Content for Thursday, December 28, 2000

News & Stories

Best of 2000: Best Place To Take A Stroll Down Lovers' Lane

Seaport Village Boardwalk Want to take a walk with your love? You might enjoy the seaside in La Jolla, the Rose Garden of Balboa Park, or the quaint shopping district of Coronado. But the best ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Watch The 747s Land

Windsock Bar and Grill 2904 Pacific Highway, Midtown (619) 297-0866 Ever seen one of those wasps with long legs that dangle as they fly? The British Airways 747-400 coming in over the parking building on ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Spot SD's Flock Of Wild Parrots

Robb Field, Ocean Beach America's finest city? Mexican red-headed Amazons think so. The parrots are voting with their wings. It started four decades ago, when about 100 of these luminous-green birds with scarlet crests and ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To See God

Most Precious Blood Church Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament 1245 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista (619) 422-2100 Down in adoration falling, This great sacrament we hail. Over ancient forms of worship Newer rites of grace prevail. ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To See A 1300-Pound Fish

Squidco 1730 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy (619) 238-0909 One thousand three hundred and seventy-six pounds, to be exact -- and there's a 1294-pounder, to boot. You wouldn't believe the size of the aquarium this fishing-supply ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Read Old Newspapers On Microfilm

Geisel Library UCSD campus, La Jolla (858) 534-3336 The downtown public library has an extensive collection of local and national offerings. But you have to read the microfilm on cranky old machines in a room ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Put A Spell On Your Lover

El Paraiso soda fountain Avenida Niños Héroes, between 1st and 2nd Streets, Tijuana You're pulling daisy petals. "She loves me, she loves me not." You can do better. You can come to El Paraiso. The ...

    Best of 2000: Best Place To Relive The Life Of A World War II G.I.

    Camp Talega on Camp Pendleton (760) 725-5569 Clint Eastwood recognized it: the feel of the Lost Legion about this place. That's why he shot Heartbreak Ridge here. Camp Talega, hidden in the northwest hills of ...

    Best of 2000: Best Place To Partake In A Buddhist Tea Ceremony

    Wellspring Tea Room 4538 Park Boulevard, University Heights (619) 298-2800 Outside, it's University Heights. Inside, you're thinking, "Taipei?" It's a world of rattan mats, Asian zithers, palapa roofs, blond-wood furniture, books on Buddhism, live bamboo, ...

    Best of 2000: Best Place To Pick Up Scuttlebutt In San Diego

    The Turf Supper Club 1116 25th Street, Golden Hill (619) 234-6363 Up on Golden Hill, this curious, eclectic, cell phone­and­cocktail­and­steak place attracts graphic artists, dot-com dreamers, loft artists, teachers, ponytailed accountants, coulda-been stage stars, and ...

    Best of 2000: Best Place To Play Petanque

    Morley Field Balboa Park (858) 488-6710 It's your call: You can play bowls the English way, on manicured greens wearing formal whites; like the Italians, with wood-hearted bocce bowls in long sand pits; or like ...

    Best of 2000: Best Place To Meet Mexican Policemen

    Road from border crossing to Playas Many Baja-goers say Americans are most likely to get pulled over on the road that runs along the border from the San Ysidro crossing to Playas. The speed limit ...

    Best of 2000: Best Place To Learn Cambodian Chess

    Trieu Chau Restaurant 4653 University Avenue, City Heights (619) 280-4204 This is the ritual: come around nine in the morning and sit in the back on the salmon-colored Formica benches, where all the Cambodians gather. ...

    Best of 2000: Best Place To Live If You're Allergic To The 21st Century

    The Last Resort, Potrero (619) 478-5610 Ask for Harriett Molloy, self-confessed "canary from the mines of the industrial age," who founded this refuge 20 years ago in "the cleanest air I could find." "The winds ...

    Best of 2000: Best Place To Hitch A Yacht-Ride Across The Pacific

    Downwind Marine 2804 Cañon Street, Point Loma (619) 224-2733 www.downwindmarine.com Every year, around the fourth of November, Chris Frost throws a party. He calls it his "Cruisers Kick-Off Party." Skippers turn up looking for crew, ...

      Best of 2000: Best Place To Jump The Fence

      West end of Tecate Where's the best place to jump the border fence? Where there is no border fence. Not that we're encouraging anyone to break the law. But in case you're asked in a ...

        Best of 2000: Best Place To Find Out How To Become A Bullfighter (If You're A Woman)

        Mount Signal Cafe 1201 West Highway 98, ten miles west of Calexico (760) 357-1379 Women matadors are infrequent, partly because that's how the male matadors like it. But if you're determined to become a matador, ...

        Best of 2000: Best Place To Find Guests For "The Jerry Springer Show"

        The Del Mar Fair Try the Fun Zone at the Del Mar Fair after 10:00 p.m. No shortage here of delinquent brats hopped up on God- knows-what seeking out dangerous cheap thrills, wearing T-shirts that ...

        Best of 2000: Best Place To Fall Off The Weight Watchers Wagon

        Del Mar Fair Tired of calculating points? Tired of counting out 41 nonfat pretzel sticks for an afternoon snack? Tired of measuring every pitiful bite of food in the hopes of losing half a pound? ...

        Best of 2000: Best Place To Cram For Your Exams

        The Living Room 5900 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area (619) 286-8434 Sick of hoarse whispering in the library? Falling asleep dredge something new out of Aristophanes' Lysistrata? Pick up your books! Leave the library! Depart ...

        Best of 2000: Best Place To Contemplate Human Capacity For Ugliness

        City Operations Building 1222 First Avenue, Downtown There is a tendency in modern buildings to look as though the concept models upon which they are based were constructed from Legos, a childlike blockiness and friendliness ...

        Best of 2000: Best Place To Bring Out-Of-Town Guests

        Cabrillo National Monument 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma (619) 557-5450 www.nps.gov/cabr If there is the sightseeing equivalent of a fast-food outlet­gourmet restaurant in San Diego, it's the Cabrillo National Monument. With its vistas of ...

          Best of 2000: Best Neighborhood Neon Sign

          The Boulevard West end of El Cajon Boulevard To the casual observer, the revival and refurbishment of the neon neighborhood signs -- Kensington, Hillcrest, Normal Heights, (soon) Little Italy, et al. -- looks like an ...

          Best of 2000: Best Market Square In TJ

          Mercado Hidalgo Calle Victoria, Rio District, Tijuana Just when you thought all of Tijuana's Zona Rio was turning into San Diego­style shopping strips, Mercado Hidalgo saves the day. You don't think of traditional central Mexican ...

          Best of 2000: Best Hangout For Wanna-Be Surfers

          Pipe's Cafe 121 Liverpool Drive, Cardiff (760) 632-0056 Get to Pipe's for breakfast, late enough so it seems like you've been on dawn patrol, i.e., out surfing early. Don't shave. Leave your hair wet from ...

            Best of 2000: Best Local Writer

            Robert Wade Robert Wade is a lifelong San Diegan. He writes the "Spadework" column in the Union-Tribune book-review section once a month or so, the local mystery reader's guide to whatever is any damned good ...

            Best of 2000: Best Hacienda In The County

            Rancho Guajome, Vista (760) 724-4082 Plenty of Spanish hacienda relics remain in San Diego County. Rancho Guajome ("Frog pond") is still out there. The suburban world hasn't closed in and made it look like a ...

            Best of 2000: Best Grotto

            Lourdes Grotto Saint Therese Catholic Church, 6016 Camino Rico, Del Cerro (619) 582-3716 The address is a little misleading. The mission-style church stands on the corner of Navajo and College, but you enter off Camino ...

              Best of 2000: Best Ghost

              The Lady in White Vallecito Stage Depot County Highway S2, south of Scissors Crossing Some say she comes at night. Others say you first hear the horses snorting outside the door. But the Lady in ...

              Best of 2000: Best Garbage Dump

              Miramar Landfill Don't laugh, it's really an inspiring, thought-provoking place. First of all, its immensity is impressive. It takes five minutes to get from the gate to where you can dump your load of old ...

              Best of 2000: Best Frozen-In-Time Main Street

              Maine Avenue, Lakeside It's the perfect Wild West street scene. Movie producers have been using it as a location ever since May 25, 1911, when Pauline Bush starred in Allan Dwan's one-reeler, A Daughter of ...

                Best of 2000: Best Free Moorings In San Diego

                A-8 Anchorage, South End of San Diego Bay Pay nothing for rent and commune with nature, surrounded by sun, sea breezes, seagulls, ducks, and fish? Okay, you'll need a boat, because this is San Diego ...

                Best of 2000: Best Football Beach

                Coronado Municipal Beach Along Ocean Boulevard About a century ago, Mssrs. Kettner, Spreckels, and company were hard at it, trying to carve a proper city out of the canyon-riddled southwest corner of the country. Part ...

                Best of 2000: Best Free Harbor Tour

                San Diego-Coronado Ferry San Diego Harbor Excursion Dock, 1050 North Harbor Drive, bottom of Broadway (619) 522-6575 The bad news is you have to do this at the start or the end of the day. ...

                  Best of 2000: Best Example Of How Far We Haven't Come With Mexico

                  Border Field State Park West end of Monument Road (619) 575-3613 August 18, 1971, first lady Pat Nixon came to Border Field State Park and its low bluff overlooking the ocean, declaring it an international ...

                  Best of 2000: Best Duck Feeding

                  Lake Murray, San Carlos Though wild, the ducks at this lake just north of I-8 in San Carlos are well cared for. One middle-aged man comes every day with a duffel bag full of chicken ...

                  Best of 2000: Best Children's Library

                  La Mesa Branch, San Diego County Library 8055 University Avenue, La Mesa (619) 469-2151 Thursday before Father's Day, 3:30 in the afternoon, hordes of little Picassos concentrated on coloring and taping letters and cutouts onto ...

                  Best of 2000: Best Daylilies

                  Buena Creek Gardens 418 Buena Creek Road, San Marcos (760) 744-2810 This is not only the best source of daylilies in San Diego County; it's one of the best in the United States. Owner Steve ...

                  Best of 2000: Best Bed And Breakfast And Dancing

                  Bonni Marie's B&B 1000 Eighth Street, Coronado (619) 435-2200 Until two years ago, the city said you had to dance. That was if you wanted to stay at Bonni Marie's B&B. For 14 years the ...

                  Best of 2000: Best Baja Trailer Park

                  Estero Beach Resort, Ensenada The fabulously '50s Estero Beach Resort -- a sage and seafoam concrete dream marriage between Aztec beauty and American efficiency -- stands in sharp contrast to the messy, half-finished look of ...

                  Best of 2000: Best Central Mexican Town Plaza On The Border

                  Parque Miguel Hidalgo Tecate Okay, we've all heard it. Tijuana isn't the real Mexico. For that, say the oh-so purists, you've got to go "deep down into the heartland..." Baloney! All you've got to do ...

                  Best of 2000: Best Baja California Winery

                  Chateau Camou Valle de Guadalupe, (20 miles inland from Ensenada) 011-526-177-2221 Robert Mondavi has used his celebrity status to act as a sort of unofficial American Wine Ambassador. So it was with great anticipation that ...

