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 http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLand...
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!
I absolutely HATE seeing American Wagyu sold like it is the Japanese version. Selling us shoe leather at the price of the real stuff. If you disagree, you are either not elevated enough or just think you know beef but not really.
This being said, Urban Solice for a big lunch tasting, Bite isn't where it was but still worth trying out. Market if you are able to travel is good but if you are staying in the North Park area I would try Farm House. Being out of town, don't waste your time on Urbana Cucina. Yakitori, yakitori, yakitori..... I'm positive you could be in the butt crack of the World and still get as good yakitori than any other crack you've been too, you might as well go to Burger King to compare Whopers. And please. Whatever you do. Don't waste time at Linkery. I have zero idea why people for any reason other than the farmers market hype would eat there. This is before dissecting the service which is better at a little league consession stand. Cowboy Star if you have a carne scratch that needs to be itched. Good luck.
Here is our mini food report:
Lee's Sandwiche's (Westminster-on the way down to SD)- combination sandwich as a snack, great to eat while driving and held us over til we got to la jolla and you can't really beat the price.
El Pescador - grilled mexican large shrimp (very large and flavorful, think it would have been even more juicy with the shell and head on, but still good), grilled scallops (slightly dry, but maybe cuz we had them cut them in half), dungeness crab cocktail (can't really mess that up, their cocktail sauce had chcunks of tomatoes which was nice) and clam chowder, pretty good too. I liked the local vibe of this place.
Breakfast/lunch at the Cheese Shop in downtown. We drove around unsure where to eat and just decided on this place. I had mushroom and swiss omelette - it was ok, and husband had pork loin sandwich. the pork loin was cooked nicely and went well with the relish and mustard and other items in the sandwich. Good to try once, not sure if we will be back.
Dinner at the Wine Vault. Thanks stevuchan. This place was fantastic. We would definitely go back. What an excellent value for a 4 course meal plus wine. We sat outside in the firepit area but the inside is nice too. Our favorites were the ume black cod and the pork belly, but here are the descriptions from the website:
Beef Carpaccio | Gorgonzola Dulce | Black Truffle Vinaigrette | Micro Arugula | Pickled Grapes
Ume Glazed Black Cod | Baby Bok Choy | Smoked Rice Noodles | Breakfast Radish | Micro Cilantro Braised Pork Belly | Dashi Broth | Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette Grilled Hanger Steak | Herb Roasted Potatoes | Maitake Mushrooms | Caramelized Onion Chutney | Demi Glace
Brunch at Extraordinary Desserts on Sunday. We were going to try to make it to Cavaillon, but we'll have to save that for next time. The european breakfast buffet, which we've had several times is good. Smoked salmon and some nice cheeses and for some reason I'm addicted to their roasted tomatoes - however this time, the skin on them was rather tough.
On our way to Solo in Solano Beach, we happened upon the delightful farmer's market on Cedros Ave. We tasted some sweet white peaches and spicy salami, a little too spicy for me, and I bought some beautiful flowers and jewelry.
Thanks for the input and the recs.
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.
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?
Ocean temps are pretty warm so you can body surf/boogie board in Cardiff by the Sea..eat 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.
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?
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!