Studio Diner

A few months back, I purchased a coupon from Groupon for Studio Diner. We have tried to eat there on several occasions in the past year but we always seem to show up when it’s packed and at least 30 minutes of wait. I hate waiting. Didn’t help that couple of times we tried was right at lunch, on the weekend, during tourist season. So this time, we decided to try it again for an early lunch on a week day. Finally! A lot have been written and shown about Studio Diner so I won’t go into too much details here.

I decided to start with dessert first. This is the root beer milkshake. What else needs to be said?

The Mister started off with a cup of the Crew Stew. He just loves stews. I got a little taste of it and it was pretty good. The meat was tender and nicely flavored.

I started with a cup of New England Clam Chowder. This had a nice flavor, good thickness but then I like my clam chowder to be on the thicker side rather than watery. What was interesting is that the chowder didn’t have any fillers, no potato, no peas. Just clams. Not what I was expecting since the reviews of their clam chowder from other sites mentioned potatoes. But it didn’t bother me at all since it had lots of chopped clams to satisfy every spoonful.

The Mister ordered the Pastrami Reuben with a side of cole slaw.  I tried a little bit of the pastrami and it was really good, tender. The Mister liked the combination of the rye bread, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and 1000 Island dressing. The cole slaw was a typical diner cole slaw.

I ordered the Count of Monte Cristo. Their version is  battered and fried with turkey, ham, Swiss and Cheddar. It comes with the traditional side of preserves, raspberry in this case. I also had the choice of fries or cole slaw but with a little more $, I can substitute with sweet potato fries (or something else that’s escaping me right now). I went with the sweet potato fries.

I had mixed feelings about this version of Monte Cristo. I love Monte Cristo sandwiches but batter on this version was too thick and it made the bread underneath kind of soggy, tasted even a little doughy. I think it would have been better if it was made using an egg mixture rather than a batter mixture. Here’s a not-so-good picture of the inside of the sandwich. As you can see, lots of ham and turkey and you can see the melted Swiss, and a peak of the Cheddar.

What really stood out in my meal was the sweet potato fries. They were fried perfectly and were so good. It was crispy on the outside and tender-sweet on the inside without tasting greasy. Needless to say that I couldn’t stop eating it.

Our server was great and things moved along quickly. We were in-out in less than an hour. By the time we left (before noon), the usual lunch crowd were already standing and waiting outside. We even overheard a group of six saying they drove down from Anaheim just to eat there. I hope it met their expectations and was worth the drive. For me, I want to try the lobster bisque and the lobster roll next time. The Mister has his eye on the fried clams.

Studio Diner
Open 24 hours a day
4701 Ruffin Road
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 715-6400

Studio Diner on Urbanspoon

2 Comments

  1. I just bought a coupon from Restaurant.com for this place! I’m so glad you did a post ! I’m itchin’ to try their deep fried clams and lobster roll. I’m really surprised the clam chowder doesn’t have any fillers – that’s incredible (in a good way). I’ve always always always wanted to try a monte cristo – the batter didn’t look too good or crispy – do you think they didn’t fry it long enough? Maybe the batter was too thick and doughy?

    Were the prices decent? What was the total after your groupon credit?

    Can’t wait to try this place out!

    • Hi Faye! I thought the batter was too thick although I think it was fried long enough. What ever batter they used seemd to have made the bread underneath soggy, which defeats the whole purpose of frying in my opinion. I’m also still on the fence about the cheddar cheese. I also thought the price ($11.25) was a bit high for the sandwich. Some of the best I’ve had had very thin batter, which didn’t overwhelm the sandwich.

      I think the total was around $18 or $19 after the credit. Not too bad. You’ll have to let me know how you like the fried clams and lobster roll!

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