was the beet salad - although I've had many other beet salads, this one was exceptional. It was full of little yellow and red beets, cooked to perfection, with some bleu cheese and was served with some sort of nut brittle (a unique twist on similar salads that use sugary nuts). It had a great carmelized yogurt dressing. Yes, carmelized yogurt, is what I think the menu said. I don't know how they carmelize yogurt, but it was truly delicious. I loved it so much that I ordered the beets again the 2nd visit and would highly recommend this dish.

For main lunch dishes, I had the Maine lobster salad (couldn't resist, being an east coaster. It was not the very best ever but did not disappoint because it was one of the only Maine lobster dishes I've had in SD that tasted like authentic, sweet, fresh Maine lobster). On my 2nd lunch visit, I had the Cobb salad, which was fine but not very memorable. My dining companions had the Reuben panini, which he raved over and looked delicious, and then a fish dish with fava beans (maybe halibut?), which she loved.

All in all, we were very impressed with the high quality and fresh flavors. For lunch, the outdoor seating area on the deck is spectacular with a great view of the ocean. For dinner, when it's chillier, the indoor dining room is lovely as well - chic with good energy but not too noisy. I believe you can also request an outdoor cabana at night, which would make it extra fun. That beet salad will go down as one of my favorite dishes in '09.

1540 Camino, Del Mar Del Mar, CA

Jan 04, 2010
susan3733 in San Diego

SD...Any big plans for New Year's Eve?

Normally, we stay in and make a great meal, but this year although I had lots of good ideas, we found ourselves at home at 5ish after a busy day capped off by a nice long walk on the beach at low, low tide. We had no reservations and not much food in the house. I was thinking about running out to Jimbo's for their marinated tri tip to throw on the grill, but then my husband remembered he had a gift cert for Pacifica (right down the street from us) from a year or so ago.

I hate to admit it, but the reason the gift cert had gone unused for so long is that we're not big fans of the place, but when we called, they said it was first come, first served, but they could probably seat our family of 4 in the bar area and we could order off the menu and wouldn't have to do the 4-course dinner (which, I think, was $54/pp and seemed like a lot of food and too much of a commitment). Sounded good to us so off we went around 6pm. We found a nice corner table in the bar area, where my husband and I started off with delicious cocktails and our daughters had fun drinks. Some good olive bread was brought to the table, which we enjoyed.

For dinner, I ordered the barramundi with lobster and spaetzle, one daughter ordered rack of lamb, the other ordered filet mignon, and hubby ordered the roast chicken. All of it was much better than anticipated and was quite delicious. I've always thought the food at Pacifica was fine but not outstanding, but I have to say that my barramundi was really exceptional. It was seared well on the outside, and very moist on the inside, and was served on top of a bed of yummy spaetzle and big chunks of lobster with pieces of wilted spinach. The sauce was buttery and a little lemony, and I enjoyed every last bite. Actually, I traded a few bites with my daughters, and found their lamb and steak to be excellent, too. I can't recall how the steak was exactly prepared, but it was cooked to a perfect medium rare and was very tasty. The lamb was done in a hoisin BBQ glaze, which I loved, and had some sort of slightly minty sauce/jus around it.

So, all in all, Pacifica was an unexpected hit and a really fun night out. Afterwards, we came home and played a marathon game of Monopoly and tried to keep our eyes open until midnight. Some of us were successful, some not. Happy new year!

Jan 02, 2010
susan3733 in San Diego

SD - Ideas for fun restaurant for Sweet 16 party?

Very cool!! Love the Kous-Kous idea, and many of the others. Thanks so much for helping me out.

Jan 02, 2010
susan3733 in San Diego

SD - Ideas for fun restaurant for Sweet 16 party?

Thanks for the great suggestions.

Cafe Sevilla looks interesting, but maybe a tad above the girls' age range...from the Cafe Sevilla website, the photos make it look like they're geared towards the 21 and above crowd with table/bottle service, etc. Do you have any thoughts on this? The flamenco or salsa dance shows would be a big hit - my daughter and most of her friends take hip hop or modern dance classes and love anything to do with dancing.

I'll also check into Oton or Yakitori Yakyudori, both of which we've been meaning to try. More suggestions greatly appreciated! Thanks again.

