lazy dog restaurant and bar / mission valley – san diego, ca

Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar opened up in Mission Valley over the summer. It is a part of a Southern California chain and this is the first location to open in San Diego. I was recently invited to come in and check it out for myself. Jake and Maya both got to come with me and we were able to check out the dog-friendly patio at this huge location!


[chicken wings]

We started the night off with some chicken wings in a chipotle honey bbq sauce. I found the wings to just be okay – they were slightly crisp and had a neutral flavor – not bad but not really impressive or memorable. The wings were sweet and not too sticky and had a slight spice to them but were not spicy hot.


[loaded potato hush puppies – whipped potatoes, bacon, jack & cheddar, red & green onions, all fried golden brown & drizzled with our spicy tapatio crema]

The only thing these little golden nuggets have in common with hush puppies is the shape and size. I think these should maybe be called mini potato balls instead!


You can see the creamy mashed potato goodness on the inside, with bits of the cheese and bacon peeking through. These were really delicious – nice, crispy outer shell with that smooth, creamy inside. The Tapatio crema drizzle gives it a real kick of spiciness that was just right. I could have easily eaten this whole plate by myself…


[cajun fries]

Jake has like a serious love affair with french fries. For some reason he always feels the need to order them. Maybe it’s like his anchor – one familiar item in a sea of new foods…

I just thought these were okay. They are really still just french fries with seasoning on them. The spice and seasoning was good and not too overpowering nor too light.


Right about when we got our dinner, they came out with Maya’s dinner, too!

For your pup, you get your choice of unseasoned chicken or unseasoned steak. Maya is a chicken girl all the way so I got that for her. You can also pick white or brown rice. I choose white, knowing full well that she would not touch the rice.


Here she is gobbling up her dinner. She didn’t eat much of it because she was distracted by the sheer amount of people on the patio. I love that they offer food for your dog though. It makes me happy knowing she can have her own little meal, too!


[pretzel crusted schnitzel]

For Oktober Fest (now through November 1st) they are offering these pretzel crusted schnitzel as a specialty item. It’s a big old boneless pork cutlet served with German potato salad, green apple & napa cabbage slaw and a whole grain amber ale mustard sauce.

This had a really lovely golden crust on it, but it didn’t taste particularly “pretzel” like to me. It was just a touch on the dry side, but most schnitzels I have tend to have that “dry” flavor to them. A squeeze of the lemon brightened it up though and I really enjoyed the amber ale mustard sauce that came with it. Pretzels and mustard, yo. I totally see what you did there.


I opted to not get the German potato salad and instead got mashed potatoes which I sort of regretted because the potatoes were kind of cold and lacked seasoning and flavor. Ah well.

I can’t tell you much about the slaw – it was okay, but I’m not really a slaw eater. At all. No thank you.


[chicken poblano with tamale cakes – boneless chicken breast sautéed with sweet white corn, peppers and onions in a roasted poblano cream sauce, served with crispy tamale cakes, micro cilantro and tapatio crema]

Here’s Jake dish, which he loved like nobody’s business. The chicken was nicely done and came in a poblano cream sauce which Jake particularly liked. The thing on his dish that I really dug were the tamale cakes! They were surprisingly delicious with a crisp exterior and a creamy middle with that masa like texture and flavor that you get from a tamale. Really good – heck, I think I’d just want the tamale cake by itself!


[black & bleu pizza – cajun chicken, hickory-smoked bacon, mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, bleu cheese crumbles, diced tomatoes & green onions]

We also ended up ordering this pizza after talking with the general manager for a spell just to try something else – he had wanted to showcase a bunch of things for us but due to a miscommunication and wrong name on the reservation, he didn’t even know we were there! He started telling us about more menu items and we ended up getting this… and even though I was stuffed, this was really delicious.


I loved the bits of blue cheese on here and the combination of flavors was really excellent. The crust was nicely done, too, with a slight crisp on the bottom and a fluffy chewy inside.


[lazy dog craft beer sampler]

I also tried the Craft Beer sampler, which included (not in order): Lazy Dog Honey Blonde, Lazy Dog Red, Lazy Dog Bavarian Hefe, Lazy Dog Pale Ale, Lazy Dog IPA and Lazy Dog Chocolate Porter. I believe my favorite was the Hefe or Red.

I loved the dog tags indicating the names of the craft beers! For Oktoberfest they are doing a special “Old World vs New World” beer sampler until the end of October. You can get three styles of beer (Hefeweizen, Oktoberfest and Dunkel) – 3 from Germany and 3 from local breweries.


[root beer float – three scoops vanilla ice cream in a chilled mason jar with IBC root beer]

For dessert, Jake choose the root beer float. They do it right here by serving it with IBC root beer in a bottle. Ohhh yeah.


[butter cake – butter cake topped with strawberry compote garnished with sweet balsamic reduction, with scoop of vanilla bean ice cream]

As for me – I chose the in house made butter cake – it was all I could have ever dreamed of. It was so so so delicious – it was a plate full of gooey buttery goodness. The butter cake had that nice crisp outer crust and the inside was completely moist and knock-your-socks off good!

I really seriously contemplated asked for one of these to take home… but then I was afraid of eating the whole thing by myself…

Man, this was so good.


All in all the three of us all had a good time at the Lazy Dog Restaurant! If you’re thinking of coming here for a visit, I strongly encourage you to inquire about getting a reservation as this place is HOPPING right now and there was a huge line of people waiting when we pulled in. If you bring your dog, they can only enter in through the patio (just FYI).

I’ll be off, dreaming of butter cakes and tamale cakes and pizza with blue cheese on it…

Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar
1202 Camino Del Rio N
San Diego CA 92108
Ph. (619)481-6191

M-F 11am-midnight
Sa-Sun 10am-midnight

Disclaimer: I was invited to dine at the Lazy Dog on behalf of JS2 Communications. Our food and drinks were all complimentary. I was not further compensated or paid for this review. All opinions stated here are my own.

7 thoughts on “lazy dog restaurant and bar / mission valley – san diego, ca

  1. This place looks amazing! I’ve never heard of this place. Do they have Happy Hour too?

    The pretzel schnitzel looks sooo good for some reason right now. I would have preferred it w/ some sort of gravy though.

    Looks like a great meal 🙂

  2. My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooing With Mr.C. on Facebook. (also a blog) I just “Liked” his page and came to see your site. I appreciate when people share blogs with each other. Denise

  3. My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C. on Facebook. (also a blog) I just “Liked” his page and came to see your site. I appreciate when people share blogs with each other. Denise

  4. Mmm, I love that cake! This reminds me that I haven’t been back in a while. I love the loaded hush puppies too. The happy hour menu is pretty nice. I want to have a dog just so I can bring it here. hehe

    1. We have a friend in town visiting us and we were telling him we have to go here just to get the butter cake… man, it was good. I love that it’s dog friendly! Having my dog with me makes me happy. 🙂

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