                  Best of 2000: Best 4th Of July Parade

                  Coronado, Orange Avenue 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Why Coronado? Because the town's small enough and the parade's big enough. And the grassy median's a perfect picnic spot. And the Navy and the SEALs and ...

                  Best of 2000: Best (Surviving) Space-Based Religion

                  Unarius Academy of Science 145 South Magnolia Avenue, El Cajon (619) 444-7062 Their interstellar doctrine and prophecy are not a religion, say the Unarians, but a mandate from the star people to teach humankind connective ...

                    Best of 2000: Best (Cheapest) Way To Get From SD To LA

                    Oh sure, you can take a taxi ... Oh sure, you can take a taxi ($250 by Yellow Cab), fly ($135), catch the Amtrak ($22), or Greyhound ($13), or the one daily Coaster-Metrolink combo ($11), ...

                    Best of 2000: Best (And Cheapest) Place To Record Your Breakthrough Hit

                    Plaza Santa Cecilia, Tijuana You've got this ballad. It came to you in the shower. You know it's a hit. How to get it recorded? Pick up your tape recorder and take the trolley to ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Wedding Cake

                    Just Fabulous Pastries 4564 Alvarado Canyon Road, Suite A, Grantville (619) 285-1220 www.justfab.com San Diego is blessed with able bakers. But for wedding cakes, none can compare to Fabulous Pastries, each of whose cakes is ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Tortas

                    La Torta 4864 Cass Street, Pacific Beach (858) 272-2077 8350 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa (619) 466-3953 You take Mexican mainstays such as carne asada, machaca, chicken mole, refried beans, chiles relleno, and chorizo. But ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Spitinis

                    Pete's Quality Meats 17421/2 India Street, Little Italy (619) 234-1684 Sicily used to be known as the "Breadbasket of Europe." They exported grains all over the Mediterranean. Then came countless invasions, poverty, until their only ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Stromboli

                    Sorrentino's Ristorante 4726 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Clairemont (858) 483-1811 Why is the word stromboli familiar and yet hard to associate with food? The answer to the first is that it's an island off Sicily and ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Supermarket-Takeout

                    Jonathan's Gourmet Supermarket 7611 Fay Avenue, La Jolla (858) 459-2677 Some people have stopped cooking since Jonathan's Supermarket opened its take-out gourmet hot-and-cold food counter. Weather often determines what's cooked and prepared on a given ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Sole

                    de'Medici 815 Fifth Avenue, Downtown (619) 702-7228 For the 20 years that Mario Valerio was the manager of Anthony's Star of the Sea Room, the fresh petrale sole was one of its most distinguished offerings. ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Smothered Chicken

                    Huffman's Bar-B-Que 5039 Imperial Avenue, Valencia Park (619) 264-3115 Muhammad Ali ate here. So did Jesse Jackson, Roger Hedgecock, George Stevens, Sheriff Bill Kolender, Susan Golding, Tom Bradley, Archie Moore, Jim Brown... Their photos, with ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Place To Drink The Most Powerful (Polish) Beer In San Diego

                    Cottage Café 2321 Fifth Avenue, Banker's Hill (619) 696-0071 Your standard lite beer has 4.5 percent alcohol by volume and tastes like lemonade without the sugar, right? Then you drop into a Polish café. "You ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Place To Catch Your Fish For Dinner

                    Vien Dong Supermarket 4 5382 University Avenue, Rolando (619) 583-3838 Your eyes are swimming: you're surrounded by fish looking out at you while schooling in their tanks, waiting to be chosen for your dinner. This ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Scallop Burrito

                    El Zarape Mexican Restaurant 4642 Park Boulevard, University Heights (619) 692-1652 Never has a sack of food been so enticing. Plump scallops, tucked into a flour tortilla, luxuriate in a rich, creamy sauce. Just before ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Place For Super-Rich Gateaux

                    Extraordinary Desserts 2929 Fifth Avenue, Park West (619) 294-7001 Feels like Aladdin's cave, and owner Karen Krasne is its genie. Her magic is her shamelessness. This lady goes all out, hitting your senses of smell, ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Mole

                    El Agave Tequileria 2304 San Diego Avenue, Old Town (619) 220-0692 Say the word "mole" in reference to Mexican food, and what comes to mind is thick chocolate sauce replete with chiles placed over chicken. ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Place For Marlin Tacos

                    Mariscos Los Angulo Paseo de los Héroes #4449, Tijuana 011-526-634-6027 Best marlin tacos? Ask around (Tijuana) town, and you'll get a thousand answers. But if atmosphere helps your taste buds, Mariscos Los Angulo is it. ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Manicotti

                    When In Rome 1108 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas (760) 944-1771 Here's a great recipe for manicotti: from eggs, flour, water, and salt prepare a thin batter for crepes. Heat a crepe pan, pour as ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Mexican Soups

                    La Especial Norte 664 North Highway 101, Leucadia (760) 942-1040 Though it boasts neither a gorgeous interior nor superior service, people line up outside on Friday nights to sample the chicken soup. You can dine ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Mandarin Pork

                    China Inn 877 Hornblend Street, Pacific Beach (858) 483-6680 The secret to the excellence of the mandarin pork at China Inn is that Andy Kam, the owner, uses pork loin. This is a boneless piece, ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Japanese-Style Fondue

                    Shabu Shabu Jin Sang 7614 Fay Avenue, La Jolla (858) 456-4545 Shabu Shabu is a soup-like dish that can be cooked in the kitchen or at your table. For the at-the-table version, burners are placed ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Lamb Chops

                    Trattoria Positano 142 University Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 294-6995 When you read a menu, and the lamb chops are listed as New Zealand lamb, you know you're getting a better product. Whether it's the feed or ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Lemon Chicken

                    Athens Market 109 West F Street, Downtown (619) 234-1955 Say the words "lemon chicken" and diners think of the Chinese version, in which the breast of chicken is breaded, deep-fried, and doused with a lemon ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Italian Grocery

                    Mona Lisa 2061 India Street, Little Italy (619) 239-5367 This market and deli, owned and operated by the Brunetto family for 26 years, is small but full of culinary gems. The delicase shows off mozzarella ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Foie Gras Napoleon

                    Tapenade 7612 Fay Avenue, La Jolla (858) 551-7500 Foie gras is a taste that you acquire. It's a goose liver, strong in flavor, but never gamy, and there are as many recipes for foie gras ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Fritti

                    Barbarella Bistro 2171 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla (858) 454-7373 Take the top of a fern, called a fiddlehead. Dip it in a batter made of flour mixed with cornstarch, cayenne, coriander. Add some ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Gelato

                    Gelato Vero Caffe 3753 India Street, Little Italy (619) 295-9269 Gelato Vero Caffe's gelato (Italian ice cream) is denser, creamier, and tastier than all-American ice cream. Even "gourmet" ice creams don't come close to the ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Falafel

                    Mama's Bakery and Lebanese Deli 4237 Alabama Street, North Park (619) 688-0717 Mama's deli, just south of El Cajon Boulevard, is an old Craftsman shack hanging over the sidewalk, with just enough room inside for ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Exotic Mixed-Fruit Stand

                    Pedro's Fruit Cart Rio Suchiate and Rio Nazas, outside Ministerio Público, Tijuana Your best fruit lunch awaits you outside the state-police offices and holding cells in Tijuana. Pedro's fruit cart has everything, from mangos to ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Duck Confit

                    Laurel Restaurant 505 Laurel Street, Banker's Hill (619) 239-2222 In France, duck confit is prepared in the time-honored tradition of removing the duck fat, rendering it, and then placing the fat in a deep crock. ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Egg Cream Soda

                    D.Z. Akin's 6930 Alvarado Road, College Area (619) 265-0218 An egg cream is a soda containing neither egg nor cream, which was once more popular on the East Coast than any bottled brand of soda. ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Crème Brûlée

                    Adams Avenue Grill 2201 Adams Avenue, University Heights (619) 298-8440 When Julia Child visited San Diego recently, she announced that crème brûlée was a faddish food that didn't appeal to her. Yet it remains an ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Donut

                    Donut Touch 6755 Mira Mesa Boulevard, Sorrento Mesa (858) 455-9150 It seems as if nothing is untouched by the upscale virus -- look what they did to coffee (and if anyone were to rebel and ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Cheese

                    Whole Foods Market 711 University Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 294-2800 8825 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla (858) 642-6700 "Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese," croons Wallace to Gromit in Nick Parks's A Grand ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Chopped Salad

                    Sante Ristorante 7811 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla (858) 454-1315 If you think there's nothing to creating a chopped salad except chopping fresh vegetables and adding lettuce, think again. At Sante, some of the vegetables, such ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Crab Cakes

                    Ruth's Chris Steak House 11582 El Camino Real, Del Mar (858) 755-1454 The way to judge a good crab cake is to break it with your fork and see whether 95 percent of it is ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Betcha-Can't-Tell-It's-A-Veggie Burger

                    Island Burgers 240 South Melrose Drive, Vista (760) 631-1535 Sometimes you want a hamburger that's not really a hamburger, but you don't want to be served by a Hare Krishna, hear the word "tofu," or ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Cassoulet

                    Belgian Lion 2265 Bacon Street, Ocean Beach (619) 223-2700 Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday If you remember the Oscar-winning musical Gigi, you will recall that the heroine drops in to taste her grandmother's cassoulet prepared with, ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Baguette

                    The French Pastry Shop 5550 La Jolla Boulevard, La Jolla (858) 454-9094 Why is it so easy to find perfect baguettes in Paris and so hard in San Diego? One exception is the staple bread ...

                    Best of 2000: Best Adult Rice Krispie Treat

                    Bread & Cie 350 University Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 683-9322 Charles Kaufman's mother raised her three children as if they were members of royalty. They attended private schools, often had a live-in French cook, and some ...

                      Best of 2000: Best Young Actor

                      Bix Bettwy For every role in San Diego theater, there are at least 50 available actors. Thus even very good ones don't work as often as they'd like (which is one reason why so many ...

                        Best of 2000: Best Wanna-Be Tribute Band

                        Pink Froyd They may not look anything like Pink Floyd, nor does their budget allow for giant flying pigs or a wall of Styrofoam bricks, but it takes musicianship to play a daring set list ...

                        Best of 2000: Best Video Store

                        Kensington Video 4067 Adams Avenue, Kensington (619) 284-2477 It is only fitting that the county's most comprehensive selection of videos should be housed directly next door to the county's longest-operating (albeit somewhat sporadic) repertory movie ...

                          Best of 2000: Best Way To Hear Early Music

                          The San Diego Early Music Society (619) 291-8246 For two decades, this group has brought performers of this music to San Diego. This is music not only for aficionados, but also for any music lover ...

                          Best of 2000: Best Venue For Salsaholics

                          Davis Dance School 8303 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard #205, Kearny Mesa (858) 467-0557 www.sdsalsa.com Davis Dance School's bimonthly salsa dance parties from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m., following an hour lesson at 7:30 p.m., are the site ...

                          Best of 2000: Best Undiscovered Beach Club

                          Calypso Café 576 North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas (760) 632-8252 Up at Calypso on Old Highway 101 in Leucadia, the scene is faithful to the feel of this coastal strip of sandwich and surfboard shops, ...

