San Diego: recommendations from locals?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dXTC, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

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    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #1
    In the next few weeks, I'm going to be on a business trip to...

    [​IMG]

    "...San Diego."

    I was wondering if any MR users local to the area could give some recommendations on activities and restaurants, as this will be my first trip ever to the West Coast.

    I'm particularly interested in the area bordered by Clairemont Mesa Boulevard on the north, I-805 to the west, Aero Drive/Montgomery Field Airport to the south, and I-15 to the east. This is the area closest to both the company I'm visiting and my hotel. See my attached map below for the approximate area I'm talking about.

    Concerning restaurants: In-N-Out is an obvious choice, and I'll probably eat there once for lunch just for "bucket list" considerations, even though I'm not that much into burgers. However, I'm a big Asian food fan, and have noticed that there is a high concentration of Szechuan, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants in the vicinity of Balboa Avenue and Convoy Street. I also like Mexican and other Latin American cuisines such as Cuban and Colombian. My tastebuds are relatively adventurous, and vegetarian/vegan friendly too.

    Also, recommendations for the best nearby beaches are welcome, as I would like to see a sunset over the Pacific. I've seen the sun rise over the Atlantic many times, and I'd like to be able to say that I've personally experienced "from sea to shining sea."

    Before anyone asks: Tijuana is out of the question. :) Also not on my list is Los Angeles; it's a little further than I'm comfortable driving, at least this time around. My itinerary doesn't leave very much margin.

    All recommendations welcome. Thanks in advance!
    Click the attachment below to view the map I mentioned...
    SanDiego.png
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    #2
    Not a local or even West Coast resident anymore, but what's your reference point, where do you live now?

    I've stayed in the rough area you're going to and it's not that exciting we high-tailed it out of there to various attractions. (Our kids were young so the Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Legoland and Sea World were all regular attractions for us.)

    Before kids we enjoyed spending time in La Jolla, but the restaurant we used to use as an excuse to go there has long since closed.

    B
     
  3. mfram macrumors 65816

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    San Diego, CA USA
    #3
    I'm quite familiar with that area. There is an In-n-Out in that area. ;)
    My favorite Mexican food is the area is Casa Muchado. It's located on the second floor on the main building at Montgomery Field. There's lots of free parking. I'm not that in to Asian food, but I can confirm that Convoy between Balboa and Claremont Mesa is the Asian food hub. Honestly though that part of town ... um ... Isn't the prettiest part of San Diego. So if you want to see nice sights you'll have to go to other parts of the city. There's a distinct 70s vibe in that area.
     
  4. mfram macrumors 65816

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    #4
    These are all my opinions: the best views in San Diego are at Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma. Find it on a map, you'll see why. Since it's part of the National Park system you'll have to pay to get in unless you have a Parks Pass. From there you have a view of the Pacific Ocean and the entire bay including Coronado island, the Navy Base, the Coronado bay bridge and the Convention Center. There are tide pools to explore on that property if the tide is out. All kinds of sea critters. Highly recommended.

    Yes, you can go to the Zoo... but for the more adventurous go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It's like going on an African Safari, except in SoCal. Large property, exotic animals. Be warned, that place it very hot in the summer. High 90s or triple digits. But it's a "dry heat". Guaranteed lots of sun!

    My favorite beaches are La Jolla Shores (lots of free parking) and Torrey Pines State Beach. TPSB has some free street parking on Southbound traffic only. Otherwise, there's pay parking. Worth it for a tourist. This would be an excellent place to see a sunset. If you'd like a seafood dinner with that sunset, then you can try Jake's Del Mar. It's a little expensive but if you can get a view seat it's worth it. Try to go to the beaches during the week. On the weekend, parking will be a challenge. There are beaches pretty much up the entire coast. Another possibility is La Jolla Cove. Unfortunately the seals love La Jolla Cove as well and can make quite a stink. The area is beautiful.
     
  5. dXTC thread starter macrumors 68020

    dXTC

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    #5
    My apologies for the late response...

    I live in the Louisville, Kentucky area now. I've only been as far west as Denver in my travels.

    When it comes to picking a spot for dinner, I'm not overly concerned with a neighborhood's appearance, as long as it's not so sketchy that I'll be an instant robbery target. Here in Louisville, some of the best food choices are in working-class neighborhoods; one of the liveliest sections for cuisine in Louisville is along the Bardstown Road corridor, which has a similar 70s/college-hipster vibe.

    Thanks for the bit about La Jolla Shores and TPSB. I think they're going to be my best beach/"sunset selfie" bets, and La Jolla is a straight shot west from my hotel.
     
  6. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #6
    Are there any plans to go to the Gaslamp district? What about beer? There are some really good spots near the Gaslamp area.

    Also when will you be there? The reason I ask, is because next week is the Baseball All-Star game and then the following week is the San Diego Comic Con. Both of which will bring in huge crowds.
     
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #7
    Coronado Brewing Co., Green Flash, and Rogue are worth checking out if you enjoy beer. There's probably more, but I can't recall them at the moment.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    Decent food options around Gaslamp too as I recall.

    B
     
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #9
    Stone Brewery for sure! Teehee. Ballast Point.

    But I don't know if the OP likes beer or not. There are so many good spots to try good craft beer. Heck we just found a spot that pairs donuts and beer! :eek:
     
  10. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #10
    Bah, Stone! That's what I meant...why did I say Rogue...

    And of course Ballast Point. Whoops.
     
