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Jan 18, 2007 02:33 AM

Dallas Chowhound's San Diego Extended Visit -- Recommendations Appreciated

A large group of us will be in San Diego for an extended period of time (January 21 to Mid-February or so). We are staying at the Westin downtown on Broadway Circle. Late nights, etc, will lead to predictably sub-par dinners brought in for the group by the hotel catering staff.

So, in order to save us all, I am looking for recommendations close by for those who want to walk for a quick bite and driving distance for when we actually have enough time in the schedule to go out for dinner.

We are pretty adventurous and like everything from the old standards to must try new things. The boss loves Mexican food (TexMex that is) but will try almost anything. I am particularly fond of good sushi.

I know that I am not giving the board a list of tastes and must-haves, but we really are a pretty diverse group, so the only criterion is good food. Pretty expensive is okay too, because excellent meals are what make extended hotel stays and late late worknights bearable.

So -- let me know. What do you love, What do you hate, What's a don't miss and What's a stay away. I would do the same for any of you that came to Dallas, so ping if you get down that way.


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  1. You are next door to Dobsons. I think they do late night dining. They have a great bar and their specialty is Muscle Bisque. It is a whole meal in a bowl.

    Around the corner is anj inexpensive sushi place called Sushi Deli. If you have 5 minutes to escape for lunch, you can order to go and it will be ready. It would behove you to have their menu on hand.

    There is also a small french place that has nice sandwiches and salads.

    The Gaslamp, where you will be staying has a great many resteraunts, many offer late night dining opportunites.

    Near by is Rainwaters, a locally owned steak house that has several board rooms that would allow you to work and eat.

    Mister A's and Laurel are both located on the corner of 5th and Laurel and they are fine dining. Mister A's is on the top of a building and they have fantastic views of the city, clar down to Mexico.

    The Westin is a very nice hotel.

    Good Luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: normalheightsfoodie

      Sushi Deli is a nice downtown lunch option, but it does get very crowded at lunchtime, so heed the recommendation of ordering in advance! It is a very inexpensive Sushi place, and is not going to have the most dazzling fish around, but the rolls are interesting and tasty. Also note that technically the downtown location is Sushi Deli 2, in case you are looking in the phone book.

      Not sure of the hours of the following places, but the Field Irish Pub on 5th had some good pub food. The Boxty's were something I had never heard of before going there, and it was able to please a combo group of picky eaters and hounds. It is clearly a bar atmosphere (dark).

      Oceanaire seafood is a nationwide place. (too good to call a chain) and has excellent fish and a fantastic happy hr. Definitely an expensive place, but the simple preparations of fish are done beautifully. It is in the gaslamp a short walk from your hotel.

      The Fish Market/Top of the Market are two fish restaurants on different floors of the same building also walking distance from your hotel. Fish Market is more mid-scale and Top of the Market is fancier, but both have very good fish and are right next to the water with a great view. The Fish Market has a sushi bar so that I have gotten some top notch sashimi as an appetizer while eating in the restaurant.

      In terms of eating at a very late hour, a couple of the downtown clubs, Confidential and Stingaree (sp) have gotten good reviews for their food, but may have excessive covers, lines and/or very loud music. Also be aware that many of the hotels downtown have restaurants that have gotten excellent reviews in the local papers and good words on Chowhound, so do not categorically refuse to eat at a hotel restaurant. (Something I am very guilty of). Personally, I am not much of a late-night diner.

      Lastly, there are many excellent restaurants if you drive a little bit north, and there have been posts recently about the following: The Marine Room, Tapenade, Arterra, Market Grill - board searches will provide you with some great posts.

      Enjoy your stay.

    2. Modus is in Banker's Hill (about 5 min north of downtown)--late night dining is available.

      Best sushi in San Diego--Izakaya Sakura on Convoy Ave (15-20 min north of your hotel) and Sushi Ota near Pacific Beach (make reservations or prepare to wait).

      Mama Testa's in Hillcrest has late night dining. It's a very casual taco place but their food is REALLY good! Hillcrest is 5-10 min north of downtown.

      Saffron on India Street does take out. Good Thai food, especially their fried rice and noodle dishes.

      Cafe Chloe is near the ballpark. I believe they have late night dining as well. European bistro style food, wine bar, cheese plates, really good frites.

      Bandar and Sadaf both have good Persian food.

      If Cafe Cerise is still open, they are very good as well.

      Oceanaire is supposed to be very good. It's on my must try list.

      Nordstrom's Cafe actually has pretty good food. I go there when I don't want to eat at the Horton Plaza food court.

      Most of the Gaslamp Quarter tends to be touristy.