Four San Diego Restaurants Land on Yelp’s Top 100 for 2023 — We Tried One of Them

NBC 7 sampled the Afghan food that put Baba Kabob in Mira Mesa on the list
By Renee Schmiedeberg • Published April 21, 2023 • Updated on April 21, 2023 at 6:56 pm

NBC 7 sampled the Afghan food that put one local eatery, Baba Kabob in Mira Mesa on the list.

Baba Kabob in Mira Mesa (Yelp Ranked #35)
Shish kabobs cook over red-hot coals at Baba Kabob in Mira Mesa. (NBC 7)
Generations of Afghan and Mediterranean recipes have found their way to this tucked-away family business in Mira Mesa.

Owner Rohullah Attaie gave up his regular job about five years ago and started a restaurant with all his own recipes.

Since Baba Kabob got the Yelp reward, they’ve been incredibly busy and short-staffed.

“It’s a family business, we’ve been working seven days a week all of us — me, my wife, my daughter, my son,” Attaie said.

Attaie runs his business from the heart, not having any days off.

“If I did get a day off, I’m lost. I don’t know what to do, so I’d rather be in here,” Attaie said, chuckling.

What’s Popular: NBC 7 took a visit and tried their main seller, the hot and fresh bolani, which is an Afghan flatbread stuffed with savory potato and spices and served with a cooling yogurt sauce. The result is a flatbread that’s soft, doughy and flavorful on the inside while being lightly crispy on the outside.

Four or five years ago Jesse Hsin was living nearby and ate out every night, which gave him the opportunity to try out each restaurant in the area. He’s settled on Baba Kabob.

“This is one of the best-grilled foods, not limited to just kabob, but grilled meat, this is one of the best,” Hsin said.

Location: 9474 Black Mountain Rd., Ste A, San Diego

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Arleen A.
Beyer Deli in the South Bay (Yelp Ranked #4)

Located only 4 miles north of the U.S.—Mexico border, this cash-only deli serves a variety of hefty sandwiches shoehorned with ingredients—all for around $11.

What’s Popular: Sandwich purists can expect to find their Reubens, Italian Submarines, and Triple-Decker Clubs, but those looking for something new can try unique ‘wiches like the spicy Raging Bull, BP Special and even something called a Hot and Delicious.

If you’ve still got room, Yelp reviewers are calling their soups “phenomenal” and their bacon ranch pasta salad “excellent.”

Location: 3065 Beyer Blvd., Ste A105 in San Diego

But really what shines for this place its the staff (owner?) she’s amazing! She says she will change whatever you like and is so accommodating. The soup was phenomenal and my sandwich was so good I wanted to eat every bite but it’s so big it could make 3 meals from this thing! I can’t wait to try more sandos here!

Dawn B.
Mike’s Red Tacos in Clairemont (Yelp Ranked #52)

If you’re a birria junkie, grab a saliva catcher before you read on. Birria is a Mexican meat dish that traditionally bathes beef or goat meat, (but also lamb, mutton or chicken) in herbs and spices, turning it into a deep red and flavorful dish.

Chef and owner Mike Touma studied at the feet of birria masters in Mexico and first opened a food truck, then Mike’s Red Tacos. Folks are going wild for tortillas doused in house-made chili oil, allowing the edges to sear on the grill wherein they’re stuffed with melted cheese and the flavorful birria.

Eaters are encouraged to continue the tradition of dipping your birria taco in the rich consommé broth along with lime and a side of pickled red onions.

If you’re hooked on birria, try their birria French fries, nachos and even birria ramen!

What’s Popular: Regular birria taco, birria ramen, red birria quesadilla combo

Location: 4310 Genesee Ave., Ste 104, San Diego, CA 92117

This was so good, and was like nothing that I’ve had before. My husband and I both got the taco combo with cheese. The tacos were stuffed with delicious beef which was so tasty and moist.

Deborah E.
Gonzo! in Carlsbad (Yelp Ranked #20)

Love beaches? Love flavor-packed, ultra umami ramen?

Step into the eclectically-decorated halls of GONZO!, where patrons can slurp from the glistening bowls of five ramen soups: Gonzo black with black garlic oil over tonkotsu ramen; Gonzo red for a spicy miso ramen with chili oil and sichuan pepper; Gonzo green for a vegan ramen with tofu, mushrooms, chilis and veggies and the classic tonkotsu or miso ramens.

GONZO! is run by Mika Murphy who came to the U.S. from Japan and runs the restaurant with husband Jamison and their sons.

Mika Murphy worked with Los Angeles-based Ramen Consultant and chef Kenichi Ota to concoct GONZO!’s particular ramen style.

What’s Popular: Classic tonkotsu ramen, chicken karaage, Gonzo Black ramen, Miso ramen and black garlic ramen.

Location: 300 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad, CA 92008