San Diego Restaurant Tips by lmkluque Top 5 Page for this destination

San Diego Restaurants: 659 reviews and 847 photos

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- San Diego
Diwali: An Indian Frolic Diwali Review

Diwali was larger then I though at first site. It was narrow, deep and there was an up-stairs loft where more diners could enjoy a meal. It was last summer and the day was hot. The restaurant was even hotter! I don't know if their air conditioner broke that day or if they just wanted to feel like India too. Since we sat near the door a breeze would pass by cooling things off a bit. I am not familiar with Indian Cuisine but my companions were. It was a buffet and I just took what looked good.

Favorite Dish: We ordered the Saturday Buffet. I can't say what I had but it was really good and not too expensive. As I remember there must have been 20 to 30 items to choose from. Though I still don't know what to order, I would go back for another meal.

Sorry I have no photos. My computer crashed and many photos were lost. I'll have to go back and take more.

Update:

When back this week (July 2015) seems either the day was cooler or their air conditioner was working. The room was comfortably cool on a hot day.

I still can't say what I had but the buffet seemed smaller than last time. The flavours were still good. The lunch buffet was $19.00 per person, an especially good for big eaters.

Address: 314 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Price Comparison: less expensive than average

Directions: Between J St. & K St. Gaslamp Quarter

Phone: (619) 232-5050

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 3

Theme: Indian

Website: http://diwalidining.com/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 14, 2015
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- San Diego
San Diego Pier Cafe: Dine over the Bay San Diego Pier Café Review

This restaurant was one of my favorites and a treat to all my visitors when I was able to go out to eat often.

The pier sits on stilts in the Bay of San Diego and from almost every table there is a view of some part of the Bay. It is located in Seaport Village, a popular tourist spot in the downtown area of San Diego. However, it is not only tourists that come here for a meal. My preference is sitting outside. The decor is nautical with simple blues and grays. The food is good, the service is good and the view accompanied by the fresh ocean breeze is wonderful.


Favorite Dish: Grilled Seafood Grill, New England Clam Chowder, Oysters on the half shell, Stuffed Mushrooms and a nice California Wine were my favorite items from the menu.

Update:

They've changed things a bit and no longer offer the Seafood Grill at lunch time, only at dinner and Oysters on the half shell are gone completley now. Also, there seems to be a turn towards more Mexican flavors in some of the dishes.

Recently I've read a few negative reviews about the Pier Café and hadn't had a chance to check it out until this week, (July 2015) and everything was as good as before. The salad was fresh & pretty. The Fish & Chips were fresh, crispy and tasty. I had a Mojito and that was refreshing on a hot day.

I will tell you that besides the view and ambience, it was the Stuffed Mushrooms and New England Clam Chowder I came here for.

There are plenty of other dishes to choose from, including beef, chicken, vegetarian and a kid's menu, so I'm sure you'll find something that will please you too.

Address: 885 West Harbor Drive

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: In Seaport Village (at Kettner Blvd.)

Phone: (619) 239-3968

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 5

Theme: Seafood

Website: http://www.piercafe.com/

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 14, 2015
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Fun With Friends - San Diego
Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant: Fun With Friends Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant Review

Tio Leo's is owned by a friend of my friend, so we ate their quite often. I can't tell you what the inside looks like because it was on the dark side and we always ate in the patio. The service was casual and they never rushed us.

To Be Continued...


Favorite Dish: My favorites are Carne Asada plate, Carnitas plate and Chicken Fajitas each served with an ice cold Margarita.

To Be Continued...

Address: 6333 Mission Gorge, San Diego, CA 92120

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: Between Glacier Ave. & Rainier Ave.

Phone: (619) 280-9944

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 5

Theme: Mexican

Website: http://tioleos.com/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 18, 2015
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Messy but Good! - San Diego
Joe's Crab Shack: Messy but Good! Joe's Crab Shack Review

Joe's Crab Shack is located on an island in the SD Bay, behind the SD Convention Center. It's a good place when in the mood for seafood, though they do offer beef or chicken too.

