San Diego Food: A Few Good Restaurants… And Some Warnings

La Jolla Cove - 1
Warning: This post contains graphic pictures of Sushi – if you can’t handle raw or undercooked meat being depicted visually, please don’t read on!

One of the most amazing parts about San Diego is that the food was no more expensive than it is in Amarillo. The sushi was even a little cheaper. I’m a terrible food reporter and only realized that I wanted to write this post after failing to take pictures of my food at nearly ever restaurant.

I did go off and on the vegetarian/vegan stuff for this trip. Honestly, I didn’t want to drive my friend crazy, and so, I didn’t even go to a bespoke vegan restaurant for his sake. Next time though….

I did however snap a few at the places that I really enjoyed. Honestly, this was almost every restaurant, but there were two that were not so great.

Let’s start with the not so great:

Don’t eat at Tin Fish across from the convention center. The Gas Lamp District plays host to a number of eateries, and they would all have to be pretty bad to not be better than this place. The worst thing about it? Everything they make sounds incredible, but they really fail to deliver. The fish tacos my friend had didn’t taste good nor did the calamari burrito that I had. I will say the outside seating was pretty wonderful.

The second contender for not so good restaurant in the Gas Lamp District? Rockin’ Baja wasn’t actually bad, but it just wasn’t good enough to make me want to go back ever. Now my friend disagrees so if you want to risk it, go for it. I had a sort of chicken and black bean thing over a salad like thing. My friend, not to be deterred, had fish tacos which he enjoyed.

Both places came in about $15 a plate on average. So, pretty pricey, but for the Gas Lamp that’s normal. The staff were friendly and accommodating at both places and pretty attentive as well considering how busy they were.

Now for the pretty good!

Let’s start off with a positive entry from the Gas Lamp: Taka Sushi! The sushi we had here was great, and the prices were pretty much what you’d get from any sushi place in Amarillo – which is a little disheartening because none of our local Amarillo places begin to compare with what we had here. Now, we weren’t that hungry so we didn’t try more than one roll a piece, but they were both fantastic. Then I splurged on a toro nigiri pair that were sublime. The edamame was pretty darn good as well. Although I learned that you are supposed to pop the seeds out not eat the husk… This was the last place we ate at in the Gas Lamp district. So no more of that.

Now every trip you make you need a good breakfast place, and we ate at this one nearly three times. They even did a great job crafting a vegetarian breakfast burrito for me. This is the Grand Central Cafe, with good food and service. Prices were pretty normal considering the location – $7-10 a plate.

Underbelly was a choice of mine. I’ve been exploring Japanese culture a little here and there, and ramen has been a fixation for my curiosity for a while. I went for the vegetarian bowl and a side of edamame – $15. This place was in little Italy maybe 5 blocks from our hotel, and why we didn’t eat here more I do not know. It was an open air restaurant with a very ‘cool’ vibe. Really, I’m not sure if cool is a cool enough word for this place. Trendy might work. The food was delicious, although I have no idea how it compares to Japanese ramen.

Here’s a picture of the sign.
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Out on Coronado Island, we went to the Hotel Del, and then promptly left for fear of the prices. We ended up eating just across the street at Yummy Sushi. We sat at the sushi bar which wasn’t the prettiest spot, but after our surfing lesson we were famished, and were ready to just eat everything we could. We each tried out two rolls. Both were fantastic and cost about the same as Taka Sushi or a place in Amarillo. But this place beat out Taka Shushi in taste and portion size.

Here’s a Shot of one of my rolls:

Last and probably my favorite was the $9 a plate Taste of the Himalayas a block away from La Jolla Cove. It might have something to do with two hours swimming and getting some great lentil soup as a starter for the lunch course, but it was only second to the ramen place in my book. For the $9 you got everything you see below – basically a choice of two entrees, rice, naan, and lentil soup. I got the vegetable curry and chicken curry. The staff was friendly and prompt, and the naan was fantastic – ended up getting extra.

The best part for my friend was eating outside so we didn’t end up smelling of curry for our flight back. Here’s a shot of the food:
La Jolla Cove - 8

When I go back, I’m looking forward to trying  a vegan place, and maybe remembering to snap pictures of my food.


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
This entry was posted in Good Eats, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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