Went for a quick trip to visit my new great-nephew in San Diego. A little over 2 days and hard decisions about where to eat. It worked out pretty well. I used Eater San Diego’s 38 Essential Restaurants as a guide and family recommendations to back them up. My nephew highly recommended Aqui es Texcoco in Chula Vista (1043 Broadway) where we had a lunch feast with out of the ordinary Mexican food. The main ingredient is lamb, which I don’t see too often on menus at cheap Mexican places. Started with a marvelous lamb broth with hominy followed by 3 lamb tacos (rib meat, grilled, and cabeza). They were joined by huitlocoche and squash blossom quesadillas and guacamole with cactus. Everything was delicious, altho in last place was the huitlocoche, of which I had very high expectations. The house-made sangria was great too and the service was so welcoming and friendly, I’d happily return any time.
I managed to fit in one fish taco from Nine Seas/ German Mariscos taco truck in South Park. One good- sized piece of fish with just the right amount of coating and served with cabbage and sauce. Everything is made fresh as you wait so you’ll probably have a little wait. Lime and more sauce are self-serve. And it’s only $1.75. They have a famous marlin taco for $4 said to be quite large. I had just finished a decent breakfast at Big Kitchen across the street (3003 Grape) so I could only handle the one taco. Big Kitchen is a great old hippie place refreshingly un-San Diego with famous breakfasts and lunches. Their old claim to fame was that Whoopi Goldberg once worked there, but it’s sustained itself on good food at good prices. Eggs done just right, good bacon, good home fries. A classic.
Another consistently good breakfast can be had at The Mission. We had brunch at the Mission Beach original (3795 Mission Blvd.). The Breakfast Rosemary is just a darn god breakfast, great rosemary potatoes, scrambled eggs, and rosemary toast. Excellent cinnamon bread toast makes a pleasant meal served with fresh fruit, and the blueberry pancakes are huge and yummy. Very good hot chocolate. Close by, in Pacific Beach, we had one ofthe best seafood dinners ever at The Fishery (5040 Cass St). We took advantage of Tuesday Tastings and would go back any Tuesday I’m in San Diego. For $28 plus $12 for wine pairings, you get a 4 course beautifully prepared menu. We adored the first course of fried oysters, the salad of faro with fresh cherries, and the just caught white sea bass. Each main ingredient has perfect accompaniment, such as tangerine slices with the oysters or a rich mayonnaise with the bass. Perfect wine pairings, a fresh fruit dessert, and excellent service put this restaurant at the top of our favorites.
I had high hopes for take-out food from Sab E Lee Thai in Linda Vista (2405 Ulric). None of the 6 dishes thrilled, although the seafood salad had plenty of seafood and flavor and the papaya salad satisfied. The pad see ewe was mediocre and the catfish larb was mainly spicy. Combination fried rice was a good foil, but the fried chicken was overcooked. We had a more satisfying lunch downtown at Lotus Thai (909 Market), where I enjoyed the mas-su-mam beef. It’s pretty close to the new main library, so both are worth checking out once the library opens in September.