Dec 31, 2009
susan3733 in San Diego

SD - Ideas for fun restaurant for Sweet 16 party?

We're looking for a good place to take our daughter and 6 or so of her friends for a special, yet relaxed and fun, 16th b'day dinner. We are not looking to do an "over the top" sweet 16 party, but just give her a memorable evening. Hubby and I are almost 50 so we're pretty out of touch with places that have a younger vibe and we don't go to the Gaslamp or other trendy parts of town very much...our "go to" places are Kaito, Bety's tacos and Sab e Lee, and our kids all love ethnic food, but this time maybe we need something a little different...young, hip and festive with a bit of a "wow" factor without going over the top (no Mr. A's, etc). We're open in terms of location. Any ideas? Many thanks in advance.

Dec 30, 2009
susan3733 in San Diego

San Diego Best/Worst Neighborhoods for Restaurants

The kabob place in Poway was called Pamir Kabob and, unfortunately, they moved to Temecula. It was an excellent and unique restaurant.

We live in Del Mar and are always complaining that we can't find any "go to" places that we crave for dinner on a frequent basis. We've basically just stopped going out to places in our immediate vicinity and instead head 15 mins north to Kaito or a few other places in Encinitas or 20 mins down to Kearney Mesa/Convoy St area, No. Park or, more recently, a little further to Linda Vista to go to Sab-e-Lee for Thai.

I have to disagree with the other poster about some of the Del Mar restaurants mentioned as being good...we think Pamplemousse is waaaaay overrated (we call it pompous-mousse), we find Red Tracton's kind of cool in that old-school steakhouse way but we wish their bland food was worth the price they charge, and the only other two worth considering are Market and Kitchen 1540...both are pricey, special occasion places (Market more than 1540) and yet we still would much rather spend our money at Kaito and find it way more interesting and delicious.

Obviously, those choices are a reflection of our particular taste...just my two cents.

Feb 21, 2009
susan3733 in San Diego

SD Valentine's Dinner Reviews

We're anti-Valentine's Day, too, and we had friends in town this weekend (visiting from LA). Our party was 3 kids and 3 adults, and although we had planned to stay in, at the last minute, we decided to go to Sab-e-Lee. Late in the day, we made a res for 6:30 (no problem) and when we arrived the place was empty, but by 7 it was full with a line out the door.

We had a great meal, and our LA friends (obviously, being from LA) know and love their Thai food so we were curious to see what they - they loved it and were still raving about it the next day.

We ordered a bunch of food although all of us loved our dishes so much that there was not a lot of sharing going on, and also a couple of us were fighting colds. We had two orders of beef phad see ewe (still my favorite dish there - love the smokiness of the beef), chicken wings (the only "miss" - we all thought they were a tad greasy), veg fried rice (pretty standard but delicious), phad thai with shrimp (delicious), papaya salad (incredibly spicy - way more than the "3" that we ordered it on the spicy scale but very delicious), Rahd Na with shrimp (our LA guy tought this was the best he'd had), yellow curry w/tofu for the visiting vegetarian 12-yr old (who kept saying it was the best curry she'd had) and chicken larb (fantastic with the perfect amount of spiciness).

I think I'm forgetting something, but in any case, it was all truly outstanding (with the minor exception of the greasy chicken wings) and the cost was a bonus - I think it was well under $100 for the six of us. Even the 3 kids loved the meal. It was our kind of Valentine's dinner.

Feb 18, 2009
susan3733 in San Diego

The Naked Cafe--Solana Beach

We love this place and eat there frequently, but unfortunately, I found my favorite dish early on and have eaten it almost every single time we go - it's called Buff Breakfast Burritos and basically, they're egg burritos made with egg whites and veggies. Their salsa is delicious, too. Our running group meets at Naked Cafe frequently after our long runs because we can chow down and still feel (somewhat) healthy! Sometimes, there's a line out the door by mid-morning so you might want to call ahead. Also, technically it's an open-air restaurant although they do put down those plastic flaps when it gets cold, but it's not ideal on a chilly day.

