Travel/Food Advice

pawrestlersintn

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Jan 26, 2013
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Heading to San Diego on Friday. Primary objective is seeing #2 son, who the US Navy and Covid have conspired against us seeing since October 2019.

We have a pretty solid list of stuff to do, but this board has always been great about travel advice.

Currently on the list:
Sub tours are back open, so we'll get to tour his sub, and I can't wait
Zoo
Safari Park
Sea World
Cabrillo/Point Loma
USS Midway Island Tour
Gaslamp Quarter
Blenders Eyewear store for guess who
Trip to LA (engagement party, Hollywood walk of fame, maybe side trip to Joshua Tree)
Torrey Pines Natural Area was on the list, but now I just found out the US Open in there that week

So, primarily looking for restaurants and can't miss attractions to fill out the week.
 

pawrestlersintn

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Jan 26, 2013
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I've also seen good things written about The Taco Stand in La Jolla. But, La Jolla is getting close to Torrey Pines, I believe. Probably going to avoid that.
 
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nittinsc

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Aug 21, 2017
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I've also seen good things written about The Taco Stand in La Jolla. But, La Jolla is getting close to Torrey Pines, I believe. Probably going to avoid that.
My sister spends a lot of time in SD. I'll ask her for recommendations if I get a chance. Any preferred cuisine?
 
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pawrestlersintn

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My sister spends a lot of time in SD. I'll ask her for recommendations if I get a chance. Any preferred cuisine?
There is virtually no food you can put in front of me that i won't eat. (I know this board will see that as a challenge.)

Local stuff, preferably.
 
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El-Jefe

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Jul 27, 2012
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I've also seen good things written about The Taco Stand in La Jolla. But, La Jolla is getting close to Torrey Pines, I believe. Probably going to avoid that.
Breaking this up into a few posts for length ...

That's a really good list of things to do in San Diego. The one thing I'd add in the city itself is a quick trip across the bridge to Coronado Island. Can be merely at dusk for a nice view of the city and a look at the famous Hotel del Coronado. IIRC the hotel brunch is an event to itself.

Two reasons to reconsider La Jolla:
1. Sunny Jim Cave -- it's an ocean inlet that you access from above (approx 150 steps down). Very neat. Adjacent to a nice public beach.
2. Stroll around UC San Diego campus for the weird architecture based upon literature -- one building themed around the 7 deadly sins, another around the 7 virtues, the path to the library designed to look like a serpent, the eucalyptus forest with an occasional fake tree playing forest sounds, etc. Interesting experience.

There are a ton of good, relaxed eateries in the oceanfront section of Pacific Beach.

In normal times, day trip to Tijuana would be a must. But I'm not sure if land crossings are allowed yet, and you might need a covid test to re-enter the country (though that shouldn't be a problem in TJ, lol). And you'd need your passports. If it's doable and you decide to go, then I'll fill in the gaps as to how. (You'll leave the car in downtown San Diego.)
 

El-Jefe

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Jul 27, 2012
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Food in LA:
1. Carlito's Gardel in Hollywood -- possibly the best Argentinian steakhouse in the US. Not cheap, but a real bargain compared to most steakhouses.
2. pick a Oaxacan restaurant in West LA or Hollywood. Quiadaiyn, Juquila, El Jacalito for starters, several other candidates.
3. LA has the most Armenians outside of the Caucasus. Zankou Chiicken is a regional chain of shawarma shops. Or a bunch of more traditional restaurants around Hollywood.
4. Jitlada - famous Southern Thai in Hollywood. Many menu items not found even elsewhere in LA
5. Versailles -- local outpost of the famous Miami Cuban restaurant (owned by the same family). On Venice Blvd near I-405.

I'd be cautious about the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It's just a massive tourist trap, but you already knew that. It was always a little seedy and sometimes a little dangerous. LA right now has a massive homeless problem. Before going, be sure the Walk of Fame isn't a tent city.
 

El-Jefe

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Joshua Tree is spectacular even just to drive thru, just note that it's a real haul from both SD and LA, and it'll be really hot in the desert. My brother and I only got out of the car a few times, just to see Skull Rock and a few vistas, and do not regret it at all.

