4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Gather a dozen of your best friends

Yellow Deli, Not-Not Tacos, Grandma's Tofu, Garden Kitchen, Villa Manila, Piazza 1909, Mariscos El Titanic

Garden Kitchen. Squash Puttanesca - Image by Matthew Suárez
Garden Kitchen. Squash Puttanesca
Place

Yellow Deli

315 E. Broadway, Vista

The first element for a nice evening out is not to rush it. Which makes this place perfect: Yellow Deli never closes, except from Friday 3 pm through Sunday 3 pm, sabbath for Twelve Tribes, the hippy, religious group that built this. The food is simple but oh-so wholesome (a lot from their own organic ranch in Valley Center), from Chicken on the Ranch through the veggie-stuffed Yellow Submarine to veggie burgers or beef and corned beef sammies, and really good home-made soups. But also, come for the beautiful woodwork, the nooks, the multi-level crannies, and the folkie live music that often happens in the evening in the garden.

Place

Not Not Tacos

550 West Date Street, suite B, San Diego

The evening is the perfect time for this new collective eatery in the walk-only Piazza della Famiglia, from a roast beef joint, to fish, lobster and Asian food stations. But maybe the most original is Not Not Tacos, where — is nothing sacred? — they serve Gringo tacos loaded with fillers such as mashed potato, meat loaf, mac’n cheese, and curried eggs. Also revolutionary: the fact that you can take your beer or wine out with your food to chow and slurp anywhere in the 10,000-square-foot piazza, which means you can relax as evening comes on to the sound not of traffic, but water splashing out of the stunning fountain.

Place

Grandma's Tofu & BBQ

4425 Convoy Street, San Diego

This part of Convoy is alive and crowded at night. You could call it Little Korea. And the eats, Seoul Food. Grandma’s usually has a waiting line like the rest, but that gives you a chance to find out from neighbors what’s good here. If it doesn’t seem cheap, remember that each entrée comes with banchan, side dishes with everything from seaweed to fish cake to savory potato mix. For a BBQ deal, go chicken bulgogi (“fire meat”). If in doubt, ask for the most popular, #47, dolsot bibimbap, veggies, beef, egg over rice, forever hot in a stone pot. And don’t worry about awkward silences. Multi-generational chat just fills the room.

Place

Garden Kitchen

4204 Roland Boulevard, San Diego

You’d never know Garden Kitchen was steps from the hardscape of City Heights. It’s a little oasis of bamboo, trellises, troppo greenery, parachute shades, and lantern-style lights. Also, they make like everything right here, in the tiny kitchen, and lots of it is vegetarian. Think Japanese eggplant tagine stew, or Freckled Romaine (all sorts of grilled veggies and cheese). But also, say, a wagyu Burgundy steak. Choose carefully. Things can cost. But that’s because the chef-owner, Coral, insists on buying local, and organic, and preparing it all herself. Original happy hour deals, too, like blistered red shishito peppers with porcini balsamic glaze. And at night, no pressure to leave. Chat on.

Place

Villa Manila

500 E. 8th Street, National City

For this, gather a dozen of your best friends, and prepare to ditch the knife and fork. You’ll be eating with your fingers, because we’re talking party night, Filipino-style. At Villa Manila it's called Kamayan. They spread banana leaves up and down your long table, and bring a procession of rice, stews, grilled pork, shrimp, grilled eggplant, chili and pork in coconut sauce, duck’s eggs, adobo, bangus — milk fish — on and on. Then they spread it all out by hand on the banana leaves. What you discover: getting your fingers messy feels so good. People become a little giddy. Minimum four, but six or more is better. Any night. But Thursday nights, you get around $10 off. Make reservations.

Place

Piazza 1909

7731 Fay Avenue, San Diego

They told Walter, one of the owners at Piazza 1909, that this was a dead spot in La Jolla. He didn’t listen. And his team has turned this 1909 house into one of the coolest — make that warmest — restaurants in town. Lighting around the house’s garden makes patio dining really cozy and intimate at night. The food is mostly La Jolla prices, but for a celebration you’ll get good, sophisticated but honest Milanese cooking. Like lasagna. Or marsala chicken. Salads are a good way to avoid top dollar entrées. Like the house salad or the “Deliziosa” (spinach, pear, goat cheese). Or, just turn up for a dessert and coffee to watch Frenchie bichon bulldogs hauling their owners up the sidewalk.

