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New to SD, have friends visiting and NEED HELP!

I recently moved to SD from Chicago and have friends visiting this weekend. I am looking for restaurant recs for Saturday night in the east village/gaslamp area (I live in the east village and would love to walk somewhere). Specifically, we're in the mood for Californian cuisine/contemporary american and Italian. 2 of the 4 diners are vegetarian--but that doesn't mean we have to go to a vegetarian restaurant. Just no steakhouses. Have already heard about JSix and Cafe Chloe. Any other recs? Please help!

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  1. If your friends eat seafood, you might want to try Oceanaire. http://www.chow.com/places/33029

    1 Reply
    1. re: araknd

      Thanks for the reply but seafood a no go. Any other thoughts in this area? I've found a lot of restaurants that sound great but are not downtown...

    2. Chopahn has good Afghan food, and is vegetarian friendly.

      1. The top floor of Horton Plaza. Napa Valley Grill. The view is wonderful.

        The walk will be kind of long, but not impossible. Maybe you can stop at Pannikin on the way back for a coffee.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cathy

          Bar Basic might work, although I have a strict rule about going for pizza with vegetarians. Also might want to go check out to Neighborhood menu here: http://www.neighborhoodsd.com/menu-di...

        2. For east village/gaslamp area, its a two act show: Cafe Chloe and Oceanaire.

          3 Replies
          1. re: stevewag23

            Thanks everyone for the responses. I live across the street from Bar Basic and haven't tried the food so maybe we'll try that. Went to Neighborhood my first weekend here and loved the place itself, great beers and cool atmosphere but I thought the food was OK. Maybe it was just what I got though. Cafe Chloe looks great but essentially no vegetarian options. So if I open it up to areas close to downtown where we could take a cab (I know that's not the norm here but I'm slowly trying to adjust) what would you suggest?

            1. re: nbafana

              My wife and I love Bar Basic, or whatever it's called. (I thought it was Urban Bar.) Wonderful pizza. My wife was in San Diego last month and ate at Rama Thai. She thought it was wonderful, so we'll be there next week. (I assume a Thai restaurant must have plenty of vegetarian choices.) Buon Appetito in Little Italy--a bit of a hike, or a short trolley ride--is also very good, with lots of vegetarian pasta choices.

              1. re: nbafana

                Cowboy star is good.

                Lunch there are some good options as well.

                Kebab shop is decent.

                I also like bread on market.

            2. Though it does not get a lot of love on this board, I really like Salvatore's Cucina Italiana on front street. They do a great job with their ossobuco con risotto. Biggest dig I think is that it is a bit spendy.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Captain Jack

                Good one.

                It rarely does get brought up and I always forget about that spot.

                Good atmosphere, a little werid location.

                Decent food.

                It is spendy.

                A little too much for the quality in my opinion.