                            Best of 2000: Best Tour Even The Tourists Don't Know About

                            Old Globe Theatre Backstage Tour (619) 231-1941 You can see the offices, the costume shop, the lighting booth, and the elaborate rigging that keeps the curtains open and the sets upright. The tours are led ...

                              Best of 2000: Best Theater Sound Design Man

                              Jeff Ladman Birds chirp outside your window. A dog barks, maybe 75 yards away. Firetrucks scream a mile off. Jeff Ladman can replicate this moment on a stage. Sound design is one of the least ...

                              Best of 2000: Best Theater Section In Local Bookstores

                              D.G. Wills Books 7461 Girard Avenue, La Jolla (858) 456-1800 If you judged by San Diego's bookstores, you'd never know we had a theater scene. The corporate stores jam theater and poetry in dinky sections. ...

                              Best of 2000: Best Theater Without The Hyperbole

                              Cassius Carter Centre Stage Balboa Park (619) 239-2255 (Box Office) This is "theatre in the round," a sunken stage no larger than a small dance floor, ringed by a mere 225 seats. A sigh of ...

                                Best of 2000: Best Theater Caretaker

                                Richard Knight When Sledgehammer Theatre took over St. Cecilia's Playhouse from the San Diego Rep in 1992, part of the agreement was that the new proprietors would keep Richard Knight as caretaker. A soft-spoken man ...

                                  Best of 2000: Best Stage Presence

                                  Collage Menage www.collagemenage.com Nobody's going to accuse them of being musically adventurous like Pink Floyd or relevant like Springsteen. But this all-original group with a nearly ten-year local history, fronted by identical twins Fritz and ...

                                  Best of 2000: Best Surviving Video Arcade

                                  Wunderland Electric Castle 5871 University Ave, College Area (619) 582-5518 Home systems and the Internet have wiped out most public arcades, but the Wunderland chain has several locations where both vintage and current video machines ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Theater Production Manager

                                    Mark Maltby A production manager coordinates all aspects of a production -- the budget included -- from inception to execution. Forty-year-old Mark Maltby, UCSD Theatre's production manager, worked for Disney (on the Main Street Parade) ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Shuffleboard

                                    Landlord Jim's 1546 Broadway, Downtown (619) 233-9998 The bar's only sign is a blue neon outline of a glass with "Cocktails" written in pink across it. Eleven blocks east of the Gaslamp, this is Landlord ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Small Concert Hall

                                    Neurosciences Institute 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, La Jolla When Gerald Edelman created the Neurosciences Institute on Torrey Pines Mesa, he made sure that music would have a place there. The Institute's auditorium, while regularly ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Saturday Wine Soaks

                                    The San Diego Wine Company 5282 Eastgate Mall, Miramar (858) 535-1400 The WineSellar and Brasserie 9550 Waples Street, Mira Mesa (858) 450-9557 www.winesellar.com Vintage Wines 6904 Miramar Road, Miramar (858) 549-2112 www.vintagewinessd.com The Wine Bank ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Romantic Ride

                                    Cinderella Carriage Company Podium in front of Harbor House restaurant, Seaport Village (619) 239-8080 The horse-drawn white carriages do daily runs from noon to 11:00 p.m. throughout Seaport Village and the Gaslamp District, each led ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Role-Play Gaming

                                    Game Empire 7510 Hazard Center Drive, Suite 417, Mission Valley (619) 574-6740 Face off in a 2000-square-foot meeting room at Game Empire. The shop up front opened in 1994 and sells game supplies and merchandise. ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Place To Sip Aged Tequila

                                    Real Del Mar Kilometer 191/2, Ensenada Toll Road (800) 803-6038 This golf course and resort boasts a romantic view of the ocean from its restaurant and bar. Try one of the 100 percent blue agave ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Primo Concert Seats

                                    The Wherehouse Records Ticketmaster outlet 4585 College Avenue, College Area (619) 286-5011 The only way to get good tickets before the scalpers is to buy them as they go on sale. If you've tried to ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Place To Get The Blues

                                    Blind Melons 710 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach (858) 483-7844 This beachfront bar has supplanted Croce's as the city's premier showcase for local blues talent and superstar national and international acts. Guitarist Walter Trout, nearly a ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Place To Get On Track

                                    San Diego Model Railroad Museum Casa de Balboa, lower level, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park (619) 696-0199 One of the world's largest running train displays is chugging along right in the middle of Balboa Park. ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Place To See Actors As People

                                    Old Globe Theatre Balboa Park (619) 231-1941 The play's the thing, all right; but you want more. Intermission's discussion leads to postplay plot analysis, and it's still not enough. If you haven't the stomach to ...

                                    Best of 2000: Best Place To Pop Off A Few Pistol Caps

                                    Magnolia Indoor Range 8516 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 201, Santee (619) 596-4099 The facade of this shooting range looks like a strip-mall storefront. Once inside, however, after showing ID, being over 21, and signing their term ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Patron Of The Arts

                                      Jennifer Hankins "As the San Diego Rep's board president," says actor Darla Cash, "Jennifer single-handedly saved it from capsizing more than once. She's always been a shining example of what to do with power, however ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Place To Eat And Bowl

                                      Aztec Bowl Coffee Shop 4356 30th Street, North Park (619) 283-3135 We've heard how the Aztec Bowl has come back from the brink of extinction, making bowling cool for the alternate club crowd. We've heard ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Place To Cut Your Own Record

                                      Studio West 11021 Via Frontera, Rancho Bernardo (858) 592-9497 www.studiowest.com Founded nearly 30 years ago, this studio boasts clients such as blink-182 and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. The 6000-square- foot facility has room for a ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Used Classical Cds

                                      The Wherehouse in La Jolla 844 Pearl Street, La Jolla (858) 551-8901 CDs cost a lot of money, something all collectors would like to save. CDs also tend to go out of print rather rapidly, ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Beer By The Yard

                                      O'Hungry's 2547 San Diego Avenue, Old Town (619) 298-0133 Beware! O'Hungry's in Old Town has these three-foot-long trumpet-shaped "yard of ale" glasses with bobbles at the end, and they're going to make a mess of ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Non-Threatening Biker Bar

                                      Kelly's Pub 6344 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area (619) 286-0400 Located next to Inkers Tattoo Co., this SDSU-area dive is the watering hole for local bikers who don't mind four-wheelers and rice-rocket riders slumming in ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Non-Starbucks Coffee Shop

                                      Daily Grind Coffee House & Cafe 6695 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area (619) 697-0750 The backlash against the kudzu-like spread of generic coffeehouse chains has enabled eclectic mom-and-pop caffeine shops like this to thrive, especially ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Of The Bouncers

                                      Staff Pro Security 411 Camino Del Rio South, Mission Valley (619) 294-3990 The big guys in yellow jackets used to be considered the enemy by many concertgoers, when a few head-crushing security guards earned a ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Party For Baby-Boomer Singles

                                      Darlena's Turning Point at 94th Aero Squadron 8885 Balboa Avenue, Kearny Mesa (858) 259-6166 www.singlesinsandiego.com More than a hundred singles show up each Tuesday for this dance party geared toward thirtysomethings. Guests shell out $10 ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best New Old Bar

                                      Bar Dynamite 1808 West Washington, Midtown (619) 295-8743 This place was a real grotto. No, a bunker, down there at the bottom of Washington Street by the I-5 overpass. There was a bad old painting ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best New 18-And-Up Dance Club

                                      Venus 7200 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area (619) 501-8368 The owners of Venus wanted to be open when nearby SDSU let out for summer last May, but delays caused them to just miss their target ...

                                      Best of 2000: Best Nightclub Men's Room

                                      4th & B 345 B Street, Downtown (619) 231-4343 Men don't like to be pampered. We like our wood unsanded, our underwear scratchy; we prefer barbers over hairdressers, and don't put those froufrou little pieces ...

                                        Best of 2000: Best Music Lecturer

                                        Nicholas Reveles Of course, there are a lot of distinguished musicians and scholars who give talks about music for various organizations around town, not to speak of the university music departments. But Nicholas Reveles has ...

                                        Best of 2000: Best Music To Laugh Along With

                                        San Diego Comic Opera Casa del Prado Theatre, Balboa Park (619) 239-8836 The Casa del Prado Theatre is an intimate 19-row theater housed in a mission-style building on Village Place in Balboa Park. When their ...

                                        Best of 2000: Best Mod Bar

                                        The Casbah 2501 Kettner Boulevard, Midtown (619) 232-4355 Rows of old metal scooters park in front of this Midtown club when certain '60s-sounding pop rockers are on the bill. One such draw: The Shambles, whose ...

                                        Best of 2000: Best Moviegoing Experience

                                        The Ken 4061 Adams Avenue, Kensington (619) 283-5909 Hard to single out a movie theater when they are more and more alike. A Frankensteinian composite has potential as a parlor game: the marquee, perhaps, of ...

                                        Best of 2000: Best Mosh Pits

                                        Coors Amphitheatre 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista (619) 671-3600 www.coorsamp.com Spontaneous moshing used to be ignored at Soma, Velvet, and elsewhere. Rowdy fans could, while being deafened by decibels, vent or exercise or get whatever ...

                                        Best of 2000: Best Midnight Cocktail

                                        Babcock and Story Bar at the Hotel Del Coronado 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado (619) 435-6611 For years the Del's owners were in denial about their view of the ocean and Point Loma. They stuck tennis ...

                                          Best of 2000: Best Longest-Running Show

                                          Forever Plaid On August 1, 2000, the longest-running show in San Diego history had performed 1537 times -- almost twice as long as the old record, held by the San Diego Rep's Six Women with ...

                                          Best of 2000: Best Mega Margaritas

                                          Casa De Bandini 2754 Calhoun Street, Old Town (619) 297-8211 With indoor and outdoor dining and a traveling mariachi band, this Old Town restaurant is legendary for its gigantic margaritas. One local news station took ...

                                            Best of 2000: Best Men-In-Black-Fishnets

                                            Lips 2770 Fifth Avenue, Park West (619) 295-7900 The theme is what attracts the crowds at this popular establishment, and the theme is drag strips -- no, not racing cars. Seems there's almost always been ...

                                              Best of 2000: Best Local Theater Composer

                                              Michael Roth If you go to the theater you know Michael Roth's music, for not a season goes by in Southern California when he does not provide the scores for a wide array of stage ...

                                                Best of 2000: Best Local Scene For Film Lovers

                                                Cinema Society of San Diego (619) 280-1600 sdfilm@home.com On average, the 800-plus members of the Cinema Society of San Diego see over 20 films during the September-through-April season held at the AMC La Jolla theaters. ...

                                                  Best of 2000: Best Local E-Mail Zine

                                                  FYI mendozab@juno.com Local-scene historian and musician Bart Mendoza likes to keep track of all things San Diegan. This includes making note whenever any magazine in the world mentions a local group and putting together obscure ...

                                                  Best of 2000: Best Jukebox Selection

                                                  The Live Wire 2103 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park (619) 291-7450 He's played in a band called Carnivorous Lunar Activity and tended bar in a red jumpsuit, so it's no surprise that Sam Chammas knows ...