Place

Mariscos el Titanic

3600 Fairmount Ave, San Diego

Sure, drop in for a taco, but really, this is a party place. Come on payday around sunset with a bunch of friends and sit out on the palapa patio, maybe order a bucket of cervezas, some octopus quesadillas, scallops, ceviche, and if a mariachi’s here, go ahead and ask for Cielito Lindo. Or later, come inside where (real) swordfish, and shark, and surfing scenes decorate the walls, and seashells hang from the fishnetty ceiling, get a big molcajete of seafood and sing along with the loud Mexican party music. Cost? Tacos, cheap. Molcajetes, not so. Say, $25. Why “Titanic”? It opened just after they shot the movie near Rosarito.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The massive, small molcajete at La Sinaloense

How regionally inspired mariscos fill a restaurant patio in La Presa
Garden Kitchen. Squash Puttanesca - Image by Matthew Suárez
Garden Kitchen. Squash Puttanesca
Place

Yellow Deli

315 E. Broadway, Vista

The first element for a nice evening out is not to rush it. Which makes this place perfect: Yellow Deli never closes, except from Friday 3 pm through Sunday 3 pm, sabbath for Twelve Tribes, the hippy, religious group that built this. The food is simple but oh-so wholesome (a lot from their own organic ranch in Valley Center), from Chicken on the Ranch through the veggie-stuffed Yellow Submarine to veggie burgers or beef and corned beef sammies, and really good home-made soups. But also, come for the beautiful woodwork, the nooks, the multi-level crannies, and the folkie live music that often happens in the evening in the garden.

Place

Not Not Tacos

550 West Date Street, suite B, San Diego

The evening is the perfect time for this new collective eatery in the walk-only Piazza della Famiglia, from a roast beef joint, to fish, lobster and Asian food stations. But maybe the most original is Not Not Tacos, where — is nothing sacred? — they serve Gringo tacos loaded with fillers such as mashed potato, meat loaf, mac’n cheese, and curried eggs. Also revolutionary: the fact that you can take your beer or wine out with your food to chow and slurp anywhere in the 10,000-square-foot piazza, which means you can relax as evening comes on to the sound not of traffic, but water splashing out of the stunning fountain.

Place

Grandma's Tofu & BBQ

4425 Convoy Street, San Diego

This part of Convoy is alive and crowded at night. You could call it Little Korea. And the eats, Seoul Food. Grandma’s usually has a waiting line like the rest, but that gives you a chance to find out from neighbors what’s good here. If it doesn’t seem cheap, remember that each entrée comes with banchan, side dishes with everything from seaweed to fish cake to savory potato mix. For a BBQ deal, go chicken bulgogi (“fire meat”). If in doubt, ask for the most popular, #47, dolsot bibimbap, veggies, beef, egg over rice, forever hot in a stone pot. And don’t worry about awkward silences. Multi-generational chat just fills the room.

Place

Garden Kitchen

4204 Roland Boulevard, San Diego

You’d never know Garden Kitchen was steps from the hardscape of City Heights. It’s a little oasis of bamboo, trellises, troppo greenery, parachute shades, and lantern-style lights. Also, they make like everything right here, in the tiny kitchen, and lots of it is vegetarian. Think Japanese eggplant tagine stew, or Freckled Romaine (all sorts of grilled veggies and cheese). But also, say, a wagyu Burgundy steak. Choose carefully. Things can cost. But that’s because the chef-owner, Coral, insists on buying local, and organic, and preparing it all herself. Original happy hour deals, too, like blistered red shishito peppers with porcini balsamic glaze. And at night, no pressure to leave. Chat on.

Place

Villa Manila

500 E. 8th Street, National City

For this, gather a dozen of your best friends, and prepare to ditch the knife and fork. You’ll be eating with your fingers, because we’re talking party night, Filipino-style. At Villa Manila it's called Kamayan. They spread banana leaves up and down your long table, and bring a procession of rice, stews, grilled pork, shrimp, grilled eggplant, chili and pork in coconut sauce, duck’s eggs, adobo, bangus — milk fish — on and on. Then they spread it all out by hand on the banana leaves. What you discover: getting your fingers messy feels so good. People become a little giddy. Minimum four, but six or more is better. Any night. But Thursday nights, you get around $10 off. Make reservations.

Place

Piazza 1909

7731 Fay Avenue, San Diego

They told Walter, one of the owners at Piazza 1909, that this was a dead spot in La Jolla. He didn’t listen. And his team has turned this 1909 house into one of the coolest — make that warmest — restaurants in town. Lighting around the house’s garden makes patio dining really cozy and intimate at night. The food is mostly La Jolla prices, but for a celebration you’ll get good, sophisticated but honest Milanese cooking. Like lasagna. Or marsala chicken. Salads are a good way to avoid top dollar entrées. Like the house salad or the “Deliziosa” (spinach, pear, goat cheese). Or, just turn up for a dessert and coffee to watch Frenchie bichon bulldogs hauling their owners up the sidewalk.

Place

Mariscos el Titanic

3600 Fairmount Ave, San Diego

Sure, drop in for a taco, but really, this is a party place. Come on payday around sunset with a bunch of friends and sit out on the palapa patio, maybe order a bucket of cervezas, some octopus quesadillas, scallops, ceviche, and if a mariachi’s here, go ahead and ask for Cielito Lindo. Or later, come inside where (real) swordfish, and shark, and surfing scenes decorate the walls, and seashells hang from the fishnetty ceiling, get a big molcajete of seafood and sing along with the loud Mexican party music. Cost? Tacos, cheap. Molcajetes, not so. Say, $25. Why “Titanic”? It opened just after they shot the movie near Rosarito.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

In effort to reach out to vaccine hesitant, County introduces mobile health drones

The Empire Likes Vaxx
Next Article

Remembering Louis Procaccino

“He always had food in his pockets”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close