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Khan’s Cave in San Diego

Khan’s Cave in San Diego

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Our contributor checks out this restaurant on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard

Khan's Cave is located on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in San Diego, Calif.

One day Michael and I tried Khan’s Cave over on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. We’ve passed it dozens of times but never had the urge to go inside that strip mall, let alone the restaurant. The mall itself is a little older but I suppose the font on the sign fits in well with its surroundings.

The size of the space was bigger than expected and the décor was interesting. It looks like the ceiling decorations could use a reboot but I’m no interior designer so I’ll just stick to the food! We found out that Khan’s actually is owned by the same group that runs Dumpling Inn on Covoy and Del Mar Rendezvous... both of which are not bad places to try if you haven’t yet. Dumpling Inn is the runaway favorite of the two when their xiao long bao have that delicious hot soup inside.

I was a little surprised by the sheer amount of menu items to choose from. As you can see there are many different Asian-influenced items throughout.

Of course if there’s xiao long bao as an option we’re going to get it! This version was not as soupy as the Dumpling Inn version nor were they as hearty as the Del Mar Rendezvous variety. I don’t think we’d get them here again because we know what Dumpling Inn can do on their best day.

More dumplings! We got the Dumpling Sampler since we can’t get enough. You get two of each: pork gyoza, shrimp har gow, shrimp and pork won tons, and siu mai. As you may know I like to compare things to other dishes that people may have had before since I think it gives it a little perspective. If you’ve ever had dim sum at Emerald or Jasmine then you’ve probably had at least a few of these before. These were OK. Not bad, but again nothing to come back to. They came out warm at best, and lacked seasoning. There’s something about getting dim sum with the steam rising from the carts and the sights and sounds of everything around you that enhance the experience. Maybe I’m so used to it that I have a mental block when it doesn’t exist.

Jajangmyeon was marked on a sign in the front as a special that day. As you can see this looks nothing like Jajangmyeon. We asked the waiter if this was in fact Jajangmyeon and he had to go to the back to double check. The picture on the sign in the front actually looked like the versions I’d had before at Korean restaurants. He came back and was honest and said that they probably got that picture from somewhere else but it was in fact their version of the Korean dish. He asked if something was wrong and I told him no, it just looked different than what we were used to. After trying it, everything was fine. It probably was the best dish of the day even though it didn’t taste like the Korean restaurants. I’m not sure I detected any soybean paste but what it did have was salt.

So that’s about it. This was the one and only time I’ve ever gone here and maybe next time I’ll get different things to see if they tickle the fancy.

This post originally appeard on

Khan’s Cave in San Diego - Recipes

I have been wanting to stop here for quite a while, we were in the area dropping off our ballots and decided today was the day!
The restaurant is located at a busy intersection in a strip mall, plenty of nearby parking and it is well maintained for the area. The exterior and interior are both clean and inviting. Once you walk in, the decorations are fantastic! Definite Asian themed with great food! I am on a restricted diet due to medication I am taking and asked if I could have my lunch made without the leafy green veggies. they were happy to prepare it the way I needed, very polite and helpful. The food was brought to us in a very reasonable time and was delicious. They have a nice selection of beers and a great menu. Once your food is delivered, they really don't pester you. They came by a couple of times to see if we needed anything else, then pretty much left us alone. Overall a great experience and we plan to go back. Highly recommended

1 - 5 of 46 reviews

Great service, great food, generous portions and reasonable price. We had Combo Yakisoba and Walnut Shrimp. We loved both of them. We will definitely go back to this one.

Have been here many, many times. Everyone we bring becomes a loyal customer. Food is great with a wide variety. My husband always gets one of the fish dishes. My favorite is the duck Shangri-La. The green beans are the best ever. On weekends there is music and dancing. Parking is easy. And the back room is not too loud. What more can one ask for?


The sunset cliffs caves are a place I have always wanted to visit, but was afraid to go. I had read about how dangerous they were to get to and had begged my brother to go with me as he understood the tides more than I did.

However, timing just didn’t work out for him to go with me to the sunset cliffs caves, so I took matters into my own hands and did a TON of research. I had such a spectacular time and it wasn’t scary at all, so I wanted to share all the information with you!


Note: This cave is rarely accessible, so please read this entire article on how to safely access it.

It is extremely important to time visiting the sea caves properly. In order to safely go inside the caves, you will need to visit when there is a negative tide. It is dangerous to go anytime other than a negative tide.

