When I find myself in Balboa Park (which is fairly often, as there's a whole lot to do over there), I do my best to stop by the Prado. It's one of the Cohn restaurants, one of 11 local restaurants, to be exact. Though its location primes the Prado for the same kind of over-priced but sub-par food of many of the joints lining Fifth Avenue downtown, being located up in the middle of a huge tourist attraction, it manages to also cater to locals. Don't get me wrong, the price isn't cheap -- entrees average $27 -- but the service is top-notch, and the food they deliver, well, delivers. Fortunately, lunch is a little easier on the wallet, and I tend to be at the park during the day. However, I should mention there are two happy hours (4-6pm and 8-10pm), with great deals on snickety snacks to be had.
I wish I had more pics, but here are a few from a recent lunch at the park.
Before you order, these flatbread crackers are brought, along with a chipotle hummus.
David always gets this -- it's the pressed salad (arugula, stawberries, candied walnuts, asiago cheese, sherry shallot vinaigrette), and he has the steak added on top. The salad alone is $9.95, I think it's a few bucks extra to add chicken, steak, or shrimp to any salad.
I went for something different this time, the Italian panini (prosciutto, salami, mortadella, mozzarella, spicy artichoke & green olive tapenade, ciabatta roll). Served with a choice of sides (I chose the broccoli and mandarin salad, in a yummy honey mustard-ish dressing, and the house-made taro chips).