Feb 14, 2009
susan3733 in San Diego

Rehearsal Dinner in SD area (Del Mar) for 60

Two options you might want to check out..sorry, I don't know how much they would cost - 1) Have you thought about doing a catered dinner at the Powerhouse Community Center at the beach? It's a great spot and I don't think it costs that much to rent it. You can call the City of Del Mar to check on it. You might be able to do a casual Italian dinner there for not as much as it would cost you at a restaurant, plus you might have more control over choice of food, wine and beverages. 2) Check out Giorgio's on Camino del Mar. It used to be called Osteria del Pescatore and the chef was Giorgio, but now it's just Giorgio's. Good Italian food. Here's a link -

Best Wishes!!

Aug 21, 2008
susan3733 in California

Del Mar area casual but good?

The farmer's market in Solana Beach has gotten much bigger and has added some great vendors. I think at this point it's larger than Del Mar. Solana Beach farmer's market is on Cedros Ave, down towards the Via de la Valle end of it, on Sundays from 2-5. Del Mar farmer's market is in the parking lot behind City Hall, just off Camino del Mar between 10th and 11th Streets and it takes place on Saturdays from 1-4.

Jul 30, 2008
susan3733 in California

Del Mar area casual but good?

Oh, that's a shame. As mentioned, I only tried it once, but I thought it had promise. So many of the places here in Del Mar are mediocre - we sure don't need another. I'm scheduled to meet a friend there next week, so I'll give it another try in the hopes that maybe it was an off day for them when you tried it.

Jul 28, 2008
susan3733 in California

Looking for delicous handmade pasta North County Farmers Market

Peggy's Pasta comes to the Del Mar farmer's market each Saturday with fantastic homemade pastas, excellent breads and desserts. I know she goes to other farmer's markets, too. Here's her website -

Jul 27, 2008
susan3733 in California

Del Mar area casual but good?

Crepes and Corks is definitely worth trying. I met friends there for lunch a few weeks ago and we all had delicious crepes and salads. The service was a little slow, but it looked like it was being operated by one guy (who was very friendly - perhaps the owner?) and one other server. It's pretty tiny - maybe 8 tables total, but very pleasant and casual. Very well prepared, fresh food with a European/French feel to it. We will definitely go back.

You can also try Stratford Court Cafe for very casual lunches on their outside deck. It's hard to find, tucked in behind some hedges on 13th Street, one block down from 101. Good salads, sandwiches, coffee drinks. I'd choose Crepes and Corks instead, but it's another option.

If you like Asian fusion/Chinese, check out Rendezvous in the Del Mar Plaza. We love their food, and get takeout from there every couple weeks. We always get the Crispy Pungent Chicken, and I have friends who love the Walnut Shrimp, but it's a little rich for me.

If you want a good gourmet grocery, I'd stay away from Harvest Ranch, except for in a pinch. The other closest places are Jimbo's, which would be my pick, and Eli's, which is next to Jimbo's in the Del Mar Highlands shopping center (lower part) on the corner of El Camino Real and Del Mar Heights Rd. Jimbo's is wonderful and has delicious prepared foods made w/organic ingredients. Eli's has a fabulous wine selection and a nice variety of other gourmet items and cheeses.


Jul 26, 2008
susan3733 in California

Lunch tomorrow (Sat) w/14-yr-old near Ahmanson theatre?

As a follow-up, we ended up at Kendall's Brasserie today because time was too tight to check out anyplace further away, and as previously reported here, it ranks somewhere between mediocre and poor. I had the Caesar salad w/shrimp (which, strangely, our waiter had raved about, telling me that the "Mediterranean" marinade for the shrimp made it extra special, yet it was nothing special at all, and the texture of the shrimp was a little mealy and clearly not best quality). My daughter had ravioli with arugala, which was very unremarkable and blah. She had a soda, and I had a glass of white burgundy (it was nice to see French whites by the glass on the menu) and the total before tip was $51. Oh well.

Next time, if we have a little more time, we'll definitely go elsewhere. It's a shame that the Patina Group restaurants have such a monopoly on the area.

I went by Traxx at the train station, and it wasn't open, but I made note of it for a future trip.

Jul 05, 2008
susan3733 in Los Angeles Area

Lunch tomorrow (Sat) w/14-yr-old near Ahmanson theatre?