A negative is more than just low tide. You actually need to see a negative symbol in front of the numbers. I personally went on a day it was a -1.7 tide and my feet definitely still got wet. There was also one portion where the water was up to my knees.

As far as timing goes, I would recommend heading down to the cave about 30 minutes before the lowest negative tide. For example, the day I went the negative tide was at 4:07pm, so we started our descent down around 330ish.

Another important thing to remember is you will need to leave the sea cave before the tide starts rising again. We left the cave around 4:40pm.

Make sure to check the tide charts before going and plan accordingly.

You can read the directions on how to get to the sunset cliffs caves below.


Sunset cliffs is located in San Diego area along the Point Loma coastline. These cliffs are quite special to me as I graduated from PLNU and ran on these cliffs for exercise on a daily basis.

So, I have no idea how I never knew about the secret sunset cliffs caves! There are quite a few sea caves along this coastline, but in this article I am going to give you directions to the “main” open ceiling sea cave.

This is the cave that you see from atop the cliffs. It is the one that has fencing around it with the giant hole in the middle. This article does not give direction to Rum runners cave or Smuggler’s Cave.

To begin, first put in Luscombs point to google maps for driving directions. You will want to park along the cliffs or on Hill street.

For the open ceiling cave there are essentially two ways to get down.

Way one: The surfer’s route which is the shortest route.

Way two: Head down to the beach and walk around. This is a longer route.

We chose to go with the second option. However, I will briefly discuss the surfer’s route. This route is located just to the north of the fence covering the sea cave. You walk all the way to the end of the cliff and basically climb down right next to the blowhole cave.

We chose not to do this route because the water was still at least waist high this direction when the surfers would jump in.

Again, we chose the second route. For this, you will want to park on Hill street or just along sunset cliffs.

Instead of heading to the surfer’s location, head further north until you see the beach down below the cliffs. From here you will see a “path” which is more like a pile of rocks that you climb down to get to the beach.

Once you reach the beach you will turn left and walk all the way around to the cave. You will be walking over small rocks that could potentially be slippery here. I highly recommend going slow and wearing water shoes.

Along the way you will see other small caves that you get to walk through. Eventually you will meet up with route option #1 where the surfer’s climb down.

From here, continue to hug the wall left where you will reach a cove or a small beach! Continue walking south and around the next big rock you will find the cave!

From the cove, you could also climb through a portion of the rock to enter the cave. This is the route we took and this is where the water was up to our knees!


You can’t miss the cave once you arrive. It is beautiful! And if you can time it at sunset time it is even more epic! The colors bursting through the sea cave “door” is spectacular.

When in the cave itself, be careful as the rocks can still remain slippery. You will most likely see others in the cave, especially if you go at sunset. There are so many beautiful places to watch a sunset at in San Diego. However, this is a photographer’s dream: to have the tides line up perfectly and shoot a sunset from the cave.

As always, make sure to be respectful of others and wait your turn to take that Instagram worthy picture!

Again, if you do choose to visit please be aware of your timing and make sure to leave enough time to return to the top prior to high tide coming in.


I can’t believe I waited so long to explore these caves! I look forward to exploring the other cave’s along sunset cliffs and hope to share those directions with you guys as well!

Let me know if you have ever been or plan to visit these sea caves along sunset cliffs!

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Explore San Diego’s Hidden Gardens and Caves

There’s no shortage of outdoor activities in San Diego. But did you know some of the best spots are hidden? You just have to know where to look! Take some time out with your kids to travel off the beaten path and discover the only cave in La Jolla only reachable by land and a topiary garden in the middle of Mission Hills.

Photo credit: Kristen H. via Yelp

Topiary Garden
Kids will get a kick out of the huge shapes and animals that make up this Edward Scissorhands-style topiary garden in Mission Hills. This landscape wonderland is located on a hillside front yard at a private residence. You are not permitted to actually enter the garden, but you can feel free to get out of the car and delight in the artful creations. The owners have taken inspiration from their many travels to create the unique topiaries found in the garden.

Tip: Have your kids look carefully and see how many shapes you can find. Then see if they can spot a camel, a peacock and even Mickey Mouse!

