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Feb 1, 2009 09:13 PM

Impress the 'rents

My parents come into town every 2 year from New England and it's always a challenge to impress them w/ SD culinary delights. I'm thinking Urban Solace and maybe Sea Rocket or the Linkery - need really impressive SD restaurants- sorry to be trite but I'm competing against Boston so I want something unique - like the time I took them to El Agave in Old Town that's a special and unique dinner - any thoughts?

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  1. My go-to places for this kind of thing are more our ethnic spots. I generally think that's the stuff that's most unique to our area.

    If they like sushi, I'd take them to Kaito in Encinitas. If they are less into fish, then I'd check out Izakaya Sakura on Convoy St., which has really good, authentic Japanese food (clientele there is almost exclusively Japanese).

    1. I like The Wine Vault, different and very good. I'm not a fan of Linkery, IMO, way over priced for what they serve. Upstairs at the Fish House, harbor location is nice, In north county, I like Fish House Vera Cruz in Carlsbad Village, you could introduce them to fish tacos, very SD.

      1. Take them to Qero in Encinitas Something very different to people from Boston. What places do they usually eat at in Boston?

        1. Is there any kind of food and price range you would like to keep it in?

          3 Replies
          1. re: DougOLis

            No budget restrictions, since it's a once every 2 years event, we go all out. Location - we live in OB so not looking for North County, but anywhere in main SD. Any type of food is welcome, but we are looking for overall experience, including nice wine menu and good atmosphere.

            1. re: runningforfood

              Addison and Market would be my top 2 choices, based on your preferences. Also consider Cavaillon in Santaluz. Or do dinner at Addison or Market and then Sunday brunch at Cavaillon!

              1. re: daantaat

                forgot to add AR Valentien at the Torrey Pines Lodge. That would be closer to OB...

          2. Kitchen 1540 at L'Auberge Hotel in Del Mar would be a nice or Addison at the Grand Del Mar Resort.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              Visited Kitchen 1540 a couple of weeks ago -- visually striking, especially the outside area with some lights dancing on a long wall. Excellent, hardworking service, and we enjoyed our cabana. Unfortunately, only a grilled salmon entree was really good -- mine and another's longcooked pork was tender but bland and desperately needed some acid, a chicken dish boring, and a much-touted seafood stew had some strange-tasting components. Quite the scene by the time we left, though.

              I know you said San Diego proper rather than north county, but far and away the best meal we've enjoyed in the past few years was at Market, off of Via de la Valle just inland from the Del Mar fairgrounds and racetrack.

              1. re: nosh

                Hey nosh..
                Haven't been yet to 1540 but if all they can do is cook a grilled salmon well..thats not good..planning on going for lunch..sometime in the next week or so. I'll report back.
                Agree with Market.

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Hey Beach Chick -- I've enjoyed reading and benefited from your posts. Kitchen 1540 would be a very different scene in the daytime, and I'm not sure for the better. You wil miss those dancing lights (they were spectacular -- I could see a bigdeal magician performing in front of their dramatic effect) and you won't have the dressed up partiers rolling up to the valet and filling the bar area lounge. I really didn't want to criticize the place -- they made great efforts to get our party of six in during Fri eve of Restaurant Week after Market screwed up my reservation, and there was a lot about the place I liked. But I still have vivid memories of every dish I ate on the four-course menu at Market over a year ago (an amazingly flavorful and piquant mushroom broth, a succulent wonderful shortribs, a fantastic tart sweet delicate tartlet) and I am looking forward to using the gift certificate they compensated me with to help experience their amazing kitchen again.

                  1. re: nosh

                    Thanks nosh!

                    I don't want to go near 1540 unless Phil and the boys are throwing down and taking me during the crazy times at Torrey Pines this week..
                    ; )

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      I didn't realize that the PGA tournament was this weekend. The Lodge will be absolutely impossible -- if it was my choice, I'd scope out the happy hour and overall scene at Red Tracton's!

                      1. re: nosh

                        Love Red Tracton's..nothing like a bowl of their lobster bisque and a salad with Green Goddess dressing!
                        Friday is Lobster Club sandwich...pure frigging heaven!

                        Nosh.. you have exceptional taste!!

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          Red Tracton's just makes me smile and even laugh. The bar scene in the front, especially at happy hour during racing season. The high rollers and the cougars. The oldtime booths and servers in the dining areas. I will never forget the first time they served my dad his fries -- in a long wicker basket that was meant for baguettes, filled to the brim with hot crispy fries enough for six normal orders or more -- I don't think they do that anymore. I know now to ask for the horseradish way on the side, 'cuz the raw stuff drips from the serving dish onto the main plate, and I don't like it on my prime rib. I can't eat that way much anymore, but gee I like that place. I'd even drop in for a halfhour and a cocktail before settling into a much more refined experience next door at Pamplemousse, one of my dad's favorites.

                          Yep, Beach Chick, my taste is exquisite. After all, I read and admire you.

                          1. re: nosh

                            During racing season, Red Tracton's is a riot...
                            I usually head to either Fidel's, Bully's, Jakes or the Brig..depends how much I won.
                            Love that you go with your Dad to Red's and that place too!

                            Thanks so much for your kind words!