                                                    Best of 2000: Best Hippie Throwback Band

                                                    Rockola These longtime locals have a groovy repertoire, more comprehensive than a complete collection of Nuggets LPs. As dependable as a stocked jukebox, they back up visiting '60s icons like Badfinger's Joey Molland or headline ...

                                                    Best of 2000: Best Hispanic Headbanger Bands

                                                    Club Sevilla Rock en Español, Monday nights 555 Fourth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter (619) 233-5979 Where can one find imported hard rockers with the kitsch and clothes of '80s hair bands like Warrant, Ratt, and Poison? ...

                                                    Best of 2000: Best Half-Day Saltwater Fishing Boat

                                                    Half-Day on Fisherman III H&M Landing, 2803 Emerson Street, Point Loma (619) 222-1144 Sport fishing companies rank pretty much the same. Their prices are much the same ($29 seems to be the going rate). Their ...

                                                    Best of 2000: Best Gay Bar For Heterosexuals

                                                    The Alibi 1403 University Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 295-0881 "If this wasn't Hillcrest, you'd never think this is a gay bar," says one bartender (name withheld by request) at the Alibi. "A lot of business people ...

                                                    Best of 2000: Best Free Concert Eavesdropping

                                                    Open Air Theatre San Diego State University At SDSU, the Open Air Theatre is surrounded on three sides by grassy parks and benches, and venue security does not discourage low-budget listeners from picnicking here. The ...

                                                      Best of 2000: Best Friend Of San Diego Jazz

                                                      Chuck Perrin (858) 270-7467 In a town that's not famous for supporting jazz, Chuck Perrin has given local jazz players and their fans a boost. Since forming his Webster's Last Word label in 1965, Perrin ...

                                                      Best of 2000: Best Free (And Underrated) Museum

                                                      The Timken Museum of Art 1500 El Prado, Balboa Park (619) 239-5548 www.gort.ucsd.edu/sj/timken The product of the Putnam sisters' taste and generosity, the museum's works are organized by "national schools." Half the space is dedicated ...

                                                      Best of 2000: Best Dance Troupe

                                                      Eveoke Dance Theatre 644 Seventh Avenue, Downtown (619) 238-1153 Call them dance/theater or text/movement/music pieces: each is distinctly Eveoke: plural voices and signs, charged with energy and whirling motion, committed to social action. Artistic director ...

                                                      Best of 2000: Best Deadhead Dive

                                                      Winstons 1921 Bacon Street, Ocean Beach (619) 222-6822 Winstons abandoned its weekly Grateful Dead nights and instead tried booking reggae, funk, and even hardcore acts. Now realizing the deadicated disciples of Jerry are a more ...

                                                      Best of 2000: Best Date For Revealing The Artist Within

                                                      Ceramic Café Grossmont Center 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa (619) 466-4800 Del Mar Highlands Town Center 12925 El Camino Real, Del Mar (858) 259-9958 Show her that you can produce more than hot air ...

                                                      Best of 2000: Best Cure For Disco Fever

                                                      Fever at 'Canes 3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach (619) 979-9999 Every Saturday night at 'Canes, Metropolis Productions throws a flashback-filled '70s disco party. Parking near the roller coaster is free, and there's a rooftop ...

                                                        Best of 2000: Best Crossover Classical Music Series

                                                        Muzik3 The brainchild of young cellist Felix Fan, Muzik3 -- going into its fourth year -- has insisted on breaking down boundaries. There have been Beethoven and Debussy quartets and Bach Brandenburg Concertos and Brahms ...

                                                          Best of 2000: Best Concert Program Annotator

                                                          Eric Bromberger Concertgoers ordinarily pay little attention to the quality of program annotations -- except when they find them irritating. One way these contributions to the audience's musical experience can go bad is by pedantically ...

                                                          Best of 2000: Best Coffeehouse Venue For Traveling Minstrels

                                                          Twiggs Coffee & Tea 4590 Park Boulevard, University Heights (619) 296-0616 www.twiggs.org Besides home-baked treats and coffee straight-up, the small performance space adjacent to Twigg's Coffeehouse, dubbed "The Green Room," hosts local musicians along with ...

                                                          Best of 2000: Best Cheap Seats In The House

                                                          Spreckels Theatre 121 Broadway, Downtown (619) 235-9500 There's no finer place to enjoy a show than the balcony seats perched five stories above the Spreckels Theatre stage. Built in 1912, the Spreckels Theatre was in ...

                                                          Best of 2000: Best Clueless Karaoke

                                                          Outdoor Karaoke Just south of the San Ysidro pedestrian border crossing Pedestrians taking the Tijuana footbridge across the border must walk a gauntlet of entrepreneurs. On weekend nights on the south side of the footbridge, ...

                                                            Best of 2000: Best Chorus Master

                                                            Timothy Todd Simmons San Diego Opera No one is more "behind the scenes" than an opera company's chorus master (although at openings he sometimes takes a bow in a tux). But his role is a ...

                                                              Best of 2000: Best CD Graphics

                                                              Staring at the Sun 4 Loudspeaker Records/Slamm Magazine/91X Volume #4 of this local band compilation has some fabulous selections, including the Crawdaddys' "There She Goes Again"(1978) with guest star Dan McClain, later to be known ...

                                                              Best of 2000: Best Chamber-Music Bargain

                                                              UCSD's Chamber Music Series (858) 534-4090 The drawback to these concerts of quartet and trio music is Mandeville Auditorium, whose ugliness is matched by its variable acoustics (hint: sit in the back of the hall). ...

                                                                Best of 2000: Best Beatlemaniac Bash

                                                                BeatleFair Info Hotline, (619) 687-3687 The main attraction of BeatleFair, a summertime Fab Four convention thrown by San Diego fan club Come Together, is the vendor room full of rare memorabilia. Vintage trading-card sets sell ...

                                                                Best of 2000: Best Belly Dancing

                                                                Urban Tribal Dance Company Gargoyle Gallery 1845 India Street (at Fir), Little Italy (619) 234-1344 Exotic and hypnotic, the Urban Tribal Dance Company dresses in folkloric costumes of full skirts and pantaloons, turbans, scads of ...

                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Bar Where It's Okay To Smoke While You Drink

                                                                  Aqua Bar Atlantis Restaurant 1880 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island (619) 297-1673 Bar owners are not about to risk legal reprisal by allowing smokers to light up while drinking, so the next best thing is ...

                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Barside Munchies

                                                                  Village Bar at City Deli 535 University Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 295-2747 City Deli's new liquor license was fought by nearby bars who feared the competition of another bar/restaurant in Hillcrest. The Deli prevailed and its ...

                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Barroom Pool

                                                                  The Board Room 2237 First Avenue, Banker's Hill (619) 544-1173 Here's a universal truth (widely accepted myth?): the more you drink, the better you shoot pool. It's a confidence thing -- who cares if it's ...

                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Arts Theater For The Disabled

                                                                  PATH Theatre Co. San Marcos (760) 591-7848 The humble, unassuming PATH Theatre Co. began in 1979. Robert Cole, who is hearing-impaired, wanted to create opportunities for actors with disabilities in theater, television, and movies. His ...

                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Bar For Locals To Act Like Tourists

                                                                  Top of the Hyatt One Market Place, Downtown (619) 232-1234 "The highest waterfront bar on the West Coast," Harbor Drive's 40th-floor cocktail lounge -- commonly known as "Top of the Hyatt" -- offers floor-to-ceiling panoramic ...

                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Bar For Mariachis

                                                                  El Tenampa 1911 1st Street, Tijuana next to Hotel Imperial Where do mariachis go after they've played all day? To this bar, not far from their gathering point at Plaza Argüello (also known as Plaza ...

                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Actor's Resource

                                                                    Actors Alliance of San Diego The phone rings at the Actors Alliance. Gerry Maxwell answers. He hears this one a lot. "I gotta be in movies. What do I do?" "Any experience?" "None. But it's ...

                                                                    Best of 2000: Best '80s Flashback

                                                                    Wetdream Monthly Cruise Parties 1050 North Harbor Drive, Downtown (619) 331-4262 When you board this late-night (11:00 p.m.­2:00 a.m.) harbor cruise you'll notice three different decks: on the main floor and out on the deck, ...

                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Worm Farm

                                                                    Sharon's Worm World 310 Creelman Lane, Ramona (760) 788-4423 Buy a pound of worms from Williams, the biggest worm farm in the county, and you'll get maybe 1000 wigglers. Buy a pound from Sharon MacLachlan, ...

                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Vacuum-Cleaner Salesman

                                                                    La Jolla Sew & Vacuum 520 Pearl Street, La Jolla (858) 459-6680 Vacuuming, if done right, is Zen. Ask any homebody with a Miele. And if you still need convincing, go see Kerry Lee at ...

                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Way To Have "I Love You" Towed Across The Sky

                                                                    Banner Joe's Aerial Advertising Gillespie Field, El Cajon (619) 222-4576 You actually want your feelings flying through the sky? Oh sure, there's something thrilling about trumpeting your love on a sign behind a World War ...

                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Used-CD Outlet

                                                                    Music Trader 6663 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area (619) 462-2274 This growing chain has over a dozen locations: P.B., Miramar, Poway, El Cajon, Chula Vista, Santee, and elsewhere. The college-area shop has the most knowledgeable ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Traffic School

                                                                      A Pizza For You -- With Comedians 2 (800) 215-2337 "A Pizza For You -- With Comedians 2" classes are held Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., in Hotel Circle. That's traffic instruction with ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Urban Living Shop

                                                                      Urban Outfitters 665 Fifth Avenue, Downtown (619) 231-0102 www.urbn.com Indestructible wind-up alarm clocks, portable blow-up furniture, and housewares are described as an "eclectic mish mash of modern meets India," by merchandise manager Angelo Wilimek. Imagine ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Used Vinyl

                                                                      Off the Record 3849 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 298-4755 www.offtherecordvinyl.com One of San Diego's oldest record stores, Off the Record is one of the few that carries records, a commodity scarcer nowadays than Phil Collins's ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Toy Store

                                                                      Zany Brainy 1530 Camino de la Reina, Mission Valley (619) 291-9500 5485 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa (619) 466-6751 10661 Westview Parkway, Mira Mesa (858) 547-8700 Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, Mankind -- oh, ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best TJ Dentist

                                                                      Doctor Armando Solorio Second floor, Madero building, #1-204 Callejón El Travieso (Mischief Lane), off 2nd Street, between Revolución and Constitución 011-526-685-9086 Because he has this wonderful address, "Mischief Lane." Because he's been in practice in ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Ties In Town

                                                                      Wear It Again Sam 3922 Park Boulevard, Hillcrest (619) 299-0185 Kristine Anderson first started noticing the trend 20 years ago. Men, mostly, business types, as well as those who plunged into the swing-dance craze started ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Temporary Tattoos

                                                                      Hot Topic Plaza Bonita, 3030 Plaza Bonita Road, National City (619) 472-8772 Mastodon 4638 Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach (858) 272-1188 You want it but you don't. Or at least you want to see how it ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Tattoo-On Makeup

                                                                      MPI Clinic 6125 Cornerstone Court East, Suite 150, Sorrento Mesa (858) 452-2909 If you're considering having someone apply your eyeliner, eyebrows, or lip liner permanently with a tattoo gun ("micro-pigment implantation"), you want the best ...

