What is your favorite place in the San Diego State area?


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mexican-Juanitas Taco Shop

Name: Juanitas Taco Shop

Cuisine: Mexican

Opinion: Great

Area: Encinitas, Leucadia

About: An Encinitas favorite, this hole in the wall taco shop offers great food at an amazing price.

What to order: California Burrito, Breakfast Burrito, Number 10: Fish Plate, Number 2: Taco & Enchilada

More info: The taco shop is open on weeknights until midnight and on the weekends until 3 a.m.. A perfect place for lunch, a break from the beach, dinner, or after a late night pub crawl. This is one of the cheapest restaurants you will find in Encinitas. You can probably feed a  family of four on $20 here and everyone would be satisfied. Make sure you bring cash because they do not take credit cards! The ingredients they use are very fresh and filled with flavor. The taco shells are very crunchy and topped with really good cheese.

Address: 290 N. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Phone: 760-943-9612

#2 Plate: Taco and Enchilada 

Mixed Burrito

#10 Plate: Fish (Choice of corn or flour tortilla)

Chinese-China Cafe

Name: China Cafe

Cuisine: Chinese

Opinion: Good

Area: Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Torrey Pines

About: Located next to the Torrey Pines State Reserve this mom and pop shop serves up a friendly experience.

What to order: Schezuan Dinner: Deluxe Hot Pot, Egg Drop Soup

More info: Very reasonably priced lunch specials, what ever meal you order make sure you select the egg drop soup. The Deluxe Hot Pot is terrific, a little more expensive, but it is definitely a feast. The meal includes fried or steamed rice, fried fish, an egg roll, twice cooked meat, sweet and sour sauce, spicy mustard, and the Deluxe Hot Pot (vegetables, shrimp, beef, and chicken in a delicious sauce).

Address: 2236 Carmel Valley Road, Del Mar CA, 92014

Phone: 858-793-8478

Half of the Deluxe Hot Pot*

The other half of the Deluxe Hot Pot with egg drop soup*

Fried fish, twice cooked meat, egg roll*

*The pictures are based off to-go order.

Peruvian-Q'ero Restaurant

Name: Q'ero Restaurant

Cuisine: Peruvian, South American

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: Encinitas

About: A very exotic restaurant, which without a reservation don't expect to get a table easily.*

What to order: Pescado con Salsa de Chupe de Camarones (pan roasted fish filet), Pate Festejo (Duo of house cured Woodland Farms duck confit and seared duck breast)

More info: Located on the Coast Highway, this tiny restaurant serves up a big amount of flavor. An average dinner will cost anywhere from $28-$35. The food is so fresh and exotic I wish I could afford to order the whole menu. The first page of the menu tells you the story of how the chef was inspired by the beauty of Peru and wanted to bring the flavor and spirit to America. We were lucky to nab the last table outside with out a reservation but then we watched countless people be turned away. I didn't know we were that lucky until the food arrived. The flavors were so foreign but yet familiar. Every bite just melt in your mouth. The culinary genius, Monica Szepesy serves the food in perfect portions, each plate the waiter carried resembled a piece of art.

Outside you are not allowed to have alcohol which is a bit of a shame because a good glass of wine would have made the experience more outstanding. Also, outside is very noisy because of the street and people walking by, but is still enjoyable.

*Reservations can be made by calling in or from their website.

Website/Menu: http://qerorestaurant.com/

Address: 564 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA

Phone: 760-753-9050


Pescado con Salsa de Chupe de Camarones (pan roasted fish filet)

Pate Festejo (Duo of house cured Woodland Farms duck confit and seared duck breast)

Italian-The Godfather

Name: The Godfather Restaurant

Cuisine: Italian

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa

About: One of the best Italian restaurants in San Diego, to quote Sollozzo, "Try the veal, it's the best in the city."

What to order: Godfather Bread, Bocconcini Alla Godfather, Vitello Alla Parmigiana, Minestrone, Tiramisu

More info: The atmosphere is very romantic with a piano player, an impressive wine list, and waiters dressed in full tuxedoes. Our waiter was very nice and brought us complementary fried zucchini which was delicious. We then ordered the Godfather Bread which is their take on bruschetta. This place is a little more expensive but is a great place to treat yourself. The portions are good sized and will have you grabbing a to go box. The deserts were terrific, the best tiramisu I have ever had! They take reservations so I would call ahead.

The parking lot is a little frustrating but there is parking in the back.

