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Looking for a great meal in San Diego

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My wife and I are going to be in San Diego next week. We are traveling with our 2-year old son, and two friends of ours. Our friends will babysit our son for one night so my wife and I can go out. I thought I'd solicit suggestions on where we should go that night. We'd love to try something innovative and delicious, that we wouldn't really be able to take our son to. For example, were I going to Chicago I'd love to try Moto, and my wife just had a fabulous time at Morimoto's restaurant in Philadelphia. Any ideas for what we might do in San Diego?

I'd also be interested in hearing other suggestions for other meals, namely where we might be able to bring a (well behaved) two year old.

Thanks!

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  1. "innovative and delicious" in San Diego is potentially harder to come than other cities. Especially the "innovative" part.

    High end futuristic food is not a strength of the San Diego dining scene.

    To narrow it down for you, what part of town will you be dinning in?

    2 Replies
    1. re: stevewag23

      We are going to be staying in Little Italy, but will have a car. It would be nice to find a place relatively close, but that's not essential.

      1. re: Rambutan2000

        like mcgrath said, Pt. Loma Seafoods and Blue Water Grill are excellent close by choices.

        In little italy:

        Mona lisa for lunch (sandwiches at deli)
        Puerto la boca (great Argentinian/Italian...which is really Buenos Aires style)
        Bon Appetitio.

    2. Market Restaurant -we adore their food and have seen well behaved children there. There are several threads about Market on this board. (chef was nominated for a James Beard award)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bob Foster

        "(chef was nominated for a James Beard award)"

        Semi-finalist I believe.

        Not finalist.

        1. You come to San Diego, think seafood and surfing. Here are three VERY informal places where you'll be fine with the child. The two seafood places would be best for Lunch, the surf place, for breakfast.

          Seafood: Pt. Loma Seafoods and Blue Water Grill. Both are 10 minutes or less from downtown, both serve as seafood markets but also have seating for prepared meals. Absolutely the freshest fish in town.

          Surfing: If you want to experience the essence of beach living in S.D. try Kono's in Pacific Beach for breakfast and sit across the alley in the patio with a full-on view of the Pacific. Ambience and food= pure San Diego and dirt cheap.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mcgrath

            Thanks! Those sound right up our alley. Especially the 'dirt cheap' part. :^)

          2. For the special night I would go either to Market in Del Mar, or Blanca in Solana Beach. Both are very nice restaurants with excellent food.

            That being said, if money is not an object and you are celebrating a very special occasion, there is no question that the very best special occasion restaurant in the San Diego area is Addison's at the Del Mar Grand Hotel. It is exquisite, but very expensive.