Photo credit: Angela I. via Yelp

Hidden Garden of Ocean Beach
The entrance to this whimsical, magical world is tucked away in an unassuming location behind a small house in Ocean Beach. Resembling a fairy garden, this peaceful backyard is free and open to the public. Eclectic treasures and antiques are plentiful. Kids can expect to see anything from a charming rusted ore bucket and an old cement mixer, to beautiful plants, colorful flowers, serene streams and sometimes the resident cat. This neighborhood gem is a wonderful place for kiddos to explore all the treasures of the garden and to exercise their imagination. The best part is that it’s constantly changing and transforming so you will see something new each time you go.

Photo credit: Marissa Mullen

Tip: First, stop at nearby Olive Tree Marketplace and order some yummy sandwiches to go. Then take a short stroll to the Hidden Garden and enjoy a peaceful picnic while you take in the surrounding beauty.

4973 Niagara Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92107

Olive Tree Marketplace
4805 Narragansett Ave.

Photo credit: Marissa Mullen

Sunny Jim Cave
Sunny Jim Cave is a the only cave in La Jolla that is reachable by land. Named by L. Frank Baum of Wizard of Oz fame, Sunny Jim was a cartoon cereal box mascot in the 1920s. Entrance to the cave is through the gift shop, and all kids get a cute plastic sea creature. For a nominal fee, you can enter the man-made tunnel and descend down 145 steps to a cool, scenic view at the bottom. When you’re done, leave the gift shop, turn right, and walk the bluffs to the lookout point for some spectacular ocean views.

Photo credit: Marissa Mullen

Tips: You’ll want to make sure your kiddo is able to walk down all the steps, as it’s a little dark and slightly slippery. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a jacket, as it can get chilly at the bottom. Also, keep in mind that there is no restroom, so make sure the kids go before!

1325 Cave St.
La Jolla, CA 92037

Photo credit: Marissa Mullen

Do you have a favorite San Diego secret spot? Tell us in the comments!

Khan’s Cave in San Diego - Recipes

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A Secret Sea Cave in San Diego

Cabrillo National Monument has so much to explore in such a small area. You can get amazing views of the city, explore the lighthouse, dive into the history of the area, go tide pooling, and we recently discovered the secret sea cave there!

That’s what everyone calls it on instagram, but if you want to be technical, it’s actually a sinkhole. That doesn’t sound as cool, does it? It that still makes for some amazing photos!

Before we get into how we got there, we do want to warn you and say that if you visit this cave, it’s at your own risk. There are times that it is closed off due to wildlife or safety reasons, and we aren’t recommending that you break the rules.


Once you arrive at Cabrillo National Monument, follow the right fork that takes you down to the tide pools. Pass the first parking lot and pull into the second one that you see. If you look along the coast to your right, you’ll see the top opening of the sinkhole. There will be a trailhead to the left of you (if you’re facing the ocean) that backtracks the way you just drove in. Follow this until you see a set of stairs that takes you further down the cliffs.

Once you’re down the cliffs, you’re going to follow it back towards the parking lot. You will eventually find yourself in a large cove and a small opening into the cave.


This is where it gets really gross for me. I’m not sure how often the conditions are like this, but when we were there, the entire cove was covered in washed up and decaying seaweed. We couldn’t even see the sand or rocks below, and it really stank. If you’ve ever seen washed up seaweed on the beach, then you’ll know it’s usually covered in bugs. Now multiply this by 1000, and you have my biggest nightmare.

Jacob went first and I eventually mustered up the courage to get across, and as we went across, the entire pile of seaweed and bugs rumbled as if it was one giant organism. I’m still grossed out thinking about it.


There was an opening to the cave at the far end of the cove. After getting across, we crawled in and followed a narrow path to the opening. It was really cool to see the water coming in through a few openings while the sunlight came pouring in from above!







The view from the opening of the cave.


Can you see the top opening of the cave in the photo on the left?



We spent about 30 minutes at the cave taking photos and enjoying the secret spot we found, then started making our way back out before the tide came in. We even had enough time to go tidepooling before we left (post coming soon!)


