i grabbed a few quick meals in the la jolla-pacific beach area last weekend and thought i'd share my notes.
at chicago on a bun, i had a regular chicago hot dog (which included all the correct toppings, poppy seed bun, vienna dog). top quality ingredients and fresh tasting, this place has been pretty reliable over the years. the only downside is that the seating area inside is crowded & tight.
a few doors down in the same shopping center (renaissance towne centre) is a nice little french market/wine bar i'd never noticed before called french accent. a window display of chocolat bonnat & biscuit rose tins lured me into the shop. i didn't have much time to take it all in, but noticed the following for sale: poilane bread, a deli case with canned foie gras, sausissons, pate, duck rillettes, serrano ham, french ham, goat & sheep's milk cheese, plus mustards, sea salt, vinegar, marron, preserves, and wine & champagne. a little wine bar set-up in the corner for tastings. definitely worth a second look.
distressed that my favorite almond croissant at the french pastry shop was unavailable (they're closed for repairs until feb. 7 or something like that), we headed over to the nearby french gourmet. luckily the almond croissant were just coming out of the kitchen when we arrived. the young man behind the counter called them double baked almond croissant (the receipt called them carmel croissant). they tasted like a chewy, caramelized cross between a croissant & a cannele. very rich & buttery, they come in two sizes- regular and mini. i also like the french gourmet's strawberry whipped cream cake (strawberry bagatelle), which they sell by the slice in the refrig. case. ordered a whole cake for my mom's birthday - beautiful AND delicious.
we stopped at don carlos for a california burrito (carne asada, french fries, salsa, etc) and mixed burrito w/cheese (shredded beef, bean, cheese, etc). my, how things have changed at old don carlos since our high school days in the 80's, i sensed new ownership. the spicing was unusual by local taco shop standards-shredded beef had a thickish orange-red sauce with nearly raw green peppers. california burrito tasted like a baked potato gone horribly wrong. the flour tortillas were a joke-dry, powdery, charred. a very depressing experience.
but there was light at the end of the tunnel because a roberto's has opened up near my parents house and it's a drive-thru! the carne asada & mixed burritos we ordered were fine examples of what san diego taco shops can offer. 2 massive burritos and a horchata to go for under $10. yeah!
chicago on a bun
8935 towne centre dr, san diego (UTC area)
8935 towne centre dr, #105 san diego (UTC area)
french pastry shop
5550 la jolla blvd, la jolla (birdrock area)
960 turquoise st., pacific beach/la jolla border
737 pearl st, la jolla
4427 ingraham st, pacific beach