As a San Diego native who has been around the block a few times and shared more than my share of good meals there are a lot of restaurants of yesteryear that I miss and remember fondly, all over the county. Some fancy, some plain, all good.
I guess we start with San Diego proper, where I had my start. Blumer's, the best deli that ever was on 54th and El Cajon. Lubach's, where the elite and power brokers went to eat on Pacific Highway. The Islandia, Pernicanos, Miki San, the first place I ever had sushi, in Banker's Hill. Busalacchis on Fifth, where the Sommers family had a gold nameplate. Manny's. Tarantinos in Point Loma. My dad loved Pinos in Encinitas. Ship Ahoy in Solana Beach. Quimbys in Rancho Santa Fe. The original Charcoal House in La Mesa. The Top Shelf.
Royal Palms in Oceanside, where Fidel's now sits served excellent Italian food and was situated in a beautiful room. The Waffle House in Solana Beach, Rog-O's Pie shop in San Marcos, Champion's in Escondido. Champions was my go to breakfast place and when I was going through a tough divorce, the girls would sometimes slip a little kahlua in my coffee in the morning so I could get through the day a bit more smoothly. Sand Crab Tavern.
Le Restaurant in Carlsbad was a pretty epic spot in the 70's on the lagoon. I dated the Maitre D, Anna, for a while when I was young. Wonderful food, nice girl. The great sushi bar in Solana Beach near the trains restaurant, whose name I now somehow forget. Was an English place before. Pepper Tree in Encinitas was a family food sleeper in the Food Basket mall. Summer Breeze in Cardiff. Mountain Rose Soup Parlor in Julian. Ed's Country Kitchen. Mission Chinese Restaurant in Oceanside. Leslie and I would call them at night when we would leave the Del Mar Antique show and our duck and roast pork would be hot and sitting on the table when we walked in. What a sleeper that place was.
Another place whose name I now forget was the French Romanian place in Temecula that served delicious food and had the violin player come to your table. Long gone now. As was the restaurant that served what they decided to serve you in Rainbow that sat right where the freeway now sits near the Border Patrol checkpoint. After Tim's Tiny Acres it had an Italian name when I arrived. Mexico Chiquita was great and had mariachis. It burned down. They had a wonderful Sunday brunch as did La Costa.
Fallbrook had a chef like no other, Robert at Le Bistro. My god, where can you find Beef Wellington today? Kitchen Cupboard, where the paint store now sits. Opals. The Packing House of course. Hard to get a decent steak in Fallbrook now, you ever notice that? Scampis served wonderful food, still miss the pancakes on Sunday. I also still miss the recently departed Aydees, can't find Guatemalan food anywhere like that.
I know I am missing a few. You longtime residents like to offer anything I have forgotten?