The best laid plans....
(Short final post in the works re a very good breakfast at Cafe 222 and a very interesting--and enjoyable--dinner at El Take It Easy (sorry, Puppy
So: I ended up having to have a completely unexpected lunch and, with little time to investigate anything other than what was walking distance, took myself to Cafe Istanbul. A doner kebab joint. Not much exceptional on the menu but I had a lamb wrap and gotta say it was really quite tasty. All the ingredients were very fresh, the lamb had nice flavor and char and was quality lamb, and I was left thinking I'd return with no hesitation to try other things on the menu. For $6 or so, it's a real winner.
921 6th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Then, in another completely unexpected development, my dinner plans got hijacked and I was taken out to Operacaffe--a white tablecloth Italian place run, apparently, by a couple from Florence, iirc. Not the greatest Italian meal I've ever had but much better than I anticipated. I had a carpaccio di tonno (with extremely thinly sliced ahi) and ravioli boscaiola (porcini, sage, pignoli, a creamy butter sauce). A little taken aback at how much I enjoyed it. The bottle of Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo Castel del Monte 2006 (a blend of aglianico and cab) from Puglia was wonderful. At six years old (and 13.5%) it's a wine that could stand even more aging but the tannins were well-balanced and it had a lot of flavor and good body. Pleasant to quaff and good enough to stand up to a little analysis and thought. Cannoli for dessert; not Natalie's (but then, what is?) but certainly acceptable (no better). All in all, as I suggested, I enjoyed it more than I expected I would, tribute in part to the synergistic effect of an enjoyable dinner companion and great conversation. But, in fairness to the restaurant, I'd be curious to return and try other things on the menu. Don't think it's a destination, but given where we were, it was much better than I had any reason to expect.
835 4th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Finally, and again upsetting my applecart, never had another breakfast outside the hotel. I was eagerly anticipating Lolita's at Petco and even Cafe Chloe for breakfast but got sabotaged twice. So I guess I'll have to return to SD--though hopefully when the heat and humidity are both a little lower.
Many thanks to all for the suggestions; I only regret I wasn't there long enough to try everything out.