Tokyo Gourmet Buffet

Traditional and exotic Japanese fare; sushi. Much better than one would expect from a buffet restaurant. Watch out for the tapioca, though

Cafe Patachou

Without question, the best brunch in the city and well worth the hour-plus wait you’ll have to endure to get a table. No matter…just grab a mug of their COTD and people watch. You’ll be glad you waited once you get your omelet, homemade granola, or four chunky slices of the best cinnamon toast ever…

Chalkie’s Restaurant & Billiards

Smoke-free, upscale pool hall with many beers on tap and surprisingly good food (try the french fries…really!). 18 billiard tables. 21 and over only

Thai Garden

Mikado Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Some of the best expensive sushi in the city. Downrated because of extraordinary cost, however

La Jolla

OK, the patio is fun and always packed, but the margaritas are shabby, the food isn’t that great, and what Mexican restaurant runs out of beans, for crying out loud!?

The Jazz Cooker

Cajun and Creole cuisine isn’t anything grand, but it’s tasty once a year or so. Live music on weekends. Note to self: never again on Mardi Gras, unless that really drunk guy won’t be there.

Hard Times Cafe

Chili is acceptable (I’d suggest the Texas-style), but make sure your server understands you when you specify “tenderfoot”.

Hard Rock Cafe

You pay for the name, not the food. Well, you pay for the food, but you pay way too much.

Fountain Diner

Traditional ‘50s-style diner with authentic vintage decor; greasy spoon, yes, but fun nevertheless. Hot the duckpin bowling alleys next door or go swing dancing at the Fountain Square Theater when you’re done with dinner.