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Opinions Sought on Carlsbad Area Restos

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I am considering several different restaurants in and around Carlsbad for some group dinners (about 10 people per group). The attendees all appreciate excellent food, so I'm looking for the best places in the area (cost isn't important). Please let me know what you think of the following spots (a ranking would be much appreciated): Vivace (Four Seasons), Argyle Steahouse (Four Seasons), Blue Fire Grill (La Costa), Tommy V's Steakhouse, The West Steakhouse, Aqua Terra (Fallbrook). Also, please let me know if I'm missing any place. Thanks very much.

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  1. FYI: Fallbrook is WAAAY outside of the Carlsbad area. It's a good 45 min northeast of Carlsbad.

    Can't tell you much about your picks, but if you're willing to go further south to Del Mar (about 10-15 min south), Market on Via de la Valle is once of the best in SD. We've batted a 10/10 visits there so far. The menu changes seasonally.

    Slightly further north of Del Mar (5 minutes or so) in Solana Beach is Blanca. They have a private room which sits 10 very comfortably. Food is good, although I've had some misses there. Best dishes I've had there were their Maui onion soup, chicken w/ mac and cheese and butterscotch pot du creme. Some misses included their foie gras w/ filet mignon (dish came out cold) and sea bass w/ Asian inspired broth.

    Between the two, Market is the better one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: daantaat

      I heard middling things about Blanca early on, but I've been hearing lately that it's really good. (It is more expensive though)

    2. Of the ones you've listed, I'd say the Four Seasons would be preferable to the La Costa places. Fallbrook is way too far, about an hour away.

      Blanca, Cavaillon, Market and Addison are also top notch high end destinations in North County.

      1. If you haven't already, check out Aqua Terra on the website: www.palamesa.com to see if you like what you see on the menu and the prices are reasonable for the fare. It's just off the 15 and a bit further from Carlsbad than the other two I've been to lately.

        Now I have made it to Carlsbad in less than 30 mins so some people are a bit off on the distance, but recently the traffic can really slow you down coming into Fallbrook in the PM. You will want to take that into consideration. As for Chinese, I've tried the Peking Wok in Bonsall (right before you enter Fallbrook), and it's a lovely new restaurant. The food was wonderful and the artistic presentation made it a special night. Please check out their website also at: www.pekingwokbonsall.com. When I want the whole package, I like to go there, but if all I want is delicious Chinese, (which is 90% of the time) I call into or stop by the Great China Restaurant in downtown Fallbrook because they're the best and don't let the modest location fool you, the food's great and prepared and served by a wonderful family who graciously customize the menu to suit your own taste. One of Fallbrook’s best kept secrets!

        So whether you're dressed up or want to throw on some jeans, come on over to my town and enjoy Fallbrook's hospitality! And remember, most people that can afford an overpriced meal know the value of a dollar and appreciate a great meal served by the humble just as much. Though it's nice for a special treat, don't think you always have to roll out the red carpet to make a good impression, let the meal speak for itself. Have a very nice time and Happy dining!

        1. I would drop Blue Fire Grill off you list .While it is a pretty place, The food does not live up to ambiance. If you really want to go, just get some apps. The two restaurants at the four seasons are great, but perhaps not so adventuresome. I am not a huge fan of market, but lots of other posters love it, and it is more cutting edge. Tommy V's is just ok.