Last week, I went out to dinner at two different restaurants on Convoy Street in San Diego. The first one is famous for their dumplings, not necessarily the service but the food was delicious. The place Dumpling Inn, this place in the corner of one of the various strip malls located on the 2 or so mile strip. There were probably 8-10 tables in this restaurant so if you don’t have a table, you probably have to wait 20 minutes or so. The walls are lined with magazine articles and accolades. I guess they serve jellyfish (they are known for this?). I am sure there are other things on the menu that I would dare not eat. The dish that was recommended to me was Xiao Long bao. This is not to be confused with Cha siu bao, which is what I though the Xiao Long bao initially was. I guess I would describe this dumpling as a potsticker filling in a steamed doughy ball with a vinegar sauce inside. I wouldn’t say it was the best thing I ate but it sure was ordered at most of the tables around me. The potstickers were bigger than normal chinese restaurants and nicely pan fried. The kids ordered fried rice, I would probably not order this dish next time; for ten dollars, I am not convinced that fried rice is worth that much. Dishes that were recommended after I ate (the power of Foursquare) were the noodle dishes and the Xiao Long bao. I was actually pleased with the green beans and pork.
The other restaurant I went to was more of nicer airer place, more of a bistro grill, definitely not a “hole in the wall” type of restaurant. Also, there was happy hour with fancy beer and the wait staff was more pleasant. The place, a Pho/Vietnamese place called Pho Mignon. I ordered the bahn mi (a sandwich) for dinner. This bahn mi had a few fries stuffed inside, with some meat and some pickled daikon, cucumber, jalapeno and cilantro; not a typical bahn mi sandwich but it was good. I also got a raspberry wheat beer called Purple Haze which was a bargain at $3.50. I definitely will get the pho next time, this is what the place is known for known for and the bowls are huge. I did find out the owners also have a tea business and sell their teas onsite. Next store to this place is a Japanese makeup/video store. I have to say, if you want to feel like you are in a different country, go into one of the various stores and browse, lots of interesting items. I am quite tempted to dye my hair with a Japanese hair dye (only if I can get the courage to do this without any directions). If you have a favorite restaurant on Convoy, I’d like to know.
We like Yakitori Yakyudori on Convoy St. next to Dixieline/Starbucks…their shoyu (soy sauce) ramen is terrific and they have a good affordable selection of yakitori (grilled) items. Go early or be prepared to wait.