  11. D.T., Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016

    D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #11
    Yes please :) Also Arrogant Brewing (since they succeeded from Stone :D), north/east of downtown SD proper, in Escondido.
     
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #12
    Wait do they have their own brewery too! Off to google.........
     
  13. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #13
    I know they split from Stone a couple of years ago, so I believe they have dedicated facilities? I'm waiting to get educated from your research :D
     
  14. rhett7660, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016

    rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #14
    So far it doesn't look like they have a setup like the Stone Brewery Restaurant/Brewery and it doesn't mention anything to the sort going off their website. Just talks mainly about them becoming their own brewery in 2015 along with a few other tidbits.

    http://www.arrogantbrewing.com/

    In fact going to Stone's website, there is no mention of AB now unless you do a search or really dig into some of the beers listed.......
     
  15. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #15
    No brewery tours? No bar? No samples?

    Those arrogant bastards ...

    :D
     
  16. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #16
    hahhaha Touche! :D:D:D:D
     
  17. Beachguy macrumors 6502a

    Beachguy

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    #17
    Let me second mfram's recommendation of the Safari Park. My favorite San Diego place. (Disclaimer: I absolutely love animals, so it is a bigger deal to me than most.)

    My wife is from San Diego. Closest I came to living there was L.A. so I can't get neighborhood specific. I simply wished to second the Safari Park.

    P.S. You'll LOVE San Diego.
     
  18. dXTC thread starter macrumors 68020

    dXTC

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    #18
    I don't know if I'll have the gumption to do the Gaslamp district downtown, as I'm not traveling with a group. I have a feeling I'll be back within a year, though, so maybe then when I'm more familiar with the city.

    I'm more of a wine and spirits fan; beer doesn't really interest me all that much.

    Looks like I'll be in town during the Comic Con week. Hmm. Maybe that explains why my hotel rates were so high.

    I hope so. I haven't yet found a city in my business travels that I hated; a generally positive outlook helps me a lot in this regard.
     
  19. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #19
    Be thankful you even got a hotel room! Yeah, 150K plus people will be descending on San Diego for Comic Con and the week before is the Baseball All-Star game. So it is going to be a little crowded.

    Downtown is going to be mega packed.
     
  20. Evildonkey macrumors newbie

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    CYEG
    #20
    Sorry for being so late to reply to this. In addition to all the other spots mentioned by the MR members, I have two favourites that come to mind restaurant wise.
    First and foremost is Slater's 50/50. Excellent food and even better staff!! It has a varied menu but leans towards more of traditional Western cuisine (burgers, craft beer, desserts....oh did I mention the phenomenal burgers!!). If memory serves, they have ties to a food truck and a second restaurant (S & M -----stands for sausage and meat----) that always gets incredible reviews for the burgers and creative uses of bacon. (Sorry whilst I wipe the drool off of my keyboard at the mere mention of both burgers and bacon and the thought of their respective menus.)
    Second choice would be Pizza Nova on Harbor Drive. Nice place nestled in by the marina in more of a tourist type district. Food is good, staff is very friendly.
    Got hooked on both places during Comic-Con's of the past.
    Enjoy San Diego, wonderful people and a gorgeous city. They treated this Canadian donkey and his family very well over the years.
     
  21. dXTC thread starter macrumors 68020

    dXTC

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    #21
    So, I'm back from SD, and here are my thoughts...

    Overall, it's a really nice city. The locals were friendly, and the traffic wasn't horrendous. Then again, I didn't go downtown; I decided not to brave the Comic Con crowds.
    The area I mapped out in my original post in this thread is where I stayed most of the time, and even then I could have made a month of it and not eaten at the same place twice. The Convoy Road corridor is indeed the Asian food fan's paradise-- Dae Jang Keum (excellent ojingeo bokkeum), Thai House, Phuong Trang and Szechuan Taste were places I tried and loved. And now that I've had true Szechuan, I'm spoiled-- I won't look at my local Chinese restaurants the same way again. No comparison, none.
    Other neighborhoods in that area have little surprises as well. Domo Kitchen, in the Ruffin Road area, is running a great sushi special as of this writing: 50% off standard rolls and 30% off special rolls, all day, every day. The owners are really nice too.
    Of course, I did occasionally take a break from my "Pacific Rim tour". Did the In-N-Out thing just to say I did. And then I discovered The Godfather on Clairemont Mesa. Very nice Italian/Sicilian restaurant, with refined service; it made me "feel like I know a guy." Highly recommended.

    The last day of my training ended just after noon, so I got a chance to spend an afternoon at La Jolla. I found a parking spot near the beginning of the Coast Blvd. loop, and walked from La Jolla Cove down to the end of the Observation Walkway around the "Childrens' Pool" and back. I took a few pictures, including some of the seals (mfram was right; the seals were gathered by the dozens on the rocks around La Jolla Cove and were rather fragrant).
    I returned to my car, but I still had a couple of hours to kill before sunset, so I came off Coast and ended up parking at the end of Girard Avenue right in front of Bobboi, a great little gelato stand, for an affogato. Shopped a little bit, got a couple of trinkets for the family, and ate at Jose's Court Room on Prospect--not the absolute best tacos I've had, but the view of the late afternoon ocean down through Girard made it worthwhile.
    After that, I headed to La Jolla Shores (mfram was right again-- there's lots of free parking at that location, and not just in that main parking lot), watched the surfers, got my "sunset selfies" and called it a night.

    All in all, I fully enjoyed San Diego. I found myself wishing I had another couple of days, to be honest. If I can just convince my company to send me on another seminar...
     

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