San Diego Restaurant Review: Lazy Dog

By Norman Greene

Norman Greene

Norman Greene

SAN DIEGO — If you enjoy having your canine best friend by your side while dining out,  a new restaurant just opened in San Diego’s Mission Valley.   The Montana styled facility is appropriately called “Lazy Dog.”   It is the newest member of a thirteen store chain, only the second to be operated in San Diego County.  The first was established in Temecula.

Atrracted by a field stone entrance and very high ceilings that emphasize the wide open “outdoorsy” feeling of Montana, four of us chose to be seated outdoors on their lovely patio.  It was a great chance to see the numerous dog species (and their owners), as well as to enjoy being able to talk to one another.  Inside, it was impossible to carry on a conversation since the noise was at a higher than deafening level.  It just seemed silly to have to text to my three dinner companions.  Outside, even the freeway sounds from adjacent, busy Interstate 8, were muted by comparison.

We found the wait staff to be attentive, friendly and very eager to please.  They all seemed to understand that being able to converse while eating was an integral part of the  dining out with friends experience.  Perhaps it was the fact that the four of us were clearly over 29.  That’s ok.  It works for me.

We ordered a delicious three flavor humus appetizer to be shared and a few cocktails to ease away the tensions of the day.  This was followed by our main courses.  With an extremely eclectic menu that offered an incredibly large range of ethnic and international choices, it took more than a little effort to make our selections.  There were pastas, Japanese wok dishes, a variety of soups, chicken, fish, meats, salads, sandwiches, small plates, starters, burgers, pizzas and a category entitled “nutritious & delicious.”

All choices were reasonably priced, ranging from a low of $8.25 to a high of $15.95 for beer-battered fish & chips.  You could get spicy Moroccan chicken & couscous for $13.25 or campfire pot roast for 14.25.

Two of us decided on Cobb salads for $8.75 each.  Both were fresh, generous portions, but both of us asked for additional helpings of salad dressing.  The other two members of our party ordered bleu burgers and iceberg wedge salads.  They, too, needed additional salad dressing.  My wife claims her burger was one of the best she has eaten in San Diego.

Two of us — the ones who needed it the least — ordered desserts.  I had an unusual cocoanut, pineapple and Graham Cracker concoction that was too large to finish even with some help.  The other house specialty was an apple cobbler ice cream (it tasted a bit synthetic to me) combination.

Although the place was literally mobbed, no one rushed us and everyone smiled as if in thanks that we had given them a chance to serve us in their new Mission Valley Center West home.  I loved the fact that there was free, self serve parking and free complimentary valet parking as well.

Lazy Dog is not a gourmet restaurant, but it was satisfying.


I wish I could say the same about the San Diego Pops’ July 4th concert.  The fireworks were glorious (although they lacked the back-up of the San Diego Symphony and instead we had to listen to a piped in radio station).  Pops conductor Bill Conti was charming, but the program was quite pedestrian.  At times the pacing was mournful.  One long number of a child’s nursery rhyme had three tap dancers – two very young girls who may have practiced once and an overweight adult man– with very amateurish choreography.  It was embarrassing and not up to the high standard of previous years.    But that’s just my personal opinion.

Greene is a freelance writer based in San Diego. He may be contacted at [email protected]

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2 Responses to “San Diego Restaurant Review: Lazy Dog”

  1. Myron Shelley says:

    Temecula is in Riverside County.

  2. Susan Rosenberg says:

    My cousin and I had the same experience with the terrible noise level…while we waited for our table to be ready we couldn’t even talk without shouting in the waiting area. We returned our “buzzer” and walked across the parking lot to
    Gordon Biersch and had a much quieter lunch there. It would help if they would turn down the piped in music which was playing at a very high level too.


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