Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “san diego”

Dumpling Inn

Finally back in San Diego! First stop after the airport is my new favorite Chinese restaurant, Dumpling Inn. Chinese comfort cuisine since 1994. I just love the atmosphere, service and food here. I had an excellent Kung Pao Chicken with tasty wonton soup.

Chili’s Grill & Bar

My favorite thing to order at Chili’s! Their outstanding “BBQ Combo” with jalapeño-cheddar smoked sausage and half order of baby back ribs, sauce on side. Plus street corn, fries, tasty toast and a nice cold draft IPA.

Rene’s Mexican Grill & Cantina

Tasty taco & enchilada combination plate at Rene’s in Poway!

Rubio’s

Tasty “California Bowl” with mahi-mahi at Rubio’s in Ramona, CA! It’s nice to be eating something here with just a fork that I don’t have to pick up.

Sidny’s Bagels & Deli

Outstanding #15 (turkey, ham & Swiss) at Sidny’s in Rancho Bernardo! This place is a great New York style deli offering a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu.

Hamburger Factory

Excellent Blue Burger (add bacon) at HBF in Poway! A liberal amount of blue cheese on this beaut, served open faced with LTOP on the side. I asked for tots but got their terrible fatty steak fries instead which I do not care for.

The Oaks Grille

Outstanding “Bulldog” Omelette at The Oaks Girl in Ramona! Filled with bacon, sausage, ham, onion, cheddar & jack cheese. The beautifully cooked omelette is then blanketed with their excellent country gravy. I was hesitant at first about this combination but it was surprisingly good. I highly recommend.

Amici Pizza, Pasta & Subs

I have not been to Amici in almost five years! Not much has changed, except they seem to have an expanded dining section that is cordoned off with a chain. I ordered the lasagna and it was very tasty, $13.95. Not among the best I’ve had, but quite solid. Clearly house made. I was impressed that it was hot throughout, despite being served on a melamine plate. It wasn’t !hot!hot! like some lasagnas, but just hot. Pasta dishes here are not served with any sort of soup or salad which is atypical from most Italian restaurants. This is more of a pizza place anyway than traditional Italian restaurant.
My side of sausage and meatball ($4.95) complemented the pasta-heavy lasagna perfectly. The meatball was pretty average, although definitely much better than the “beef balls” I had recently just a few doors down. The Italian sausage was outstanding. Had a nice, rich fattiness to it. My son had an order of cheese ravioli and he really liked it. Meals here are served with a generous portion of their excellent garlic bread. Service was just fine, from the owners I believe. For the prices charged however, full table service would have been nice.

La Cocina

Outstanding enchiladas combination plate at La Cocina in Ramona! I see they have graduated from styrofoam plates to heavy duty paper plates. That makes me happy.

Ramona Noodle House

Finally got in to try Ramona Noodle House! It is a very small, clean and intimate restaurant. The layout seemed odd, although it’s appointed nicely with modern, slightly abstract decor. I ordered the ‘Pho Beef Noodles’. If you’ve never had pho before, it is a very interactive dish with lots of slurping and splashing. Not at all something you can eat gracefully. The pho here is made with thin rice noodles, beef slices, beef balls and onions in a beef broth soup. Served with a side of jalapeño, lime slice, bean sprouts and basil for only $9.


The pho came out in a huge bowl, roughly the size of a small lampshade, and piping hot. It held a generous amount of rice noodles. The broth lacked any sort of depth or complexity that I’m used to. The beef slices were not very tender and seemed to clump up on themselves. Now, I am no authority on Oriental beef balls, but the texture and mouthfeel seemed like they were overly mechanically processed and somewhat artificial tasting. I don’t know how else to describe it. The beef balls had no flavor whatsoever. The accoutrement plate on the side was underwhelming. The jalapeños and lime looked and felt as if they were sliced about 8 hours prior to my arrival. Could have been the day before, I don’t know. Overall, not among the best bowls of pho I’ve had, but it did hit the spot on a cold winter night in Ramona!


The service here was noticeably top-shelf! I felt welcomed and taken care of the whole time by the professional staff. Water was kept filled (no beer & wine); they were fast, friendly and efficient. If noodle houses are your thing and you’re up the hill, this place is worth checking out. I might order something different next time.

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