I just checked out Pete's, and that's a little closer, so maybe that will work. Thanks again!

Jul 04, 2008
susan3733 in Los Angeles Area

Lunch tomorrow (Sat) w/14-yr-old near Ahmanson theatre?


Thanks so much for your reply.

Wood Spoon seems great, but I don't think we can quickly walk to/from the I mistaken? It looks like it's a little over a mile away and we'll be kind of tight for time. I'm not aware of the cab situation in downtown LA, but I don't recall seeing a lot of cabs there.

We'll pick up our tickets when the Ahmanson box office opens at noon, then we'll go get lunch and need to be back by the 2pm curtain time.

I have a feeling we'll end up at Kendall's Brasserie, since it's the only place I can find that's nearby and open on Saturdays for lunch, but maybe there's someplace else nearby.

Please let me know if you think of others. Thanks again!

Jul 04, 2008
susan3733 in Los Angeles Area

Lunch tomorrow (Sat) w/14-yr-old near Ahmanson theatre?

My 14-year-old daughter and I are taking the train up from San Diego tomorrow to see the 2pm matinee of "A Chorus Line" at the Ahmanson Theatre. I've searched the board and although the topic of pre-theatre dining has been discussed a lot, I can't find a place that sounds right for us for lunch tomorrow.

We'd like a place that's not as chi-chi as Patina. All cuisines are fine. Usually, we're pretty adventurous eaters, but this time we don't want to venture too far or try a real hole in the wall...still, I figure that there's got to be a good place somewhere nearby that hits the mark between a hole in the wall and a place like Patina.

I thought Promenade Restaurant sounded good from the reviews on this board, but their website mentions that they're not open for lunch on Sat. Maybe Kendall's Brasserie is a decent choice? Cafe Pinot sounded okay, but it's not open for lunch. I know there's a Roy's somewhere nearby, which might be okay, but I guess I was looking for something a little more interesting, not part of a high end (albeit usually very good) chain.

Parking is not an issue for us since we'll be taking public transportation or walking, but we'd like to be close to the theatre so we don't have far to go before showtime.

Any advice greatly appreciated. Happy 4th!

Jul 04, 2008
susan3733 in Los Angeles Area

Family friendly cheap(ish) eats near The London NYC hotel (54th btwn 6th&7th)?

Thanks, all, for the wonderful suggestions! Too bad we have such a tight timeframe. I used to live and work in the city, so it's going to be torture for me to be there for such a short time, but I'll hope to get back there soon (maybe without the kids so I can do some more serious chow-sampling).

Das Ubergeek, I loved your review of Carnegi Deli on your separate post, and thanks for the reassurance on the relaxed dress.

eeee, I appreciated hearing about Ariana Kebab House, and it started me off on another tangent, which is to look for good Afghan and other cuisine from that part of the world. Our girls were adopted from Kazakhstan, only a couple years ago, so they have vivid and very fond memories of the food in that part of the world. Although we have one good Afghan restaurant in San Diego (and a Russian/Georgian place that serves good eastern European food), we don't get to eat the cuisine that they remember from their early years very often. If possible, I'd like to do that during this trip.

I love all the other suggestions, too, and will keep the info from this post for future trips. Would love to still hear other ideas! Thanks again.

Jul 01, 2008
susan3733 in Manhattan

Family friendly cheap(ish) eats near The London NYC hotel (54th btwn 6th&7th)?

Our family of four (parents w/2 daughters ages 9 & 14) have a quick stopover planned in NYC during our August vacation.

We don't have much time - we arrive on a Friday morning and have to leave on Saturday afternoon, but we will have time for two lunches and one dinner. We're staying at the London NYC hotel and will hope to visit the Met, walk around Central Park, and maybe see a show depending on what's offered at the TKTS booth.

We like casual places, ethnic is a plus, nothing fancy at all (I will hope to convince my surfer husband to wear khakis and a buttondown shirt, but honestly, it's hard for me to get him to wear anything besides long shorts and a casual shirt...yikes...I am already cringing picturing us walking around Manhattan).

