Jeff-A's Latest Activity
jeff-a rated the restaurant The Prado
jeff-a filled out a comment card for The Oceanaire Seafood Room
After hearing all the hype surrounding Oceanaire, I decided to give it a try for restaurant week to see what all the fuss is about. I don't know if it was because of the high volume or the fact that it was restaurant week (which is really no excuse for that caliber of a restaurant), but the food was terrible. Improperly cooked, bad taste/texture combinations and overpriced seafood all set in a faux-upper scale bistro that comes off looking more like a converted office space with a bar. To be fair, I did not eat the coveted scallops or any of the oyster bar, but I doubt I will go back to find out.
I couldn't even imagine going to this establishment at full price, I would have had to speak to a manager - and I still maintain that if you are looking for a good eating experience, downtown is one of the worst places to go.
jeff-a rated the restaurant The Oceanaire Seafood Room
jeff-a rated the restaurant Casa de Reyes
jeff-a rated the restaurant Firehouse American Eatery
jeff-a filled out a comment card for Western Steakburger
Just cruising around the North Park area led my co-worker to smell delicious burgers from the road, and in to Western Burger we go. Truth be told, I brought my lunch that day, but the unique burger combinations with the kebab-style spit made me forgo my lunch (at least part of it) and get a gyro, while sharing the Western Burger.
The actual place is kind of a converted fast-food operation with a little more class, the servers just call you up deli style to pick up your order. I won't lie, it was the best gyro that I have had in San Diego, but that's not really saying much (maybe I have gone to the wrong places). My co-worker hit up the Western Burger, which I had some of. It was a greasy, huge ball of delicious. He did get the fries too, and from what I saw, the sides did look like they were just standard Safeway frozen fare.
Solid place if you like gyro meat, oh yeah, and bring cash, it is one of my big pet peeves that people don't take credit/debit card, and this is one of those places.
jeff-a rated the restaurant Western Steakburger
jeff-a rated the restaurant Amarin: Thai & Vegetarian
jeff-a rated the restaurant Champs Pub and Deli
jeff-a rated the restaurant Miramar Cafe
jeff-a rated the restaurant Surfin-Chicken
jeff-a filled out a comment card for Dino's Pizzeria
Great little lunch joint that has descent italian food, Dino's Pizzeria has a very "office" kind of feel that I really didn't get into. The decor is half-cubicle/half-bar with a half-hearted attempt at a Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin (hence, Dino's) motif going. That is all eclipsed with the great personal service you get there, with good attention to detail to make sure that your meal is enjoyable. I had the steak and cheese with sausage, and the sausage/pepper/onion on two separate times and they were both good.
jeff-a rated the restaurant Dino's Pizzeria
jeff-a rated the restaurant Souplantation
jeff-a rated the restaurant Great Moon Buffet
jeff-a rated the restaurant Lanna Thai Cuisine
jeff-a filled out a comment card for Starlite
Do you know those really trendy-looking places with a great bar setup, a good selection of mixed drinks, and that menu that you always want to try but never get around to it? That has been my basic statement for Starlite for over a year now, always coming too late or right after dinner, checking out the menu and wishing I had just eaten there instead of just coming for drinks.
The atmosphere is top notch, with a recessed bar, and a kind of 70's kitsch with a modern Dwell-like flair to the decor and the place encourages interaction. The menu items never really jump out at me either.
So, finally the order was placed for an appetizer and a dessert, and my hopes were crushed. The food wasn't terrible, but very generic and bland, with all of this stress on local ingredients and a menu that is trying to be higher-scale, the execution just wasn't there. I may go back for an entree, but it's going to take some time.
I guess the illusion of a fine dining experience has left for me, and I am left to take Starlite for what I originally thought it was: A great looking local bar with a solid cocktail list that is fun to hang out in.
jeff-a rated the restaurant Starlite
jeff-a filled out a comment card for Jyoti Bihanga
Veggie-only lovers of the world unite! Take one part pseudo-cult followers of Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual/buddhist-like leader (who is also located in New York - I still don't know how he got out this far west; random.), one part cutsey names for dishes with a lot of sprouts, and one part all vegan/veggie cuisine. Mix well (but not with butter, eggs or any of that other meat-murder stuff) and viola! Magic.
