Friday, July 29, 2011

Seoul BBQ Restaurant

It's SO hot.

We thought this little condiment shelf was charming.

Good rice, and this soup was delicious!

Here are the meats.

Panchan.  Could be better.
Here's what you get for $9.99.  There's also a $14.99 option.  Dinner is something like $19.99 and $24.99.  
Rating: Two thumbs down
Date: 7/29/11
Servers' recommendations: N/A
What we ordered: Lunch A
Number in our party: 2 
  • The daikon soup that came before the meal was tasty, with lots of black pepper.
  • The panchan wasn't terribly good.  Nothing unique or unusual was served, and other restaurants do better with the standard dishes.  For example, the potatoes in the potato salad were undercooked and chewy.
  • The marinated meats they served had good flavor, and the chicken was nice and juicy.
  • The pork belly was kind of tasteless and chewy.
  • The food was okay, but this place was missing something...  We came out of the restaurant feeling underwhelmed by the whole experience.  If this were the only Korean barbecue in the area, maybe we'd love it.  But with Jeong Won and even Manna nearby, there would be no reason to come here, even if the lunch special is cheap.
Address: 4344 Convoy St, Ste I
Phone number: 858.505.8700
Accepts credit cards?
Plaza with plenty of parking.
Ideal group size:
Available vegetarian options:
Some of the panchan?
Noise level: 3 
Who not to bring: Vegetarians

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Original Pancake House

Eggs Benedict.

I love you, bacon.

Dutch baby!  It comes with butter and lemon slices.
Rating: Two thumbs up
Date: 7/15/11
Time in: 1:15 PM
Time out: 2:00 PM
Servers' recommendations: Eggs Benedict
What we ordered: Eggs Benedict, Dutch baby with a side of bacon, coffee
Number in our party: 2 
Final check amount: $28.55
  • The restaurant is charming -- much more so than you would expect from the outside.  It looks like Grandma's house, with flowery curtains and quaint tableware (and the silverware looks like real silver, even though it's not). 
  • The bacon is nice, thick, and chewy.  Jenne gives it a thumbs up.  Miko actually prefers that her bacon be thinner and crispier. 
  • The eggs Benedict is yummy.  It isn't anything original or amazing, but it is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT to find decent eggs Benedict.  (Common problems include: instant hollandaise, stingy sauce portions, chemically ham/Canadian bacon, undertoasted English muffins, and unnecessary creativity with ingredients.)
  • The Dutch baby is expensive for what it is ($9.50 for a small one) but there is nowhere else you can get it in San Diego!  And they are delicious!
  • The coffee is fine, as are the potatoes. 
  • For regular breakfasts like bacon and eggs, you can get pancakes instead of toast as a side!
  • The portion sizes are just right.
  • The service is friendly and prompt, and they are ON those water refills!
Address: 3906 Convoy St
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Shared lot with a good number of spaces
Ideal group size:
1-4, but they could probably put tables together for more. But don't bring a large group unless you make a reservation (not sure if they even take reservations). There will definitely be a long wait on weekend mornings even for small groups.
Available vegetarian options: Lots! Pancakes, crepes, omelettes, oatmeal, etc.
Who not to bring: Vegans
Noise level: 3

Friday, July 15, 2011

Parsian International Market and Grill - CLOSED

It's also a grocery store, with lots of really interesting produce.

Sour grapes!  I asked a guy what you do with them, and he said
he adds a few to stews for a sour taste.  He said they're only in season right now, so he buys a lot and freezes them.

Quinces!  I don't know what you use them for.
They make this bread right here.
Pleasant seating area with lots of natural light.  There's also an outside patio but it was too hot today.
Walnut stew (fesenjoon).  Note the RICE CRUST!

Saffron pistachio ice cream sandwich.  I want another one right now.
You can also get the ice cream in pints.
Rating: Two thumbs up!
Date: 7/8/11
Time in: 11:50 AM
Time out: 12:39 AM
Servers' recommendations: Gheimeh stew, walnut stew, mini grilled chicken and beef, mini beef, gyros platter, chicken kobide 
What we ordered: Mini grilled chicken and beef, ice cream sandwich, and water (Miko); walnut stew and water (Jenne)
Number in our party: 2 
Final check amount: $13.88 for Miko, $9.87 for Jenne
  • The atmosphere is very pleasant, friendly, and comfortable.
  • Well-aerated and bright, with lots of natural light.
  • Lunchtime is busy here, but not crazy.
  • The portions are huge!  Our dishes could be shared between 2 or maybe even 3 people.
  • Everything is perfectly seasoned -- I (Miko) wouldn't have added salt or pepper to anything.  The meat is tender and juicy.  The beef reminds me a little of breakfast sausage in texture.  It's all delicious!
Address: 4020 Convoy St 
Phone number: 858.277.7277
Accepts credit cards?
Private lot
Ideal group size:
Available vegetarian options:
Vegetarian quiche, appetizers, soup, desserts
Noise level: 2

Monday, July 4, 2011

Izakaya Sakura

Salmon nigiri.

Agedashi mochi -- so delicious!!!

Chicken karaage, with many dipping options.

Omlet & rice, or "Omrice."

Yakisoba is a bit greasy.

Rating: Two thumbs up! 
Date: 7/3/11
Time in: 7:09 PM
Time out: 8:30 PM
Servers' recommendations: Omlet & rice [sic], spicy fish salad
What we ordered: Omlet & rice, chicken karaage, agedashi mochi, salmon nigiri, yakisoba 
Number in our party: 2 
Final check amount: $37.18

Price per person: $18.59Notes: 
  • This restaurant doesn't have a sign.  Not even in Japanese.  That is totally badass.
  • The agedashi mochi is SO delicious.  We could eat this every day and dream about it in between.  In fact, this makes Sakura a kind of one-dish wonder.  We like their other food too, but the agedashi mochi is what makes it a gold star and keeps us coming back.
  • The salmon sushi is adequate.  After Sushi Dokoro Shirahama, we are ruined.
  • The Omrice is good for someone who grew up eating it and needed comfort food, but for everyone else, it might just be weird.  The miso soup that came with it was yummy though -- good tofu with perfectly seasoned broth.
  • The chicken karaage is awesome.  It's crispy but not too greasy.
  • The yakisoba is too oily, and Jenne wants more cabbage in it.
  • The service is slow, so don't come here when you're not a tight schedule.


Rating: Two thumbs up!
Date: 7/3/11
Time in: 7:06 PM
Time out: 8:45 PM
What we ordered: Uni pasta, agedashi mochi, salmon onigiri, chicken karaage, albacore tataki, nikomi hamburg, tebashio, black sesame ice cream, green tea
Number in our party: 5
Final check amount: $71.28

Price per person: $14.26

  • Our official Convoy Conquest visit (above) was probably the worst meal Jenne and I have ever had at Sakura.  We felt we should do an official revisit so readers might know why we like this place.  For photos, please see our Convoy Day post.

Address: 3904 Convoy St, Ste 121
Phone number: 858.569.6151
Accepts credit cards?
Private plaza with plenty of parking
Ideal group size: 
Available vegetarian options: 
Plum onigiri, edamame, baked mushroom? eggplant gratin?
Noise level: 2
Who not to bring: Vegetarians (almost everything is cooked with bonito broth)