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Jan 15, 2008 12:09 PM

San Diego Restaurant Week - Recommendations, Suggestions, and Comments

Looking to make some final decisions on restaurant week--so far, thinking about Currant, 1500 Ocean, Jacks Grille, and Nine-Ten. Any recommendations/suggestions as far as the places under consideration and other places I should try? I'd prefer to stay in/near downtown.

Also, what do people think about the fact that most places charge $40/person? Even though I'm participating I personally think it's a bit of a rip-off. Restaurant in LA charge between $25-35 during restaurant week, and I think even NY restaurants charge less.


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  1. All your suggestions are good, except I'd skip Jack's Grille and go for Jack's Dining Room. I was sorely disappointed in Jack Grille, but I've heard good things about The Dining room.

    As for price... well $40.00 a person is still a deal for a price fix menu at a high end restaurant. Plus restaurant week is merely a marketing tool for the restaurant industry to generate sales during a traditionally slow time after the holidays. It's not a charity event. Thus the restaurants will charge whatever the market will bear. If you think the price is too high, then select restaurants that only charge $30.00.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Skip Currant--I wasn't overly impressed by my lunch there. I spent just under $40 for lunch and was underwhelmed.

        I 2nd the rec for Jack's Formal Dining Room over the Grill. The Dining Room has much more interesting food.

        Nine-Ten is good--we went last year and again for lunch recently. Both meals were very good.

        And $40/person is not a rip off if you choose your restaurants carefully. Some of the good, high-end places can easily run close to $75+/person w/o ETOH, tax and tip for a 3 course meal.

        3 Replies
        1. re: daantaat

          Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

          OK, I retract the statement that it's a "rip-off." I agree that if I were to go on a regular day, I'd spend upwards of $70-80/person, if not more, not including drinks, tax, tip, for the same meal. It's not the actual food/price ratio that bothers me.

          I was surprised to learn that other city's restaurants charge less than SD's during restaurant week, and I feel it's a bit unfair/misleading to advertise the event as $30/person for a 3 course meal, when it seems like at least 1/2 of the restaurants are charing $40/person, and some even charge a surcharge for substitutions.

          $40/person + wine + tax + tip + parking = more than I bargained for sometimes.

          1. re: JKP

            But cities like LA and SF don't put almost every restaurant up during restaurant week. None of the top restaurants in SF even participate in their program. SD is unique in that all the best restaurants we have to offer join in restaurant week.

          2. re: daantaat

            I don't think RW is a rip-off, but I gotta say it is hard to get to $75/person for three courses in San Diego. Thankfully the $40 entree is still rare, but even with it, you need a $22 appetizer and a $13 dessert - also rare 'finds' once you eliminate foie gras from the options - to get to $75. Sure, Addison can get you there, but they aren't in RW. For all the participating high-end places the luxury-type entrees (i.e. the $35 and up aged beef, truffle-laden, foie concoctions) don't appear on the RW menu.

            For the most part, my impression of RW week is you generally get a soup or salad starter or a smaller version of a pricier type starter - in other words items that would be $8-12 on the regular menu. The entrees are also usually the mid-low range, sometimes even being items from the appetizer or second course menu, and sometimes less elaborate than on the regular menu - items that would typically run $16-30. Desserts are often an afterthought or less elaborate than the regular menu - items that would run $8-10. Of course their are exceptions, but I just don't see many this year. For me and what I typically order, I save about $6-10/person. Not bad at all, but I would rather choose from the entire menu (including the option to share dessert - which cuts into the RW savings) in a less crowded room with (typically) better service.

            I haven't looked at every menu, but I am leaning towards skipping RW this week. But, again, I have enjoyed it in the past.

          3. 1500 Ocean was phenomenal last year. I also just got a rave report on them from some people I sent there who were in town for the Fancy Food Show. The next night they went to Market - I'm hoping they'll tell me how they liked that.

            Of the remaining choices I agree on the recommendation for Jack's Fine Dining and 910. Skip the Grill and the Ocean Room, at least for Restaurant Week. Currant is good, but I think you'll get a little more bang for your buck at one of the other places you mentioned.

            $40. is not a ripoff, but I see what you are saying, many cities restaurant weeks are less expensive. I think they upped the cost to encourage the high end ones to participate - it seems like many others followed.

            I was just at the Guild tonight, and they are offering a $30. dinner that sounded good - what they made for our tour tonight was excellent.

            If you don't already have a reservation, you may have trouble getting one - you can try Opentable, they have a system where you can search all the restaurants participating. Good luck!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Alice Q

              I also wholeheartedly reccomend and agree about 1500 Ocean. We went there last year for RW and it was fabulous!!! $40/person for that place is a steal and if you can still get a reservation, you should go. The service is impeccable and the food (or at least last year's food) was outstanding. They also did a very reasonable wine pairing for the three courses for something like $15. I hope they do it again this year. We have reservations for two weeks from tonight.