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Aug 18, 2009 12:58 AM

anniversary weekend in san diego

a little background: we love san diego and try to visit at least once a year. on our last trip, we enjoyed laurel st. (now urbana cucina), cafe chloe, extraordinary desserts. we also dined at georges in la jolla, starlite and elizabethan desserts, but weren't blown away. our last wow dining experience in los angeles, was the gamut tasting menu (29 courses) at michael mina's xiv. see perceptor's pics here if you are interested

we are celebrating our anniversary, staying in downtown san diego and looking for some great dining experiences. are there any up and coming chef's to try in san diego?

fri anniversary dinner: tasting menu at? addison? jrdn? bite any good? any others you recommend?
sat lunch: open?
sat dinner: yakitori yakyudori? urban solace? urbana cucina - are their pizzas thing crusted pizzas? linkery?
sun brunch - extraordinary desserts european breakfast

any input on our eating itinerary is super appreciated. thanks!

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  1. Re. Yakitori Yakyudori - make sure you go on a day when Nabe-chan, the owner and grillmaster, is on duty. It makes a big difference. Also try to score a seat at the bar. Not sure if you can reserve a seat at the bar, but again it makes a huge difference.

    On top of those tips I highly recommend the very best dish in their repertoire, though available only as a special - Horumon, or beef intestine. (You are probably already aware that this is the place to silence any squeamish tendencies that you may have, if any...)

    My other must-haves:

    2 - Gyutan steak (not Gyutan, but Gyutan steak) - beef tongue steak
    3 - Hatsu - heart
    4 - Teba - wings
    5 - almost anything that's on their special's board...

    * - Pucchi tomato (petit tomato) - enjoy each tiny morsel as a palette cleanser between items and for a nice break from the heavily protein-driven menu

    Lots of other delicious items, but these are my must haves for every YY meal!

    1. I have a feeling you'd be underwhelmed by JRDN or Bite for your anniversary. You might want to try the tasting menu at Addison, El Bizcocho, or call ahead and request a tasting menu at Kitchen 1540. I don't think 1500 Ocean has a tasting menu but you might be happy there. Good food and a great view from the Hotel Del Coronado; especially if you take in a couple of pre-meal drinks on the Sunset Bar.

      Saturday lunch - are you looking for something nice, casual, or hole in the wall?

      8 Replies
      1. re: DougOLis

        sat is pretty open. doesn't need to be too nice. open to hole in the wall and casual as long as it's something good to eat.

        1. re: Alice

          Ocean temps are pretty warm so you can body surf/boogie board in Cardiff by the oceanfront at Bull Taco in the San Elijo Camp Ground...props to SD Gourmand!
          Or Basic for thin crust pizza in the Gaslamp..Las Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan (under the Coronado bridge) for great Mex...super hole in the wall.

          1. re: Beach Chick

            thanks, these are great suggestions.

            after reading the suggestions and looking at the menu's i'm actually leaning away from the "fine dining" and fancy hotel experience and looking for a more low key tasty dining experience. maybe somewhere with a vibe like starlite, cool and chill, but better food? or maybe somewhere for happy hour?

            i also love macarons and had some last time at mille feuille. any other recs for macarons?

            kinda off topic, but can anyone recommend a good massage place?

            1. re: Alice

              Just a friendly reminder, massage services are out of scope for Chowhound.

              1. re: Alice

                Wine Vault should fit the bill for low key and good atmosphere. Saturday's 5 course tasing $30, pair with wine for another $20, one of the best deals in town.

                1. re: stevuchan

                  Excellent choice, WV is fun, relaxed and a great deal. Unfortunately,
                  nothing like Michael Mina's in SD.

                  1. re: stevuchan

                    sounds perfect. thanks.

                    what do you guys think of bronx pizza vs. sicilian thing pizza? i love thin crusted neapolitan pizza.

                    1. re: Alice

                      I think Luigi's is better than either.

          2. Anniversary I would try Blanca or Market. Both are stellar.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mmjgam

              Blanca kust lost their chef and if somebody comes from LA (and even for San Deigo) Market is everything else than stellar.

            2. Those pic's of the food at xiv are beyond exquisite!
              I would do Market in Del Mar, Addison at the Grand Del Mar or A.R.Valentine at the Lodge.
              Cavaillon in Santa Luz for Sunday Brunch.
              Grant Grill at the US Grant Hotel downtown SD is lovely...drinks at Jsix.

              Happy Anniversary!

              1. Anniversary dinner: Addison, AR Valentein or Market

                I was at Blanca in the past month and it was good, although I think I've had better meals there. Definitely avoid any fresh oysters, as mine had been shucked earlier and were dry and a tad shriveled, both aspects being a pleasure-killer. The 2nd meal was better with a roasted fish for my entree.

                If you're from LA, most of the high end dining around here won't match up, but SD does low-mid range pretty well.

                Sunday brunch--Cavaillon in Santaluz. Easily the best $10 brunch for 4 star food in the county. Plus, it's nice and quiet on the patio out there. Fresh beignets, softly scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and chives...

                I think Izakaya Sakura is open for lunch on Saturdays. Mama Testa's in Hillcrest would be another option.