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Where are the great private rooms in SD?

I'm looking for a private dining room to host our company holiday party. Looking between downtown and Del Mar. The price should be about mid to high, I am looking for something different than the usual Georges, Marine Room, Tapenade, Pamplemousse. Good food, service and a nice room are important.


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  1. I'd suggest looking at Cafe Cerise.


    I went to a private function there and it was great.

    1. I have used the following for a private room:

      Rainwaters has 3 to choose from.

      Athens MArket
      Mister A's

      Good Luck!

      1. 9-10 in La Jolla will do private parties--they will put you in one of the rooms at The Colonial Hotel.

        Other places w/ private rooms:
        Roy's (acoustics are LOUD)
        Modus (the covered outdoor patio is their "private room." Or rent the whole place out for the evening. AMAZING food! Service was a bit slow for our party of 14, but I would go back for the food.)
        Oceanaire--I believe they have a private room
        Jack's has a patio area where they do private functions

        1. Sbicca in Del Mar has a beautiful private room they call the "wine room". It has an ocean view.

          3 Replies
            1. re: honkman

              It was very good the couple of times I dined there. But that was awhile ago.

              1. re: sdnativa

                I have to agree w/ Honkman that Sbicca's is lousy. Every time I go, I am sorely disappointed and left feeling that it is overrated, survives b/c it's in Del Mar and there are better places to spend my time, money and calories.

          1. That is a shame. I hereby withdraw my nomination.

            1. What is the "outdoor patio" like at Modus? Is it a nice patio with a good ambiance or is it just the outdoor area for smokers? Thanks for all your replies!

              2 Replies
              1. re: swimgal

                It's very nice. Has a pretty fountain and foliage. It's not for smokers, but is an alternate dining area.

                1. re: swimgal

                  Um, are you considering a place for a holiday party *this* year? I wish you luck, but unless your company is very small, I suspect that the best places are all pretty solidly booked by now. I don't mean this unkindly, but I think you need to stop considering and start making calls. Best wishes.
                  . . . jim strain in san diego.

                2. Yes this year. Luckily we are having our dinner on a Tuesday night so everywhere that I have called is available...even Rainwaters. It may end up being too expensive so I was looking for other "not as well known" options.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: swimgal

                    Quite a few years ago an organization to which I belonged held its holidy party (yeah, back then it was a Christmas party) at the Horton Grand in the Gaslamp. It was perfectly lovely, a Victorian atmosphere, delicious food, and excellent service.

                    Wonder what it's like now...

                    1. re: swimgal

                      I was just at Modus last night, the outdoor patio is nicer than I remembered. You should go and scope it out this evening. I suggest the short ribs. :)

                      1. re: Josh

                        I agree about the short ribs at Modus, but the evening I was there the host/hostess staff was indifferent and rude. We eventually sat at the bar, and the bartender/waitress was very accomodating and friendly, but the host/hostess was clearly irritated that we wanted to eat at their "supper club". Not sure why, she didn't even give the a chance to be offensive ; )

                        If I'm dining at that level, spending that kind of money, I'd strongly prefer to be welcomed by people who are at least willing to pretend as if they want me there.


                        1. re: Fake Name

                          I totally agree and had a similar experience.

                          1. re: Fake Name

                            That's a pity, but it speaks more (in my mind) to the importance of not judging a place by one bad experience. I wonder how many great restaurants get unfairly labeled based on the bad attitude of one or two employees?

                            I've been three times now and never once felt that we weren't welcomed there.

                            Maybe you should let them know about your experience? I've found them to be responsive to the contact form on their website.

                            1. re: Josh

                              I go to the bar at Modus about once a week and have never found them anything but welcoming. In fact, they remembered my friend and I after our first visit (evidenced by the fact that they no longer card us...and we look very young.)

                      2. Hmmm, didn't Grant's Grill in the U.S. Grant just reopen recently after a major renovation? They were doing pretty solid work before the remodel and with the money that was sunk into the renovation I doubt that they'd jeopardize by reopening with bad food.

                        1. I'd check with Addison- see posts elsewhere. Sounds like exactly what you're seeking.


                          1. The Lodge at Torrey Pines has several beautiful private rooms, and the food and service is usually excellent. The warm ambiance of the decor and the ocean views are very relaxing and inviting. You could also try the L'Auberge hotel in Del Mar. They have an indoor/outdoor banquet space that is lovely. I can't vouch for the food or service however, as I haven't dined there.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: ExercisetoEat

                              L'Auberge's food is average, standard hotel fare. Nothing to get excited about.

                              1. re: daantaat

                                I disagree. Based on one meal I had about 1.5 years ago it was at least on the same level (if not better) like Cafe Cerise and similar good restaurants (California Cuisine etc.) and definitely not standard hotel fare.

                                1. re: honkman

                                  we must have had different dinners then. the last time I was at L'Auberge for a group function, they did filet mignon and chicken. Rubber chicken and blah filet (definitely NOT Donovan's). Are you sure you're not referring to J. Taylor's, the restaraunt adjacent to L'Auberge?

                            2. I thought you were talking about J. Taylor's. I wasn't aware that L'Auberge had an additional restaurant. For me J. Taylor's was the restaurant for L'Auberge Del Mar. It is also the only one mentioned on their webpage. Were do they have a second restaurant ?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: honkman

                                I think L'Auberge only has 1 restaraunt, J. Taylor's. However, I have eaten inside the hotel itself in their private rooms/small ballroom and thought the food was standard issue, mass-produced mediocre hotel food. Definitely not Cafe Cerise quality. ExercisetoEat was referring to L'Auberge itself, not J. Taylor's, I believe.

                              2. I couldn't get anyone to return my call from Modus so I think we are going to go with Sante in La Jolla. Has anyone had a party there before? How was it?

                                1. try blanca in solana beach. beautiful room. saw it friday night. u can bring in your own i-pod, insert in a docking station in the wall and have your own music.there is also a private patio, though it's not that big.