Semi-casual rehearsal dinner suggestions?
please post your top restaurant pics for a place that might work for a wedding rehearsal dinner, a place that could accommodate a group of about 12-15 people comfortably. Not looking for high-end, but something tasty, maybe seafood or italian, open to ideas. Near downtown or Hillcrest would be great.
California Cuisine does a fantastic job in a relaxed setting for special occasions and larger groups. Plus, their food is invariably terrific. San Diego restaurants tend to cater to the out-of-towner, and I always think of California Cuisine as the antithesis; in fact, most locals still don't even know about it.
I am guessing San Diego, based on the Hillcrest or downtown location -
I don't have too many Italian or seafood specific recommendations for you because the Italian restaurants tend to be pretty mediocre, and the seafood restaurants are a little touristy, but in Hillcrest I would suggest Ortega's (sort of high end Mexican - very nice people and good food - not terribly expensive), Arrivederci (pretty good Italian - nice casual atmosphere) or California Cuisine. They have a nice courtyard patio that would be perfect for a rehearsal dinner.
In midtown - between Hillcrest and Downtown - you could try Modus (modern French bistro), Laurel (eclectic modern) or the Prado (the food is just ok, but nice atmosphere in the park, and lovely if you sit outside.)
Downtown I'd recommend Cafe Cerise (French/California), Oceanaire (might be expensive - but good seafood), Red Pearl Kitchen (Asian fusion), Bandar (Persian), Gaslamp Strip Club (they have a good private dining room and it's fun to grill your own steak), or Chive, though their tapas format might cause problems for a large group. Chive and Laurel are owned by the same people and have a good catering division called Urban Kitchen, so they can probably hook you up at either location.
Good luck and have fun!!