Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a relatively new Mexican restaurant on the first floor of Del Mar Plaza in the village of Del Mar. The outdoor patio is pleasant, though the indoor seating could be lighter and more inviting. I enjoy the chips, salsa, and guacamole dip very much. My wife and I usually split the chicken enchilada dish, which is delicious and ample. I have not tried a margarita at the eatery, but my friend likes them. The prices are reasonable, and I suggest a reservation. Parking is available in the garage beneath the plaza.

Alforon

It was as if I had walked into a family celebration. Except it wasn’t my family! As soon as we sat in Alforon, a Lebanese restaurant on El Cajon Blvd., we were greeted first by a friendly young waitress and then by an attractive older woman, who sat down and told us she would help our group order. She welcomed our friends who had dined at the eatery once before, and then she took over in a caring, fun way.

We ordered hummus with homemade flatbread along with a tasty beet salad. As entrees, we had lamb and beef dishes. Our helper suggested several desserts, all of which were delicious. Award-winning Chef George Salameh stopped by the table, talked with us, and suggested I try Lebanese coffee. Served in copper mini pots with small cups, the coffee was delicious.

Later I chatted with Chef Salameh, a friendly, open man whom one couldn’t help but like. When we left, our waitress hugged us, and Chef said goodbye. We all agreed we had entered an experience beyond the menu. In an era of overpriced, precious, trendy restaurants, Alforon provided us with a beautiful meal in a warm, upbeat atmosphere with caring staff who introduced us to another culture.

Baci Ristorante

Are you looking for an excellent Italian restaurant? Baci on Morena Blvd. has been around for a long time. There is a reason why this family-owned Italian restaurant is popular. First, it has excellent food, along with friendly owners and staff. Are the prices reasonable? Yes, they are. The vibe is Old World, with knowledgeable servers, good wines, and a relaxing ambiance. 


This vignette perhaps captures the spirit of Baci. I met a friend for lunch there years ago, and on the way out, the owner stopped me at his table. He was tasting some wines presented by the wine rep from Napa Valley. Would I sample some? Of course, I would. After some tasty Italian wines, I headed north, a contented man.

Not to Miss Eats!

Mille Fleurs:  This special occasion restaurant has an elegant outdoor patio, formal wait staff, and delicious food. Is it expensive? Yes, but you walk away having had a  memorable dining experience that is hard to duplicate in other restaurants.


Baci:  This restaurant on Morena Boulevard is a family-owned Italian restaurant that serves terrific, authentic Italian food. The Linguine All Vongole is fabulous. The restaurant is reasonably priced, and valet parking is available.

Trattoria Positano:  Four Italian women operate this restaurant in Cardiff by the Sea next to the Patagonia store. The food is excellent, and the outdoor patio is a beautiful place to dine. The seafood pasta is outstanding. Parking is plentiful, and the prices are reasonable.

Milton’s:  Milton’s is a classic Jewish Deli in the Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar. If you like thick corned beef sandwiches, chicken pot pie, lox, and bagels, or hot pastrami, Milton’s is the place for you.

Great Breakfast!

The View from The Grill at Torrey Pines

The Grill at Torrey Pines at The Lodge at Torrey Pines offers a great breakfast. Sit on the terrace, watch the struggling golfers, and enjoy a fabulous eggs benedict or huevos rancheros dish.

There is free valet parking at the Lodge.

Reservations are usually needed on weekends.

Rosina’s

Rosina’s is an Italian restaurant run by an Italian woman and her two sons. In a park-like setting in Santa Luz, Rosina’s is comfortable and peaceful. The food is excellent and priced reasonably. On Tuesdays, there is no corkage fee for wine.

14701 Via Bettona, San Diego, CA 92127