Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Oct 11, 2007 08:47 PM

High end and innovative in SD?

In San Diego for two nights from NYC. Are there any high end, innovative restos that reflect the region's resources and cuisine? (Yes, they're delish, but no Mex dives this trip, thanks). Looking for quality.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. High end and innovative in SD? Well, that's an oxymoron is I ever heard one. I would have sent you to Asia Vous but they closed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Yeah, I was scratching my head over this one. Especially for someone coming from NYC.

    2. We can tell you expensive places to eat...there is a current thread on that subject. Is that what "high end" means?

      Some of the dives and holes in the wall have great food.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cathy

        Will you have a car? I really can't think of much in the downtown area. I don't know if it would qualify as 'high end', but Market in Del Mar is based on farm-to-table - the produce comes from the famed Chino farms which is right by. So while maybe not 'San Diego Regional' (which is, um, what, california burritos, fish tacos, and great beer?), it's definately local food! And really good to boot.

        I really can't think of what would qualify as "high end regional' around here.

        1. re: Jeters

          I guess we could throw out the usual suspects (Market came to mind for me as well, and I'd throw George's "California Modern" in as a backup), but when you say you are from NYC, we are going to be embarrassed to give too strong of a recommendation to anything - it will be a disappointment in comparison. :)

      2. Like RB Hound and others have pointed out, San Diego's strength isn't high end dining, at least not by NYC standards. If you like ethnic foods, then I think you'll find more enjoyment out of our plethora of Asian dining spots.

        1. Spread! If "high end" means that money is no object, because you are receiving the freshest and most unusual ingredients, prepared in a unique manner, then Spread is definitely high end. Yes, it's casual, and yes it isn't really *that* expensive. But it definitely has no peer for the novelty of its vision and, so they say, the quality of its ingredients.

          1. In addition to Market, I think there are four other places that fit 'innovative and high end'. To be sure, these are not innovative like, say, wd-50, but they do offer creativity.

            Nine-ten in the Grand Colonial hotel in La Jolla can be tremendous.


            Jack's Fine Dining Room in La Jolla is probably the most innovative and can also sparkle. The chef (Tony DiSalvo) worked at Grammercy Tavern and Jean-Georges. His food reminds me of some of the dishes in Jean-Georges' cookbooks. If you go be sure to book the 'Dining Room' - Jack's has about 7 venues the Dining Room is the high-end good one.


            Arterra in Del Mar is also relatively innovative.


            Addison in the Grand Del Mar is relatively new. I have not been there, but the menu looks great. I have heard good things and it is the next high-end place I try for sure. It is probably the most expensive.


            Again, if you are bored by the New York innovators you are out of luck, but these places can turn out wonderful food that isn't strictly steak frites or pork chops and apples.

            Good luck and let us know how it goes, we always enjoy hearing an 'outsiders' take on our town.