Without a doubt...
Pinnacle Peak steakhouse in El Cajon Ca.
The steaks are excellent, the staff is friendly, and they cook over an open mesquite wood pit.
As far as I know, they are the only place allowed to use mesquite to cook with.
They have a basic menu, but you wont walk away from there hungry.
I used to go there at least once a week when I still lived in San Diego, and would go today if I was still out there.
Forgive the double post, but I just found this...
That's the place. I knew it was north of the river. If you are ever in Topeka I suggest a trip to the North Star.
I haven't eaten a steak in years but many moons ago I waitressed at an Italian restaurant which was famous for its delicious steaks. They brushed them with a secret "buttery" sauce that they also used on their garlic toast which was toasted in their pizza oven. I'm sure it was margarine they used, but it was the secret blend of herbs that really made it special. It was absolutely delicious.
Of course the name of the restaurant was Bella Vita and it was a Greek who owned it.
There's a Pinnacle Peak steakhouse about 10 minutes from me. (So named because it's at the base of Pinnacle Peak. :wink: )
Not affiliated with the California ones, I'm sure. Although it appears ties are not permitted at either establishment. Both cook with mesquite.