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Sep 9, 2009 03:03 PM

Mister A's in San Diego

Hello there. I am new to San Diego and Chowhound. It's nice to have this board as a reference. I am excited to explore this town's culinary delights.

I have been given the delightful task of organizing a dinner party for approximately 10 people (ages range from 28-35). This party will be held at the end of September.

The only stipulations given were: place with a beautiful view, relatively close to downtown, and options for sharing appetizers. I am pretty sure most of the guests enjoy seafood and meat.

In reading a bit about San Diego and places with a view--centraly located--it seems that Mister A's fits the bill. A co-worker suggested George's in La Jolla but that of course falls outside of the target geographic range.

Do you expert chowhounders think Mister A's is a good option for this dinner party?

Thank you in advance for your help.

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    1. Mister A's has the view, but getting a party that large in there without booking the expensive private room will be difficult (if not altogether impossible). So, that might be a no go. I could be completely wrong on that. But as for sharing appetizers, I think that's also not really possible there unless you're in the private room. Even then, the apps there aren't the type of platters that most restaurants feature. More like individual servings of soup and salads. Also, most of the spots in there are 2-4 top tables who are ordering individually and going for the quiet romantic "fine dining" experience with the view. Lots of first dates, older customers with money, business pairs, and special occasion types. So, again, not really outfitted for the larger social groups.

      As an alternative, Peohe's in Coronado is right on the water and may be able to get you a table that large next to the windows. Nice view of the bay and the city. Depending on the evening, you may be able to sit on the patio, if it's open. Even though it is in Coronado, it's right off the first exit from the bridge. And you get the bonus view of getting to drive over the bridge.

      There's also Anthony's Fish Grotto or the Fish Market/Top of the Market on the harbor. Nice views of the bay as well, and both should be able to fit groups of that size, with a slightly more relaxed "sharing" type of feel.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cookieshoes

        Peohe's might have a nice view but the food is pretty terrible. I would not go there unless they really didn't care about the food and just wanted a view. I remember my mom ordering Chilean Sea Bass and it coming out ridiculously dry; how do you dry out Sea Bass?

        While still not amazing, I think C-Level/Island Prime would be quite a bit better.

      2. You could always goto island Prime.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mmjgam

          Thanks, mmjgam. I looked up Island Prime and C-Level online and they look like good options. From what I've been told, though, C-Level doesn't accept reservations, which is a bummer because it sounds like the view there is killer.

          1. re: globocity

            I believe they accept rsvp for large parties, which your group would qualify for. Give them a call. A little less expensive and lovely outdoor seating at C-level (although, IMO, the food at both are pretty pedestrian). And enter steve's opinion here:____________ (sorry, local CH inside joke).

            1. re: foodiechick

              "pedestrian" is a nice way to describe boring restaurants as Island Prime or C-Level

              1. re: foodiechick

                "And enter steve's opinion here:____________ (sorry, local CH inside joke)."

                Ha. Good one.

                If you were thinking Mr.A's, I would not recommend Island Prime and C-Level.

                That is like thinking about staying in mansion in La Jolla and ending up in a flophouse on a mean ghetto street.

          2. Don't know if Sally's downtown still does Chef's tables, but if so, you get a private table for 10-12 people in the presentation kitchen with bay views and the ability to set up a tasting menu in advance.

            1. I have hosted many events at Mr. A's and I have found that if you call ahead and speak with the Manager, they will do their best to accomodate your need. You could probably ask for a spot on the patio, which would be very nice. Good Luck. I do not think Island Prime/Sealevel Lounge, while they are both fine, are in the same league as Mr. A's.

              Good Luck, let us know what you do.

              5 Replies
              1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                I did not mean to imply that IP or C-Level are in the same league as Mister A's.

                Thank you for the info about the accomodations at MA's.

                Turns out, after putting a deposit for patio reservations at MA's, a few of my friends suggested the prices would scare off the attendees! Boy this is tough.

                I'll keep looking and will report back.

                1. re: globocity

                  Okay then, how about this.

                  Get the best of both worlds. Start the evening with drinks on the patio of Mister A's, so that the guests can take in the view and maybe even a sunset.

                  Then afterwards, go across the street and have dinner at Cucina Urbana. Excellent new restaurant in the former Laurel space. Excellent food, moderate prices (depending on how many dishes you plan on having, since they have appetizers, boards, salads, pizzas, and entrees), and you can order many of the apps in "family-sized" portions. Great atmosphere, excellent service, they can accomodate groups, and you can save some extra $ by way of their wine selection sold at retail+corkage.

                  1. re: globocity

                    I thought you were the host, I would go with the recomendation below, have an expensive cocktail with a view, than go downstairs for affodable food.

                    1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                      I am the host, but that doesn't mean I am paying for the dinner party; am in charge of organizing only. I guess some of the party members felt the need to speak up about what I was proposing.

                      The reason I came onto this board was to glean insight about whether or not Mister A's is a suitable choice. Unfortunately, I forgot to account for how much my friends were willing to spend.

                      I have decided to take my date to Mister A's instead and hold the dinner party
                      at at C-Level. I've read some of the opinions about this place, trust me, I get it. That's just how this cookie crumbles.

                      Thank you for all for these great recommendations.


                      1. re: globocity

                        Mr. A's is a great date place, you will love it, you can try it during rest, week, this week.

                        Try to get the corner table near the patio door, great view.