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San Diego near the Westin Gaslamp

I'm in San Diego for two nights and looking for good places for me, a coworker, and a client to eat for dinner.

I would be up for discovering a hole in the wall, but I don't think my two compatriots would be up for joining me.

Any suggestions on 2 good restaurants within walking distance that you could have a nice bottle of wine and impress a client with?

Thanks

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    1. Cafe Chloe, Cowboy Star, Oceanaire, Grant Grill.

      1. Grant Grill at the US Grant hotel, Donovans, Jsix at Hotel Solamar, Bertrands at Mister A's (cab), Oceanaire..
        Finish it up with drinks at the Top of the Hyatt.

        1. "Any suggestions on 2 good restaurants within walking distance that you could have a nice bottle of wine and impress a client with?"

          Easiest question ever asked on chowhound.

          Answer:

          Cafe Chloe and Oceanaire.

          5 Replies
          1. re: stevewag23

            The wine selection at Chloe is disappointing. I love the place, I really do, but their selection of beer and wine does not match the excellent food and atmosphere.

            1. re: woodandfine

              Where do you suggest "near the Westin Gaslamp" that is superior?

              1. re: woodandfine

                If you are going to diss a place, give a solution for a better place.

                1. re: stevewag23

                  We offer a place for all posters to share opinions- positive or negative. We don't require that posters offer a positive opinion to balance out a negative opinion.

            2. Currant is another option near the Westin. I haven't been there for dinner, but I've enjoyed lunch and happy hour there.
              http://www.currantrestaurant.com/

              1. While Cafe Chloe is a very nice little spot with excellent preparations, I don't think it's the best choice for what you're looking for. Two reasons: it's a pretty hefty walk from the Westin--I'd say a good half mile in each direction--and is not in the nicest part of the Gaslamp area (in fact, it's not in the Gaslamp at all). Secondly, it's small and intimate, but not particularly upscale in terms of decor or ambience. I'm thinking you may want to take these folks to a more upscale place.

                Oceanaire is certainly that. Great seafood, terrific space, very impressive.

                If the client and coworker want steak, then two places with great steakhouse ambience would be Flemings and Donovan's.

                And for truly upscale fine cuisine in a gorgeous setting, the earlier suggestion of Grant's Grill is a good, and just steps across the street from your Westin location.

                7 Replies
                1. re: mcgrath

                  "not particularly upscale in terms of decor or ambience."

                  It is also very nice, in my opinion. Unless your client is looking for over the top extravagance, Cafe Chloe should work.

                  "Oceanaire is certainly that. Great seafood, terrific space, very impressive."

                  And bankrupt.

                  Go figure.

                  1. re: stevewag23

                    If you read the Union Tribune article you would know that San Diego Oceanaire is the second highest performer in the franchise, and a solid money maker. They alow quite a bit of flexibility at each location and Brian Malarkey has done a great job downtown. Our location is not the problem with the Oceanaire organization.

                        1. re: DougOLis

                          "If you read the Union Tribune article you would know that San Diego Oceanaire is the second highest performer in the franchise, and a solid money maker."

                          You don't believe everything you read in the paper do you?

                          "Our location is not the problem"

                          Until it closes.

                          1. re: stevewag23

                            I honestly don't get the point with this.

                            Is Oceanaire somehow no longer recommendable because the parent corp. filed BK? No longer recommendable unless the SD location is verified as a 'solid moneymaker"? Not a good place to go because the SD location may close at some point in the future?

                            Until and unless reports start seeping in that food or service is suffering, who cares about the parent company's travails?

                            1. re: mcgrath

                              Simply making comments on a food forum.

                              "Is Oceanaire somehow no longer recommendable because the parent corp. filed BK? No longer recommendable unless the SD location is verified as a 'solid moneymaker"? Not a good place to go because the SD location may close at some point in the future?"

                              To answer your questions, look at my earlier post:

                              Answer:

                              Cafe Chloe and Oceanaire.

                2. To impress clients....
                  Lou & Mickey's
                  Oceanaire
                  U.S. Grant
                  Top of the Hyatt (Drinks only)
                  The Ivy

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Sampaguita

                    I'll second Quarter Kitchen at the Ivy Hotel to wine and dine clients. It is a very impressive environment with very good food. Imported Japanese Kobe sirloin beef is offered Ishiyaki style by the ounce and it is excellent. The only problem I see with QK is that it is wicked expensive. My tab was over $300 just for me, without booze, but I did eat like a monster. I reviewed it on my blog a while back if you are interested.

                    http://sandiegorestaurants.typepad.com

                    1. re: Captain Jack

                      Yes, it was Captain Jack's blog that I first found out about The IVY a couple of years ago. Thank you C.J....

