Getting off late isn’t so bad, especially when you have navigated the available food choices and found some late night venues that offer up some seriously good grub. I have been waiting tables for about twenty years in the San Diego area, and I may not be an expert in, really, anything...but I do know where to eat late-night in San Diego. I will now impart this valuable knowledge to you, the reader fingers crossed.

Japanese: Tajima and Izakaya Masa. Tajima is a ramen house. Perfect little spot for some ramen and beer. Izakaya Masa is also a ramen house, but if you can make it there before midnight, their sushi menu is available. Salmon sashimi and chicken curry udon are serious winners. Try the avocado salad—simple
and delish.

Vietnamese: Saigon on Fifth. Creamy basil sea bass is like butter. They serve crab fried rice in a hollowed-out pineapple. Yes, please.

Thai: The Asian Bistro. Not the best Thai in San Diego, but certainly the best Thai at 1:00 a.m. Curries are yum. Noodle dishes are exactly what you want after a few beers.

Mexican: La Fachada. No drive-thru. It has a little outside seating area with a grill going. You will feel like you are in T.J. but with less chance of being stabbed in the face. Street tacos here are a must. They make like six different aguas frescas in house. I love the strawberry, but the very nice and patient man behind the register will let you sample the different flavors. Tamarind-coated apples are a must have. I usually take a couple to go convinced that they are somewhat healthy. Apples! Am I right? Keeping the doctor away.

Diner: Studio Diner. Located on the lot of San Diego’s only movie studio. Can you say Silk Stalkings and Veronica Mars? Just a really solid diner. Their Reuben is perfection. They put the sauerkraut in between the layers of pastrami so there is no soggy rye to contend with! Finally. It’s like my chubby girl prayers have been answered. Also, if you are high class, they do a classic lobster roll. Their shakes are pretty amaze also. Apple pie is delightful. Apples! Am I right? Keeping that pesky doctor away.

High class and a little hipster: Lion Share and 3rd Corner. Lion Share is more hipster but has an impressive and progressive cocktail and wine list. French fries are perfection. Bread pudding of the day usually impresses and delights. 3rd Corner, serious bottles of wine for super cheap. It is a wine store, but for a measly $5 corkage, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in-house. Food is above average with pastas and cheese plates and a smoked duck salad. These two joints are really right on the money if you want to drink delicious things and also nosh a little bit.

Happy hunting, front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house amigos.

Apryl out.

Tajima Ramen Bar-Hillcrest
3739 6th Ave
Sunday-Wednesday 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m., Thursday 11:30 a.m.-1:00 a.m., Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m.-3:00 a.m.

Izakaya Masa-Hillcrest
928 Fort Stockton Dr.
closed Mondays
Tuesday-Saturday 6:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.

Saigon on 5th-Hillcrest
3900 5th Ave. Ste#120
11:00 a.m.-3:00 a.m.

The Asian Bistro-Hillcrest
414 University Ave.
5:00 p.m.-3:00 a.m.

La Fachada-Golden Hill
20 25th St.
6:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m.

Studio Diner
4701 Ruffin Road
Monday-Wednesday 5:30 a.m.-midnight, Thursday-Saturday open 24 hours, Sunday 5:30 a.m.-midnight

Lion Share
629 Kettner Blvd.
4:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.

The 3rd Corner-Ocean Beach
2265 Bacon St.
10:00 a.m.-1:30 a.m.
Food until midnight