Website/Menu: http://www.godfatherrestaurant.com/

Address: 7878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92111

Phone: 858-560-1747

The Godfather Bread


Vitello Alla Parmigiana

Bocconcini Alla Godfather

Side of Spaghetti Bolognese

Chocolate Desert


Fried Zucchini 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seafood-Tin Fish

Name: The Tin Fish Gaslamp

Cuisine: Seafood, American, Hamburgers

Opinion: Great

Area: Downtown, Gaslamp

About: One of the greatest locations in San Diego for a restaurant (between Petco Park and the Convention Center). This place can be busy at times, but it is well worth the wait.

What to order: Salmon Fish Tacos, waffle fries

More info: The tacos are gigantic and very filling! Also, the food is very fresh, well prepared and when it shows up infront of you it looks like an art piece.  You order at the counter and your food is brought to you, so it's good for a quick bite. There is a full bar in the back of the restaurant and there is a lot of out door seating.

The waffle fries are terrific, and seasoned to perfection!

Apparently there are multiple locations in various cities but I can only speak on behalf of the Gaslamp location, but if you try a different location comment and tell me how it is.

Website/Menu: http://www.thetinfish.net/right-tinfish.php?nav_ID=106&nav_Parent=104

Address: 170 6th Ave., San Diego, Ca 92101

Phone: 619-238-8100
Salmon Fish Tacos with waffle fries (Double order)

Calamari Fish Tacos with Waffle Fries (Double order) 

American-Bite of Boston

Name: Bite of Boston

Cuisine: American, Seafood

Opinion: Great

Area: La Jolla

About: Hidden in a shopping center, Bite of Boston serves great food inspired by the east coast for a reasonable price.

What to order: Lobster Roll

More info: The lobster rolls are delicious and overflowing with meat. They are about half the price of most lobster rolls too. I hear the clam chowder is great too, so give it a try and comment!

Website/Menu: http://www.biteofboston.net/

Phone: 858-453-4000

Address: 3202 Governor Dr. San DiegoCA 92122

Lobster Roll

American-The C-Level Lounge

Name: Island Prime: C Level

Cuisine: American, Fusion, Seafood, Steak, Hamburgers

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: Downtown, Harbor Island

About: One of the best views of downtown, this upscale restaurant is a perfect place for a date or when you have guest in town.

What to order: Lobster Truffle Macaroni & Cheese, Snake River Farms Kobe Beef Filet Burger, Fish & Chips, Lobster & Fontina BLT Sandwich

More info: Many restaurants can only offer good food OR a good view, but The C-Level does neither, it offers a terrific view AND a terrific meal! Definitely a pricer dinner but the food is not unreasonable by any means. For a normal entree estimate anywhere from $15-$35. When I called in they said no reservations* so expect a bit of a wait time if you want a table outside (and you do want a table outside), but they do have a full bar and large entry area to wait. I would try and arrive at the restaurant an hour or so before the sun sets, so you can view it out on the water. When we were there, the marine layer had just come in and blocked the sun set but the view of downtown was still gorgeous.

I also noticed that a lot of there vegetables and ingredients are locally grown which I think speaks a lot about the integrity of the restaurant.

The two most popular items on the menu are the lobster truffle Mac & Cheese, and the Lobster & Fontina BLT Sandwich. Once you have one bite of either you will understand why they have become so popular.

*According to there website you can make reservations online, but I don't know if you can choose where you want to sit.

Website/Menu: http://www.cohnrestaurants.com/menu-restaurants/island-prime/

Address: 880 Harbor Island Dr., San Diego, CA
Harbor Island
Phone: 619-298-6802

Lobster Truffle Mac & Cheese

Snake River Farms Kobe Beef Filet Burger 

Lobster & Fontina BLT Sandwich

Linguini & Clams

Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sandwiches- Carlsbad Board & Brew

Name: Board & Brew

Cuisine: American, Sandwiches

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: Carlsbad, Encinitas

About: Because of how nice the workers are and how clean this location is compared to Board & Brew Del Mar, I have to change the rating for the other location to a lower rating.

What to order: Turkado (really try every sandwich, they are all good), no matter what sandwich you get ask for two secret sauces on the side per sandwich. 

More info: A friend and I were craving Board & Brew and I remembered there was a newer location in Carlsbad, so we decided to try it. Coming to this location was the best decision I have made in a long time. Everything is so clean and inviting, while the other Board & Brew seems dirty, and I never feel welcome there. The ladies working at the counter were so kind, it was really refreshing compared to walking into Board & Brew Del Mar, where I feel like I am inconveniencing the workers by ordering a sandwich. Also the food seems a lot more fresh and better prepared. The shame is that this restaurant isn't located next to the beach, but I am sure it still receives a lot of business from the office buildings in the area.

