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3 Nights/Days of Dining in San Diego

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OK- I'm from San Diego (grew up near Del Mar and lived there till 99) and know my way around. I'll be staying with my girlfriend in Del Mar for these 4 days at the beginning of April, so now I'm pondering where we are going to eat. OK, I'm a planner, I admit it.

Dinner requirements: No Mexican, price isn't an issue, dress isn't an issue, must have full bar (sorry WineSellar, you're out of luck this time)

My guess is that one night we will go to Nine-Ten. Jack's is on my never go back to again list because of three times there with terrible service. I'm also terribly bored of Piati. I'll probably also skip sushi because mom won't do sushi. The last one on the never again list is Donovan's. Their food, and I'll never understand the praise, is terrible as is their service.

Breakfast: I know one day we will go to Mission Coffee Cup on Wall St. No real constraints on breakfast, though if you've got a breakfast with a mean bloody mary I'm always game.

Lunch: Besides Tyme in the Ranch I'm not sure about where to head.

Hit me up with some help!

Very few food restrictions.

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  1. I think the best breakfast in town is Park House Diner in University Heights. Unfortunately their bloody marys are not good. Hash House A-Go-Go (5th Ave.), which I also like, has the best Bloody Mary. A lot of people on this forum don't like Hash House.

    I'll leave the dinner to other people. I get the sense that you're looking for a nice place, and the only nice place I've tried that I'd recommend is Wine Sellar. Btw, I'm with you on Donovan's. My steak tasted like...well...just cow.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mangiatore

      I adore WineSellar myself, but dad wants hard liquor. Can't blame him entirely.

      1. re: jpschust

        George's at the Cove in La Jolla has great food and a full bar. They have a really nice selection of single-malt Scotches, plus all the other usual suspects.

        1. re: Josh

          I can't remember the last time I thought George's was good...maybe when I had lion there years ago?

          1. re: jpschust

            The Lion place was "Top O' the Cove," now closed. George's is a few doors north.
            . . . jim strain

            1. re: Jim Strain

              ah ok- that was years ago :)

      2. re: mangiatore

        I agree, Parkhouse Eatery (on Park Blvd between El Cajon Blvd & Adams Ave.) is great for breakfast. Lunch not so much, so I would stick to the breakfast. Mmm, their pancakes are divine and they have this breakfast pasta that some friends of mine from San Marocs make the trek down for.

      3. some newer places that you might like...
        Market on Via de la Valle (where Prime 10 Steakhouse and Blackhorse Grill used to be) at the intersection of El Camino Real. I know they have a full bar. Chef/owner is Carl Schroeder, formerly of Arterra.

        Cavaillon in Santaluz, north of the 56 freeway. I think the exit is Camino del Sur but don't quote me on it. Not sure if they have a full bar--I remember seeing a small bar area. I think they have Sunday brunch in addition to dinners.

        AR Valentien at Torrey Pines Lodge. Quiet, Craftsman style architecture.

        Mission Coffee Cup might not be open yet. Had a fire there a few weeks back.

        Tapenade in La Jolla for good French. They have a full bar.

        Definitely don't miss Nine-Ten. And if you like chocolate, their half-baked chocolate cake is to die for!

        3 Replies
        1. re: daantaat

          I'll take a shot at Market- that could be good. With regards to Valentien- is that the same place as the small room at the lodge? If so I hadn't even thought of that- I've been there a bunch.

          Where is Tapenade in La Jolla? Is that by Piati or is that more on the Gerard/Prospect strip?

          1. re: jpschust

            http://www.google.com/maps?&q=tap...

            It's between Pearl and Prospect on Fay

            1. re: jpschust

              re: AR Valentein, I'm not sure if it's the same place as the "small room at the lodge" b/c I've only been to TP Lodge after AR opened.

          2. What about Pamplemousse? Do you and your dad enjoy Red Tracton's? Going a bit north rather than south (convenient during some traffic times) have you tried Savory on El Camino Real in Encinitas near the Carlsbad border -- french bistro fare in a NYC designed space? Is there anything you like in the Aviara Four Seasons complex or La Costa?

            2 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              You know we used to go to pamplemousse a lot when it first opened, but since then it has seemed to slowly go downhill. from what I've read here it seems that's still the case. I haven't tried Savory yet- I'm curious.

              1. re: nosh

                Pamplemousse's food is below Market's, Cavaillon, Jack's and AR Valentien. I was there last week and the duck was overcooked, salad underdressed and underseasoned and meal was overall uninspired. I tried my husband's salmon and it was decent but nothing that really "wowed" me.

                Americana on Camino del Mar in Del Mar does good breakfasts. They have a small bar, so a bloody mary might be in order.

              2. For a super breakfast after an early morning walk on the beach there's Pipes in Cardiff.
                The Brigitaine in Del Mar always satisfies whether you eat in the dining room or the bar
                The Wine Shop by Dove Road in La Costa has interesting wine tastings with snacks on
                Friday nights. They stock some unique wines from all over the world.

                1 Reply
                1. re: charlotteowens

                  Oh I always forget about Pipes! Great call!