However, we did it as a day trip from his apartment in West LA -- the 3-hr drive back was extremely difficult. We stopped 6x just to walk around, so we wouldn't fall asleep. (The Palm Springs Fogo de Chao-induced meat coma may have been a factor.)

Strongly recommend an overnight in Palm Springs on the way to/from LA -- it'll save you a mega sh**-ton of driving and time, plus you can see the park in early morning before it gets desert hot.

Enter the park via 29 Palms CA. Start with breakfast at the Joshua Tree Country Kitchen -- a Cambodian-owned diner (hint: skip the diner food, do the Mama's Specialties even if it seems like the wrong meal of the day). And pack a lot of water.
 
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SRATH

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If you can't fit in Palm Springs between LA and SD, hit Las Brisas in Laguna Beach. It has been a while since I have been there, but the location is amazing. I just checked, recent reviews are sketchy....probably bumps in the road opening up.
 
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ga.lion

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Destin Florida
Heading to San Diego on Friday. Primary objective is seeing #2 son, who the US Navy and Covid have conspired against us seeing since October 2019.

We have a pretty solid list of stuff to do, but this board has always been great about travel advice.

Currently on the list:
Sub tours are back open, so we'll get to tour his sub, and I can't wait
Zoo
Safari Park
Sea World
Cabrillo/Point Loma
USS Midway Island Tour
Gaslamp Quarter
Blenders Eyewear store for guess who
Trip to LA (engagement party, Hollywood walk of fame, maybe side trip to Joshua Tree)
Torrey Pines Natural Area was on the list, but now I just found out the US Open in there that week

So, primarily looking for restaurants and can't miss attractions to fill out the week.
Temecula Wine Country
 
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Bob_Anderson

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May 24, 2007
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I live in SD. Much has changed in the last year, but my wife and I always liked going to Island Prime. I've spent the last 2 years doing 3 things:
Working
Family time with 2 year old
Golfing at torrey pines
So, unfortunately, I'm not really up to date on the restaurants, etc.
 

Agoodnap

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Sep 27, 2015
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In the Gaslamp District...try Rockin' Baja Lobster. Great seafood tacos and a free nacho bar that has about 20 different types of salsa's. I like sitting at the bar and get the latest from the bartender. It's right near the ballpark so if you're going to a game make sure to look it up. Also, great Italian at Toscano's right across the street. If you have time go to the Hotel Del Coronado for drinks, snacks, or a meal.

 
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crockster

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Jul 14, 2001
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Heading to San Diego on Friday. Primary objective is seeing #2 son, who the US Navy and Covid have conspired against us seeing since October 2019.

We have a pretty solid list of stuff to do, but this board has always been great about travel advice.

Currently on the list:
Sub tours are back open, so we'll get to tour his sub, and I can't wait
Zoo
Safari Park
Sea World
Cabrillo/Point Loma
USS Midway Island Tour
Gaslamp Quarter
Blenders Eyewear store for guess who
Trip to LA (engagement party, Hollywood walk of fame, maybe side trip to Joshua Tree)
Torrey Pines Natural Area was on the list, but now I just found out the US Open in there that week

So, primarily looking for restaurants and can't miss attractions to fill out the week.
I live in So Cal and have been to all of the places on list. You have a good list. okay... Gaslamp Quarter has a ton of good restaurants . There's a italian area , if you like italian. You cant beat the mexican food out here. You have a lot of good ideas of things to do. Here are a few more, but It all depends what you like. Others places to visit :Balboa Park is large area with a couple dozen museums(some free) of all types, music and some restaurants in the heart of San Diego. Its a very unique place. The Wharf and Coronado Island are nice is fun to see, though I wouldn't spend a day there. LaJolla(near Torrey Pines) is a nice small , upscale city north SanDiego on the ocean(shops and good restaurants). Always a lot of seals and sea lions along the beach. Old Town just north of San Diego is a an area you might want to check out. LA is not a great destination as far a seeing th city. However, Hollywood is something we all want to see, but it tis not the upscale glitzy place we all imagine. It is underwhelming, but still its fun to visit. Joshua Tree is great and is near Palm Springs, if you enjoy the desert and heat at this time of the year.. I live between LA and San Diego.. a couple of good smaller beach towns are San Clemente, Dana Point and Laguna Beach(all 45-60 minutes north of San Diego . Hope this helps, Enjoy your trip.
 

