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Sep 18, 2006 01:40 AM

Large Group San Diego-URGENT PLEASE

Inviting 25- 30 clients to dinner during trade show late October . Concierge recommended Asti but see nothing good on Board and bad reviews on other sites. Want good food, ambience ( duh) and willing to be upscale re bucks We are from Boston so analog in Boston might be Pigalle, Troquet, Clio In NYC analog might be L'Impero or Peasant . Not fixed on any cuisine . Also would gladly consider a fun place that is less formal but could accomodate this number ( NYC think OTTO, Boston think Rendezvous) Transportation not readily available so walk or short cab ride from Convention Center a plus No private room necessary but certainly a very much needed and appreciated .

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  1. consider Laurel in the Banker's Hill area--a lot of the companies in town host private dinners there, so I suspect they have private rooms. short cab ride north.

    Cafe Cerise in the Gaslamp Quarter will host larger parties, but they may shut down the place just for you.

    if you want steak, there is a Morton's and Fleming's (I think) in the downtown area. Both have private rooms.

    Best food and ambience is further north in La Jolla--AR Valentien, George's on the Cove, Tapenade, Nine-Ten, Donovan's Steak and Chop House. El Bizcocho in Rancho Bernardo is excellent but a very long cab ride (30 min w/o traffic).

    1. Chive downtown would be a good choice - same owner as Laurel but walking distance to the convention center. They have prix fixe catering menus on their website. They had three large parties in there the last time I was there (including ours) and seemed to be doing fine. They require a buy out only for parties of 50 or more, and have two sides to the restaurant so they might be able to put you on the smaller side behind the bar.

      Red Pearl Kitchen is also good and might be fun, depending on your age group - it's sort of upscale Asian/Chinese.

      Laurel is good but about a $10.00 cab ride from downtown. If you are considering La Jolla and further north (about 20 minutes away) I would add Jack's La Jolla, Arterra and Roppongi to the list above.

      1. may want to be careful w/ Arterra. Since Carl Schroeder left for Blackhorse Grill, I've heard Arterra has slipped.

        1 Reply
        1. re: daantaat

          Dantaat, have you actually heard Arterra has slipped from a real source? I've seen a lot of speculation that it might slip, but have yet to see a report here that actually said it *had* slipped. Of course, not every report ends up here, but I was curious if this was something you had heard word of mouth.

        2. With that many people, you're probably going to need a place fairly close to the Convention Center (logistics of transporting 30 people to La Jolla and Del Mar is probably the last thing on your mind). Especially when you factor in rush hour traffic, if it's on a weekday.

          I'd say stick to Downtown San Diego, and try to find a place that can handle large parties. I've read good things about Oceanaire, and it's a pretty sizeable space. Cafe Cerise is good, but not sure how well they'd do with 30 people on short notice.

          The other advantage of a place like Oceanaire is that the menu isn't terribly adventurous, so if you have some people with more pedestrian tastes they should be able to find something they like.

          1. For that many people that close to the Convention Center why not investigate the restaurants at the Marriott or the Manchester Hyatt. Both are very nice (read very expensive) hotels with restaurants serving above average, better than the usual, hotel food.

            The Fish Market/Top of the Market is close by and could probably accommodate that many people with a little notice. I belive Ruth Chris's is within walking distance of the Convention Center and by late October the reincarnation of Anthony's Star of the Sea Room as yet another downtown steak house should be complete.

            At least no one suggested Dick's Last Resort..........