As from the above statements - I am an avid meat eater, and you know what? I had a great dining experience at this place! The food was prepared well, had a whole range of flavors and textures, was FILLING and tasted really good! I had the Neatloaf, which is a rice, grains, tofu, ricotta cheese concoction with a tomatoey paste type bbq sauce on top. You can get vegan or veggie items only there, and the staff don't try to force the philosophy down your throat, although the decor and mini book shop of holistic teachings does put it within view and have it easily accessible. I have never seen it crowded, in fact, the only real negative I have about the place is that I feel it is overpriced, but I would definitely recommend it just for the sake of trying some good veggie food.
jeff-a rated the restaurant Jyoti Bihanga
jeff-a filled out a comment card for Spices Thai Cafe
Just like the other comment cards, it is crowded at lunch, there's a line a couple of minutes after noon, and the wait can be 15 min. at times, and a lot of times the servers have so many tables that the food comes out not as hot as it should be. Although, I am a big fan of getting duck when I can, especially when it is not overpriced, which it usually is. I am also a big fan of the often screwed up pad thai - so I keep coming back for the Pad Thai Duck lunch special, with their Tom Yum Soup (which is excellent!) I have had the other lunch specials and some entrees with moderate success, and I definitely would not order their fried wontons or spring/egg rolls, but it is a nice touch to get a full asian meal with soup, salad and apps for just around $10.00.
jeff-a filled out a comment card for A Taste of Boston
This place is a perfect example of how atmosphere and service can kill a spot that has great food. First off - the good - all of the subs that I have had were excellent, especially the hot italian, the fries are above average, you get baked beans with the meal and for a little more you can get a ramekin of chowdah that is good. All in all, a really solid meal of good/above average to really good food.
Then comes the bad - they seem like they are constantly under-staffed to handle the lunch crowd, which has resulted in amazingly long waits (this time was the worst, clocking in at 45min-1hr!). On the plus side, if you avoid the small lunch window (I believe it is to arrive between 11:45 and 12:20) then it is not that bad of a wait, but still kind of long for a sub with some scooped in soup, beans and fries (which should be all be set to go for lunch).
The other bad thing is that they are owned and share with Boston Hair Salon, which is even accessible via doorway. In fact, this door is usually open, and the girls from the hair salon help out with the restaurant. So the extremely bad news is that you smell hair products throughout the bar/restaurant!
I recommend the food, just as long as you go with some time to spare (or on off-hours), and you get a table near the door - or better yet, the patio.
jeff-a rated the restaurant A Taste of Boston
jeff-a rated the restaurant In & Out Burger
jeff-a filled out a comment card for Mardi Gras Cafe
It can't make up it's mind to be a grocery store or a little bistro, and kind of feels like you walked in through the back door of an actual restaurant, but things have price tags on them. The wall of hot sauce is another distraction when you enter, although to help you with the overwhelming amount of sauces there are many on the table and at the counter to try. The setup is very deli styled - put your order in at the counter and find an open seat, which is usually available.
Aside from the decor that is tacky at best, most of the food is served in large portions, and is delicious. Make sure you are in the mood for down-home, Creole food, with stews and po boy's a plenty - all of which I can recommend. The muffaletta bread is a little on the dry side, but I found the sandwich to be tasty anyways. For the more adventurous there is some alligator sausage to both try and buy, which is also surprisingly good.
jeff-a rated the restaurant Mardi Gras Cafe
jeff-a rated the restaurant Mandarin Garden Restaurant
jeff-a rated the restaurant Sushi Hut
jeff-a rated the restaurant Callahan's Pub & Brewery
jeff-a filled out a comment card for Broken Yolk
There is a certain level of mystique with the Yolk, I personally don't think it lives up to the hype. One of my biggest pet peeves is waiting for breakfast - which, if you are at the Broken Yolk, is a given, unless you get there early. The line is huge and long and the food is totally not worth the wait. However, if you do find yourself hungry for breakfast and looking at the Broken Yolk without a line (usually pre-9am), then I would definitely say go in and try a specialty omelette. They do have a number of those aforementioned omlette's where they throw in some interesting ingredients, and some of them are rather good - I am a big fan of the Mexican-styled ones.