Cali_Nittany

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Jan 5, 2016
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Heading to San Diego on Friday. Primary objective is seeing #2 son, who the US Navy and Covid have conspired against us seeing since October 2019.

We have a pretty solid list of stuff to do, but this board has always been great about travel advice.

Currently on the list:
Sub tours are back open, so we'll get to tour his sub, and I can't wait
Zoo
Safari Park
Sea World
Cabrillo/Point Loma
USS Midway Island Tour
Gaslamp Quarter
Blenders Eyewear store for guess who
Trip to LA (engagement party, Hollywood walk of fame, maybe side trip to Joshua Tree)
Torrey Pines Natural Area was on the list, but now I just found out the US Open in there that week

So, primarily looking for restaurants and can't miss attractions to fill out the week.

As usual, @El-Jefe has some good detailed added suggestions for the San Diego area. And I need to check out some of his LA restaurant suggestions.

I would've suggested catching a game at Petco Park because it's an awesome stadium but the Padres are out of town.

Also, if you go to the La Jolla area, Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial is an absolute must. It's not far off the I-5.
 

OldPAwrestler

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Oct 6, 2017
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Not Not Taco's in Little Italy Food Hall. "Sam the Cooking Guy" has the restaurant. He also does a YouTube channel, in which he makes some pretty amazing stuff. My $0.02.
 

pafootballguy

Active Member
Jul 13, 2009
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Heading to San Diego on Friday. Primary objective is seeing #2 son, who the US Navy and Covid have conspired against us seeing since October 2019.

We have a pretty solid list of stuff to do, but this board has always been great about travel advice.

Currently on the list:
Sub tours are back open, so we'll get to tour his sub, and I can't wait
Zoo
Safari Park
Sea World
Cabrillo/Point Loma
USS Midway Island Tour
Gaslamp Quarter
Blenders Eyewear store for guess who
Trip to LA (engagement party, Hollywood walk of fame, maybe side trip to Joshua Tree)
Torrey Pines Natural Area was on the list, but now I just found out the US Open in there that week

So, primarily looking for restaurants and can't miss attractions to fill out the week.
Fly Fishing for Makos
 
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AgSurfer

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Aug 9, 2013
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I could write a few pages here - I lived in San Diego for about 30 years.

Try Rockin Baja Lobster in Old Town. Great atmosphere and food and killer margaritas!
Old Town Mexican Cafe is another favorite

For Italian food, you can't go wrong with Filippi's There are about 7 or 8 of them in San Diego. The one in Little Italy is the original one and has the best atmosphere. I like the one in Mira Mesa because they serve prime rib and pasta. It's unbelievable.

For good beef, try either Bully's or The Butcher Shop. Very good and not terribly expensive. When I was there, The Butcher Shop had some exceptional scenery bringing you the food.

For pizza and beer, try Pizza Port in Ocean Beach.

For FRESH sea food, nothing better than Pt Loma Seafoods. It's not a fancy place, but their seafood is awesome
 

AgSurfer

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Aug 9, 2013
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If you can't fit in Palm Springs between LA and SD, hit Las Brisas in Laguna Beach. It has been a while since I have been there, but the location is amazing. I just checked, recent reviews are sketchy....probably bumps in the road opening up.

Hah! That place brings back a few memories. We used to go there on Sunday afternoons for the exceptional scenery. (and I'm not talking about the ocean view) One time, we actually bumped into OJ Simpson! This was before his audition to do commercials for Buck Knives.
 
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AgSurfer

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PS - one more piece of advice. The Zoo, Sea World and all the other places you mentioned are worth seeing if you've never been to San Diego before. But most tourists are never told how beautiful it is in the mountains in the Eastern part of the county. Take a day and drive up to Julian which is an old gold mining town that was founded during the gold rush days. It's really relaxing up there and if you have a sweet tooth, make sure you stop in the Julian Pie Company for some apple pie and ice cream. Also, on the way back, take the route over Mt Laguna and do it at night. You'll see one of the most awesome night skies visible in the US!
 

