Chicago hounds staying on Coronado Island
We're taking it easy at the Glorietta Bay Inn (former sugar baron mansion, I guess?) for a couple days between Christmas and New Year's. We'd like to hit a couple places for a decent meal. Doesn't need to be fancy, but we don't mind spending money for something special. Favorites in Chicago are Tru and Alinea, and we loved Michael Mina when we were in SF last.
Seems like we should be able to find killer sushi and Mexican (which we have here, too). Any/all recommendations greatly appreciated.
The first thing you should probably do is lower your expectations. In general, S.D. doesn't offer much that can compete with the high-end, creative establishments that you mention from Chicago.
Having said that, there's still some good food to be found here. I'll get the list rolling with a few:
Blue Water Seafood
Chilangos Mexico City Grill
George's at the Cove
You should be able to find out more about each of these by searching on this board.
Chicago has, hands down, better Mexican food than San Diego and way, way better high end restaurants.
You're right across the street (more or less) from the Hotel del which rennovated it's tired old fine dining restaurant this year. It reopened a couple months ago as 1500 Ocean (the address of the del), and to stellar reviews. The exec. chef helped Thomas Keller open Per Se in NYC.
Azzure Point at the Loewe's resort in Coronado has it's fans as well. If the weather is nice, i.e. not foggy or not raining, sunset drinks at Peohe's or Il Fornaio would be good idea because they each have fabulous bayside views, the food is probably not what you're looking for at either location. Il Fornaio is a better than average, upscale chain of Italian restaurants. Peohe's does fish and steak and can be is frustratingly inconsistent.
re: El Chevere
Ooh...we went there once when we visited SD. Warm, dimly lit setting, delicious food, awesome desserts, and one of the most phenomenal views of the bay (imagine: lighted boats gliding on dark waters reflecting tall city building lights - all of which are probably more beautiful around this time of year!)
I second the Chilango's rec. if you are looking for authentic Mexico City style cuisine. Another personal favorite for a fun (though not nearly as stylized as Alinea or Tru) bite is Indigo Grill.