The secret sauce has a sweet & sour taste, which is a little bit different but goes well on any sandwich. 

Website/Menu: http://boardnbrewcarlsbad.com/

Address: 2675 Gateway Road, Carlsbad, Ca 

Phone: 760-929-2739


Chicken Club

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Japanese, Korean- Oshi's

Name: Oshi's Kitchen

Cuisine: Japanese, Korean

Opinion: Great

Area: San Diego State University, College Area

About: A hole in the wall restaurant in walking distance of San Diego State.

What to order: Chicken Katsu, Teriyaki Chicken plate, California roll, Rainbow Roll

More info: Very reasonably priced with great portions, this is one of the better Japanese places in the San Diego State area. This places seems like it is family run and has a good atmosphere. Most of the workers are Korean and some of the menu options are Korean too, but their emphasis is in Japanese food. If you are not in walking distance, try calling it in, because the parking lot is very small.

Address: 5838 Montezuma Rd
San DiegoCA 92115

Phone: 619-582-5391

Vietnamese-Com Tam 75

Name: Com Tam 75

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Opinion: Good

Area: El Cajon, San Diego State

About: This place is easily passible on your drive down El Cajon, but try to stop in for a big ball of pho.

What to order: pho, BBQ wings, Curry Linguine

More info: Very friendly atmosphere, and reasonably priced food makes this place a keeper. A good location for those living on 54th or Collwood Blvd. Also, the menu is very diverse, so everyone can get what they want!

Address: 5420 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92115

Phone: (619) 583-2311 

Friday, July 1, 2011

BBQ-Phil's BBQ

Name: Phil's BBQ

Cuisine: American, BBQ

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: Point Loma, San Marcos

About: I probably shouldn't even write a review for Phil's BBQ because no review could live up to how amazing this place is.

What to order: pulled pork sandwich, the best of both plates, ribs, fries

More info: Phil's is amazing BBQ, the one problem is that it is so good it is hard to get into. Expect lines during peak times, but to counter this check the BBQ CAM on their website which has a live feed of the line! The BBQ is delicious, I have been to both locations and loved both. The pulled pork sandwich is very reasonably priced and you get A LOT of food. We ordered a small plate of fries which is more than enough for two people!

Website/Menu: http://www.philsbbq.net/


Point Loma:

3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: 619 226-6333
San Marcos:
579 Grand Avenue, San Marcos, CA 92078
Phone: 760-759-1400

Italian-Bongiorno's Pizza

Name: Bongiorno's Pizza Solana Beach

Cuisine: Italian, Pizza

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: Solana Beach

About: I would have never known about this place unless a friend told me about it, and I am glad they did. This is the best pizza in the San Diego area. It is a little more expensive, but you are paying for quality.

What to order: Pepperoni Pizza, Stromboli

More info: We have friends from out of town that when they come here, they have to have Bongiorno's stromboli,  it is that good! I would recommend calling your order in and getting it to go. This is a great place if your in North County. They also sell pizza by the slice if you just want a quick bite!

Phone Number:(858) 755-2646

Website/Menu: http://www.bongiornos-sb.com/index.html

524 Stevens Avenue
Solana Beach, CA 92075

Drinks-Shake Smart

Name: Shake Smart

Cuisine: Drinks, Smoothies, Health Items

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: College Area-San Diego State

About: Just opened up this year, Shake Smart is the reason that I go to the gym, with amazing post work out drinks, this is a must for any ARC member or San Diego State student/guest.

What to order: Chocolate Covered Strawberry, P-B Squared, Banana Split

More info: Created by a San Diego State student who was told his idea would fail,  Shake Smart is the best thing to happen to San Diego State in a long time! Each smoothie taste just like its description, and when you're done you always want more. This is probably the best smoothie place in all of San Diego, and the best part is it's intended to be healthy. Also, don't quote me but I hear they may be putting Shake Smart on the SDSU meal plan, which will be a great deal for on campus residents or others with meal plans. Right now they have special hours for the summer so if you can't make the hours now, go when Fall semester starts again and give them a try. Make sure you tell them you want a stamp card because you are going to want to come back!

Website/Menu: http://shakesmart.com/

Address: Directly in front of the Aztec Recreation Center, located at 55th Street in San Diego, CA 92182

Italian-Rosanna's Pasta Shop

Name: Rosanna's Pasta Shop

Cuisine: Italian

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: Encinitas

About: This is a hole in the wall Italian shop with some of the best Italian food in San Diego! Very cheap and very filling!