                      1. re: Captain Jack

                        Not to directly go against you or anything, but I think the quarter kitchen at the ivy is the worst example of overly priced sub par food, sub par service in all of the gaslamp.

                        Which is quite a feat considering the amount of places in the gaslamp fighting for that dubious honor.

                        1. re: stevewag23

                          Steve,
                          did you try the Japanese Kobe sirloin Ishiyaki style? The only better Kobe I have had was at Urasawa in Beverly Hills, and his is as good (and expensive) as it gets. If you consider QK's Kobe sub-par food, then I am not sure what to make of your opinions or your palate. My halibut with wild mushroom risotto and seafood foam was also a winner, as was the veal chop with scratch made hollandaise and the Hawai'ian baked Alaska flambe. I don't know what you ordered but maybe you just picked duds. Also my service was some of the best I have had in San Diego. Is the service on par with Per Se? No, but then again, few establishment are in their league. Your experience and mine seem like night and day. If I could expense account QK, I would go once a week.

                          Respectfully,
                          CJ

                          1. re: Captain Jack

                            "did you try the Japanese Kobe sirloin Ishiyaki style?"

                            No.

                            "Is the service on par with Per Se?"

                            The service at quarter kitchen is the opposite of Per se.

                            Seems to be staffed by TGI fridays Scranton location alums.

                            "Your experience and mine seem like night and day."

                            Yes.

                            "f I could expense account QK, I would go once a week."

                            I wouldn't eat there for free.

                            1. re: stevewag23

                              Since you did not try the Kobe sirloin Ishiyaki style, you clearly do not know what you are missing. I can't imagine seeing that on the menu and passing it up. Selecting the best offerings from menus is a talent not everyone has.

                              Also, for free, there is nothing wrong with Iranian osetra caviar service, or a nice seafood tower. "I wouldn't eat there for free." is an extremist statement which I doubt is true.

                              My service was very good. The Executive Chef even came out to my table to answer questions and see how everything was.

                              1. re: Captain Jack

                                I don't recall "Kobe sirloin Ishiyaki style" being on the menu when I was there.

                                ""I wouldn't eat there for free." is an extremist statement which I doubt is true."

                                Sure its extreme. And true. But then again, going to an overpriced, sub par restaurant with a bunch of mortgage brokers is not really my idea of a great time. But then again, that is some peoples idea of fun.

                                "The Executive Chef even came out to my table"

                                Can be a impressive when it is the first time it has ever happened to you.

                                1. re: stevewag23

                                  The Kobe sirloin is always on the menu. Always was, still is.

                                  Quarter Kitchen is far from sub-par. Expensive, yes, sub-par, definately not.

                                  I never said I was "impressed" by the Executive Chef's table vistit. I just thought it was a nice touch, like the hundreds of other times it has happened to me. By the way, he did not just stop to say hello, he answered all of my questions, and listened to my opinions. It shows that he cares about the customers dining experience.

                                2. re: Captain Jack

                                  "Selecting the best offerings from menus is a talent not everyone has."
                                  So the talent is to pick up the most expensive things on the menu ? I had Kobe sirloin at different restaurants but it was never the best part of the meal. The talent is to pick cheap but still excellent dishes.

                                  1. re: honkman

                                    I did not say "the talent is to pick up the most expensive things on the menu" Your words honkman, not mine.

                                    1. re: honkman

                                      I agree.

                                      Kobe sirloin is never the best part of the meal for me either.

                                      It is typically something that people order that get impressed by spending a lot of money at a restaurant they think is great because it is expensive.

                                      1. re: stevewag23

                                        "It is typically something that people order that get impressed by spending a lot of Money at a restaurant they think is great because it is expensive." Gee, thats a broad assumption. How on earth could you know this? Are you a mind reader? I order it cuz I dig it. I don't give a rip what anyone else thinks.

                        2. I was at a convention in SD in January for three nights. Had two wonderful dinners at Cafe' Chloe on two of those. Took a cab to the resaturant both times and staggered back to the hotel both nights after way to much wine and wonderful food. CC is my togo place for convention trips in SD.