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San Diego Solo

I will be in town on business next week for 3 nights and would love some reqs for great eats. I will be staying in La Jolla and would like to stay away from the Gaslamp District if possible but am willing to drive anywhere within 30 minutes or so.

I was thinking about Nine Ten one night but haven't gotten any further than that. I really like any type of food but would prefer to stay away from italian (as we have great italian in DC) and Mexican (just not my favorite food).

Specifically places where I won't feel bad being a solo dinner even if it means eating at the bar.

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  1. Any price range in particular?

    I'd suggest George's Ocean Terrace (if it's not cold), Kaito, and The Linkery. Nine Ten is good as well. If you're here on a Thursday, you might want to check out AR Valentien's communal table dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DougOLis

      Unfortunately, I leave Thursday morning.

      Price range, I would say entrees up to $25. We have a lot of restaurants in DC that do special early bird (although they are called pre-theater) 3 course menus, anything like that would be great too.

    2. Solo you could go to Manhattan in empress hotel.

      Or sushi at Zenbu. Not my favorite but good for solo.

      And of course La Valencia.

      Or Jacks. Oh wait.

      3 Replies
      1. re: stevewag23

        I thought Jack's was closed??

        Cafe Chloe in the East Village (not that far away from the Gaslamp area).

        If you want sushi, I'd go to Izakaya Sakura for (closer) sushi than Kaito (which is a good 30-40 minute haul) but if you're into sushi, Kaito's quite worth it. Izakaya Sakura also has lots of non-sushi items. I've eaten there by myself many times and nobody's batted an eye.

        Okan on Convoy is another great place for a solo diner. I've gone there alone and gotten as good service as when I'm there w/ friends. homestyle Japanese cooking--everything from sashimi, salads, tempura, udon, mixed rice bowls w/ a rotating daily menu that is on top of the bar in the middle of the place.

        1. re: daantaat

          "I thought Jack's was closed??"

          It is.

          Hence my "Oh wait."

        2. re: stevewag23

          I agree with Steve. IMHO Manhattan is one of the best restaurants in San Diego. Sit at the bar order cannelloni and NY strip syracuse. It's heaven.

        3. Cafe Chloe is perfect for the solo diner. For the most outrageous sushi you have ever had I will suggest Shirahama on Convoy. It is small, quiet, and excellent.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Dagney

            "Cafe Chloe is perfect for the solo diner."

            It is. The only knock against the place is they try to shuffle you out so damn early.

            But like someone else on this board said, "San Diego is an 'early city"

            1. re: stevewag23

              When you consider people are here visiting from another time zone (OP is from DC), when it is 6 a.m. here, they are already at 9 a.m. on their internal time clock...and 9 p.m. here is midnight to them... it makes sense we are an "early" city.

              The locals are used to it and don't seem to demand much more. The business owners seem to be fine with it also...breakfasts and early lunches bring them the profits with quick turnaround. The places open late are playing to the college/younger crowd (i.e., lots of high profit alcohol)

              1. re: Cathy

                "it makes sense we are an "early" city"

                It would also make sense to be able to order an appetizer and a glass of wine at 9:30 pm.

                "The business owners seem to be fine with it also"

                Many of them want later dining, there is very little market for it however.

                "The places open late"

                No place is open "late" in san diego.

                1. re: stevewag23

                  Business owners are there to make money. They do what the market will bear and open for breakfasts and 11 a.m. lunches.

                  After I leave the theater, I do not want to endure the partying atmosphere. I find myself at Golden City and Shanghai City after 1030 p.m. at least once a month. But I also am awake by 4 a.m. most days.

                  Many people who work here have to deal with East Coast teleconferences.

                  1. re: stevewag23

                    "No place is open "late" in san diego."

                    That seems a bit harsh. What do you consider "late?" Yakitori Yakyudori serves food until 1am. Tajima is open even later. Basic has pizza until like 2am (later?). Linkery is open until midnight. Red Fox Room's kitchen is open until1am I think. Starlite until 2AM. Etc.

                    1. re: DougOLis

                      Yakitori Yakyudori is great.

                      Starlite rolled back dinning till 12 I think. At best case scenario.

                      Not a lot of places for a city of 3 million.

                      Nor a lot of variety.

                      1. re: DougOLis

                        If I'm out late it usually means I'm intoxicated heavily so we limit ourselves to Tajima or Carne Asada chips from El Cotixan on Gennessee. What more does one need? Yes not a lot of variety for an area of 3 million but those 3 million are spread out over an area multiple times the size of SF. We are a big city that is small. There just isn't enough foodies out late enough. Tho anything is better than Jack in the box or something similar

                        1. re: deeznuts

                          Unfortunately "late" in San Diego means 9.30pm. It is hard to get good food in SD after that time. Especially during the week but also on weekends when the restaurants are open a little bit later but starting around 9-9.30pm they are always trying to rush you. And I think there would be a big enough market for good food (with good service) but all people I know who are interested gave up in SD and look somewhere else.

                          1. re: honkman

                            'Unfortunately "late" in San Diego means 9.30pm."

                            Yeah, it gets depressing.

                            I know san diego is an "early city" and I am very familiar with the "type" of person who lives in san diego and who visits.

                            It still does surprise me how a restaurant with a full bar (or even wine like Cafe Chloe) will not stay open later and cater to drinkers. Or people than want to dance. Or party. Or listen to music. Or socailize. Or celebrate. Or live life. Or hang out with friends. You know, like in most great international cities.

                            (Or twitter. Or tweat. Or facebook. Or text.)

                            With a limited menu.

                            "all people I know who are interested gave up in SD and look somewhere else"

                            I think you nailed it.

                          2. re: deeznuts

                            "What more does one need?"

                            If you have to ask that question, I can't help you.

                            1. re: stevewag23

                              I meant when terribly intoxicated at 2 am ... (tongue in cheekly)

                2. Check out:

                  Wisknladel
                  Kitchen 1540
                  9/10
                  Market - higher end of spectrum
                  Addison - higher end of spectrum

                  Good luck.

                  1. Yakitori Yakyudori- lots of fun if you've never done it, but not a fancy place. You can sit at the bar and watch them cook. Anything on either top ten menu is all good.

                    -----
                    Yakitori Yakyudori
                    3739 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

                    1 Reply
                    1. While in the Gaslamp, I would go to Dobson's and eat in the bar and have the delicious Mussel Bisque en Croƻte..they make an excellent burger too.
                      La Jolla, I would go to the Whaling Bar at La Valencia or Tapenade.

                      www.dobsonsrestaurant.com
                      www.lavalencia.com
                      www.tapenaderestaurant.com

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        Good call on Dobson's. Definitely a San Diego institution.

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          I'd recommend Cafe Chloe too, but the OP said they wanted to stay away from the Gaslamp and not stay near the Gaslamp.

                          1. re: DougOLis

                            LOL..
                            I read that completely different..well, the mussel bisque is enough to go to the Gaslamp and Cafe Chloe too!

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              Me too, so much for my attention to detail. Although, Cafe Chloe is not smack in the middle of the Gascramp.

                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                  Thanks for the recommendations.

                                  I ended up at AR Valentine on Monday and was not impressed with the food for the price. I did have two wonderful glasses of wine though.

                                  Then I went to WisknLadle on Tuesday and loved it so much that I headed back on Wednesday. Everything I ordered (halibut crudo, squash ravioli, bolognese, pbj dessert, and brown butter cake) was melt in your mouth good. The wine selection wasn't as big but still pretty nice selection.

                                  Thanks for all of the recs.

                                  1. re: italy531

                                    "I did have two wonderful glasses of wine though."

                                    Thank God for wine!