Take a chance, turn left on Linda Vista
Univeristy of San Diego students know little about what lies to the left of USD.
Day after day, students are piling out of the University of San Diego wait at the light to turn right onto Linda Vista. While the average student spends the majority of his or her time on campus during weekdays, most students know little to nothing about what lies to the left of their university.
However, what students may not know is that turning left onto Linda Vista leads to an area filled with things that college students love, such as delicious Asian cuisine, affordable gas prices, a plethora of food markets, and more.
The area’s heavily concentrated Asian population makes for some great local food joints. If you continue driving up Linda Vista for about three miles, it turns into Convoy street: San Diego’s own Chinatown, with every type of Asian food you can imagine. From spicy Thai dishes to gigantic bowls of Pho, it is sometimes hard to choose among the array of eateries.
Senior Drew Parrish, an interdisciplinary humanities major, has no such dilemma when he ventures up Linda Vista. His go-to spot is always The Original Sab-E-Lee, a very successful Thai restaurant about five minutes away from USD by car.
“Since eating is likely humankind’s best activity, the highlights up there are as plentiful as the pages of your professor’s textbook,” Parrish said. “Sab-E-Lee makes the Thai food to end all Thai food, the drunken noodles once put me to sleep for 12 hours.”
Senior Aaron Sherman, a business major and Chinese studies minor, noted that Linda Vista is also filled with a wide variety of multi-cultural grocery stores and markets.
“In the same shopping center that my favorite Pho place is located (Pho Hao), there is a big Vietnamese grocery,” Sherman said. “They have super cheap produce and tons of ethnic products. It’s honestly just fun to walk around and see all the different products you didn’t know existed. I recently stumbled upon a place called La Tiendita that kind of defies a category. It’s a combination of a Mexican mini-mart, a butcher shop, and a taco stand.”
Sherman started routinely driving over to the Linda Vista area during his Junior year, right after he returned from studying abroad in China for a full year.
In addition to its plethora of eateries, Linda Vista is also a great area to buzz through if you want to save money while running errands. The gas stations in the area are consistently 10 cents cheaper than any located in Sports Arena. There is also a Bank of America, a free public library stocked with all the newest best-sellers, and multiple 99 cent stores about five minutes away from USD.
Linda Vista has a lot to offer for college students, yet very few Toreros travel in that direction.
Sophomore Aria Nisco, a Psychology major, admits that she has only driven through the area once.
“I’ve driven through some parts of Linda Vista that don’t particularly seem safe, so it doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me that students might not be compelled to go over there,” Nisco said.
Nisco’s fears are not entirely unfounded. Residents of Linda Vista consider the area to be safe but suggest that students avoid roaming around the area late at night since criminal activity is more likely to occur during those hours.
The perception of danger may deter some students from turning left onto Linda Vista, but most students are completely unaware that area is home to more than just USD and the Starbucks plaza in general.
While Sherman himself is an exception to that trend, he shared his opinion on why students who live at the beach may have little interest in the area.
“With so many kids living on Mission Beach, USD is almost a commuter campus where you come for class then go back to the beach,” Sherman said. “Part of what makes Linda Vista cool is the fact that it’s an ethnic mixing pot with all kinds of strange little shops. That being said, it’s just hard to compete with all that PB and Mission have to offer.”
Next time you find yourself sitting at the light with your stomach grumbling and your bank account diminishing, take a chance and turn left. You might just like what you find.