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Jun 13, 2008 04:11 PM

Weekend in Del Mar

Will be spending a weekend in the Del Mar area and would like at least one upscale nice dinner and maybe a couple for lunch and or breakfasts.

Thomas Hamlett

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  1. We went to Pamplemousse last time we were there. The food and atmosphere was great.

    1. My favorite three upscale restaurants in Del Mar are all on Via De La Valle, which crosses the 5 freeway and is right near the racetrack and fairgrounds. Many people claim that Market is the finest restaurant in the San Diego area the last couple of years. We had a fantastic dinner there early this year, ordering from their four-course price fixe menu. An amazingly succulent short rib dish, an extremely flavorful mushroom soup in a mushroom broth, and a wonderful lemon tartlet with blackberry. On Via de La Valle near El Camino Real, about a mile or two inland (east) from the freeway. Over the years, we've had several great meals at Pamplemousse. They have a great hand with fish, and I still remember a superb juicy pork chop there. Just to the ocean side (west) of the 5 on the north side. Finally, very nearby is Red Tracton's. Old-fashioned steakhouse, with a busy bar area in front and lots of booths in the dining area, with servers who have been there for decades. Good steaks and chops, big portions, daily specials, and their specialty is wonderful prime rib. All three of these are very popular, and with racing season at Del Mar starting soon I would try to make my reservations as soon as you can.

      3 Replies
        1. re: daimyo

          "Market Short Ribs...grrrr"

          I don't know what this means.

          1. re: The Old Man

            "Market Short Ribs...." melt in your mouth, falling of the bone "grr," IMO.

      1. If it is for this weekend, you may well have problems due to the U.S. Open being played in Torrey Pines.

        Market, Addison or Blanca for upscale dinners. Addison would be the most formal (in San Diego terms) of the three.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ibstatguy

          Second the recommendation of Blanca for fine dining. AR Valentien at the Torrey Pines Lodge is supposed to have a great breakfast and is pretty good for dinner too. Stratford Court Cafe is a good place for breakfast or a light lunch - nothing that will blow you away, but a nice setting and decent food. Pacifica Breeze Cafe, Pannikin Bookworks and Cafe Zinc are also nice mellow places for a bite to eat. The wine bar at the top of the Del Mar Plaza is a good place to get a drink and enjoy the view!

          1. re: Alice Q

            Can't believe it, but we are trying Blanca for the first time on Sunday night with out of town guests...can't wait based on all that I have read from various posters!

            1. re: foodiechick

              Can't wait to hear what you (and the DH) think!

        2. Can't beat Jake's Del Mar for a scenic breakfast or lunch. Pretty popular spot right on the ocean. Really varied menu featuring some really awesome seafood dishes.

          6 Replies
          1. re: easily amused

            OP asked for an "upscale nice dinner." I don't think Jake's meets either of those criteria.

            1. re: The Old Man

              agreed. i'd definitely do pacifica del mar instead for seafood with a view.

              also, americana is a great choice for tasty breakfast/brunch...although the service pretty much sucks.

              surprised no one mentioned addison at the grand del mar...?

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  2nd Americana and Pacifica Breeze Cafe for breakfast/brunch.

                  If you're here on a Sunday and willing to travel 10 minutes east, Cavaillon has the best $10 Sunday breakfast and brunch in the area. Melt in your mouth Vanilla Bean french toast w/ raspberry coulis, freshly made beignets with homemade strawberry jam and perfectly executed Eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs w/ salmon and chives.

                  Fine dining--the usual suspects: Market, Addison, Blanca. Arterra at the Marriott is decent. Blanca is in Solana Beach but not that far away from Del Mar (a few minutes north). Cavaillon is also open for dinner.

                  AR Valentien is excellent but a few minutes south in La Jolla at the Torrey Pines Golf Course.

                  If you want to pull off a cheese, bread and wine lunch, Venissimo Cheese in Del Mar has a great selection of cheeses.

                2. re: The Old Man

                  When one re reads the OP's request, in addition to the "One nice Upscale dinner", there is a request for breakfast / lunch spots. Just to clarify.

                  Have a great time TH. This part of the coast offers up so many dining opportunites.!

              1. I would do Market, Pamplemousse or Addison..for the upscale dinner..
                I hear that Blanca is wonderful.
                Breakfast/Lunch would be either Jake's Del Mar, Brigantine, Fidel's, Tony Jacal's, Beach Grass Cafe, Pizza Port, Cavaillon and my fav on Sundays is to head up to Swami's and go to the Self Realization center and walk the gardens on the oceanfront bluff and have lunch in Encinitas..La Especial Norte is really good for Mex..not fancy but really good!
                Sometimes the best thing to do is grab a burrito or a sandwich (Board and Brew) and enjoy the beach and the waves..some of my best body surfing is at 24th street.
                Depends when you are spending your weekend in Del Mar..
                Del Mar Racing season starts in mid July and it's a zoo.
                The track is gorgeous if you like betting on the ponies.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Condiment Queen


                  Looks like we have many fine choices to pick from & no we were not there this weekend for the golf tourny....


                  1. re: tesh11

                    Sbicca is great too--although it's not upscale. The view from the top patio is amazing, and we've been impressed with their fish and wine selection. Any thoughts on Sbicca?

                    1. re: ginael

                      Unfortunately, we've had too many overpriced, mediocre experiences at Sbicca's. We really wanted to like it and kept giving it many chances but left feeling unfufilled, "wanting more" and feeling like we were overcharged for what they were putting out. For what we were paying, we'd rather shell out a few extra dollars and head to Market for a consistently better meal. Or pay way less and head down to Convoy for Asian.

                      1. re: daantaat

                        Sorry to hear that. I've had only positive experiences at Sbicca. I'll have to try Market. I wonder if the quality at Sbicca went down because the owner/chef opened a 2nd location in Encinitas.

                        1. re: ginael

                          I think we went before they opened the Encinitas location and a few times when there were both. None of the times were particularly good, unfortunately.

                        2. re: daantaat

                          Ditto on Sbicca as daantaat - finally gave up and won't go back.