Restaurant Review: La Puerta

Details: Located at 560 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101. The official site is http://www.lapuertasd.com/

I came here on a Monday night. Place is was packed. However, once we were seated, we were informed that happy hour would go on all night. That meant drinks, appetizers, and quesadillas were half off ALL NIGHT. HELL YES.

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Restaurant Review: Sushi Deli 2

Details: Located at 135 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101. The official site is http://www.sushidelitwo.com/

I’ve written about it before, but there are tiers of sushi. In terms of price, high-end is generally around a hundred dollars or more for omakase (e.g. Masa, Nakizawa), the new middle is now places that offer omakases at around fifty dollars (e.g. Sugarfish), and then there’s the low-end that price around twenty dollars or less. If you want some low end, but still satisfying sushi, Sushi Deli 2 is a great place to go.

I came here at night during a weekend. It was packed. They don’t take reservations here. You have to physically come here and write your name onto a list. Then you wait outside until your name is called. I don’t think they call or text or anything, so you just have to physically wait their until your name is called. Kind of annoying, but there were still a ton of groups waiting with me outside the restaurant… for about an hour.

Like many lower end sushi places, they had “specialty” rolls. It’s stuff with ingredients like fruit, cream cheese, smoke salmon, etc. It’s stuff that traditional, higher end sushi would never put in sushi, but there is a need and desire for this kind of food and Sushi Deli 2 fulfills that desire.

I ordered the Verano Roll (spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, avocado, cilantro, crab surimi, lemon slices, spicy sauce) for around nine dollars. It was okay. It was a little odd that they actually put thin slices of lemon, rind and all, on top of the thing.

I saw a lot of people order the nachos. Maybe that’s good. I wouldn’t know since I didn’t get it.

The environment was fun. It’s a Japanese restaurant, not a bar, but one where you’d feel comfortable drinking as if you were in a bar. The service people were nice.

Overall, an okay place that serves a very specific need. It’s cheap Japanese food with heavy Western influence, to the point where you could argue that the restaurant is more American than Japanese.

Score: 5.8/10

Restaurant Review: Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ

Details: Located at 888 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037. The official site is http://www.bubbassmokehousebbq.com/

So I traveled all the way to San Diego and I got some true, authentic, San Diego… barbecue? I’ll admit, this isn’t the south, but I was still glad to have come to this place for their barbecue.

I ordered the Bubba Combo Platter, which comes with three meat options with a side and cornbread for $16.99. I had the quarter rack pork ribs, single beef rib, and the chopped beef brisket with a side of macaroni and cheese. The ribs were good. They slid off the bone a little to easily which implies they were overcooked. I still enjoyed them. The chopped brisket was really good, really fatty, just the way I like it. The macaroni and cheese and cornbread were all right.

I like the environment they have here. It’s casual and kind of has a no-waiters-but-sort-of-has-waiters system. They don’t wait on you and you don’t have to tip, but they do bring the food and take your trays. I liked it very much and kept things relaxed and casual.

Also worth mentioning is that the barbecue sauce they have is kept WARM. My goodness does that help. A small thing, but one that definitely has a positive effect on taste.

Overall, I loved this place and would easily recommend it.

Score: 6.9/10

Restaurant Review: Barbusa

Details: Located at 1917 India St, San Diego, CA 92101. The official site is http://barbusa.com/

I came here for dinner. I can’t remember if it was a weekday or the weekend. Whatever day it was, it was packed. Luckily, the host squeezed us in even though we had no reservations. He did ask us to try to eat within an hour… which wasn’t great. We did it anyway.

Most of my group had pasta which was great. I ordered the Carbonara Con Piselli (fettuccini, sweet peas, caramelized onions, pancetta, farm fresh egg yolk) for around sixteen dollars. It was really good and the pasta was really fresh. My only complaint was that the portion was a little small in comparison to similarly priced pasta I’ve ordered in New York City. Additionally, a friend ordered the squid ink pasta and loved it.

One thing worth mentioning is that their pizza is crap. A friend ordered it and when it came, it looked like trash. The friend also described the taste to be similar to trash. Overall, pretty trash pizza. Don’t order it. Get the fresh, somewhat small portioned pasta.

The environment was comfortable and lively. All of our waiters and hosts were nice.

Overall, a good place to get some pasta. A terrible place to order pizza.

Score: 6.4/10