This is part of a chain, but still popular and one of best reasons to choose this particular store, is it's location at the Embarcadero Marina Park South, in the summer during any of the Summer Pops performances, you can hear the concert without having to pay entrance.

The prices are on the high side, but the food is well made and this is a fun place to go with friends and family who like a casual, yet vibrant atmosphere.


Favorite Dish: With the intention of sharing & taking lots of food home, I ordered, for starters, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms--excellent--and .Crispy Calamari--perfectly crispy and tender. My main dish was a combo of Lobster, Shrimp, Crab and bacon wrapped Scallops, with a side of corn-on-the-cob and steamed veggies, all mouthwatering delicious. Take a look at the photo.

Address: 525 E Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101

Directions: Take Park Blvd west follow on Convention Way and Marina Parkway

Phone: (619) 233-7391

Rating: 4

Theme: Seafood

Website: http://www.joescrabshack.com/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 13, 2015
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Ingrid & Jimmy greeting customers - San Diego

Ingrid & Jimmy greeting customers

Croce's Park West Opens!!: Jazz Lovers and Fans of Jim Croce & Great Food! Croce's Park West Review

Croce's Park West will have it's "Official" Grand Opening 19 January 2014 just in time for Restaurant Week--Which Ingrid Croce played a part in developing for San Diego. However, Croce's Park West has sent out invitations to it's customers to join them in what they call a "soft opening" as a way to ease into the neighborhood.

I had something to celebrate so I decided to treat myself to dinner here last night. What a wonderful time I had!! The employees were all welcoming, friendly and helpful. Luis was my server for the night and it seemed that he had the whole menu memorize, which was a good thing because I didn't bring my glasses and couldn't read a thing in the soft lighting. Joe was Luis's helper and he was quite attentive and helpful also.

The décor seemed more plush & comfy than at the other location and now it has an old, New York Club, feel. Nostalgic, cozy, plush and elegant at the same time. I ate alone, so spent most of my time "people watching." The contrast of customers was wide and the common denominator was the hospitality of every employee. The biggest treat for me was to have the chance of meeting Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock. They are the heart and soul of Croce's. This neighborhood, Banker's Hill is lucky to have Croce's and it seems that the neighbors have beat a path to the door.

History
Croce's was opened in the earliest days of the Gaslamp Quarter's renovation, by Ingrid Croce, widow of Jim Croce. Some of you may be too young to remember Jim Croce, he died in 1973. You may have heard one of his loveliest song, "Time in a Bottle?" Have you heard that?

There have been a few expansions located at various spots near the three story brick, "Cole Building," built in 1889-1890, which houses the original Croce's.

Ingrid Croce is a very community minded woman and a hand's-on owner/operator. Not only is she quite interested in pleasing her customers, the history of "Croce's" is basically a love story dedicated to her husband who died so long ago. Their son, Adrian James Croce, song writer/singer Musician has been playing a bigger part here too, as a musician. She re-married Jimmy Rock who is a great guy and a solid supporter of this lovely tribute to A.J's talented father. I think you'll be pretty satisfied with the food and service, not to mention the music.

One thing that will be different; the Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday: 11am-10pm
Saturday, Sunday: 9am-10pm
No more 2 am closing. Of course, if there is a demand for later nights they may be able to accommodate. I'd say that it will depend upon their contract/zoning laws.


Favorite Dish: The move has happened.

It's a scary thing to uproot and try in a new spot. Though I feel confident that Croce's will be as popular as ever, I do send my best wishes for their success. I doubt much will change in the style of hospitality or flavor of the food. I'm sure Ingrid will, as usual, be around to see that we get the best they can offer.

Update:

Keep in mind that the menu will change from time to time but I will tell you what I ordered and what I thought of it. First you should know that I live on a rigidly tight budget and had saved up for a meal here. My intention was to order a few of the lower priced items but things didn't play out as I planned.