                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Swap-Meet Dealer

                                                                      George's Liquidation Kobey's Swap Meet, Booth #T2-4 San Diego Sports Arena Parking Lot, Midway District (619) 226-0650 "We get stuff people don't even know they want until they see it," says Tom Gray at George's ...

                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Style In The City

                                                                        Admit it, you long for a more stylish life ... Admit it, you long for a more stylish life; something akin to Carrie's in HBO's Sex and the City. But so far away from Manhattan ...

                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Swim School For Babies

                                                                        Murray Callan Swim School 1012 Law Street, Pacific Beach (858) 273-7946 It's not just "toss 'em in the water and see what happens" at Murray Callan Swim School in P.B. These young men and women ...

                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Soap Shop

                                                                        La Compagnie De Provence 3870 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 295-8322 With the advent of matrimony, a man ceases to be merely the object of his beloved's affection; to this pleasant relation comes the added status ...

                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Short-Distance Transportation Service

                                                                        Green Limousine 3960 West Point Loma Boulevard, Suite H364, Point Loma (877) 3-Rickshaw www.greenlimousine.com If man is the most efficient machine, then Green Limousine is the most efficient short-distance transportation service. It's a fascinating step ...

                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Smog Check

                                                                        Hai's Auto Repair #2 4040 Park Boulevard, Hillcrest (619) 542-0922 Located on a wedge-shaped lot on Park Boulevard that used to be a Shell station, Hai's is a diploma-mill for cars that need their credentials. ...

                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Shoe Shine

                                                                        Pontiac Seratto's Shoe Shine 138 Broadway, Downtown "There's nobody within a five-mile radius who stays in business competing with me," says Pontiac Seratto, at his stand in front of a barbershop downtown, "because I give ...

                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Septic-System Builder

                                                                        Carl Denlinger, Alpine Drainage Systems Inc. P.O. Box 847, Alpine (619) 445-2150 You thought septic tanks belonged to the era of the pit privy? Wrong! With off-sewer housing creeping out beyond Alpine, Dulzura, Pine Valley, ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Recycled Art

                                                                          Cecil Ogles's Recycle Flyers Cecil Ogles turns old aluminum cans into art with his Recycle Flyers. He displays and sells can-constituted seaplanes, tail-draggers, helicopters, blimps, and (recently) submarines three times a year through the Alpine ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Quick Watch Repair

                                                                          Ipanema Watch Repair 1168 Rosecrans Street, Roseville (619) 226-1615 When your watch needs a new battery cell, the worst place to go is the mall. Most mall jewelers don't replace watch batteries, and those who ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Sailing Lessons

                                                                          San Diego Sailing Academy 1500 Quivira Way, Mission Bay (619) 223-6253 The San Diego Sailing Academy offers professional sailing instruction for boat owners and those interested in running charter operations and in other sailing careers. ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Take Your Kids When It's Raining

                                                                          Pirate's Cove 3106 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach (858) 539-7474 The natives are restless. Before you know it, they've stacked the ottoman on the coffee table and used couch cushions to construct a precarious slide. You ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Trade In Your "Shrinking" Levi's

                                                                          Denim Exchange 3095 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park (619) 521-1015 They buy and sell Levi's. Bring in the old pair -- the ones that've been cinching your waist and barely restraining your rump -- and ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Smell

                                                                          Cathedral 435 University Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 296-4046 It's stocked with candles, holders, baubles, and hand-painted Mexican Day of the Dead doohickeys. But it is the fragrance, wafting out the door, that hooks its fingers in ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Score Primo Sheet Music

                                                                          Music Central 5604 Balboa Avenue, Clairemont (858) 279-6152 8190 Mira Mesa Boulevard, Mira Mesa (858) 578-2411 After 25 years in business, Music Central boasts one of the largest selections of sheet music in San Diego. ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Save $27 Per Carton Of Cigarettes

                                                                          Mercado la Voz del Pueblo Plaza Santa Cecilia (near 1st and Revolución), Tijuana No one's perfect: You're a smoker. Okay, you just indulge when you're out, when you've got that drink. But when the cheroot ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Sleep Over The Ocean

                                                                          Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages 4500 Ocean Boulevard, Pacific Beach (858) 483-6983 You can't afford the cruise? No worries! Listen to the waves below your pillow! Feel the sway! You feel as if you're at ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Rescue Torn Clothing

                                                                          La Jolla Weaver 7531 Girard Avenue, La Jolla (858) 454-4847 The sight of owner An Phan's serene face will bring peace to your soul. Listen as she describes her methods: "For some material, I just ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Rent Some Flashy Wheels

                                                                          Rent A Vette 1025 West Laurel, Midtown (619) 238-3883 Corvettes, Mercedes, Jaguars, and Porsches rent for $299 per day; $249 for two days; $199 for three or more days. BMWs are $159 per day. Makes ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Rejuvenate Stressed-Out Soles

                                                                          The Computerized Cobbler 13 Horton Plaza, Downtown (619) 231-3736 The shop sits on the exterior of Horton Plaza, fronting First Avenue at F Street. Businessmen on lunch breaks come in with the day's paper and ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Grease Your Wheels

                                                                          Skateboard Heaven 5020 West Point Loma Boulevard, Ocean Beach (619) 222-2696 Skaters don't have to walk into Skateboard Heaven to feel welcome. A four-foot mini-ramp in front of the store costs a dollar to skate ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Pamper Your Feet

                                                                          Primo Salon and Day Spa Grossmont Center (619) 465-9323 Other locations in Chula Vista, Mission Valley, Fashion Valley, Poway, Carmel Mountain, University Towne Centre Feet are such unloved parts of the body. They suffer the ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Get Little Johnny's Hair Cut

                                                                          Kid's Hair Salon Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa (619) 464-4466 Airplanes and clowns hang from the ceiling. Mickey Mouse adorns the wall border, and a children's video plays in the corner. What ...

                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Get Your Surfboard Fixed

                                                                          Joe Roper Surfboard Repair 1460 Morena Boulevard, Bay Park (619) 275-0447 In the old days, when he practiced his art out of the wooden shack behind the old Gordon & Smith shop at the foot ...

                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Place To Get Fix-It Guidance

                                                                            Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers Ten locations countywide www.dixieline.com True story: a friend was having trouble installing a heater thermostat she had bought at Dixieline. She called one of the stores and asked for help. ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Find Wedding Bells, Bunting, And A Witch's Broom

                                                                              Wright's Party Supplies 2611 Market Street, Grant Hill (619) 234-6461 There really was a Mr. Wright -- George B. Wright, to be exact, but that was over 50 years ago. He owned a store located ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Get A Pokemon Fix

                                                                              Comic Gallery 4224 Balboa Avenue, Clairemont Mesa (858) 483-4853 Actually, Pokémon is passé, and pint-sized sources working undercover in county grade schools report that X-Men will be the next merchandising and Halloween costume phenom. For ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Find An Electric Scooter

                                                                              Millennial Motors 505 Mission Avenue (at Coast Highway), Oceanside (760) 722-2225 Michael's the general manager of Millennial Motors, and he claims to have more electric scooters to sell than anyone in the county. These are ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Find Funky Old Stuff

                                                                              Uncle Richard's Antiques 2207 Fern Street, Golden Hill (619) 563-1655 Tell him he isn't a people person and antique proprietor Richard Nichols would reluctantly agree. His German grandfather lost his leg in a train accident ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Dress Your Kids Like Royalty

                                                                              Reruns Children's Resale Shop 1015 C Avenue, Coronado (619) 435-5444 The unique thing about Reruns is that, well, they're cheap and they're surrounded by rich folks. More admirals' grandkids grow up here than any place ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Convert Your Car To Electricity

                                                                              California Electric Automobile Company 1055 G Street, Downtown (619) 232-0595 "After we're done, you can zip by the gas station and laugh. You'll never be dependent on them again." Of course, he's not alone in ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Your Pool Table

                                                                              Billiards and Barstools 330 Rancheros Drive, Suite 111, San Marcos (760) 471-9208 You have a rec room measuring at least 12 feet by 9 feet by 16 feet. And you think "Brunswick." That is, the ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy New Jeans And T-Shirts

                                                                              Mervyn's 12 locations in San Diego Most Central: 3345 Sports Arena Boulevard, Midway District (619) 223-8111 Levi's, check. Lee, there's a whole wall full. But the scoop is their in-store brand of jeans. Now there's ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Stemware

                                                                              The Wine Bank 363 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter (800) 940-WINE There are restaurants that serve wine in glasses so small that a standard pour will fill them to the brim. As a result, there are ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Mexican Music

                                                                              Art-Te Company 945 Broadway, Downtown (619) 232-7231 It says something that the major music stores are stocking some major Mexican and Latin American music stars. But Robert Highsmith, the bilingual walking encyclopedia of Art-Te, says ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Imported Men's Shoes

                                                                              Nordstrom Rack Mission Valley Center, 1640 Camino del Rio North, Mission Valley (619) 296-0143 Can't miss it, big yellow-orange building, visible from Camino de la Reina. Eccos, Birkenstocks, Dr. Martens...$160 shoes for $85, $120 shoes ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Contact-Lens Solution

                                                                              Kobey's Swap Meet San Diego Sports Area Parking Lot, Midway District (619) 226-0650 This isn't a sure thing, but if you're lucky you could save about 400 percent. Go to the Kobey's Swap Meet (Friday, ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy Blue Suede Shoes

                                                                              Nordstrom, Fashion Valley, 6997 Friars Road, Mission Valley (619) 295-4441 You can get an Elvis haircut, an Elvis jacket, wear an Elvis smirk, pick up an Elvis "Blue Suede Shoes" lamp for $37.99 on the ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Buy A Mexican Fountain

                                                                              Estrella del Norte Mercado de Artisanas, 2nd Street, corner of Avenida Aldrete, Tijuana 011-526-685-3667 The best values are in the traditional Mexican designs, and they feel like real fountains, when they're as high as you ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place To Be Pierced

                                                                              Mastodon 4638 Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach (858) 272-1188 Unlike tattoo parlors that do piercing as a sideline, this shop specializes in poking holes in places where God did not think holes necessary. The individual stations ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place For Recycled Guitars

                                                                              Freedom Guitar 6334 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area (619) 265-0577 We've all had a rock 'n' roll fantasy -- or jazz or whatever. Most of us drummed on the kitchen floor as kids, played air ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Pet Shop For Birds

                                                                              Our Feathered Friends 4420 Rainier Avenue, Grantville (619) 280-5134 Birds are delicate creatures, often temperature-sensitive and requiring more care and attention than other pets. So it follows that if a bird is to be bred ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place For A Rooftop Sunset Barbecue

                                                                              Seacoast Inn 800 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach (619) 424-7556 or (619) 424-5183 There is no better ocean view, period. Not if you like to see as much ocean as you can. The blue-and-white stucco Seacoast ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Place For Parents To Go Broke

                                                                              FAO Schwarz 514 Horton Plaza, Downtown (619) 702-7500 The remote-control sailboat ($119.99) can be launched and operated in almost any pool or lake. A working fire engine model ($79) measures 32 inches long and comes ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Pet Cemetery

                                                                              San Diego Pet Memorial Park 8995 Crestmar Point, Miramar (858) 271-4242 www.sandiegopetmemorial.com Not just a pet cemetery but also a wildlife sanctuary where critters indigenous to San Diego run around the kitty crypts and doggie ...

