Staying here in San Diego for a week over winter holiday and today finally had a chance to use some of the recommendations I've seen on the SD board and wanted to express my appreciation.
* Opera Patisserie -- needed a cake for a special occasion and got one very successfully at Opera based on recommendations from this board. A Marquise -- your basic high-class chocolate calorie bomb. That was dessert tonight.
* Super Cocina -- that was lunch today. I can see why it's so highly recommended. The guy in charge (owner? manager?) asked us if it was our first time there and provided tastes of just about everything (you ask what something is, he provides a taste). I had the mole and the cochinata pibil, both very tasty. Others in my party had the pozole and the barbacoa and the potato patties (not sure what the name for these things is). The food was delicious, spicy, inexpensive and exactly the kind of thing you would want on a cold and wet winter day, and the guy in charge could not have been more welcoming. I said that we were there at the recommendation of people on the web, and he said that he knew that they had a lot of fans there. I wish I had a place like this just down the road from me. Yum. I'd go back there in a heart beat. Worth going out of your way for.
* Antica Trattoria -- good place to take my parents for nice family dinner. Food was above average for the price. My mushroom risotto was quite good (I was somewhat apprehensive about ordering it, because this is something that can be stodgy if not done well), my father's pesto gnocchi was tasty and tender, my mother loved her osso bucco, and my brother was pleased with his Italian sausage-based pasta dish. I'm not sure that this place would turn too many heads in, say, Manhattan, but it struck the right balance for a three-generation dinner including a couple young kids (one of them four years old).
Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to act on some other board recommendations, but I wanted to put this out here while my impressions are still fresh. Thank you to SD Chowhounds for a great day of food.
3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104
9254 Scranton Rd, San Diego, CA 92121
5654 Lake Murray Blvd La, Mesa, CA