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Help with Encinitas/La Jolla/Carlsbad

I need some strong recs for the Encinitas area in mid-June. 3 of the guys are heading to the US Open at Torrey Pines and we need dinner plans. We are staying in Encinitas but will consider anything from Carlsbad to La Jolla. We will be heading up on Friday morning, golfing then dinner, same on Saturday, and then at the tournament all day Sunday with dinner afterwards.

We are into New American, Seafood, and Italian ( maybe a steakhouse but it would have to be a "can't miss" type of place ). Tasting menus would be fantastic but we don't want to have to get super dressed up. We will want to wear jeans and/or slacks with no jacket or tie. Prices aren't an issue. We are all in the restaurant industry, extremely critical, and want to have some great food.

So there it is. Lay 'em on me!

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  1. I live in Encinitas, but I am too skeered to make any recommendations.



    You did not mention Asian food, but these 2 recs are for Asian restaurants.

    Kaito for sushi in Encinitas
    and Yumeya in Encinitas for Izakaya style Japanese food

    1. Most places in SD are casual. even the fanciest place a tommy bahama and slacks are fine. I would make reservations early cuz with all the corp types in for the open a lot of places will be booked up. In no particular order:
      AR Valentine at the lodge at torrey pines
      Market on Via de Valle in Del Mar
      Addison at the grande del mar resort
      Blanca in Solana Beach
      These places are all between the course and Encinitas, they all have websites that you can check out.

      8 Replies
      1. re: littlestevie

        I forgot to ask what course are you playing? The aviara has a nice restaurant attached to the clubhouse. Also the new course up in Carlsbad, The crossing has a nice restaurant at the clubhouse esp. for a public course. The crossing is not open for dinner, while the argyle at aviara is. Of my previous suggestions, Addison is probably the most high end in terms of cost, food service and ambience.

        1. re: littlestevie

          I think we're pretty much set on our dinners. I came back here to read what was posted and it's funny that you mention The Crossing and Aviara ... those are the two courses we are playing. Heh!

          Friday night will be Market for sure.
          Saturday will either be Oceanaire, Nine-Ten, or Blanca ( probably Oceanaire since we will be hanging out down there on Sat night for good times ... although Blanca looks fantastic! )
          Sunday night is Vigilucci's.

          Thanks for all the help guys. 'Hounds rule!

          1. re: azbirdiemaker

            Please post on your dinners afterwards, okay?

            1. re: azbirdiemaker

              I was sort of dissapointed with Oceanaire, the swordfish was bland and over cooked. It just didn't live up to the hype for me. Vigiucci's is okay but I think Tuscany is a lot better and closer to Aviara. The steaks at Tommy V's are top notch also.

              1. re: Paul Weller

                Looks like Tommy V's has given up, I spotted "The Broken Yolk" sign up in it's place this last weekend.

              2. re: azbirdiemaker

                Which Viggies are you going to? They have become a mini chain up here in Encinitas. The one on State st. in Downtown Carlsbad is probably the nicest in terms of food and service. The one on Carlsbad bl. and Tamarack has the nicest view. The one in Leucadia is the quietest and is the most like eating in someones home. The one in old Encinitas is probably the most like a tratorria. P.S. prepare for a long trek at the Crossings, There is a lot o' distance between holes.

            2. re: littlestevie

              Hi littlestevie..
              Is When in Rome still good?
              Haven't been in years but if the poster is looking for Italian, I remember it being quite good..

              1. re: littlestevie

                Market looks great! I think this will definitely be one of the meals. Thanks for the help!

              2. Better restaurants will be extremely busy and probably already booked..if not, book now..
                I would do George's Modern..go and eat on the terrace..casual smart attire and good food and great ocean view..I would head straight on down from Torrey..
                Crab Catcher might me another option for Seafood in LJ..
                Italian, I love Baci's in the Mission Bay area..Trattoria Acqua in LJ is good too.
                Ocenaire in the Gaslamp in downtown SD for Seafood..if you venture that far down..
                Have fun..
                I will be there supporting Freddie Couples!


                4 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Funny you mention the gaslamp in SD. Just talked to one of the guys today and looks like we're going to head down there on either Fri or Sat night not only for dinner but for drinks and music afterwards. Oceanaire looks to fit the bill. I'd love to hear any other recs in that area. Thanks!