What to order: Spaghetti with meat balls, lasagna, salads

More info: They sell pasta, sauce and italian groceries for home cooking also. Rosanna is amazing and she makes the place well worth it. Also, there is a younger girl who works their who is such a sweet heart. I have brought friends here who's grandparents were from Italy and always cooked for them, after eating there, they said this is some of the best Italian cooking they ever had.

Phone Number: 7607536867

Address: 270 N El Camino Real
Ste I
(between Encinitas Blvd & Via Molena)
EncinitasCA 92024

Inside the Shop

Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

Spaghetti with Meat Balls

Pepperoni Pizza

Spaghetti with Meat Balls
Spinach Ravioli with Pesto Sauce 

Drinks-Tapioca Express

Name: Tapioca Express

Cuisine: Drinks, Chinese, Snacks

Opinion: Great

Area: Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa or El Cajon/San Diego State or UCSD

About: If you have never had Boba, it is hard to describe this craze. If you want, you can order boba which are small jelly-like orbs in your drink. In my opinion they add another dimension. Tapioca Express has a huge menu with smoothies (snow bubbles), teas, and food.

What to order: Milk tea (Hot or Cold) with boba, Spicy Chicken

More info: My favorite location is the Clairemont Mesa/Kearny Mesa area. The parking is horrible but it is worth it. They just opened up a new one on El Cajon, but I am not a big fan of it. The location is nice next to State, but it is not the same as the Clairemont Mesa/Kearny Mesa area. I have never been to the UCSD one, so I can't comment (but if you have then leave your comment below). This is a good place if you just ate at Shabu Shabu HouseTaijimaBugaThe B Spot,  Chopstix, or if you just want to meet up with friends.

Website/Menu: http://www.tapiocaexpress.com/

Address: 4646 Convoy St. #106B,San Diego, CA 92111     or    6145 El Cajon Blvd. Ste. #G San Diego, CA 92115

Green Milk Tea
Snow Bubble

Sandwiches-4.0 Deli

Name: 4.0 Deli

Cuisine: Sandwiches

Opinion: Great

Area: College Area-San Diego State

About: This great sandwich place is a staple for San Diego State students.

What to order: The Godfather

More info: Not much parking in the area, but if you're walking from State, it's perfect. The sandwiches are pretty big and you can choose a full or half sandwich.

Address: 5844 Montezuma Road, San Diego, CA 92115-2340

Japanese- Shabu Shabu House

Name: Shabu Shabu House

Cuisine: Japanese

Opinion: AMAZING

Area: Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa

About: Shabu Shabu is the Japanese form of fondu. Basically, infront of you is a pot of very hot water, raw meet, a few sauces, a bowl of white rice, and a bunch of raw vegetables. You put the raw food in the hot water and and a few seconds later pull it out and dip it in the sauce. Make sure you save a few vegetables and noodles for the end, and ask for a bowl, because then you pour the hot water in the bowl with some oils and the noodles and vegetables you saved, and now you have a nice bowl of soup!

What to order: Lunch special if you can.

More info: I have had the shrimp, chicken and beef, they're all good. If you go with a friend, see if you can order different things and share them. The lunch special is a very good deal, and even their dinner is a great deal. (I've spent almost double in Hawaii.)

Address: 4646 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA 92111

Fun Fact: Shabu Shabu means swish-swish in Japanese.

Vegetables and Noodles

The sauce


The left over water turned into soup

Indian-KC's Tandoor

Name: KC's Tandoor

Cuisine: Indian

Opinion: Great

Area: Encinitas

About: You can smell the greatest right before you get in the door.

What to order: 92. Safed Massia with chicken, chicken curry

More info: This place is kind of hidden in one of the large Encinitas shopping centers, it's next to El Torito. I really like this place a lot, unfortunately I am not a big fan of spicy food, so you are on your own for figuring that out. The portions aren't huge but they are still filling.

Website/Menu: http://www.kcstandoor.com/main.html

Address:1070 N. el camino real, suite a
              Encinitas, CA 92024

Safed Massia with chicken


Name: Buddies

Cuisine: Hamburgers

Opinion: Great

Area: College Area-San Diego State

About: Just opened up recently and is very popular with San Diego State students.

What to order: Great burgers and fries

More info: I always wanted to open a burger place next to state because there was only fast food chains and State Street, but Buddies beat me to it, and I am glad they did. If I could describe Buddies I would say it is a step up from In-N-Out, meaning a little more expensive but better quality. The servers have always been very nice there. One thing I don't like is that the burger just doesn't come with fries, you need to get a combo or add them on the side, but it's not too much of an issue.

Address: 5852 Montezuma Road, San Diego, CA 92115