                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Pawnshop

                                                                              Unique Pawnbrokers 3039 University Avenue, North Park (619) 294-3305 Owner Steve Hirschhorn boasts he has more floor space than competitors, and he fills it with a wider range of stuff, including lawn mowers, large-screen TVs, ...

                                                                                Best of 2000: Best Neighborhood Bicycle Shop

                                                                                Threshold Bicycles 3461 Ingraham Street, Crown Point (858) 270-1820 Parking on Ingraham can be a drag, but people come from all over the county to get their bikes repaired here. Owner Jim Richardson and two ...

                                                                                Best of 2000: Best Nursery

                                                                                Walter Andersen's 3642 Enterprise Street, Midway District (619) 224-8271 Founded in 1928, the business has moved several times over the years, but the two-acre site next to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot has served as ...

                                                                                Best of 2000: Best Mega Thrift Shop

                                                                                Skill Centers of America Thrift Store 6195 University Avenue, Rolando (619) 286-9090 This thrift store's storefront gives no indication of how huge and overflowing with other people's stuff the place is. Pre-owned merchandise fills three ...

                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Mobile Mechanic

                                                                                  Doug Reed (619) 280-0372 Doug Reed's been diagnosing and repairing San Diego cars since 1966, and he's seen it all, which might explain his flyer's Honesty Pledge: "I want you to believe that when I ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Low-Cost Lawn Care

                                                                                    Jensen Maintenance (619) 287-4034 "The basic package would be mowing and edging, trimming the bushes, fertilizing, weeding beds, and pulling crack weeds from the driveway and sidewalk," says owner Hans Jensen. The cost averages $25 ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Leather Clothes

                                                                                    San Diego Leather Jacket Factory 1121 Bay Boulevard, Chula Vista (800) 232-6626 Ladies' leather chaps ($145), goatskin bomber jackets ($99.95), black cowhide pants ($145), and toddlers' motorcycle jackets ($49.95) are just some of the clothes ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Hotel For An In-Town Vacation

                                                                                    Hotel Parisi 1111 Prospect Street, La Jolla (858) 454-1511 Although it stands across from the splashier La Valencia Hotel, and a crowd of shoppers, diners, and gallery-goers congregates out front at the granite "rolling ball" ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Headstones

                                                                                    Conti and Son Monument Company 3871 Imperial Avenue, Mountain View (619) 264-2480 "We have to sell what they tell us is allowed," says the saleswoman at Conti and Son Monument Company. "All of them charge ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Hat Shop

                                                                                    The Village Hat Shop 853 West Harbor Drive, Seaport Village (619) 233-7236 3821 Fourth Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 683-5533 www.villagehatshop.com Fred Belinsky, owner of the Village Hat Shop, travels the world for hats, from Ecuador to ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Golf-Course Deal

                                                                                    Torrey Pines Golf Course (with city resident's card) 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla Reservations, (619) 570-1234 Pro shop, (858) 452-3226 Let's face it: golf is full of social climbers, 18 million ambitious folk ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Field Guide To The Underworld

                                                                                    The San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve by Judith Garfield www.judith.garfield.org The sarcastic fringehead is not a member of a rock group; it's a local fish with a sour disposition, just one of the ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Furniture

                                                                                    Metropolis 1003 University Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 220-0632 After you've fallen in love with Martha Stewart (good taste for the masses!), gone through a bitter breakup with Martha Stewart (controlling, antiseptic monster!), and learned to give ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Flower Pit Stop

                                                                                    Flowers for You 70th Street and El Cajon Boulevard, College Area (619) 460-8980 Sitting at the stoplight at the intersection of 70th and El Cajon, the place jumps out at you. It's a corner flower ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Glassblowing

                                                                                    Garry Cohen 20307 Beech Lane, Escondido (760) 745-7020 It's awe-inspiring to watch Garry Cohen create intricate vases and bottles. First, he places his steel blowpipe into an open furnace and winds a small gather of ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Dry Cleaner

                                                                                    Glen Cleaners 3190 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights (619) 282-0241 Spot removal and enlightenment. All cleaning and pressing is done on the premises. They don't mash jacket lapels into a knife edge, they gently roll them. ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Discount- Furniture Store

                                                                                    Cost Less Furniture 10720 Woodside Avenue, Santee (619) 258-8166 Located next to Yum Yum Donuts in a strip mall at the intersection of Woodside and Magnolia, Cost Less has genuinely cheap prices on genuinely decent ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Counterculture Shop

                                                                                    High Road Psychedelic Shop 1465 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach (858) 273-7501 Many '70s survivors find it comforting that High Times magazine, Zig-Zag rolling papers, bongs, and glass pipes are available at head shops, while the ...

                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Delivered Organic Food

                                                                                    Seabreeze Organic Farm 3909 Arroyo Sorrento Road, Carmel Valley (858) 481-0209 Also at Farmer's Markets in O.B., Encinitas, Del Mar, Hillcrest You stand at the supermarket veggie display. It looks too good to be true. ...

                                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Conscience-Free Coffee

                                                                                      "Café Rojas" organic coffee at Whole Foods Markets, or under the "Trader Joe's" label at Trader Joe's, or under the "Café Canopy" label online at www.certifiedshadecoffee.com Eleven years ago Karen Cebreros faced a crisis. She ...

                                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Cornball Costume Sales

                                                                                        Fun 'n Folly (858) 780-0302 www.funfolly.com For over 30 years, Fun 'n Folly has sold not just Santa Claus and cowboy costumes but wigs and beards, makeup kits, hats, mascot suits, props (stethoscopes, swords, guns, ...

                                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Computer Game Store

                                                                                        Software and Such 4411 Mercury Street, Kearny Mesa (858) 627-9700 The facilities aren't much to look at, and the selection of games at first glance may not appear abundant. But this place seems to have ...

                                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Classic-Car Dealer

                                                                                        Classic Showcase 913 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos (760) 747-9947 The cars bought and sold by Classic Showcase are vehicles rarely seen outside gearhead fantasies and James Bond movies. Their showroom is open by appointment only, ...

                                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Chimney Sweep

                                                                                        Chimneys-R-Us 4021 Swift Avenue, North Park (619) 280-4700 "When we sweep your chimney," says Michael Mullen, vice president of Chimneys-R-Us, "your white carpet stays white, there's no mess, and we're not smudged like Dick Van ...

                                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Cheap Barber

                                                                                        Vince's Barber Shop 2030 India Street, Little Italy (619) 239-0966 Vincenzo Bruno moved to San Diego from Sicily in 1946 and has cut enough hair to send his children to college, see them become successful, ...

                                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Bugs For Your Garden

                                                                                        American Insectaries Escondido (760) 751-1436 www.betterbugs.com Forget the ladybugs. They're cute but most will immediately leave your property and head for the hills. Instead, Jim Davis recommends green lacewings for all-around pest control in the ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Boutique Thrift Shop

                                                                                          St. Paul's Thrift Shop 3505 Fifth Avenue, Park West (619) 298-3098 Nothing is more pleasing to the thrift shopper than spending a Saturday morning wandering through aisles of knickknacks, fingering dusty racks of clothing, calculating ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Boutique For A Non-Mall Buying Experience

                                                                                          Studio 1220 1220 Cleveland Avenue at Vermont, Uptown District (619) 220-7344 One more clone costume at the department stores won't do -- you need variety and va-va-voom; an outfit that says sexy or snappy or ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Baseball School

                                                                                          Valley Baseball School and Softball Academy 11526 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite P, Sorrento Valley (858) 792-2255 Many Valley Baseball students have gone on to play professional ball after their training here and it's easy to ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Bookstore

                                                                                          Wahrenbrock's Book House 726 Broadway, Downtown (619) 232-0132 The musty smell, the economical buzz of the fluorescent lights, the industrial brown carpeting, the cozy-bordering-on-cramped spaces, struggling to remain free of books. Books in stacks, books ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Baseball Cards

                                                                                          CJ's Sports Cards & Memorabilia 5143 Waring Road, Allied Gardens (619) 229-2505 CJ's Sports Cards specializes in Padres merchandise and is so connected to the team that players such as Tony Gwynn do autograph signings ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Auto-Wrecking Yard

                                                                                          Ecology Auto Wrecking 1180 Heritage Road, Otay Mesa (619) 661-4538 Over 50 auto-wrecking yards do business in San Diego. Most are located close to the border and specialize in two or three makes. For their ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Bail Bondsman

                                                                                          El Cajon Bail Bonds 118 Rea Avenue, El Cajon (619) 442-9998 When you're anxious to get a loved one out of the slammer, don't just dial the first bail bondsman you see advertised on a ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Art Supply

                                                                                          Rhino Art Company 125 South Highway 101, Solana Beach (858) 792-7449 Rhino offers more than the generic art supplies and atmosphere found elsewhere. Here, you'll find discount pricing on fine-art products and a range of ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Antiquing

                                                                                          Antique Row Adams Avenue Normal Heights/University Heights Memories of the Row: A magnificent Craftsman gumwood built-in sidebar, torn out when a house was torn down, full of doors and drawers, beveled glass and blond-wood presence. ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Alternative Shop

                                                                                          Hot Topic Mission Valley Center, 1640 Camino del Rio North, Mission Valley (619) 542-8450 Other locations in National City, El Cajon, Carlsbad, Escondido www.hottopic.com This store brings rave, goth, punk, and retro attire together like ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Accordion Shop

                                                                                          Ferino's Music 736 Robinson Avenue, Hillcrest (619) 296-6455 The sign outside Ferino's in Hillcrest doesn't mention accordions, but inside the tiny shop a couple dozen of them --some for sale, some in for repair -- ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Aerial Tours

                                                                                          Golden State Flying Club Gillespie Field 1640 North Johnson Avenue, El Cajon (619) 449-0611 or (619) 286-7434 Housed at tiny Gillespie Field, just outside Santee, Golden State offers single-engine plane excursions that buzz San Diego's ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best 18th-Century Landscape Artist In The County

                                                                                          Dennis Stern North Park (619) 283-5150 Dennis Stern should have been into body-building, like his dad, who ran Stern's Gym in North Park for 42 years. Instead he became fascinated by the Old Masters around ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Most Seductive Online Lunch Menus

                                                                                          Adams Avenue Grill 2201 Adams Avenue, University Heights (619) 298-8440 adamsavenuegrill@home.com If the written word can seduce, prepare to get laid. The weekly e-mail come-on from the Adam's Avenue Grill is up there in evocative-land ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Sushi

