Give Us Happy Hours
I am writing to make a suggestion. I think most of the restaurants Naomi reviews are too expensive for many of us, while Ed’s restaurants tend to be dives. I suggest a middle ground: do a review of good happy-hour food, which we frequent almost exclusively because of their prices.
Our favorites include Gulf Coast Grill (good clam chowder and Caesar salads with chicken or shrimp and many other good items), Roppongi (still a little high-end but more affordable than their dinner menu), Khan’s Cave (this is a great new restaurant in Kearny Mesa on Clairemont Mesa Drive at Ruffin Road, with nice atmosphere, service, food, and prices), Fish Market Express in Mission Valley, Kensington Grill, Parkhouse Eatery, and many others we have yet to try.
Reviewing them would give a boost to all the restaurants that have created these happy hours to survive hard times. People might come out if they knew how inexpensive and high-quality these happy hours are.
Naomi Wise replies: Yes, Janet, we’re paying attention. Since about mid-July, the majority of my reviews have been of moderate-priced restaurants (Sea Rocket, Linkery, Royal India, Currant, Hexagone, etc.), and since the serious economic crash in September, more than half have been of restaurants with good-value happy hours, grazing menus, or just plain low prices, including Café Bleu, Tabule, Maryjane’s (not such great food, alas), Tender Greens, and Illume. Other reviews have included endnotes spotlighting the best early-bird bargain menus (e.g., Better Half, Bernard’O), something I’d like to make a regular feature — as I hear about the bargains, I’ll mention them. In fact, I’ve been trying to keep the real “high-priced spreads” down to about one per month, for the occasional splurge eats that we all need sometimes. I like your suggestions too — Roppongi, Gulf Coast, and Parkhouse were all reviewed a very long time ago and could each use a fresh look, especially at happy hour. In fact, revisiting them sounds like fun. Thanks for the ideas!
Re Geoff Bouvier’s cover story “It’s Getting Ugly Downtown” (December 4), some things to keep in mind about street noise and HOA dues:
1. Downtown condominiums of quality construction have double- or even triple-pane windows that mute outside noises to an amazing degree. These windows also block most of the radiant heat from the sun and keep daytime warmth in on winter nights. After living in ten different dwellings in various parts of suburban San Diego and East County, I can honestly say that my condo downtown is the quietest and most comfortable place I’ve ever lived in.
2. HOA monthly dues are high for some buildings, indeed. But you often get what you pay for, including most utility costs and contract staff who keep the premises clean, properly maintained, and secure. A significant fraction of HOA dues typically goes into a reserve account that pays for replacement of building components and exterior maintenance, such as painting. This is money set aside in advance. HOA dues that are too low may result in the underfunding of reserves, which eventually leads to special assessments when work such as roofing, painting, or replacement of mechanical equipment is needed. Prospective buyers should check the financial health of the building’s HOA, including its reserves.
I’m calling regarding this letter that you printed in this week’s edition (December 4) from Pat Palmer. It’s titled “The Present Craziness.” I wonder if you check the accuracy of statements in letters before you print them, because she presents something in here as science that to me is science fiction. And that is when she says, “When we eat, we accept and integrate that genetic information via our messenger RNA into our own DNA and are so modified.” To the best of my knowledge, and I am not a genetic scientist or anything, but to the best of my knowledge, that is complete hogwash. When you eat, you break down what you eat, you derive the nutrients from it, and the rest is excreted. You do not absorb the DNA and integrate it into your own body. She’s been watching too many science fiction movies. So you really should print a correction on that, or a lot of people are going to be misguided and misled based on that letter.
What a timely article (“SDPD — Got an Attitude?” “City Lights,” December 4). The day before I read it, I chewed out one of the participants in this or another Critical Mass event for what I experienced driving home from Balboa Park one night. I was swarmed by extremely reckless bicyclists, some of whom were holding beers. There was nothing articulating what the event was, let alone how it was being conducted. The potential for an organized promotion of a cause was clearly lost in stark contrast to the approaches of the recent cancer-awareness walkers or those of typical organized civil disobedience. Worse — and I say this as a cyclist, environmentalist, and personal injury lawyer — many of them displayed a gross disregard for probability of collisions and injuries. I called the police repeatedly and was given the runaround only to find police purporting to direct traffic at the intersection of Park Boulevard and University Avenue. The hue and cry of pro-motorist bias on the part of the police is pure BS.
I was calling in response to your article on Critical Mass (“SDPD — Got an Attitude?” “City Lights,” December 4). Actually, I had my own experience with them on Nimitz Boulevard. For them to say that the mood of their event is a party on wheels I think is somewhat disingenuous. Our car was pretty much swarmed by these people as we were driving legally in the middle of the road. Several of them put their hands on my car, hollering and ranting and raving. I was with my wife and my younger sister at the time, and having no knowledge of the Critical Mass event, it was quite a startling experience. At the time, I went ahead and called the police nonemergency number and reported where I was.