ISO Fun San Diego Restaurant for Dinner
I'm moving from the OC to SD this weekend for grad school. Some friends are helping me out... need dinner suggestions. Somewhere with a fun casual atmosphere, tasty food (veg option a plus but not manditory), and affordable cuz I'm treating. If possible, something I can't get in LA or OC. TIA!
Depends on where in SD you're relocating to...
Personally, when I think of fun and casual and tasty, I think of Pizza Port in Solana Beach or Carlsbad (also have one in San Clemente). SB and Carlsbad locations are very casual and have great pizzas and microbrews. If you're farther south though, neither one will be super convenient to you.
Another fun and casual spot that's more central is Baja Betty's in Hillcrest. Great Mexican food and fabulous drinks! It is a primarily gay clientele, if that is of any concern. http://www.bajabettyssd.com/
You might want to check out Rock Bottom. It's a chain, but each location brews their own beer, and the brewer at the La Jolla location has won some breweing medals (his beer is quite good). The food is decent - kind of like a slightly more upscale TGI Fridays. However it is lively, and it's just across La Jolla Village Dr. from UCSD.
Not sure how cheap you're looking for, but La Jolla is short on cheap. Rock Bottom is probably between $15-20/person depending on how much you drink.
A fun place that's unusual is Corvette Diner in Hilcrest. There's a real corvette inside the restaurant. The food is reasonably priced. The servers dress up like 50s (beehives, etc.) and sometimes dance and do crazy things. There's a DJ in the evenings. It's definitely noisy and busy. Food is pretty good...not gourmet but hearty. Things like pot roast, cheeseburgers, salads, fish and chips...