We don't want to spend a lot on meals, and this, plus our, ahem, wardrobe limitations, makes me think that maybe places on 9th Ave are the ticket for dinner on Fri night. After searching the board, I've come up w/the following possibilities:

Wondee Siam II (or perhaps Tai Thai Cafe or Yum Yum Bangkok if we're craving Thai?)
Taboon (or is this too pricey and/or fancy?)
Uncle Nick's
Turkish Kitchen
Anyplace in midtown west, Times Square or Hell's Kitchen area for excellent NY pizza?

We live in the San Diego area, so we get our fill of good Mexican, but any other ideas and opinions on the above are greatly appreciated.

Jun 29, 2008
susan3733 in Manhattan

Casual places near Park Plaza hotel (I'm craving lobster rolls, but my kids are not)!

Hello all,

Our family of four (hubby, two girls ages 9 & 14, and I) are coming into Boston for a quick stopover from August 9-11. We're staying two nights at the Park Plaza, doing the Freedom Trail, maybe the Duck Tour and then we need to head out quickly to visit family in VT.

I've spent most of my life on the east coast - living in NYC, Boston and CT - but we've now lived in CA for 5 years, so I'm feeling out of touch w/good Boston restaurants. Not only am I out of touch, but by now I am DESPERATELY CRAVING a delicious lobster roll. After perusing the board, I'm thinking maybe B&G Oyster is the place for me.

Any advice for good, but not too upscale, other places would be appreciated - not only for lobster rolls, but all kinds of chowish food. My husband and I will be scarfing down as many lobster rolls, clams and everything New England-y as we can, while the kids, although generally adventurous eaters, will probably be more inclined to lobby for places serving burgers, pizza and anything with noodles. They also like lamb, good shish-ka-bob, Chinese, Thai, etc - mostly anything that's casual and tasty.

All advice/opinions appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Jun 28, 2008
susan3733 in Greater Boston Area

Road tripping San Diego to Catalina

I love all of Enorah's suggestions above, which can all be found only about 20-30 mins north of La Jolla.

I'd add just one more, which is Raul's Shack on Coast Highway in Encinitas at the main intersection just west of the Encinitas sign that hangs over the road. Great Mexican food made by a Mexican mama and served by her son...or is she the grandma? Anyway, it's great stuff. Don't miss the Mexico city style chicken soup with lots of big chunks of avocado. We also love the chicken rolled tacos, fish tacos, and carne asada burritos there. Raul's is truly a shack with just a takeout window and a couple of picnic tables outside for seating. We always grab our food and go around the corner to Moonlight Beach, where we can sit and watch the sunset.

One nitpicky thing about the above list - I think Bety's is spelled with one "t" instead of two. That's a wonderful place, and would be a better choice if you prefer a sit-down (although still VERY casual) place that serves a nice cold beer with your delicious food. ENJOY!

Jun 07, 2008
susan3733 in California

North County SD reasonable and fancy Restaurants

Yes, I second that one! Pizza Port is one of our faves, but you have to like thick crust pizza. Love the beer. Hard to find a seat sometimes, but they do a big takeout business, too.

May 28, 2008
susan3733 in San Diego

North County SD reasonable and fancy Restaurants

LittleTricky, I feel your pain! We moved to Del Mar 5 yrs ago from the NYC area, and we keep thinking that we'll find a few favorite little places within a couple miles of our house that we can get excited about going to, but unfortunately, we've had a very similar experience to yours. I read these posts about places north and south of us that sound great, but right here in the Del Mar/Sol. Beach area, there just aren't a lot.

That said, here are some of our standbys for casual meals at local places -

So far, as with everyone here, Kaito is our favorite for awesome sushi. We like it so much that we'd usually opt to go to Kaito over just about any other restaurant in the area, but when we get home late or just don't feel like fighting the traffic to go north to Encinitas, we make other choices. If we're in the mood for sushi, we'll go to Masuo's in Solana Beach on 101. We like Masuo's, but again, Kaito is THE place for sushi.

Rendezvous in the Del Mar plaza does some interesting Chinese/Asian fusion, and we usually get takeout from them every week or two. Always fresh, flavorful (can be spicy if you like) and interesting. Very well done for what it is.

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza (part of a small, local semi-upscale chain) in the Del Mar Highlands shopping center has some nice salads - I like their chicken balsamic salad. Does a big business with movie-goers from the cinema next door. Very good but nothing fabulous.

