National City Restaurants

  • Restaurants
    by lmkluque
  • Restaurants
    by lmkluque
  • Restaurants
    by lmkluque

Most Recent Restaurants in National City

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    The Living Room Coffeehouse: Erratic Hours and Free Wi-Fi.

    by lmkluque Written Jul 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The Living Room Coffeehouse Bistro and European Pastries is my all time favorite coffeehouse. This National City branch is next to the Southwestern College Extension building and they have an association with the college to provide inexpensive meals, breakfast and lunch, to the students. However it is open to the public and if their Wi-Fi is down, they can use Southwestern's Wi-Fi.

    Also, this coffeehouse is conveniently located a block or so from Hoover Street where many motels and hotels are located, so an easy walk.

    This store is not owned by the guys who originally opened the El Cajon Boulevard location but Alicia, the barista told me that they are a franchise and get all their ingredients from the El Cajon Blvd. store. The one negative that I would mention is that their hours are erratic and different from summer to winter.

    Favorite Dish: Chicken Puff Pastry is my favorite but not usually available at this store. So, I order the Quiche Lorraine it is good and the house dressing on the accompanying salad is really good, lemon chiffon they call it. I order Espresso and one of their scrumptious European pastries for dessert.

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    Charley's Grilled Subs: Tasty Sandwiches

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My sandwich begins
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    Stopping at Plaza Bonita to take a few replacement photos I noticed the first "restaurant" in the Food Court because a guy was standing out side of the counter with a plate of samples. I wasn't planning to eat here but why not try his sample. Wow! That little square of sandwich was good and very flavorful! Most important, the flavor and texture of the bread left me wanting more.

    He said the sample was chicken teriyaki but it was the bread that most impressed me. The bread was really soft but dense and didn't melt in the mouth like many sandwich rolls do. So, I ordered more.

    Favorite Dish: I didn't go for the chicken teriyaki but ordered the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. It was pretty good and I found out too late that I could have had Swiss cheese instead of provolone, also I made the mistake of changing the mayo to mustard, which overwhelmed the flavor of the cheese. Next time I'll just have a bit of mayonnaise. In spite of myself, it was a good tasty sub-sandwich.

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    Hibachi-San Japanese Grill: Bento Box!

    by lmkluque Written Jul 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hibachi-San is the only Japanese food I've seen at Plaza Bonita and I was happy to see they served Bento Boxes.

    To Be Continued....

    Favorite Dish: Chicken Teriyaki bento box is my favorite choice.

    To Be Continued....

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    Outback Steak House: A Chain Restaurant

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 21, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Open for Dinner
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    The Outback is in a free standing building at the northwest corner of the Plaza Bonita parking lot. Patio dining is available all year long--except maybe when it is raining--and heaters are provided for chilly days or nights.

    They are only open for dinner, except on Saturday and Sunday they open at noon. I'll also mention that the prices here are higher than I would expect for the type of restaurant. I think Black Angus offers a better deal and they send out discount coupons all the time.

    Favorite Dish: This is a comfortable spot to have a few drinks with friends and the Appetizer menu has many items to appease the the palate before the main meal. Prime rib is what I usually order and end up taking most of it home as I'm almost full after a few drinks and a sampling of the appetizers. I order a Beefeater Martini with my prime rib.

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    El Torito Mexican Restaurant & Bar: Moved from Chula Vista

    by lmkluque Written Jul 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Outdoor dining

    El Torito moved from Chula Vista to National City. It is a nice addition to the Westfield Plaza Bonita mall. At first, from the outside, it looks small but walking through the doors you'll see it's quite roomy. The food is good and to me, interesting. They've added various regional styles/flavors that most Mexican restaurants don't offer. So, if you are expecting the generic Mexican dishes you might be disappointed. If you are willing to try new flavors give this a try.

    Like their Chula Vista location this is a popular nightspot and can get pretty busy with a longish wait time on the weekends, especially Friday night.

    Unlike at their Chula Vista location, they do have a small outdoor dining patio in Plaza Bonita.

    Favorite Dish: El Torito was one of the first Mexican restaurants around to serve black beans. It seems that they no longer offer black beans, at least the last time I was there I don't remember seeing them on the menu.

    I like the chicken fajitas and I love their signature cilantro-pepita dressing! In fact, it is so popular that they sell it in the grocery stores. They serve a corn cake with most meals and their fried ice cream is really good. They have a full service bar and I like the original Margarita on-the-rocks not the slushy type.

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    Goodies Pours & Plates: Buster's Replacement

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 19, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bar

    This used to be a Buster's Beach House/Marina Gateway, but has since closed up shop at this location. Now it is Goodies. I went here to interview the hotel next door and wanted to check this restaurant out also. I went in and talked to the manager, he was nice and though he didn't want me to photograph the customers--understandable--he allowed me to take some photos. The place was beach-y casual. Full of beach paraphernalia, surf boards hanging from the ceiling and walls, that sort of thing, including a replica, front part of a VW bus.

    It had a full service bar--almost, I didn't see my favorite brand--and the bar area was quite small.

    To Be Continued....

    Favorite Dish: I did not eat here. I did interview the manager and saw the food being delivered. The customers seemed to be happy enough, but what struck me was the prices. They seem to be too high for the type of restaurant and the style of food.

