Awesome food, ok service, great portions and really great margaritas. They're no longer in their Old Town restaurant, but I'm told they moved to SeaPort Village. Go check 'em out, you'll be glad you did.
Tops On Our List
Some people will tell you that you can't find a good resturant in a tourist area. I can tell you that after 15 years of driving once sometime twice a month from Orange County to San Diego, Casa De Bandini is the only resturant my wife and I choose after a long day's shopping.
Their take on Mexican sea food is out of this world. The San German, rich and creamy, the Pescado a la Diana has the right blend of white fish, crab and sauce. The Carne Asada Shrimp Combination is tops when it comes to a surf and turf combo Mexican style. Oh and don't can't forget the margaritas. Don't!
Not only does the Casa have what I think is the finest Mexican menue around, the people at the Casa De Bandini are the tops. From the owner right down to the waiters and servers, this resturant knows where to find them and keep them. I'm happy to say that in twenty years of coming to eat, it is alway a pleasure to see familiar faces and to be remembered. Oh, and I shouldn't forget the band.... ah. For tops in classical, contemporary, and yes "Gringo" songs these fellows have it: patience, humor and talent.
Still after all these years, everytime we come to San Diego, we head straight for the Casa De Bandini.
Old Town's Bright Spot
Among the many tourist traps around this restaurant is so refreshing. My husband and I recently visited San Diego and ended up eating at Casa De Bandini's three times. The food was delicious and sitting out on the patio was worth the wait. We even had the pleasure of hearing and being sung to by the mariachi band. I said we had to wait to eat on the patio but not more then 20 minutes so that was not too bad. It is a great place to eat and I would recommend it highly!!!!
Nostalgic Mexican Food!
I was thrilled when Casa De Bandini reopened in Carlsbad though I miss them in Old Town. The food is consistently fantastic - the carnitas tostada is FANTASTIC! There is so much carnitas that you need to take it home! This is a great place to lunch, brunch or dine as well as to take your relatives to when they visit - it really impresses! I really miss Bazaar Del Mundo in Old Town - it just isn't the same there since y'all moved but as long as you have Casa De Bandini somewhere in the county, I will follow!
Every cab driver we talked to suggested this place, so we went. By the way, the cab drivers in SD are the most polite, friendly and helpful we have ever seen. Alas, we were not thrilled with Bandini's. There was a 1 hour wait for eating outside, at 6 p.m. on a Monday. We opted to eat inside and the table was very nice. Be careful, they load you up with chips and salsa. The salsa is very good, but you could over eat before dinner. I had the Arroz con Pollo, Mexicana and it was a super dish, my wife had the fish burrito and it was awful...dry and tasteless. If you want a fantastic fish taco or burrito, go to Roberto's opposite the amusement park at Belmont Park. It is a "hole in the wall", but oh my, the fish tacos and burritos were FANTASTIC. I digress, at Bandini's we had the "my pet peave" happen. We were a party of 5 and 3 main courses showed up and the other 2 arrived 10 minutes later. We hate that. The taco loco was huge and well received and if you order it, you better be hungry. The Fiesta Fajitas were also good (vegan). The chicken fajita salad was also praised. 4 out of the 5 dinners were good, the fish buritto was the only one that was not appreciated. The margaritas were tasteless. If you want a touristy place, cheap, with average to good food, Bandini's is the place to go.
Casa de sucko
This place proves that most people are lemmings. It sucks, but the touristos keep coming. I can't imagine anyone going back here. The service was fine but everything else showed a total lack of caring. It seems the only thing they care about is getting alot of people in the door. In a place that comes so highly suggested one would expect a decent margarita. Wrong! They don't even use fresh squeezed lime juice. They use 'margarita mix.' YUCK! I questioned the waiter as to whether the cheese stuffed and fried jalapenos were made in the restaurant. He said no. This probably means they were Sysco stuffed jalapenos. NO THANKS! With my expectations lowered the entres arrived. My expectations were right. Don't waste your time on this place. It's just bait for the Old Town tourist trap.