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Oct 1, 2009 12:38 PM

San Diego - one dinner to impress

I'll be in San Diego for work next week and I'm in charge of picking a new, incredible mind blowingly amazing fancy and delicious dinner for my group.

On previous visits we've been to George's at the Cove, The Marine Room, Jack's La Jolla, El Biz, and Mille Fleurs.

I've bookmarked the following restaurants as possibilities. Which would be best? (Or are there are any that I've missed?)

Mr. A's
Kitchen 1540
Restaurant at the Pearl
Whisk n Ladle
Whatever the place at Lodge at Torrey Pines is called

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  1. All on your list will pretty much meet your criteria. That being said, most CH'ers on the list will say ADDISON is the best of all, if price is no object.

    A R Valentien is the place at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

    1. Dear BaltimoreOriole-- If indeed fancy and expensive are criteria-- I'd scratch Alchemy. (I'd scratch it regardless.) NineTen doesn't feel fancy but is expensive. Whisknladle feels young and hip as does 1540. Tapenade is fancy and expensive and feels like a stodgy French restaurant anywhere. The ARValentien is pretty somber too, except for their Thursday night Artisan Table which is family style and unique, and is outside on their terrace overlooking the golf course and Pacific. They might even seat you together since you're a party, but it's only on Thurs. Everybody raves about Addison. My experience (only one) was not good, and I felt like I was in a Miami dining room designed by Donald Trump. (That may excite your group, but remember Sdiegans are very provincial and get excited about odd things.) If you're in charge of providing a good SD vibe-- i'd go with Whisknladle or Market or 1540.

      1. None of these places is even close to incredible mind blowing amazing fancy etc. (For this type of food I highly recommend driving to LA which isn't too far away) but some of them deliver good food. In terms of food quality I had the best experiences with Cavaillon and George's. Market was disappointing for the price. Alchemy, Restaurant at the Pearl and Whisk n Ladle are OK but nothing special (with Alchemy relatively cheap for the quality they deliver but very inconsistent service. It really depends if Irene is around or not.).

        2 Replies
        1. re: honkman

          I have to agree with honkman on this one oriole. San Diego does not do Ultra-High End. The places that try don't hold a candle to the best of Manhattan, San Francisco, or LA. I love my town, and there is plenty here to keep this foodie happy. I just save my big buck expenditures for out of town food adventures. Urasawa in Beverly hills will fit your criteria. It is transcendent.

          1. re: honkman

            We've been making trips to LA for the same reason, but wait til you have kids.. ;-)

          2. Addison tops the list
            Then AR Valentien at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

            Blanca may still be closed for renovations. They're bringing in a new chef.

            FYI: Jack's closed.

            1. Whisk n Ladle is far from fancy.

              The only place that would fall under "incredible mind blowingly amazing fancy" for me would be Mr.A's because of their view.