The environment was so wonderfully comfortable and the people so welcoming that I wanted a real treat here. I gave it too myself and had a three course meal. Including a cocktail and wine with dinner. After a discussion with Luis, my helpful and attentive server, about a couple of the suggested wines I took his recommendation for a glass of Vionta, Albarino, Rias Baixas, limited release, from Spain. it was a very nice selection.


Starters:
Baked Brie and Honey Roasted Garlic with toasted bruschetta, baby greens, Grand Marnier-berry compote $12

I have never had the honey roasted garlic before. It was delicious as a bite on it's own or spread on the bruschetta. The whole plate was a riot of delicious flavors that I recommend you try.

Entre:
Seared Scallops and Lobster-Scented Risotto with Edamame, asparagus, tomatoes, parmesan and thyme-marinated lemon Half Portion $20 Full Portion $28

The half portion was enough for me and this too was delicious. I have never liked risotto, not rice enough nor pasta enough for me, but the flavor of the risotto served with the scallops was really good and I ate it all.

Dessert:
Vanilla Lavender Honey Crème Brulee with almond laced cookies

First rate dinner and worth the splurge!!

Address: 2760 Fifth Avenue

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: Blue Line Trolley to Fifth Avenue Station then catch the bus Route 3 to Fifth Avenue & Nutmeg Street.

Other Contact: http://www.croces.com/croces-res

Phone: 619-233-4355

Price: US$41 and up

Rating: 5

Theme: Eclectic/International

Website: http://crocesparkwest.com/

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 14, 2014
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Candelas downtown SD - San Diego

Candelas downtown SD

Candela's Coronado AKA Bay Beach Cafe: A Magnificent View of SD Skyline! Candelas Review

This was once known as Bay Beach Cafe and had an atmosphere of sailing life.

Now it is a Mexican restaurant uniquely offering a Nouvelle cuisine. Located on the northeast shore of Coronado Island, on the San Diego Bay side, this restaurant has a wonderful view of the San Diego skyline and is just off the Ferry Boat Landing Pier. Which means that you can take the Ferry from downtown over to the Island for a nice breakfast, lunch, dinner or just have a drink and enjoy the view. (Have a look at my Coronado page to see what else there is to do while on the Island.)

The style of the place is very different than before but intriguing nonetheless.

There is also a Candela's in the downtown area near The Gaslamp:

416 3rd Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 702-4455

This is located very near the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum on Fourth Avenue, at J Street.

So, there isn't a need to actually go out of town to try it, I just thought, if you took a day trip to Coronado you'd like to know about this restaurant too. Also to let people know the Bay Beach Cafe has closed.


Favorite Dish: I haven't eaten here yet but it looks interesting and if it is an elegant, fine dining experience you look for, this would be a good option. I've heard some pretty good things about Candela's but keep in mind that it is not the average Mexican cuisine you'll find here.

They do offer an Early Bird special and Happy Hour, which drops the price of things 50%. So if their menu prices are a bit much for your budget these are great ways to sample the experience of dining here.

Address: 1201 First St, Coronado CA.

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: At the Coronado Ferry Landing Market Place

Other Contact: http://candelas-sd.com/

Phone: (619) 435-4900

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 4

Theme: Mexican

Website: http://www.candelas-coronado.com/index2.html

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 18, 2013
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On Broadway - San Diego
Tender Greens: On Broadway Tender Greens Review

The dining choices along this section of Broadway has really taken a nice turn. At first I noticed Tender Greens because a lady dining on the street side patio had a beautiful, delicious looking salad before her. The inside dining room looked sort a cross between a cafeteria and an old train station. Anyway, I always like to eat out on the patio.

With a name like Tender Greens I expected the restaurant to serve Vegetarian dishes only, but this is not the case. They do serve Vegan plates but also beef, chicken and fish. Most menu items on the menu are $11.00. If you want Larger meal it will be $16.00. Soups are $4.00 and the simpler salads are $6.00 as of this writing.

