Normal Heights Travel Guide

  • Kensington Sign at Night
    Kensington Sign at Night
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  • The Look of the Neighborhood
    The Look of the Neighborhood
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  • Normal Heights Sign
    Normal Heights Sign
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Normal Heights Things to Do

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    by lmkluque Updated Feb 17, 2013

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    In the center of Kensington on Adams Avenue is one of the older movie theaters in San Diego. It was built in 1912 and remodeled in 1947 in the Art Moderne style. In 1975 the Landmark Theatre chain took it over and again updated the interior with plush new seats. However, they still use the old reel-to-reel method.

    The films at the Ken are unique, mainly foreign / independent films. restored classics and the Ken plays host to "Fall Out," San Diego's gay and lesbian film festival.

    I have noticed recently that the film offering seems to be more of an adult nature rather than something for the whole family. So, check the website to see what is playing before going, if this might be an issue for you.

    The Ken Cinema
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Normal Heights Restaurants

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    by lmkluque Updated Feb 17, 2013

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    Early Bird Specials served Sunday through Thursday, between the hours of 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., are $20.00 plus tax and gratuity. Happy Hour is two hours long rather than one. It is also the best deal for those on a budget, the price of drinks is reduced and appetizers are under $4.00.

    There are two dining rooms divided by the bar, which at times offer live entertainment, as well as a TV for the sports fan. The outdoor seating is not attractive to me, but this place is popular and it's the food that does it. Open only for dinner and reservations are strongly recommended!

    Favorite Dish: They've changed the menu and it now seems more, California/International/Eclectic than it was before.

    Order any thing that sounds good to you. People rave about the flavors. They also offer small and large plates, which seems to be the fashion in Kensington. It is a good idea for those who eat less and those who eat more.

    Kensington Grill
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    by lmkluque Updated Feb 17, 2013

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    This is a small neighborhood restaurant that looks very nice. Casual elegance, is the their goal, I think. One of the owners is the Chef and you can imagine that the quality of the food is as good as it is creative.

    There is a full service bar complete with "Happy Hour" offerings daily. They will also help you choose a wine to compliment your meal.

    Update:

    Green Tomato has closed and Bleu Bohéme has opened in this spot. This is the second restaurant to open at this location. The other was Italian, Northern Italian I think, but it did not survive long. Now, it's the Bleu Bohéme which has lasted several years so far. I've heard only good things about it and that's probably why it's lasted so long.

    This is more of a romantic place, not really good for kids. Also, it is more expensive for the neighborhood, but not for San Diego in general.

    Favorite Dish: Fried Green tomatoes are served at lunch time and that is the first on my list to order. Then choose a green tomato soup? Maybe the clam chowder. Eclectic is the word for this menu. Chicken quesadilla--Mexican, duck spring roll--Asian, or scallops served over crabcakes are a few choices as well as a variety of interesting salads offered for lunch.

    The dinner menu has a sampling of pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck and unique combination of pastas.

    Don't forget Brunch on Sundays!

    Update:

    Well the menu has certainly changed, from Italian to French. There are few French restaurants in San Diego so I appreciate this one.

    Some of their items I have never heard of, let alone tried, but I will say that, " La Planche Dégustation," a sampling of all the fromage and charcuterie selections is a wonderful "light" meal.

    Les Moules À La Moutarde, a more filling meal that was very good, black mediterranean mussels (1 or 2 pound size) pommes frites.

    The look has changed
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  • Normal Heights Hotels

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Normal Heights Nightlife

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    by lmkluque Updated Feb 17, 2013

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    It appears, from the outside to be very small, however there's more to the place than one would expect.

    Open daily 10 a.m.- 2 a.m this is an interesting and eclectic place. By day it is a friendly neighborhood bar. At night it pumps-up-the-volume and turns into a "hipster's" haven.

    Most weekday nights the jukebox is operating, however guest DJs do show up adding to the fun. On weekend nights, live music is provided by local bands in a separate room. Music ranges from swing standards to Hip-Hop and Punk. You must be twenty-one to enter and bring cash. Unbelievable, but they don't accept credit cards!

    Dress Code: Remember, Kensington is the upscale section of Adams, but it is not necessary to dress your best as this is a local watering-hole and most of the people dress in a casual style.

    Club Kensington
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Normal Heights Transportation

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    by lmkluque Updated Feb 17, 2013

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    If you have access to a car, that is the most convenient way to get around Normal Heights and Kensington. The I-15 freeway is a few blocks away, which makes getting in and out of the area easy.

    Without a car you will not be stranded. The #11 bus has stops all along Adams, through Normal Heights and Kensington, from Park Boulevard to Aldine Drive, and will take you to a SD Trolley station, either downtown--going west or San Diego State University--going east.

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Normal Heights Local Customs

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    by lmkluque Updated Feb 17, 2013

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    You may or may not be aware that the Starbuck's Coffee House chain has made a big splash and has locations all over the place. You may or may not be aware that there are many people who boycott Starbucks because of the competition they give local, independent coffee houses and threatens their survival.

    Well, several years ago, on the northwest corner of Marlbourgh and Adams Avenue in Kensington, Starbuck's made a bid to take away the coffee house clientele of Kensington Coffee Company located on the southeast corner of Marlbourgh and Adams Avenue.

    Starbucks almost succeeded, it was bright and shiny new compared to the old--actually, one of the first coffee houses in San Diego--and well used Kensington Coffee Co. In fact, the owner sold-out. Next thing, it was closed for a few days in an obvious effort to refurbish the place. The new owner must have loved and wanted the place for a long time because when it re-opened, it was brighter, cozier and superior to the chain! The limited menu has changed a bit, and the coffee is delicious. However what it has that the other couldn't possibly compete with is it's history in the community.

    When you see the bowl of doggie treats on the counter, or the water-dish next to the spigot on the sidewalk-cafe section outside or the small brass plaques on the building honoring beloved neighborhood dogs who have passed on, then you will know that there is no comparison.

    Update:

    The Kensington Coffee Company has closed it's doors permanently.

    It is now the Kensington Cafe. This small cafe is presented on similar lines as the Coffee Company, neighborhood oreinted and offering healtier and lighter meals. It is most popular for breakfast./brunch but are open until 9 pm or 10 pm, a place you can feel comfortable bring the kiddies and their prices are affordable.

    Ready to soak-up local atmosphere? You will find that and a meal at the Kensington Cafe, 4141 Adams Avenue, Kensington

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    • Historical Travel

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