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Mar 28, 2007 10:41 AM

Help! NoCo gal seeks chow in the Gaslamp

Hi folks,
I need some help here, maybe you down-towners will know..

My boyfriend's 83 year old dad is coming in for one night, he is staying at the Hilton in the gaslamp.

I am looking for somewhere to take him to dinner, that is A) VERY Close to the hilton (would rather not drive if possible, and the guy is old so not too far!), B) good eats and
C) not too expensive. Preferably somewhere not too loud either.

I've only been to the gaslamp a few times since moving here and each time it was a hit or miss -- it would be good to get a hit this time =)


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  1. I don't know of anything inexpensive in that area that isn't loud (Gaslamp Strip Club and Red Peark Kitchen come to mind) I'd probably suggest Oceanaire Seafood Room.

    1. 83 isn't really that old and it isn't really the end of the line regarding food. My mother is 87 (and a half, but who's counting) and my aunt will be 90 in May. Both of them are living independently and dine out. And while they've lived in SD for 60+ years and have a weakness for The Brigantine and Anthony's (La Mesa branches only) neither one of them cares for dumbed down "senior" food. They may not be as adventursome as before, but as they often remind me, their taste buds still work.

      They liked JSix (at 6th and J St.) when we went from brunch. We had a mix of breakfast and lunch items, all of which they were fine with. They would have enjoyed the dinner menu as well. Soliel @K on the bottom floor of the Marriott across from Petco has an extensive menu that's pretty well executed. My mother and aunt have a friend who is 93 and her son takes her to the Westgate (Hotel) all the time because she likes it. It is, however, not inexpensive. The Napa Valley Grill in Horton Plaza might work unless your boyfriends father has some mobility problems. Oceanaire is nice and there is an elevator to the 2nd floor (where the dining room is) if stairs are a problem. It can be a little spendy depending upon what you choose and portions are large. Dobson's might be an option.

      I've taken my mother and aunt to C Level Lounge on Harbor Island because they LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the old Ruebens that used to occupy that location. They still love the space, and they liked the fish and chips on the menu at C Level, but they weren't "wowed". I think it's a little hit or miss. It's got a truly spectacular view of the city, is relatively easy to get someone in and out of, the menu selections are diverse, portions aren't overwhelming and it won't break the bank. Skip Tom Ham's on the other end of Harbor Island. Great view, ATROCIOUS food.

      Part "C" of your request is the most difficult because not much in the Gaslamp is "not too expensive". There's a lot of overpriced average to awful food in the Gaslamp and not much in the way of inexpensive good to excellent food.

      1. I know Lou & Mickeys has its detractors, but despite the fact that it is sort of a chain (owned by the company that owns King's Fish House and Water Grill in LA), I have had very consistent (and good) food and service. My 80 year old parents liked it as well. You can get a burger, fish and chips for around $12 or a steak for between $25 and $40. Very fresh seafood as well. Good cocktails and its in the same building as the Hilton. Free peanuts before Padre games, too.

        1. If you can manage the driving, Cafe Chloe would seem to fit the bill. It's reasonable, and not very loud. It's only a few blocks away, so you could probably cab it pretty reaonably. Probably too far to walk though.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Josh

            I really like Cafe Chloe but I think it is pretty loud every time I'm there.

            1. re: honkman

              thanks guys. I have until Friday night so will keep my eyes peeled, but oceanaire/ Lou & Mickey's both sound good.

              By old I think I meant he'd like something a bit calmer in terms of atmosphere, not about senior food =). I know he likes asian cooking if there is anything like that around.

          2. Bankers Hill 5 minute cab ride, try Nob Hill Restaurant old fashioned service reasonable quiet soups and specials (lamb Shank) very good, appeals to a mature audience. Good decent well prepared food.