Food: San Diego

So this is a really late post, the original draft was written May 7, 2010. yeah. I have a backlog of posts I need to finally get out of my “drafts” folder. Anyway, last year, I was sent to San Diego for work and was excited at the prospect of being on the california coast. Not only was there some planned surfing and museum-visiting, I was very excited to see what kind of food I could find during my stay.

San Diego 2010 - cafe sevilla

Cafe sevilla for dinner

Located in the popular Gaslamp District, Cafe Sevilla was my first real dinner stop in San Diego. I was driving around and ended up walking around Gaslamp. I saw this place and was suddenly craving some spanish tapas and maybe a little manchego. Sure enough, they did not disappoint. The patatas bravas, chorizo, and manchego platter totally hit the spot. They have some great happy hour specials and had some decent portion size for tapas. Little did I know this was going to be the start of my gorge-fest in SD.

Taco dinner!

I got plenty of recommendations from locals and other visitors that the South Beach Bar and Grille was a must-go-to place to have the best fish tacos. as a coworker once told me, the fish taco is to San Diego as the crab cake is to Baltimore – and South Beach was the best, cheap tacos around. I must say, I was definitely not disappointed. They had a few fish tacos to choose from: tilapia, mahi, and shark. I didn’t know which one to get, so I got them all. I made some friends with my bar-neighbors who were driving from SD to Portland, and they got the same recommendation. The shark taco was easily my favorite of the three. Between the texture of the fish and the delicious slaw, I couldn’t get enough. From the windows, you could see the Pacific and the long Ocean Beach pier that stretched way out into the ocean. Gorge yourself on fish tacos for dinner then take a walk out to the end of the pier for sunset – but make sure you leave a LOT of time to walk the pier, it’s a lot longer than it looks. (insert “that’s what she said joke here”)

After a visit to the USS Midway, I got some raw oysters (above) and cioppino (below) from Fish Market, located adjacent to the Midway next to the Bob Hope statue. I ate at the bar because I don’t like to take up a table when I eat alone. The cook behind the bar had a little mini kitchen going on where he made all the raw dishes and all the available bar dishes.

San Diego 2010

I started with a plate of oysters, heavy on the lemon and tabasco – some of the cleanest oysters I’ve ever eaten.

San Diego 2010

The cook recommended the cioppino, and being on a seafood kick, I immediately ordered it. He put together all the seafood pieces, adding them to the pan at the appropriate times so all the seafood would finish cooking at the same time. The end result was delicious, I would go here again for the cioppino.

San Diego 2010

So I didn’t know about the complete secret menu, but I knew I wanted a double double animal style from the unassuming chain of burger places called In-N-Out. Available only on the west coast, I don’t regularly get access to In-N-Out food. I’ve been told that it is like a Five Guys. After eating at both, I know I am definitely in the Five Guys camp, but I still enjoy a trip to In-N-Out for my animal style burger and fries 🙂

San Diego 2010

I got this next recommendation prior to leaving for SD. It is not located in San Diego, but up the coast a little bit in La Jolla. I went to go see the seals in La Jolla Cove and decided to stay for dinner overlooking the coast. Trattoria Acqua is an italian restaurant that appears to be closing its doors for good. Hopefully this restaurant group will take their concept elsewhere as I really enjoyed their food and ambiance.

San Diego 2010 - Trattoria di Acqua

arugula and prosciutto

Arugula, prosciutto, blue cheese salad

San Diego 2010 - Trattoria di Acqua

Halibut and gnocchi

So eat up when you’re in San Diego! Get a surf lesson in and satisfy your hunger with some tasty fish tacos!

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