Restaurant Review: Studio Diner, San Diego, CA


Back on the east coast, you couldn't drive 5 miles without running into a diner. Diners were always open 24/7 and the first place you went after a soccer tournament, after prom, after the bar closed, and after you woke up with an unbearable hangover. We love our diners in Connecticut.

Out here in San Diego, before this weekend I'd been to exactly one diner in the past 3 years and it's an overpriced dive in Hillcrest with terrible food. I'd more or less given up on ever eating good or even so-bad-it's-good diner food  again until I heard about Studio Diner in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood of San Diego.

Studio Diner is right next to the only working film studio in San Diego. Veronica Mars is probably the most notable thing that was filmed there, but still it's pretty neat. The diner was built as a 24/7 stop so that the studio workers could have a place to eat into the wee hours of filming. Inside it's a kitschy, 40's movie-themed diner with film strips lining the plates and film reels used as condiment holders. There's old cameras hanging above the tables and a LOT of chrome.

Ever since I learned about it I had been meaning to go there for breakfast, but Kearny Mesa is at least a 15 minute drive from my house and so not a convenient place to go for food in general. But this past Saturday, I was headed to the area for another reason (to buy a new car!) and decided to finally get breakfast there beforehand. I sidled up to the counter to avoid the wait for a table (Comic Con is in town, hence the message on the marquee) and my friends Bonnie and Jason met me there shortly after.

The food was perfection. Greasy, buttery goodness that is just what you need when you go to a diner. I ordered the Cinnamon Swirl Studio Toast (which is their French toast), a side of bacon, and after, the best Chili Cheese Fries I've ever had.

I wish it wasn't so out of the way because this is where I'd want to get dinner with friends after the bar (like the East Coast diner fiend that I am). I definitely want to go back and try some of their sandwiches and items from the dinner menu like their Chicken Pot Pie. This is a San Diego hidden gem! Totally worth the hike for good food and service with a side of kitsch.