                                                                                          Sushi Ota 4529 Mission Bay Drive, Pacific Beach (858) 270-5670 Begin with the shrimp and vegetable tempura. Both the shape of the items -- a long, symmetrical oval of carrot -- and the close, clinging ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best-Dressed Thai Experience

                                                                                          Swaddee Restaurant 1001 C Avenue (at Tenth and C), Coronado (619) 435-8110 The waitresses whisk around in elegant ankle-length pha sin -- scarlet, indigo, blue, green, saffron skirts of cotton or silk laced with threads ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Upscale Private Dining Room

                                                                                          Pamplemousse Grill 514 Via de la Valle, Solana Beach (858) 792-9090 In the early 1900s, private dining rooms were the rage for romantic evenings. All this came to an end after World War I. Now, ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Vegetarian Restaurant

                                                                                          Jyoti Bihanga 3351 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights (619) 282-4116 The eastern Indian influence is low-key in this plainly decorated Normal Heights eatery, where meat is murder and tofu is the ingredient of choice in many ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best South Bay Chinese Restaurant

                                                                                          China China 386 East H Street, Chula Vista (619) 585-1111 Only in San Diego County would a Chinese restaurant's signature dish be served Mexican-style. China China, in the Terra Nova Plaza, looks like just another ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Soup-And-Salad Buffet

                                                                                          Souplantation 9158 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa (619) 462-4232 Though this budget chain of all-you-can-eateries has closed several San Diego locations, its surviving outlets are entrenched in their respective neighborhoods and always filled to capacity for ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Wait In Line For Sunday Breakfast

                                                                                          Kono's 704 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach (858) 483-1669 By 10:00 a.m. the queue stretches out to the middle of the street. But Garnet Avenue ends here, at Crystal Pier, so there's little danger of being ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Restaurant For Romance

                                                                                          The Sky Room La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla (858) 454-0771 A restaurant is romantic if it offers privacy, a setting that's conducive to romance, and service that's attentive but unobtrusive. The Sky ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Restaurant For Dancing On Tables

                                                                                          The Russia House Restaurant 3200 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights (619) 584-6279 The new owners say things have calmed down since they took over from Marko, the wild, intellectual Georgian who loved folks getting up on ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Relive 1920s Chula Vista

                                                                                          Flamingo Cafe 396 Broadway (at G), Chula Vista (619) 691-1076 Back in 1925, when Chula Vista was miles and miles of vegetable fields, one building stood out like a mole on your hand: the new ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Take Your Dog For Lunch

                                                                                          Cafe Zinc 132 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach (858) 793-5436 Of course, the pooch should be a little sophisticated. Preferably an Afghan. Even better, two Afghans on a leather leash. We're talking Cedros Design District ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Take Rich Aunt Agatha To Lunch

                                                                                          Gourmet Delicatessen in the Westgate 1055 Second Avenue, Downtown (619) 557-3698 Place reeks of gentility. Your feet sink into deep pink carpets, chandeliers clank above you, you sit on gold-braided chairs at tables covered by ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Have Magic With Your Meal

                                                                                          The Gathering 902 West Washington, Mission Hills (619) 260-0400 You came here for food. Instead, Dan the barman gives you a card. "Look at it. Don't show me." You look. Jack of hearts. He takes ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Get A Meal At 4:30 A.M. Downtown

                                                                                          The Snack Galley, Greyhound Depot, open 24 hours 120 West Broadway, Downtown (619) 234-4522 Dead is not the word for downtown San Diego in that 90 minutes, 3:30 to 5:00 a.m. So it's 4:00 in ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Eat With Your County Supervisor

                                                                                          Greg's Corner County Administration Building, Fourth floor, 1600 Pacific Highway, Downtown (619) 233-9605 Everything is politically correct (muted mustard colors, rattan walls) and you're surrounded by rumple-suited buck-passers. But the view is great and the ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Chew Chicken Necks

                                                                                          Kentucky Fried Buches 670 Avenida Constitución, halfway between 1st and Baja California Streets, Tijuana Chicken necks are not appreciated on this side of the line. But where Constitución heads for the border and the street ...

                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Place To Dine In Style And Not Get Gouged By The Wine List

                                                                                          The Wine Bar & Grill 1271 Prospect Street, La Jolla (858) 456-4644 Proprietor Charles Adams has carved a beauty of a brasserie out of a former candy store and stocked it with interesting wines that ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Place To Eat Like A Salvadoran

                                                                                            El Salvadoreño 2851 Imperial Avenue, Grant Hill (619) 231-8254 Pass south through Mexico and into Central America. As the weather gets hotter, food seems to become milder. El Salvador is the land of sweet banana ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Place For Rose Juice And Lebanese Food

                                                                                            Phoenicia 3381 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights (619) 282-4120 Rose water was the Coca-Cola of the Ancient World. It tastes pink and cool -- and like the smell of roses. People sold it in the summer ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Place For Hawaiian Food

                                                                                            Da Kine's Plate Lunches 4120 Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach (858) 274-8494 1635 Sweetwater Road, Suite H, National City (619) 477-8494 For a real Kalua pig, you have to cook it imu style -- in the ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Pasta And Fruit Tarts

                                                                                            Cafe Pasta Pronto 117 West Plaza, Solana Beach (858) 481-0634 2673 Via De La Valle, Del Mar (858) 481-6017 Owners and proprietors John and Paula Freatas opened the first Pasta Pronto on Via De La ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Pizza

                                                                                            Sorrentino's Pizza and Deli 4726 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Clairemont (858) 483-1811 In 1979, New York restaurateurs Victor and Vita Sorrentino moved to San Diego and opened Sorrentino's a year later. Why Pizza? "I'm Neapolitan," answers ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Pancake Joint In Town

                                                                                            The Family House of Pancakes 562 Broadway, Chula Vista (619) 425-5133 Thirty-six years ago, Mrs. Spizzano arrived from Italy with her husband and family and started this modest restaurant with one aim. "I'm not here ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Open-24-Hours-A-Day Restaurant

                                                                                            Tyler's Taste of Texas 576 North Second Street, El Cajon (619) 444-9295 7868 El Cajon Boulevard, La Mesa (619) 466-9295 Tyler's Taste of Texas is a haven for insomniacs and those who dream of "Oinker" ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Old-Style Chinese Eatery

                                                                                            Pekin Restaurant 2877 University Avenue, North Park (619) 295-2610 You know it's old from the way they spell the name. "Pekin," not "Beijing." Not even "Peking." North Parkians probably don't even notice it, it's been ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best New Restaurant

                                                                                            Bertrand at Mister A's 2550 Fifth Avenue, 12th floor, Park West (619) 239-1377 The full name is Bertrand at Mister A's, and because of the president's recent visit, the restaurant has been catapulted to instant ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best North County View With Food

                                                                                            Ki's 2591 South Coast Highway, Cardiff (760) 436-5236 It's easy to assume that the best oceanfront views are to be had west of Highway 101, but Ki's, an informal juice bar and organic eatery situated ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Murder And A Meal

                                                                                            The Mystery Cafe Imperial House Restaurant, 505 Kalmia Street, Park West (619) 544-1600 Since 1990, comic murder mysteries and delicious four-course meals have been served up every weekend by the suspects themselves at this popular ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Lounge

                                                                                            Four Seasons Lobby Lounge Four Seasons Resort, Aviara, 7100 Four Seasons Point, Carlsbad (760) 603-6800 If you're searching for an inexpensive retreat or a destination point for your guests, don't overlook the Lobby Lounge at ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Kosher Restaurant

                                                                                            Shmoozers Kosher Dairy Restaurant 6366 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area (619) 583-1636 Orthodox Jews who own restaurants have to decide whether they'll serve dairy or meat products. Can't do both. It's in Exodus: "Thou shalt ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Moderate-Priced Dining Room

                                                                                            Firenze Privato Firenze Trattoria, 162 South Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas (760) 944-9000 Firenze Privato, a private dining room, is different than most because the cost of the food is moderate and the portions are ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Jamaican Food

                                                                                            Fargo's Bar-B-Q/Jamaican Cuisine 6171 Imperial Avenue, Encanto (619) 262-0201 It's in a drab row of shops against a clay cliff with a trailer park on top. Inside, with the spicy meaty smells and the huge ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Italian Seafood

                                                                                            Osteria del Pescatore 1201 Camino del Mar, Del Mar (858) 509-9293 The owner, Giorgio, spent a year in Italy studying seafood preparation. The menu offers antipasti, soup, risotto dishes, 9 salads, 15 varieties of pasta, ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best In-Kitchen Dining

                                                                                            Chef's Table in Sally's Kitchen Sally's Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Hotel, One Market Place, Downtown (619) 687-6080 Dining at Sally's private kitchen has little to do with Norman Rockwell paintings and less with homespun American food. ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Hotel Desserts

                                                                                            The Dining Room at L'Auberge Del Mar 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar (858) 259-1515 Unless you're staying at the hotel, you don't feel comfortable walking in and ordering dessert only. One hotel that not ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Fusion

                                                                                            Octopus Garden 314 Fifth Avenue, Downtown (619) 233-1653 For those food adventurers in restless search for the new and the stimulating, Octopus Garden, a Japanese and Continental restaurant, is just the ticket. The accomplished chef, ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Gourmet Afghan Cuisine

                                                                                            Chopahn Authentic Afghan Cuisine 8935 Towne Centre Drive, University City (858) 677-0100 Located in the corner of a small shopping mall is a beautiful Afghan restaurant. In its food preparation as well as its physical ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best English Pub Grub

                                                                                            Shakespeare Pub & Grille 3701 India Street, Midtown (619) 299-0230 Yes, English pubs seem to be proliferating like King George's troops. But the well-ensconsed Shakespeare captures the British pub atmosphere. It's not just the soccer ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Deli Lunch In The County

                                                                                            Tip Top Meats 6118 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad (760) 438-2620 When Big John decided to become a boxer back in East Germany, he became an Olympic heavyweight. When he decided to become a butcher, he ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Family Restaurant

                                                                                            Tomatoes Restaurant 4346 Bonita Road, Bonita (619) 479-8494 Those who live in southeast county are fortunate because Tomatoes Restaurant, which describes itself as "health-oriented American," is located there. But this family restaurant is worth the ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Free Meatless Meal

                                                                                            Hare Krishna Temple 1030 Grand Avenue, Pacific Beach (858) 483-0941 Hare Krishnas throw these free party-like vegetarian feasts at their P.B. temple because they want you on their home turf. Guys in bare feet and ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Courthouse Eatery

                                                                                            South Bay Regional Center Cafeteria Inside South Bay County Regional Center, 500 Third Avenue, Chula Vista (619) 691-4599 "Gracious Guests: We are pleased that you chose our cafeteria to serve you." It's not what you ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best Deck Dining

                                                                                            Fletcher Cove Cafe 106 South Sierra Avenue, Solana Beach (858) 259-7866 Ulys Miller thought he was buying a restaurant with inside and outside dining. He got it half right. There's no inside. Keep your eyes ...