El-Jefe

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Jul 27, 2012
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As usual, @El-Jefe has some good detailed added suggestions for the San Diego area. And I need to check out some of his LA restaurant suggestions.

I would've suggested catching a game at Petco Park because it's an awesome stadium but the Padres are out of town.

Also, if you go to the La Jolla area, Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial is an absolute must. It's not far off the I-5.
Like for the flattery, also for Mt. Soledad, had forgotten that but it's a worthy addition.

LA suggestions were for a visitor with only 1-2 days, with food less easily found in Central PA.

For more frequent visitors:
- Lola's, Peruvian in downtown Glendale
- Himalayan Cafe, in Old Town Pasadena
- Laurent Cafe, casual French in downtown Culver City
- Uncle Darrow's, no frills Cajun in Carson. The weekend brunch is insanely good (and cheap). Their former location near LAX was always my last stop before flying home -- so I'd have leftovers on the plane.

LA is known for Korean, but I didn't include any because IMO there's too much variability -- places using cheap cuts of meat. I didn't travel to eat gristle. But if people know of consistently good places, fire away.
 

El-Jefe

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82bordeaux

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PAgeologist

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Lilly, PA

El-Jefe

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That's F-ing disturbing. Tom should put you on time out for that.
I didn't post the pic, and I gave multiple cautions about the link.

Some people also lick frozen poles and put their hands on hot stoves.

tenor.gif
 

horraybeer

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Dec 6, 2013
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Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Every thing else Meh. Zoo meh. Food ok. Downtown is depressing and sad.​

 

pawrestlersintn

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Jan 26, 2013
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Breaking this up into a few posts for length ...

That's a really good list of things to do in San Diego. The one thing I'd add in the city itself is a quick trip across the bridge to Coronado Island. Can be merely at dusk for a nice view of the city and a look at the famous Hotel del Coronado. IIRC the hotel brunch is an event to itself.

Two reasons to reconsider La Jolla:
1. Sunny Jim Cave -- it's an ocean inlet that you access from above (approx 150 steps down). Very neat. Adjacent to a nice public beach.
2. Stroll around UC San Diego campus for the weird architecture based upon literature -- one building themed around the 7 deadly sins, another around the 7 virtues, the path to the library designed to look like a serpent, the eucalyptus forest with an occasional fake tree playing forest sounds, etc. Interesting experience.

There are a ton of good, relaxed eateries in the oceanfront section of Pacific Beach.

In normal times, day trip to Tijuana would be a must. But I'm not sure if land crossings are allowed yet, and you might need a covid test to re-enter the country (though that shouldn't be a problem in TJ, lol). And you'd need your passports. If it's doable and you decide to go, then I'll fill in the gaps as to how. (You'll leave the car in downtown San Diego.)
I should've probably mentioned that he lives in PB, so we'll be there at his favorite haunts quite a bit.
 

AgSurfer

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Also, on the topic of food, make sure you go somewhere that serves a Mexican style breakfast. There are hundreds of Mexican restaurants in San Diego, so finding one shouldn't be too hard. My favorite was a little shop on Garnet St in PB called Bustemante. They are under a new owner now, so I don't know if the menu is the same. But when I lived there, their breakfast menu included an item called a lobster machaca. It was far and away the best breakfast I've ever eaten.
 
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Dogwelder

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Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Every thing else Meh. Zoo meh. Food ok. Downtown is depressing and sad.​

Maybe Horraybeer is Charles Barkley! :)

From USA Today article:

Barkley called the Suns “trash.”

When Ernie Johnson pointed out that the team’s top 3 scorers were injured, Barkley said “They were no good when they had them.”

Barkley said the stadium has “stale popcorn” and the hot dogs have “hard buns” and “the soda is flat” and “the beer is flat.”

“The pretzels are hard as a rock and can break your dentures.”

“They got dirty seats,” but there is “plenty of parking.”

And the cheerleaders? “Oh, they ugly now.”

:)