No pictures yet, but in the interest of blogging, we may have to revisit these places soon so I can do a proper current review for the, like, 2 people who read this.
Little by little, we’ve found places to eat right here in Poway. Some of them I explored with Cami when I worked nearby and we’d have lunch together. Some of them were mentioned in our Entertainment Book. Some we found by taking a walk and being so hungry by the time we stopped we just ate there because it was convenient. We’ve discovered that just about any craving can be satisfied with a short drive or an ambitious walk from home. Sometimes it may not be the best restaurant, but it’s close and it’ll do. I guess I’ll just list them, in no particular order, by restaurant.
Sushi USA is technically in the city of San Diego, right off the I-15 at Rancho Penasquitos Drive. If you go west from the freeway exit, you’ll see McDonald’s on the left and IHOP, Starbucks, La Quinta Inn, and a Chevron on the right. Sushi USA is right next the IHOP and La Quinta Inn, in what used to be a Taco Bell. If you call in a sushi order, you can pull through the drive-thru lane and pick up your food at the old drive-thru window! The owners are really nice and their sushi is fresh and tasty. I’ve never had a stringy piece or fishy piece there. Portions are also huge and sushi orders often come with extra fish as “garnish”. They are not open for lunch on the weekends (as we’ve found out) and if their totally cute taekwondo champion daughter has a tournament on the weekend, there’s a good chance they might be closed for the whole weekend (good for them!).
Poway Sushi Lounge
The Sushi Lounge is in Poway, across from the library and up the street from Taco Bell. They have a decent happy hour sushi menu and pretty good Japanese food, too. Their sushi chefs are fun to talk to and the servers are friendly. They have some different types of rolls that sound creative but end up being tasty and not weird. It can get crowded in there on weekends, but it’s nice to know there’s a good sushi option within walking distance of us. There’s another Japanese place next to Denny’s at the corner of Poway Road and Oak Knoll Drive, Izumi, but I don’t like their food or sushi.
We went here when they first opened and were very impressed with their food (but not so much their mojito). They now get very crowded for dinner and have opened up another location in UTC. The Cuban sandwiches are very tasty and filling, especially with the sweet potato fries. The Asian-fusion part of the menu isn’t really Cuban or Asian fusion, and as long as you realize this, you’ll end up enjoying the curry dish or whatever, because the meat isn’t overcooked and the sauces are flavorful but not overpowering. I like their chop chop dishes, which are like chopped salads with warm chicken or meats – I don’t know, it just works for me. We don’t go there often any more, but I’m glad they have been successful and I’m glad they give us another option for dinner. Oh, they’re located in the shopping center at Poway Road and Midland Road, with the HomeGoods, Office Depot, Panda Express, and Steinmart.
House on the Hill
We just visited this one for the first time recently and you can read about it here. It’s basically a steak and seafood place, nicer than casual but not quite upscale fancy, with a great atmosphere and good food. It’s a little pricey, but you get a lot of food and it’s good food.
Cafe de Thai
Conveniently located by the UltraStar theater, Cafe de Thai has a sushi bar and a Thai menu and they do each part fairly well. It’s certainly not the best Thai food I’ve had in San Diego, but when you want green curry or pad thai or sticky rice with mango, Cafe de Thai definitely takes care of that. I’ve never had a bad meal there, which has to count for something.
We used to go to MexiCocina/MexiCantina behind Denny’s for Mexican food (other than fast tacos or quesadillas). And we were satisfied, for the most part, until we went to Lienzo Charro. It’s along Poway Road, maybe halfway between Pomerado and Carriage Drive? It’s not a flashy place, and you may not see it at first, but since we walked there the first time we had plenty of time to see it coming. I don’t know what to say about it – it’s just good food. Good chips, standard salsa, excellent carnitas and exactly the right amount of food to make you full but not uncomfortable. It’s now my go-to for close Mexican food.
Pamir Kabob House
I forget what was in this space before Pamir came in… but it’s next to Winchell’s and a Weight Watchers on the Pomerado side of the Pomerado/Poway intersection. Cami and I made an inaugural visit for lunch one day, and then T and I went back with an Entertainment Book deal. The kabobs are tender and tasty and the rice has those yummy little tart dried berries in them. They also have awesome lunch deals Monday through Saturday that can’t be beat. Definitely go try Pamir if you haven’t yet.
The first time we had Golden Spoon, we had taken a walk and ended up at Lucky Chinese in the LA Fitness shopping center (decent but mediocre Chinese food, but better than no Chinese food!). I didn’t know what Golden Spoon was, so we walked over to see if they sold food or spoons (because T is very accommodating to my whims and requests). Turns out they sell frozen yogurt in many different flavors and sizes – including a mini size! Mini is perfect for a sweet craving and their peanut butter cup is really the only flavor I get because anything else leaves me missing the peanut butter cup flavor. I know the new craze is Pinkberry and the Yogurt World on Convoy, and I like those tart flavors, but for regular sweet frozen yogurt, Golden Spoon is very good.
That’s all I can think of at the moment. There are plenty of little places, chain places, and ubiquitous taco shops, but these are the main players we think of when we want to go out to dinner but don’t want to go far. Don’t even get me started on where go when we’re willing to drive even 10 more minutes!