                                                                                            Best of 2000: Best College Food

                                                                                            West Terrace Cafe West Commons, San Diego State University Campanile Drive (619) 594-7635 Granted, it's a stretch putting school cafeterias and college food halls on any "Best" list. And these days most campuses have a ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Country Meal

                                                                                              RD's Log Cabin 26650 San Felipe Road, Warner Springs (760) 782-2782 Best time to find RD's is at night. But it's lonely. The Great Southern Overland Stage Route of 1849 was likely way busier 150 ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Birrieria (Goat Restaurant)

                                                                                              El Rincón del Oso Location 47, Mercado Hidalgo, Calle Victoria, Zona Rio, Tijuana When you eat goat, you want flavor! That means wild goat, if possible. The ones who have been free to roam and ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best California Cuisine

                                                                                              Napa Valley Grille 502 Horton Plaza, Downtown (619) 238-5440 Napa Valley Grille has its own wine bar, two outdoor patios, a private dining room, and a large central dining room. Restaurants come and go in ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Chinese Seafood

                                                                                              Lucky Star Chinese Seafood Restaurant 3893 54th Street, Rolando (619) 229-8228 For those of you who are mourning the loss of the Golden Star Chinese Seafood Restaurant in Hillcrest, take heart. The family has moved ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Barbecue

                                                                                              The Barbecue Pit 2888 University Avenue, North Park (619) 298-2400 2388 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon (619) 462-5434 920 East Plaza Boulevard, National City (619)262-0331 727 Center Drive, San Marcos (760) 432-0177 Say "barbecue" and people ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best All-You-Can-Eat Seafood Buffet

                                                                                              Torreyana Grille Hilton La Jolla, 10950 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla (858) 558-1500 There are other all-you-can-eat seafood buffets offered around the city, but none can compare to Torreyana's preparation, presentations, and quality. There ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Appetizer List

                                                                                              Roppongi 875 Prospect Street, La Jolla (858) 551-5252 What could be more delectable than to make a meal from small amounts of different tastes and textures that never tire your palate? Roppongi defines itself as ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Alice-Style Diner

                                                                                              Rudford's 2900 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park (619) 282-8423 It was a sad day for greasy-spoon lovers when Topsy's diner near Hillcrest closed last summer and its campy '60s Vegas-style marquee fell to the wrecking ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Afternoon Tea

                                                                                              Victoria Station 315 South Highway 101, Solana Beach (858) 481-1950 On any day of the week, you can get a cup of strong, steaming Yorkshire tea served in a real china tea service and combined ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Walk For House-Gawking

                                                                                              Camino de la Costa, La Jolla Some neighborhoods have grander, even more expensive mansions. But what's nice about a stroll along Camino de la Costa (particularly the stretch between La Canada and Palomar Streets) is ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Wargames

                                                                                              Velocity Paintball Park San Vicente Road and Warnock Drive, Ramona (858) 513-2778 Paintball battles -- stalking and shooting opponents with paint-loaded waterguns -- used to be common but are no longer staged indoors anywhere in ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best Whale-Watch

                                                                                              Helgren's Sportfishing Trips 315 Harbor Drive South, Oceanside (760) 722-2133 Whale-watch cruises run from December through March. Most are 3/4 day runs, 1/2 day runs, and twilight trips, though Helgren's also books multiday custom charters. ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best View Of The Salton Sea

                                                                                              Desert Tower In-Ko-Pah Park Road, five miles east of Jacumba (619) 766-4612 You get no idea of the vast size of the "Biggest Puddle in the West" -- the Salton Sea -- until you see ...

                                                                                              Best of 2000: Best View Of Untouched Nature In Tijuana

                                                                                              Tijuana River East of the town, west of the Rodríguez Dam Mention Tijuana River, and people think trash-strewn polluted concrete canal near the border. But there's another Tijuana River, clean and pristine, and nearer than ...

                                                                                                Best of 2000: Best Urban Mountain-Biking Trails

                                                                                                Mission Trails Regional Park One Father Junipero Serra Trail, Mission Gorge (619) 668-3275 www.mtrp.org One of the largest open-space urban parks in the continental United States, the Mission Trails Regional Park uniquely allows mountain bikers. ...

                                                                                                Best of 2000: Best Tot Train

                                                                                                Balboa Park Railroad Balboa Park, next to the carousel and the zoo Runs weekends and holidays (619) 239-4748 Balboa Park Railroad is a fun, inexpensive cure to childhood boredom. The scaled-down version of a Santa ...

                                                                                                Best of 2000: Best Skydiving

                                                                                                Air Adventures Skydiving Inc. 1590 Continental Street, Otay Mesa (800) 992-7003 www.airadventures.com Most Air Adventures customers say they've never flung themselves from a plane at 13,000 feet and are seeking a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. Tandem leaps ...

                                                                                                Best of 2000: Best Snorkeling

                                                                                                La Jolla Cove, La Jolla The 533-acre Ecological Reserve that runs from Scripps Institution of Oceanography south to Alligator Head is the only one of its kind hereabouts. Protection has made the sea life abundant. ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Place To Spot A Mountain Lion

                                                                                                  Paso Picacho Campground SR 79 The California Department of Fish and Game estimates 4000 to 6000 mountain lions roam California, with at least 150 of them ringing San Diego in the Cuyamacas, Lagunas, Palomar, Volcan ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Pumpkin Picking

                                                                                                  Bates Nut Farm 15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center (760) 749-3333 Around Halloween, Bates Nut Farm is the ultimate pumpkin-picking experience. After the $1 hayride, the busloads of kids who visit can tumble over piles ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Place To Play Pickup Soccer

                                                                                                  Pantoja Park Between Kettner and State on G Street Lunch Hour, Monday through Thursday This game has been going on for over nine years. The players come and go, but the game goes on. The ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Place To Learn Cactus Farming

                                                                                                  Granjas Familiares "División del Norte" Colonia Las Torres, Rinconada Dos, Tijuana An hour east of downtown Tijuana, where the paved streets turn into rutted roads, and the houses run out and the mountain heaves up ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Place To Feel Like You're In An Escher Drawing

                                                                                                  Dive the Yukon www.hydrodiver.com or www.loisann.com It's a 366-foot-long warship prepped for recreational diving and sunken two miles off Mission Beach. The old girl rests on her port side, so inside you may find tables ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Place To Catch Grunion

                                                                                                  Beaches from Imperial Beach to Oceanside To find out where grunion are running, call Fish and Game at (858) 467-4201 Legal in March and from June through August. They must be left alone April/May. Grunion ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Place To Display Your Tennis Prowess

                                                                                                  The Challenge Court, Balboa Tennis Club 2221 Morley Field Drive, Balboa Park (619) 295-9278 This is for the brave, the blusterers, the big-mouths. Go to Balboa Tennis Club's reservations desk, hand over $5, and say ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Place For An Ocean Swim

                                                                                                  Del Mar or La Jolla Shores Del Mar boasts no drownings in 20 years but has bigger surf. La Jolla Shores has a rocky point, Point La Jolla, that protects the beach, but not so ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Place For A Cyclist To Be Run Down Like A Dog On The Road

                                                                                                  Highway 78 from Ramona to the San Pasqual Valley Pedaling north on Pine Street from Highway 67 in Ramona, it looks like it's going to be a nice ride. Once you pass EPS Lumber and ...

                                                                                                  Best of 2000: Best Parasailing

                                                                                                  San Diego Parasailing Adventures 1641 Quivira Road, Mission Bay (619) 223-4386 Mixing the mechanics of sailing and the physics of hang gliding, parasailing carries boaters aloft into the wind, flying across the ocean water in ...

                                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Northern California Experience In Southern California

                                                                                                    Palomar Mountain Sooner or later you'll start missing the seasons. Winter, summer, spring, fall. New arrivals talk of nothing else. But fear not! Just north of Lake Henshaw stands a 5000-foot-high chunk of rock that ...

                                                                                                    Best of 2000: Best Pier Fishing

                                                                                                    Ocean Beach Pier, foot of Niagara Avenue, Ocean Beach Billed as the longest pier on the West Coast, this 34-year-old landmark is narrow and not pretty, but devout fishing takes place along its third-of-a-mile-long expanse. ...

                                                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Hike To An Oasis

                                                                                                      Oasis Spring Mount Laguna "Oasis" is both the name of, and an apt description of, of an idyllic spot high in the Laguna Mountains overlooking the broad, glaring expanse of the Anza-Borrego desert. It's a ...

                                                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Hike In The Sage

                                                                                                      Lake Poway Coastal sage-scrub, perhaps the least impressive-looking natural vegetation type in the county in summer and fall, brightens up in vivid shades of green with every wet season, usually starting in November or December. ...

                                                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Exercisewalk With A Baby

                                                                                                      Midtown/Mission Hills Area 3.2 Miles Get a jogging stroller or a baby backpack and get ready to hike. Park on the west side of San Diego Avenue where it veers from India Street, across from ...

                                                                                                      Best of 2000: Best Hike In The Oaks

                                                                                                      Fallbrook Less than 1 percent of San Diego County's land area is covered by native trees, and much of that tiny fraction consists of narrow strips of oak woodland tracing the narrow confines of various ...

                                                                                                        Best of 2000: Best Hike In The Chaparral

                                                                                                        Agua Tibia Wilderness Near Temecula "Chaparral" is the name given to the assemblage of tough, drought-resistant, deep-rooted, intricately branched shrubs that cling to coastal and foothill slopes throughout Central and Southern California. As with much ...

                                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Country Bike Ride

                                                                                                          Palomar Mountain The gently curving county highways of Palomar Mountain are ever rising, ever descending, and almost never flat. Bicycle riders who come here fill their lungs again and again with cool draughts of fresh ...

                                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Dry Lake

                                                                                                          Borrego Sink Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Where does the water that falls on Borrego Springs and the Borrego Valley go? Most of it sinks quickly into the desert sand. In times of rare flood, the ...

                                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Border Hike (Mexico)

                                                                                                          Chichi de la India Peak Between Tecate and Mexicali The south-of-the-border volcanic peak variously known as Chichi de la India and Cerro Teta de la India looks pleasingly just as it should from vantage points ...

                                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Border Hike (U.S. Side)

                                                                                                          Blue Angels Peak, near Jacumba A peak labeled "Blue Angels" on government topographic maps of the California/Baja border region happens to be the highest point in California within six miles of the international border. The ...

                                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Bayside Walk

                                                                                                          Chula Vista Marina Ocean breezes in your hair, a grassy park on one side, a sandy beach on the other, restaurants and picnic tables handy, and a breathtaking view of the San Diego skyline. And ...

                                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Beach Hike

                                                                                                          Between Scripps Pier and Torrey Pines State Preserve Beaches are for hiking as well as swimming and sunbathing, and for that purpose none is better in our county than the four-plus-mile stretch between Scripps Institution ...

                                                                                                          Best of 2000: Best Batting Cage

                                                                                                          Fun-4-All 950 Industrial Boulevard, Chula Vista (619) 427-1840 Fun-4-All has ten individual batting cages, and most can be rented on a walk-in basis, though weekends are sometimes busy enough to require a phone reservation. A ...

                                                                                                          Join our
                                                                                                          newsletter list

                                                                                                          Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

                                                                                                          Each newsletter subscription
                                                                                                          means another chance to win!

                                                                                                          Close