Tag Archives: late-night

[SD Kearny Mesa] Studio Diner: upscale diner with down-to-earth food

Yes, I know the title sounds quite self-contradictory.  How can a diner be upscale?  Well, I guess anything is possible in California.  If you’re like me, when you hear “diner” you think of Waffle House – but Studio Diner isn’t like that.  It’s nice.  The kitchen is actually in the back, so you’re not blasted with the smell of a greased griddle as soon as you walk in.  Consequently, the floors are not slippery due to the oil particles clinging to the tiles – in fact, the floors are not even made of tile!  Haha.

I came here with 6 people on a Saturday evening, and it was pretty crowded – we waited about half an hour for a table, and the restaurant’s staff was even turning away large parties that had walked in after us, because their list was just so full for the night…

Since I actually wasn’t hungry and did not plan on eating a full meal, I decided to try the Beef Brisket chili.  It sounded very Texan: made with chunks of brisket (not ground beef), and minimal beans (“If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans!”).  Awesome.

Beef brisket chili (cup) ~$3

This ended up being probably one of the best chilis I’ve ever had outside of Texas.  Seriously, no joke.  However, I do want to comment that chili is a very personal thing for people, and everyone is very attached to his or her own definition of what should be included in and left out of chili.  So, I am just going to say that this is my favorite chili, but it might not be what you are looking for or expecting ;)

Sk ordered the eggs & sausage, which is served with hash browns (yay!) and sourdough bread.

Eggs and sausage with hash browns sourdough bread, $7.95

Despite the slight disappointment (okay, more than slight) that they did not have sausage patties, Sk liked this a lot.  I tried some of the hash browns, and they were super yummy.  This whole dish looks so GAD (Greasy American Diner)… which I love.

Finally, because this is a diner, I had to get tater tots.  Because this is an upscale diner, they were sweet potater tots.

Sweet potater tots, $2.50

So. Good!!  I think I like these even more than sweet potato fries, possibly because tater tots have more surface area, which means more crispiness.  I wonder how sweet potato hash browns would taste…
On a side note, the chipotle mayo sauce did not pair well with the tater tots at all.  We ended up leaving the sauce alone and just devouring all of the tots.

Some of our friends tried the sandwiches, such as the prime rib sandwich, albacore tuna melt, burger – and all gave positive reviews.  All of the items came in pretty sizable portions, too – quite a few of us had leftovers.

This was definitely a great meal, even though it’s not quite the diner that I expected.  Still, I liked it and would definitely be back.  My list of “Open 24 hours” restaurants is expanding ever so rapidly…

What is your impression of a diner?  Have you ever been to a diner in San Diego?  Let me know in the comments!

Studio Diner
4701 Ruffin Rd, San Diego, CA
(858) 715-6400

24 hours/7 days

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[SD Miramar] Yummy Burritos at Rigoberto’s

Last week, I wrote about my burrito experience at Roberto’s Taco Shop – which we discovered by accident.  This time, we went to our original intended destination: Rigoberto’s Taco Shop, just slightly further down Miramar Rd.

(To add to the confusion, I believe that Rigoberto’s used to be called Roberto’s… haha!)

SK ordered his default, the carnitas burrito, and I decided to go for the adobada burrito.  We also shared an order of tortilla chips so that we could try out the salsa.

Various salsas

If you can’t tell, I know very little about Mexican food.  But it is delicious, and I am always ready to learn more about food, so I tried to look up these types of salsas.  On the top row (from left), I think they are: guacatillo, salsa verde, salsa roja, and salsa habanero; bottom row (from left): salsa de molcajete, salsa negra, and salsa ranchera.  Each one has its distinct flavor, but I think my favorites were the salsa verde, negra, and ranchera.  To me, they had the most complex flavors – especially the ranchera, which had a strong tomato and peppery taste.  It was SK’s favorite, as well.

Salsa bar

Warm tortilla chips, $2.50

(I’ve already rambled about my love for warm tortilla chips, so I’ll spare you this time.)

Carnitas burrito, $4.30

This was SK’s burrito.  I took a bite and thought it was pretty good – warm and soft tortilla, a good mix of meat, salsa, and guacamole, but SK said that after a few bites it becomes “soupy” – meaning that the juices start dripping out of the burrito.  Some people prefer their burritos that way, but we actually like it a bit drier – the juiciness makes it messy to eat and also leave my mouth with a greasy feeling.  SK says he definitely likes the carnitas burrito at Lolita’s or Roberto’s much better.

Adobada burrito, $4.30

The adobada burrito was a great choice.  The meat was very tender and well-seasoned without being too salty, and again, there was a good balance between the meat, salsa, lettuce, and guac (call me crazy, but I actually don’t like guacamole a whole lot, so I actually like it when there’s not too much).  Overall I’d say that it was a pretty good burrito.  And it’s big enough that it lasted me two meals – a pretty fine deal for $4.30, if you ask me.

Again, I’m very glad to have found yet another great Mexican restaurant in the area – there are just so many good places waiting to be discovered!  Rigoberto’s is also open 24 hours – it looks like I will have a difficult time choosing where to go next time a midnight burrito craving hits.  What is your favorite Mexican restaurant in town?  Let me know in the comments~!

Rigoberto’s Taco Shop
7094 Miramar Rd. Suite 119-120, San Diego, CA
(858) 271-0170

24 hours/ daily

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[Quick Post] Late dinner at A Cafe


Pork spare rib in claypot with rice

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Filed under Cantonese, Chinese, Quick Post

[SD Miramar] Roberto’s Taco Shop

SK and I are always searching for good Mexican food.  Of course, our favorite remains Tacos el Gordo in Chula Vista, but it’s a far drive, and sometimes we just want a good, filling burrito.  His current favorite is Lolita’s Taco Shop on Clairemont Mesa Blvd, where the carnitas burritos are “soo gooooood” – I actually don’t think they’re that good, since I prefer juicier meat and I find the carnitas at Lolita’s on the dry side.  But that’s a matter of personal preference, and I’m not reviewing Lolita’s here…

We tried out Roberto’s Taco Shop on Miramar Rd. – actually, we had meant to go to Rigoberto’s down the road, so Roberto’s was a total accidental discovery.  We were actually pretty disappointed at first, but once our orders arrived, were pleasantly surprised.

Tortilla chips, $1.85

My favorite part of these tortilla chips is that they were warm.  Such a simple thing makes them so much better.  There were 3 types of salsa: spicy, mild, and verde.  I actually liked the mild one the best (shocking!) because it had the most complex – the spicy salsa had no flavor other than… well, spiciness.

Carne asada burrito, $4.50

(Yes, I took a bite of it before I took the photo.  Let’s just say that it was intentional…)

I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be delicious!  There was plenty of guacamole, which should be appealing to you guys (I’m personally not a huge fan, though it’s starting to grow on me).  The meat was actually pretty good, too.  I also tried a bite of SK’s carnitas burrito and can’t really decide which one I liked better – it was very juicy, but I also like the beefiness of the carne asada.

Anyway, I’m very glad that we happened upon Roberto’s.  I talked to my friend about it later and he said that this place can be hit-or-miss, but clearly we went on a “hit” night.  They are also open 24 hours, so I hope that next time I come (probably for a late-night snack), it’ll be as good as this visit!

Roberto’s Taco Shop
6780 Miramar Rd., San Diego, CA
(858) 530-0800

24 hrs/ daily

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