To Be Continued...


Favorite Dish: Tuna Nicoise, Grilled Chicken Cobb or the Backyard Steak hot plate. Actually all of their salads sound good.

To Be Continued...

Address: 110 West Broadway

Price Comparison: less expensive than average

Phone: (619) 795-2353

Price: US$11-20

Rating: 4

Theme: American

Website: http://www.tendergreens.com/

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  • Written Aug 23, 2013
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- San Diego
Currant American Brasserie: Dining at The Sofia Hotel Currant American Brasserie Review

Walking past the narrow patio dining section of Currant, the impression is that it Is a smallish place, but walking into the Brasserie it is revealed to be much larger than it looked. The large black and white tiles on the floor reminded me of a place I went to in Belgium.

To Be Continued


Favorite Dish: You can imagine that I would jump at the chance to have Moules Frites to complete the Belgian time travel. They were excellently made. Crème Brulee was just right to finish off the meal.

To Be Continued

Address: 140 West Broadway

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: Connected to the Sofia Hotel but open to the public.

Phone: (619) 702-6309

Price: US$21-30

Rating: 4

Theme: American

Website: http://www.thesofiahotel.com/dining.html

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  • Updated Aug 23, 2013
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- San Diego
Restaurant Week in San Diego: Over 100 Restaurants to Choose From! Information / Sources Review

Twice a year, throughout the county of San Diego "Restaurant Week" is an event that gives restaurants the opportunity of offering an example of their cuisine at a reduced price. This is especially nice for those on a budget.

Check the website listed below to see if the dates coincide with your visit to San Diego.

To be Continued....


Favorite Dish: Fixed priced meals for each restaurant will be set for lunch (newly offered this year) and dinner.

Lunch: Two-course $10, $15, $20
Dinner:Three-course $20, $30, $40

Address: Throughout the County of San Diego

Price Comparison: less expensive than average

Price: US$31-40

Rating: 5

Theme: Eclectic/International

Website: http://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 15, 2013
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- San Diego
Mad House Comedy Club & Restaurant: In the Gaslamp Quarter Mad House Comedy Club Review

Update:

The Napa Valley Grille Closed

I haven't been here for a while and guess I thought the Napa Valley Grille would withstand the economic decent. Seems I was wrong. The Napa Valley Grille has closed and in it's place is now the Mad House Comedy Club & Restaurant.

I haven't been to this one yet but will tell you what I know so far and will give my opinion once I've stopped here.

They are open seven nights a week and offer two shows, at 8:00 pm and 10:30 pm so they open for seating at 7:00 pm/10:00 pm. There normally isn't a cover charge nor a 2-drink minimum, which is unusual for such a club. You do have to have tickets for a show and can get them on-line from their website or by calling their number. It seems that a ticket can cost anywhere between $0.00 to $20.00 depending on the talent/night of the week. Since you have to be 21 years to enter, I think I'll add this also as a Nightlife Tip.

However, though their menu isn't what I'd call fine dining, it does seem appropriate for the venue with enough variety to offer something to everyone in your party.

Smoking is allowed on their patio, but I don't know if you can still see the show while out there.


Favorite Dish: I think I'd order the BBQ Pulled Pork pizza with an Individual Side Salad or maybe the Fancy French Onion Soup. The last I heard they don't have their Liquor license yet so I'd stick with a glass of white wine.

Update:

The liquor license has been issued and the club seems to be doing well. There are lots of budding comedians showing up to entertain. In fact, one of my oldest son's friends is featured once in a while.

Address: 502 Horton Plaza Atop Horton Plaza

Price Comparison: about average

Directions: Located at the top level of Horton Plaza

Phone: (619) 702-6666

Price: US$21-30

Rating: 4

Theme: Eclectic/International

Website: http://madhousecomedyclub.com/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 14, 2013
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