    I have marked the "Other" for restaurant theme because there is no definite theme to the menu. The dishes are American, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Islands, seafood, steaks, vegetarian but mostly all breaded and fried. This might sound good for an international clientele, but I'm not so sure they do a great job of it.

    To Be Continued....

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    Plaza Bonita Food Court: For Your Convenience

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 19, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    At the Plaza Bonita food court there are many options to choose, from a simple drink at Orange Julius or the Cyberbrew Cafe to a full meal at any of the American, Chinese, Japanese or Filipino food stalls.

    The advantage to eating at the food court is that everyone in your party can order their favorite type of food. Plenty of tables and seats are provided and it is a refreshing place to take a break from the days shopping.

    Update:

    Plaza Bonita has gone through a total rennovation and has expanded. The food court has moved to the southern side of the mall, next to the movie theater.

    Favorite Dish: Toyko Teriyaki has very good chicken teriyaki and the food served at Panda Express has a good flavor.

    Update:

    The Panda Express is still at the new food court, but this time while getting new pictures of the mall to replace the old ones, I noticed a guy giving out samples of the food from his restaurant, I think it was called Charlie's Steakhouse, I think it was.

    Next time I'll try the bento box from the Japanese place there too.

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    Waterfront Grill: At Pier 32 Marina

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 17, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    A new restaurant to the area that is open to the public as well as a convenience for the boaters docked at the marina. At the moment their hours are limited. Monday through Thursday they are open 11 am to 2 pm. Friday they are open until 7 pm and on Saturday and Sunday they open for breakfast at 9 am to 7 pm.

    The building is sort of interesting. It looks like it might have been a packing plant or fish market in another life, but to my knowledge it is recently built. I'm not sure yet.

    Favorite Dish: I have not eaten here yet, but those I know who have seem to be happy with the food, the service and the views.

    A while ago, one person mentioned a couple of things that didn't sound right to me, like having to order at a counter, getting his own drinks and having to pay the gratuity up front. No one else has mentioned that. Another thing, I heard that it's not a kid friendly place, but I doubt that as they offer kid portions. I'll check and report back.

    Nikki Kath, the manager of the Marina Gateway Hotel said that she loves this place! She was very enthusiastic.

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    The Barbeque Pit: Old Texas Style

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 17, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    This old style Texas BBQ first opened in National City before I was born!! That opening was a long, long time ago, 1947 to be exact. You know, the fact that it is still is doing a thriving business is the best recommendation. I've eaten here many times over the years. I think it's the best BBQ around and I have tried most of the others.

    Favorite Dish: Everything is good. I usually order the Beef Plate or Beef Sandwich, but I've had the ham, ribs and the chicken,

    I've heard some say that it isn't "real Texas" but honestly I think it might just be "real Texas from 1947." In any case, I think its really good all the time.

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    Cafe La Maze: Full of History

    by lmkluque Written Jul 17, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Chula has the Butcher Shop and National City has Café La Maze. This steakhouse/seafood restaurant opened in 1940 as a second location for the owner, Marcel Lamaze, friend of the Stars. The idea was to cater to the Hollywood crowd as a stop on the way to/from Tijuana where they had been flocking since the prohibition to drink and gamble.

    I've eaten here a few times. I like the retro feel of the décor, the piano bar the food and the service. If light and space is your preference this may not be for you, but I love the dim lighting and the whole 1940's feel of it.

    To Be Continued....

    Favorite Dish: Prime Rib and a Beefeater Martini!

    To Be Continued....

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    Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar: A Popular Chain Restaurant

    by lmkluque Updated Feb 10, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Applebee's is not one of my favorites, mainly because it offers no outside dining. It is a "local neighborhood" type restaurant, sporty, and nicely decorated. Service is good, sometimes slow due to the volume of customers and the food is tasty.

    It is an ideal place for larger parties as the atmosphere is festive and relaxing. The price of a meal here is less expensive than at the Outback. They oftentimes offer a special dinner deal $20.00 for two. One appetizer, two Entres and dessert. The menu for this deal is limited, but not too limited and the choices are good.

    Favorite Dish: Order your favorite cocktail from the full service bar and munch on chicken wings, the cruncy onion rings or any of the other offerings. Mexican food is on the menu, but as this is not a real Mexican restaurant, I usually choose one of their chicken dishes or a steak.

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    Lai Thai Restaurant: A Nice Inexpensive Meal

    by lmkluque Updated Feb 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Soothing Muave decor, attentive service and delicious food. Ken, our very accommodating waiter, turned out to also be our cook and the restaurant's owner. He along with his wife runs the place with pride and they do a fine job of it. I hadn't been here before, nor had I even beem aware of it.

    Most of the menu items were $6.96 (If you want to add duck or shrimp to the dish, add $2.00, which seems a fair deal to me.)

    Favorite Dish: Mixed Vegetables with peanut sauce is what I ordered and the flavor was very good. The other dishes my friends had were very satisfactory for them as well. We could have our food as spicey as we liked, or not at all. The ingredients were fresh and the dishes looked as nice as they tasted.

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National City Restaurants

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Three of the main places to find good restaurants are at Peir 32 Marina, at South Bay Plaza and .at Plaza Bonita.  Of course there are other good restaurants in National City but these...

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