We go to the Brigantine in Del Mar on the corner of 101/Via de la Valle occasionally for fish tacos and a margarita, and sit out on their deck if it's a nice day or late afternoon/evening. Good fish tacos, and my husband likes their burgers. Meals in their main dining room are overpriced - casual fare in the bar is the only way to go, IMHO.

We like Americana in Del Mar at the corner of 15th St and 101 for breakfast or a casual dinner. Nothing spectacular but good, fresh food made with good ingredients.

Down the street from Americana a few blocks south on 101/Camino Del Mar is a new spot called Crepes and Corks cafe. It's a cute little place (very little - maybe just 6 tables or so, most of them outdoors on the sidewalk in front of a real estate office). We had lunch there a couple weeks ago. The crepes were delicious, and I noticed they stay open some nights for dinner (although if I recall they close early) and serve wine. Could be a nice spot for a casual, inexpensive dinner of crepes and salad with a glass of wine. I had a delicious chicken and mushroom crepe with a Caesar salad, both of which were very good.

In the high end category, our local favorite is Market, and we have also had several delicious meals at Arterra in the Del Mar Marriott.

...and that's what we like these days for meals in the Del Mar/Solana Beach area. I'm sure there may be a few that I'm forgetting, but that's about it.

BTW, I completely agree with you that we can usually enjoy a much better meal at home. My husband and I have yet to find a restaurant that can cook a steak as well as we can on our backyard grill. We buy our steaks at Jimbo's (also in Del Mar Highlands), pick up a nice cabernet from Eli's wine shop next door, and we're all set.

I've started to realize that the places really worth the money spent are the ones that offer something unique that we cannot normally have at home (Kaito is a perfect example). I have no intention of boycotting local restaurants, and some nights, I simply appreciate just going out, but it would be so nice to find a few places that we feel really good about supporting on an ongoing basis (such as Kaito).

Good luck and let us know what else you find!

May 27, 2008
susan3733 in San Diego

Seafood shacks and/or kid friendly in Cannon Beach vicinity? Sidetrip to Mt St Helens?

Hello, All -

I've searched the board and found some great suggestions for spots around the coast, but I wanted to check in with all of you and make sure I'm on the right track. First, here's some background - our family of four (hubby, two daughters ages 9 & 14, and me) will be visiting relatives in Seattle in June, and will escape by ourselves for a quick 3-4 day trip (leaving Monday morning, returning to Seattle Thurs afternoon) down to the Oregon coast with a possible detour to Mt St Helens. If we find that we're trying to add on too much by going to Mt St Helens, we'll skip it. During our trip to the coast, we're making Cannon Beach our home base and will hope to explore north and south along the coast. We plan to hike at some of the state parks, ride bikes on the beach, etc.

I am a major foodie, but my husband is not so much and my kids, although they like to experiment a bit, are still only 9 and 14 yrs old and usually prefer pizza and burgers to most foods. I'm very excited about tasting oysters and crab and whatever other local interesting and/or ethnic specialties the area has to offer. I'm focusing mainly on seafood places but want to mix other types into the list - not super fancy places but hopefully places that will serve a glass of wine for me and a nice microbrew for hubby w/dinner.

Here's my list so far - In Cannon Beach: Ecola Seafood, In Seaside: Norma's Ocean Diner, In Astoria: the Stand (although we live outside of San Diego so we get our fair share of good tacos), Drina Daisy (Bosnian food sounds interesting!), In Bay City: Pacific Oyster. What do you think about these places? Any others?

One more question - if we go to Mt St Helens, we'll either stop there on our way to/from Seattle, or we will do it as a side trip one day from Cannon Beach. Any places along the way that shouldn't be missed? We love good Thai and I read about Pok Pok in Portland, which definitely appeals to us, so we may do that as we go through Portland one day. Wish we had time to make Portland a focus of the trip but I think that will have to wait for another trip.

As you can see, I'm a bit all over the place...any help you can offer is much appreciated!! Thank you!!