  • Tide times change daily. You can use this calendar to get a rough idea of what it should be but call in the day of to double check the times.
  • Look for a 0.7 low tide or lower (negative tides are the best). When we went, it was a king tide (the highest and lowest tide) of -1.2. The tides are typically the lowest from October to April.
  • Once the water level hits to lowest tide it will start coming back in so you want to plan accordingly. Start hiking an hour before low tide to give yourself plenty of time.
  • If you’re hoping to take photos, bring a wide angle lens and tripod. We shot everything with a 16-35 mm and a GorillaPod Focus.
  • It helps to have a drysac with you just in case you slip or get splashed on. We really love using this one for water activities.
  • Even at low tide you’ll be getting wet. It helps to have water shoes. These are mine, and these are Jacob’s.
  • Be careful to always watch your footing. A lot of the rocks are slippery even if they don’t look it. Jacob took a bit of a tumble.

Have you found a hidden cave before? What’s the last “secret” spot you discovered that you were excited about?

Lost Treasure : Mystery of Explorer Ulloa’s Spanish Galleon Still Unsolved

North County Focus today introduces history columnist Richard Crawford, archivist and historian for the San Diego Historical Society. He studied history in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at San Diego State University and has worked for the historical society since 1981. His column will appear when there is a fifth Thursday in the month.

It happens every six months or so. An eager visitor to the library of the San Diego Historical Society will ask the harried archivists for material on the Spanish galleon Trinidad, flagship of explorer Francisco de Ulloa, believed wrecked off the coast of Oceanside in 1540 with millions in Aztec gold.

For centuries the story of the Trinidad and the fate of its master, Ulloa, mystified historians. Sailing from Acapulco in July, 1539, Ulloa commanded a fleet of three ships: the Santa Agueda, the Santo Tomas, and the Trinidad. Ulloa carried instructions from the conquistador Hernan Cortes to explore the coast to the north and pursue the endless rumors of gold and the legendary Seven Cities of Cibola.

Ulloa found neither. The Santo Tomas sank soon after the voyage began. The explorer sailed on, charting the Gulf of California and venturing up the western coast of Baja California. With supplies dwindling, the Santa Agueda returned to Mexico. Ulloa decided to continue “with the ship Trinidad and these few supplies and men, to go on, if God grant me the weather, as far as I can . . . “

The Trinidad was never heard from again. Lost at sea, wrecked on an unknown coast, or attacked by Indians--for centuries chroniclers had no idea.

In 1952, an Oceanside physician, Joseph J. Markey, proclaimed the mystery solved. Using maps and documents uncovered in a Spanish archive, Markey located the skeletal remains of 22 Europeans buried in a cave in the San Luis Rey Valley, on the outskirts of Camp Pendleton. The skeletons, along with weapons and gold coins, all dated from the era of the Spanish conquest, according to Markey.

In a speech before the San Diego Historical Society on Jan. 25, 1952, Markey presented a detailed account of the last days of Francisco Ulloa and his men. Based upon his archeological evidence and Spanish documents--including a mysterious diary written by a Trinidad survivor--Markey described how Ulloa had anchored the galleon in the mouth of the San Luis Rey River on Aug. 21, 1540. Ill with scurvy, most of the crew abandoned the ship and camped inland near an Indian village by a freshwater lake. Soon the Spaniards, “lacking the immunity built up over the centuries by the Indians,” succumbed to dysentery contracted from the polluted waters of the lake. Ulloa himself died on Sept. 5.

Three crewmen from the Trinidad, including the diarist, Pablo Salvador Hernandez, escaped by rowing the ship’s longboat to Acapulco. Abandoned, the Trinidad sank somewhere near Oceanside.

Did Francisco de Ulloa actually arrive in California in 1540, predating Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo by two years? Could the wreck of the Trinidad be found, and would it contain, as Markey believed, several million dollars worth of gold?

The public and news media greeted the story with enthusiasm. Trumpeted by Markey, the story reached a wide audience.

Less vocal than Markey were a few skeptics. In a letter to the San Diego Historical Society that year, Museum of Man Curator Spencer L. Rogers told Curator John Davidson that Markey’s theories were at “sharp variance with known scientific facts,” and warned, “I look with alarm upon the fact that your institution and society would seem to be giving implied support to this gentleman’s theories.”

A more specific challenge to Markey’s theory came in 1971 from a professor of history, David Weber of San Diego State University. Weber pointed out that Spanish manuscripts interpreted in the 1930s clearly placed the explorer Ulloa in Mexico one year after his alleged death at San Luis Rey. Spanish court records also show Ulloa testifying in a trial in Valladolid, Spain, in 1542.

If Ulloa and the Trinidad had returned safely to Mexico, what had Markey actually found in his cave at San Luis Rey? Ralph Heiser, former museum curator at Mission San Luis Rey suggested the skeletal remains were ape skulls and the gold coins “common Spanish coins . . . made of copper and tin.”

