4701 Ruffin Rd., San Diego, CA 92123
Almost a year ago I purchased a special coupon for the STUDIO DINER and, since it was one of my favorite restaurants, decided to ask one of my favorite people – Joe – to go with me and use it before it expired. And we had a grand time, because we had to spend $35 to benefit by the $25 discount.
I am surprised at how many people do not know about the Studio Diner. To quote their own page, “Wrapped in chrome, the diner is a welcome roadside stop. And, fittingly, it’s set on the lot of a working movie and TV studio, Stu Segall Productions. (Remember “Silk Stalkings” and “Renegade”? Currently filming “Terriers”.)
Decorated with “behind-the-scenes” movie-making equipment and serving comfort food with an upscale vibe, Studio Diner is fun for the senses.
Their menu is an eclectic one, and they serve 24 hours a day. Their breakfast specials include T-Bone Steak and eggs, Lox and Bagels, fondly called “Kosher Donuts”, Burritos, Benedicts, Blintzes, and a variety of egg dishes. In addition there are omelets, pancakes, toasts, etc. Their lunches are also varied, with many different sandwiches, including the “boob sandwich”, Reuben, pulled pork, crab cake, portobello, plus many more. Additionally there are burgers, hot dogs, east coast fare, and more. The dinner menu is also extensive, with fish and chips, chicken pot pie, Maryland crab cakes, etc.
Their malts/shakes are so large it takes two hands to hold the containers. There are salads and fries, and sweet potato fries, and creamed spinach, all prepared well and so very tasty.
Because we had so much money to spend – at least a lot of money for Joe and me – we decided to order the most expensive item on the menu and share it – the “East Coast Sampler.” It came with fried clams; lobster rolls – a reminder of the wonderful years I lived in Maine; crab cakes, clam chowder and Haddock. We ordered a second bowl of clam chowder so that both of us could enjoy our own serving.
The clam chowder was delicious; chuck full of clams. Interestingly enough there were no potatoes in the chowder. The clams were cooked to perfection. It was the first time Joe had ever had a lobster roll, and he truly enjoyed it. The Haddock was fried but succulent even taking the breading off of it to only eat the fish. The crab cakes were also delicious and we were thankful there were two on the plate so we didn’t have to share one. The cost for the sampler was $34.95 and worth the price with the coupon. I am not sure I would have been so happy with it if we did not have the coupon. Not that it wasn’t good; not that it wasn’t filling – we were both stuffed after the meal but it seemed pricey for what we had.
Our total meal, with two glasses of iced tea at $2.75 each; the one cup of extra clam chowder at $3.99; and the added 18% tip because we had a $25 coupon still came to $30. Still “expensive” in my book for a lunch. Our server was attentive and often refilled our drinks, and it was a fun experience but the next time – and there will be a next time – I will forgo the coupon and just order from the menu.