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LA Hound Seeks San Diego Birthday Dinner Location

Four of us are coming down to San Diego in two weeks to celebrate a friend's birthday, and am looking for some suggestions as to where to go. She lives in Rancho Bernardo, but we are willing to drive to other areas for good chow. Looking for something "nice", but not super expensive (maybe around $50/person before tax & tip and without alcohol). Any type of cuisine other than Thai or Italian. Japanese is good, a steakhouse would work, but open to other ideas.

For those of you familiar with LA dining, I'm looking for something along the lines of Nook Bistro, Mako, AOC, Jar...something unique to San Diego.

Thanks!

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  1. If you like Japanese, do Izakaya Sakura on Convoy St.

    1. Being a big fan of Jar and having enjoyed Mako as well, I would strongly suggest Market in Del Mar. It is new, unique to and in San Diego, and is a quick hop across the I-56. www.marketdelmar.com. It might press your budget a bit but you won't be disappointed.

      1. Asia-Vous in Escondido, which is about 10 mintues (or less) North of Rancho Bernardo.

        http://www.asiavousrestaurant.com/ind...

        1. Another to consider is Cavaillon in Santa Luz (about 15 mins s/sw of RB). Here's the link to their website: http://www.cavaillonrestaurant.com/ I think it's one of the best places in SD, and it's also one of the best price-wise for the quality.

          Staying in RB, I'd say check out El Bizochco (www.ranchobernardoinn.com/bizcocho/) especially if Gavin's in the kitchen. He just represented the US in the Bocuse d'Or and though he didn't come away with the prize, he's still deservedly considered one of the best chefs in the US.

          1. Wine Sellar and Brasserie: www.winesellar.com

            Weird location, outstanding food, one of the best wine lists in the country, strange decor.