Markey’s archival evidence--the Hernandez maps and diary--were unavailable for examination. In response to his critics, the doctor explained that a forthcoming book would include photographs of the documents.

Suspicions of Markey’s theory failed to discourage seekers of the lost Trinidad. Markey himself ignored the doubters and turned treasure hunter. Believing the galleon must have sunk somewhere near the San Luis Rey River, he began launching rafts in the river loaded with tons of scrap iron. By noting where the rafts sank, Markey hoped to locate the logical burial spot of the Trinidad. Unfortunately, the rafts foundered erratically in a wide area. After three years of raft building, Markey gave up.

More determined treasure seekers joined the hunt. A group of professional divers called “Aztec Six” searched without success for several months in 1968. The next year, diver Bill Takasato claimed to have found a wreck buried in sand only a few hundred hards from shore. Bad weather and equipment failures forced Takasato to abandon the search.

In 1973, salvagers financed by a Wilmington yacht broker claimed discovery of the wreck. Again, equipment problems were blamed for stopping the work. Treasure hunters were back in 1976. A nightclub singer named Bill Warren found “a couple of cannons down there” with the aid of a $7,000 metal detector. As late as 1987, Warren was still trying to get adequate financing to continue his quest.

Markey died in 1985. His promised book documenting the famous Hernandez diary and maps never appeared. No one ever saw his documents or the skeletons he found to study them.

For all the thousands of dollars and immeasurable hours spent searching for the treasure of the Trinidad, perhaps the most remarkable fact of all is that Markey’s theories have been so widely believed in the first place. An “artfully contrived hoax,” concluded curator Ralph Heiser. A hoax, it might be added, that has captivated the public for more than four decades.

Kayak Tour of the 7 Caves

Explore one of San Diego’s hidden gems by taking a Kayak Tour of the Seven Caves in La Jolla. Part of the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, these sandstone wonders are a sight to behold and are populated by a wide variety of marine life species, but are only accessible by kayak. Get up close and personal with sea lions, friendly leopard sharks and many different kinds of fish while paddling through the mysterious caves. Upon completion of this kayak tour, you’ll even get to surf back to shore!

Previous kayak experience is not necessary, but any interested parties do need to have swimming abilities and must be over six years of age. Anyone under the age of 14 needs to be chaperoned by an adult in a double-kayak. The kayak guides are all qualified professionals who boast credentials in CPR and first aid. Definitely sport a swimsuit as getting wet on the tour is a guarantee, and don’t forget your sunscreen! This is a San Diego activity sure to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

Nick Cave

There have been a lot of Nick Caves over the years. He’s been the skinny Australian guy clowning around onstage with the chaotic-sounding Birthday Party the junkie leader of the Bad Seeds, telling tales of the seedy underworld set to a tweaked version of American roots music the singer of blood-and-guts murder ballads the statesmanlike crafter of heartfelt love songs. There was some overlap here and there, but each persona represented a distinct phase of Cave’s career. If you’ve been following Cave for a long time, you might have dropped out for a few years if you didn’t like his new direction, only to return to that familiar baritone when it was singing a new style you really like.

In fact, it was a little too easy to drop out for a few years. Much as I love Cave’s heartfelt love songs, all those craftsmanlike albums started to sound the same after a while. But something interesting happened a couple of years ago when Cave put together a new band called Grinderman. The lineup was basically a shrunken version of the Bad Seeds, but the sound was raw and raucous — Cave’s lyrics reveled in their vulgarity. Everyone sounded as if he was having the time of his life. And the fun spilled over into this year’s Bad Seeds album, Dig. Lazarus Dig.

But this isn’t just one of those stories of an aging rocker rediscovering his old fire. What’s remarkable is that Cave seems to be synthesizing all the phases in his career into one new persona. He’s never been less than interesting, and now he’s more fascinating than ever.


  1. Arwin

    Thanks for the help in this question, I also find that the easier, the better ...

  2. Kaarlo

    And what will we stop at?

  3. Haydn

    You could not be mistaken?

  4. Kazrajind

    Great news, keep it up, good luck in the future.

  5. Monos

    With him in the end you take care?

  6. Jocheved

    I think you are wrong. I'm sure. Let's discuss. Email me at PM.

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