                  1. re: azbirdiemaker

                    In Little Italy (just north of downtown) is Anthology. It's received some good nods here on CH. Worth looking into, especially if you like jazz.


                    Here's DiningDiva's thread on it: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/415563

                    1. re: geekyfoodie

                      Eh, this looks to be sort of dinner-theatreish. Don't get me wrong, the food sounds good but I don't think our group of 3 guys will be too much into this. Looks like a great "date" place though. Thanks for the suggestion.

                  2. I will be dining tonight at the Market in Del Mar if the rep is as good as the meal, this could be the place for your group of restaurant industry people

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CarlinCarlsbad

                      Yes, Market looks to be exactly what we're looking for. That will be one of our dinners. Make sure to post a review!

                      1. re: The Old Man

                        We are definitely going to do Vigiluccis as one of us has been before and really loves the place. Thanks for the rec!

                      2. You may already be set with Market as a destination dinner and one or two more that have been mentioned. We had a really fine dinner at Market in January -- our four courses ranged from good and interesting (a fish jambalaya take) to wonderfully flavorful (a clear mushroom soup with shrimp and a bit of spice) to rich tender delicious and gorgeously presented (shortribs with a cippolini onion) and ended with a perfect dessert (a tender-crusted lemon tartlet with a berry garnish and sauce and a homemade ice cream) -- yum!

                        My other favorite recommendations in the area are: Red Tracton's, on Via de Valle just west of the 5 freeway across from the Del Mar racetrack and fairgrounds. Old time place with a bar area in front and booth and table seating featuring prime rib, big steaks, and some seafood and specials. Servers who have been there forever, big portions, far superior to the steak chains like Flemings, Donovan's, etc. Pamplemousse is right nearby, and features excellent grilled meats, fish, a fairly high-end service and atmosphere for the area -- been a favorite for several years. On El Camino Real in a minimall in Encinitas is Savory, a French-style brasserie with a NYC-style layout and lighting and very good food and service. Their prices used to be a great value for the quality (low $20s entrees) but I haven't been there for a couple of years and their online menu didn't include prices the last I checked. For a quick, tasty lunch or snack stop in at Juanita's, at 290 Pacific Coast sorta near where Leucadia meets Del Mar, for soft or crispy tacos and other simple Mexican fare -- always a quick-moving line of locals, surfers, and 'hounds.

                        1. Market
                          AR Valentien at the Lodge at Torrey Pines
                          Arterra in the Carmel Valley Marriott
                          Addison in the Grand Del Mar Resort
                          George's California Modern

                          Oceanaire if you're headed downtown. And Cafe Chloe too in downtown.

                          For bakery snacks, Elizabethan Desserts in Encinitas off Quail Gardens Drive and Encinitas Blvd.

                          1. Just finished a wounderful meal at Market Del Mar - started with a Hendricks cucumber martini; blanched beet salad with goat cheese; maine diver scallops with a cremant loirve valley sparkling wine and finished with cappacino and their apple crisp dessert. This place is a winner. I am also a restaurant guy that lived in Phx for 17 years. My first visit to Market Del Mar. I also had dinner 3 weeks ago at Anthology and I loved what they are doing there with food, the music is a major factor and influence.

                            1. I am just back from a trip to Carlsbad with the kids. As a foodie and someone who had been in the restaurant biz for decades I did lots of research on where to eat. The best meal we had by far was Yu Me Ya in Encinitas. It's a small plates japanese place that's family run. The food was phenomenal from start to finish. (Thank you hounds from the area who posted about this little jem!) They also have a wide selection of premium sake's by the glass & bottle & the staff (all family members) are very knowlegable & hospitable. I live in LA & dine at some of the best places around regularly. Still, I can't wait to get back to Encinitas! Now you didn't ask about japanese food but it is by far the best meal I had in the area. One downside is they do not take reservations & are quite popular so you might have to wait. We waited about 30 minutes on a saturday evening at 7pm, not bad really.

                              1. You have to try West Steak & Seafood in Carlsbad off of Cannon Rd.. Food is always great and good bar scene.. Make sure to go to the steakhouse not the bistro.. The Bistro sucks. When in Rome is my favorite italian restaurant in SD. I wouldn't waste my time with any other.