May 27, 2008
susan3733 in Pacific Northwest

Sandwiches in SD

Seisel's sandwiches are a great idea - very close and very good. Right next to that is Bay Park Fish Company, which makes a delicious grilled swordfish sandwich. I've run the R&R marathon a few times, and my pre-race meal is usually the BBQ chicken pizza at Calif Pizza Kitchen...I know it's a chain and you can probably find more interesting things to eat, but it did the trick for me - kinda bland but not too bland and the right mix of protein vs. carbs, if you know what I mean. Good luck in the marathon - it's SOOOO much fun!

May 24, 2008
susan3733 in California

Where can I buy a loaf of brioche in San Diego?

Village Mill Bakery in Del Mar Highlands shopping center off El Camino Real, next to Barnes & Noble has amazing mini-brioche rolls, but call first to make sure. They are really delicious and would be great in that recipe.

May 13, 2008
susan3733 in San Diego

Greasy spoon?

Village Kitchen in Ocean Beach

May 10, 2008
susan3733 in California

San Diego for a month

I can't comment on Scalini's as I've never been there, but here are a couple more suggestions (I live in Del Mar and have ventured out alone from time to time) -

1) if you like sushi, go west on Via de la Valle until it hits Coast Highway/101, take a right turn, and head less than a mile north. You will find Masuo's on the west side of 101 before it intersects with Lomas Santa Fe, and you can enjoy a nice meal at the sushi bar, where you can order good sushi, various rolls, tempura and/or teryaki. The staff is very friendly and it's a good place to eat alone. Our absolute favorite place for sushi is Kaito, further north in Encinitas, which is mentioned here frequently, but Masuo's is great if you're looking for something closer on a weeknight. 2) Obviously it's a chain, but I've always found Calif. Pizza Kitchen (near Masuo's on the west side of 101) to be good and the bar is a decent place to enjoy a glass of wine, watch the guys cook pizzas and have a nice salad or pizza. Very casual and decent food. 3) The Fish Market in Del Mar (at the corner of Stevens Ave and Via de la Valle, opposite the racetrack) would be a good place to eat alone. It's nothing stellar but they do have fresh fish prepared in basic ways.

If you're looking to avoid a "scene", then stay away from the Del Mar plaza on most nights except for very early times, since this can be a magnet for a busy singles scene. If you do go to Del Mar plaza and can arrive pretty early, then Pacifica has a nice bar with some good menu options. If you want to enjoy a good sunset, you can order a glass of wine around the corner from Pacifica at a little wine bar and sit outside by yourself...just bring a sweater, it can get chilly when the sun goes down (I'm from the east coast, too, and I'm always surprised at how chilly it gets here at night!)

The bar at the Brigantine (just south of the intersection of 101 and Via de la Valle) would be a great place for you to sit at the bar and enjoy a fish taco, which are some of the best around but, fair warning, their happy hour can also become somewhat of a scene.

I agree with other posters that you should definitely try Market, although I don't know how friendly and welcoming they are to single diners...anyone else have thoughts on that? I've found them to have a bit of attitude but the food is wonderful but extremely upscale, unlike the other suggestions I've provided.

Hope these responses encourage you to take the plunge and get out there to enjoy some of the local offerings. Have fun.

May 07, 2008
susan3733 in San Diego

Pamir Kebob House (Poway) - Great Afghan restaurant

We also LOVE this place. We've been here 3-4 times over the past year or so, even though it's far from where we live. We've traveled extensively in the Afghanistan region, so we often yearn for this type of cuisine and Pamir satisfies our cravings in the best way. Their dishes are so elegant and subtley flavored, yet also simple and kind of rustic in other ways.

It's unfortunate that Pamir is in a strip mall, but the inside of the restaurant is as cozy and nice as it can be, and the food more than makes up for it, as does the kindness, care and expertise of its owners and chef, a husband/wife team. The husband cooks and the wife takes care of the front of the restaurant.

Our kids love the mantu (similar to Russian manti but smaller), and we also love the lamb dishes and anything with the chicken kabob. I also recall having something similar to creamed spinach (but not made with heavy cream) that was so delicately and deliciously spiced. The baklava (called baghlawa here) is super yummy and fresh...I've never really loved baklava, but it's so worth having at Pamir.

Go and enjoy!

May 01, 2008
susan3733 in San Diego