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San Diego.....

My wife and I will be celebrating her 57th b/d in SD in October. We want to stay at a great hotel with good food. I kind of like to split a trip and stay at two hotels during our trip. We were thinking about Hotel Del Coronado and Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe for 3 nights each.

What about the food there. The RV has a sister hotel in La Jolla called La Valencia. Could it be better. We like to dine at our hotel but we are not against going outside the hotel to another restaurant off the premises. Thanks.

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  1. I love the Del Coronado! We always visit the hotel when we visit SD -- it's a given. I've only eaten at the more casual restaurant facing the ocean, on the patio. (They also play live piano music, I believe, and there's a lovely bar, and a sushi-making stand). The portions are pretty big - I love the seafood sampler (for 2), with crab, oysters, etc. We went once for my mom's birthday, and they put a candle in her dessert of choice -- she had a NY cheesecake that was the best ny cheesecake we've tasted on the west coast. :)

    1. you wil have more dining options if you stay in La Jolla. Rancho Santa Fe is quite isolated from the rest of civilization. The best place to eat in RSF is Mille Fleurs and quite frankly, although the food is good, you can get more interesting and creative food in SD. The food at La Valencia is not that good but b/c it's in La Jolla, you will have lots of good dining options, some within walking distance.

      For a great hotel w/ great food, I would strongly recommend The Lodge at Torrey Pines. AR Valentien is the house restaraunt and has excellent food. Plus, you are not that far from La Jolla and a stone's throw away from the freeway where you can access the rest of the county.

      1. Have stayed at RV; our bungalow was great, the quiet was wonderful, the food was lacking. You aren't far from Mille Fleurs though which is very good and I think my opinion of it is a bit higher than Daantaat's. You are also relatively close to two other excellent restaurants, Market and Addison. I do agree with him though on Lodge/AR Valentin as an option; both are very good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ibstatguy

          I would second the votes for Mille Fleurs and AR Valentin. If you love Arts and Crafts style furnishings, the Lodge at Torrey Pines is stunning.

          1. re: Ms. Verde

            a Piret's cookbook, now there's a San Diegan! Did you ever go to Cane's? It was one of our favorite places.

        2. My wife took me to lunch at Rancho Valencia several months ago. Beautiful surroundings! Great service Hefty prices. Fair to slightly better than average food, but really nothing special.

          If you do the Hotel del, take the ferry across the bay and bop around downtown SD. Great places are located in Little Italy, which is just a few blocks from the ferry dock (although, with the ferry schedule, you might best be looking at lunch.)

          1. The L'Auberge in Del Mar is a delightful hotel a block from the ocean. There are also several good restaurants within walking distance as well as their own excellent restaurant. If you have a car you're a short drive to some great restaurants including Market, Arterra and Winesellar Brasserie.

            1. I love that you are splitting your time at the Del and Rancho Valencia..love both of these properties.
              I love to eat at Chez Loma in Coronado..
              Love the piano bar at the Del.
              In the Ranch, I love Mille Fleurs and I have heard great things about Cavallion too.
              L'Auberge is lovely and I love Pamplemousse in Del Mar.
              Jake's Del Mar is always fun for drinks and lunch.
              In La Jolla, I enjoy going to La V and eating at the Whaling Bar or the terrace facing the ocean..
              George's is really good too..

              13 Replies
              1. re: Beach Chick

                Just went to Market.. our new favorite place, was soooo tasty.. service great.. la Jolla yes.... Rv too far out there. but Mille Fleures is great.. Market even better.. a bit more casual though. Everyones writing I agree with . The Lodge is wonderful...

                1. re: karenc

                  the winesellar and braissere is an amazing french restaurant located in Mira Mesa. Truly a diamond in the rough if anyone is willing to venture into the business buildings to try a meal.

                  (long review here)

                  1. re: clayfu

                    I agree with clayfu here. Winesellar is excellent. So is Tapenade.

                    1. re: mangiatore

                      two of the best restaurants in san diego. If you must have french in SD one of these places is the way to go. Similarly priced too

                      1. re: clayfu

                        Both are very good (and I have eaten many times at WB) but I think that a restaurant as Cavaillon is better in terms on execution and innovation than WB. Over the years WB has a little bit declined in quality.

                        OT, when do you define a restaurant as French or when is it for example "California Cuisine", "high end cuisine" etc. I think today it is really hard to point a restaurant to a certain cuisine, there are too many influences. It might be possible if a restaurant is only serving very regional dishes, e.g. Alsace (Even though you will find in Alsace very strong German influences and vice versa.) Overall I wouldn't define WB as a french restaurant but more a "high-end" restaurant.

                        1. re: honkman

                          WB is probably one of the more french restaurants in SD. And Cavaillon looks interesting, alot cheaper than most of the other "french" restaurants in San diego, except i have no idea where SantaLuz is.

                            1. re: honkman

                              well then, guess i know what's next on my list.
                              (i love WB because of the wine list and lack of corkage fee, just unsurpased)

                              1. re: clayfu

                                Exactly. AND, you've got people who really, really know their wine to help you choose from their extensive list. Compare that to Tapenade, where, in my opinion, the pairings were unimpressive (the food at Tapenade was a step better than anything I've had at Wine Sellar though).

                                1. re: mangiatore

                                  agreed, i find the food at WB quite good, but its not as good as Tapenade, but the wine really puts it on par.

                                  If i wasn't drinking, then i'd most likely say Tapenade (except it tends to get a bit crowded and pretentious)

                            2. re: clayfu

                              Think of it as being wedged in between Rancho Santa Fe and Carmel Mountain

                            3. re: honkman

                              I have to agree w/ honkman. I think Cavaillon (and Tapenade) are both better than WB. I've found WB's food to be good, but inconsistent on their seasonings. Every time we've been to Cavaillon or Tapenade, we've been happy with all our courses. at WB, I'd be happy with my SO's and unhappy with mine or vice versa. Tried to season up my entree both times and salt alone didn't quite do the trick.

                              1. re: daantaat

                                Cavaillon is definitely the next high-end place on my list. I don't think I've seen one complaint about it on Chowhound...

                  2. Would heartily second the recommendatons for Cavaillion. We ate there in January and it was simply a top-notch dining experience. It's not terribly impressive from the outside but the dining room is perfect for a quiet celebration. You'll be able to hear each other, enjoy polished service in a relatively dark (but not too) room and eat outstanding food. Cavaillon will be at the top of our list when we return to San Diego.

                    1. The Keating Hotel downtown on F St has gotten rave reviews plus it is the only hotel ever designed by the Italian firm Pininfarina famous for designing Ferrari and Moseratti cars. It's supposed to be top notch and cattering to the wealthy and famous.

                      The Sofia Hotel is another highly rated luxury boutique hotel which just opened. The building was originally built as a hotel in the 19th century but just recieved a $16 million make over so it should be worth looking into.