Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

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

Kip's Cafe

The original Kip's was out in El Cajon, and had been there for fifty years before it closed down and the relocated to the current location in the heart of Hillcrest on 4th Avenue. It looks like a miniature little hole in the wall from the outside, with all of two patio seats and an awing illuminated by Christmas lights.

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/may/21/24730/

It turns out the restaurant stretches way back into the building, far enough that I had a hard time seeing the end of dining room. It's almost like the place is one, long hallway with tables on either end. There's a little bar right at the front, where I sat myself at the urging of the delivery guy who happened to be cruising by on his way out the door with some take-out destined for parts unknown (to me at least).

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/may/21/24731/

Server headquarters seemed to be at the back of the restaurant, and it took a suspiciously long time for the single visible employee to come up and offer me a drink. With the beer options being severely limited (Bud, Bud Light, Widmers, etc.), I opted out of beer. The wine list was a stark contrast to the beer selection. It had a bunch of bottles in the $20-$40 range--and one Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon sticking out like a sore thumb at $140! When push comes to shove, Kip's wine list exceeds it's tap list by a wide margin.

Kip's was originally a Chinese restaurant, though the menu expanded to Japanese food and sushi in the 90's. I decided to stick with the Chinese portion of the menu, if for no other reason than that I eat sushi regularly and Chinese food seldom. I started my meal with an appetizer of garlic chili frog's legs ($5.95) because they had been singled out on the menu as "recommended." I say it takes some stones to put stock in an uncommon dish, which I think can be the height of elegance when properly executed.

The server warned me that the legs would take a while, so I waited. When they arrived, I was delighted by the light batter that covered the little drumsticks. Somehow, I expected sauteed frog, but the deep-fried option proved to be delicate and flavorful. The spicy mixture of fresh garlic, chili peppers, and scallions that accompanied the four, diminutive legs was both unburnt (a rarity in terms of sauteed garlic) and very complimentary.

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/may/21/24732/

I followed the frog's legs with an order of twice cooked pork ($9.95) that included a side of rice. While not as much of a standout as the appetizer, the pork was generously sized consider its sub-$10 price. I found the flavor to be on the sweeter side and not as spicy as expected. There was a strong taste of liquid smoke in the mix as well. Having lots of baby corn and water chestnuts incorporated into the dish was a plus and the pork, which had been sliced a bit thinly, hadn't been overcooked to the point of toughness.

Kip's menu is huge in scale; the Chinese portion alone covers an oversize piece of cardstock in tiny print. The Japanese menu, which I didn't have a chance to sample, is of equal stature. It's cooler than it looks once you get inside and the surprisingly promising wine list begs a little exploration.

3925 Fourth Avenue
619-298-0127
Closed Mondays
Tu-Th, Sun 11-10
F-Sat 11-11

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

Previous article

Dad Darius Degher writes lyrics for his daughters - and himself

“What I respect most are song lyrics that do something wholly new.”

The original Kip's was out in El Cajon, and had been there for fifty years before it closed down and the relocated to the current location in the heart of Hillcrest on 4th Avenue. It looks like a miniature little hole in the wall from the outside, with all of two patio seats and an awing illuminated by Christmas lights.

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/may/21/24730/

It turns out the restaurant stretches way back into the building, far enough that I had a hard time seeing the end of dining room. It's almost like the place is one, long hallway with tables on either end. There's a little bar right at the front, where I sat myself at the urging of the delivery guy who happened to be cruising by on his way out the door with some take-out destined for parts unknown (to me at least).

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/may/21/24731/

Server headquarters seemed to be at the back of the restaurant, and it took a suspiciously long time for the single visible employee to come up and offer me a drink. With the beer options being severely limited (Bud, Bud Light, Widmers, etc.), I opted out of beer. The wine list was a stark contrast to the beer selection. It had a bunch of bottles in the $20-$40 range--and one Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon sticking out like a sore thumb at $140! When push comes to shove, Kip's wine list exceeds it's tap list by a wide margin.

Kip's was originally a Chinese restaurant, though the menu expanded to Japanese food and sushi in the 90's. I decided to stick with the Chinese portion of the menu, if for no other reason than that I eat sushi regularly and Chinese food seldom. I started my meal with an appetizer of garlic chili frog's legs ($5.95) because they had been singled out on the menu as "recommended." I say it takes some stones to put stock in an uncommon dish, which I think can be the height of elegance when properly executed.

The server warned me that the legs would take a while, so I waited. When they arrived, I was delighted by the light batter that covered the little drumsticks. Somehow, I expected sauteed frog, but the deep-fried option proved to be delicate and flavorful. The spicy mixture of fresh garlic, chili peppers, and scallions that accompanied the four, diminutive legs was both unburnt (a rarity in terms of sauteed garlic) and very complimentary.

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/may/21/24732/

I followed the frog's legs with an order of twice cooked pork ($9.95) that included a side of rice. While not as much of a standout as the appetizer, the pork was generously sized consider its sub-$10 price. I found the flavor to be on the sweeter side and not as spicy as expected. There was a strong taste of liquid smoke in the mix as well. Having lots of baby corn and water chestnuts incorporated into the dish was a plus and the pork, which had been sliced a bit thinly, hadn't been overcooked to the point of toughness.

Kip's menu is huge in scale; the Chinese portion alone covers an oversize piece of cardstock in tiny print. The Japanese menu, which I didn't have a chance to sample, is of equal stature. It's cooler than it looks once you get inside and the surprisingly promising wine list begs a little exploration.

3925 Fourth Avenue
619-298-0127
Closed Mondays
Tu-Th, Sun 11-10
F-Sat 11-11

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
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 Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — 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 Theater — On stage in San Diego this week 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

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.