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Great San Diego Restaurant for Engagement Dinner Celebration?

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Hi all! I am a New York chowhound but my best friend lives in San Diego. She just got engaged and I'd love to send her an engagement present of a gift certificate to a wonderful San Diego restaurant. Ideally, I'd like to spend no more than $100. My bf and her fiance eat and enjoy all types of cuisine. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!

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  1. Where do they live? If they are near or willing to drive to Banker's Hill, we had an OUTSTANDING dinner at Modus last week. It was so good that I wanted to go back the next night! $100 will cover most of dinner, depending on what they get.

    Other options include (in no particular order):
    Parallel 33
    George's on the Cove
    Roppongi's
    Nine-Ten
    Blackhorse Grill, now known as Market Grill (?)
    Jack's La Jolla

    1. These are all great choices - especially Parallel 33 and Jack's. I might also add Blanca and Tapenade to the list (and I think it's just "Market" - but I'm not absolutely sure).

      Daantaat - Does this mean you chose Modus over Oceanaire? Glad to hear you liked it!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Alice Q

        Alice Q--yes, I chose Modus over Oceanaire for the 15 person dinner and have NO regrets! I've been wanting to post my experience but haven't had the time to do so. My only neg w/ Modus that night was that the service was slow in the beginning. We had to flag a waiter to take our orders--ended up that the owner (ex-general manager of Region) waited on us all night. Even with the slow-ish service, I would go back in a heartbeat. Their french fries were truly divine, beyond perfect! Beat out Tapenade and Cavaillon's pomme frites any day!

        I'd be a bit hesitant w/ Blanca, only based on my one dinner where my foie gras and filet mignon came out cold.

        1. re: daantaat

          Glad to hear you had a good experience. I love Modus, and can't wait to go back.

          1. re: Josh

            my dinner at Modus reminded me of the first dinner I had at Arterra--salivated the entire next day, thinking about my food and wanting to go back again!

      2. Thanks so much for getting back to me... I'm not sure where they live, sorry, but I am sure that they'd be willing to drive. Also, Alice Q's post reminded me that they went to Oceanaire the night they got engaged. Thanks!

        1. I would try Vagabond or Kensington Grill, both places would allow them tohave a nice dinner for 100.

          I found MODUS pretentious and over blown and over priced.

          1 Reply
          1. re: normalheightsfoodie

            Funny, I've heard the same charge leveled at Vagabond.

            Different strokes for different folks, I guess.