The Studio Diner is a little joint in the middle of Kearny Mesa’s business section. It looks kind of out of place, with this chrome-metallic look. It almost looks like it was haphazardly placed here in a parking lot, waiting for hungry business people to crawl in and enjoy it’s diner treats. It’s also one of a handful of places open 24 hours – I have been here very late at night, too, happy that I was here instead of Denny’s.
I recently scored a half off coupon from one of the many coupon/groupon sites I check daily (I think it was BuyWithMe). I went solo on this mission because I already knew what I wanted to get and my coupon would just cover my meal for $22 (I think I paid like $10). What wonderful treat do they offer here at Studio Diner that’s very hard to find on the West Coast? Fried Clams. Ohhh. Fried Clams, I love you.
Fried Clams are really an East Coast/New England thing. The best fried clams I’ve ever had are in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, a tiny little town where my dad grew up about 50 miles outside of Boston, MA. The place is called SS Lobster Ltd and I’ve been there with my grandparents and my dad on several trips out to the East Coast (I also went to college there). The fried clams (and most of the other food) at SS Lobster are delicious (and so much more affordable). Sometimes I miss Boston and sometimes I miss fried clams. But there are a few places in San Diego where you can get them, for a hefty price.
Studio Diner is one of those places. They fly the clams in from Ipswich, MA, making these the real thing.
These are whole belly clams, my friend. Not those dinky little clam strips that have virtually no flavor and all you can taste is the breading and some hint of clam. No, no. These are sweet, taste of the sea, and so delicious. The familiar bite and bit of sweetness was a welcome memory to my senses and I thoroughly enjoyed this meal while I sat and read from my book. This a pricey little item though, about $18 for the meal (though on the menu it says “Market Price” so it can vary), but to me it was very worth it.
I also got this cool looking Arnold Palmer with Pink Lemonade. I loved the colors so much before I mixed it. Pretty, pretty drink.
I’ve had this dish before and it’s a nice trip down memory lane. Eating fried clams reminds me of the East Coast, of warm summer nights, of college days, of a time that now seems a world away.
4701 Ruffin Road
San Diego, CA 92123-1611
Open 24 hours
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- mary: Hi Kirk – Wow, you tried it 3-4 times?! I’m glad someone else can confirm that it wasn’t just me who had a bad meal!
- Kirk: Hi Mary – This place is terrible, tried it about 3-4 times when we moved a couple of miles away. Bitter orange juice, SYSCO products at...
- mary: Haha I thought so
- J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats: Sorry the food was kindof mediocre…however “barfed flowers all over the place” is the most perfect description for...
- mary: Hi CC – The one in Clairemont is kind of hidden, too. Must be some kind of weird theme… the wallpaper is pretty bad. I could also see the...
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