Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Oct 22, 2009 05:32 PM

Ten Nights of help Needed [SD]

Hello SD Chowhounders. Midwest CHer here.
Staying at Hilton Bayfront.
Wife at conference 11/6-11/9 No car, will rely on taxi or public tran.
Trying to avoid the Gaslamp area for all if not most of the stay(Are the restaurants really that bad there ?)
For Fri/Sat lunch I'll be on my own and looking for a good beer bar(30-50 or more beers) Also want fish tacos and one post I saw mentioned lobster tacos...sorry about the drool.

For the rest of the stay 11/10-11/14(will have car) we will need a couple breakfast places for varieties sake.
Not really worried about lunch unless there's a place you think we must try.
For dinner I'll need 2-3 all the way $$$$$ upscale, 4-5 $$-$$$ places and 2-3 Triple D type places.
Wife hates bars. A wine bar with good food is ok.
Wife not fond of seafood so restaurants should have a good variety of choices.
Would like some good Cali cuisine recs, French, Mexican, maybe one Italian.Skip the Asian and steak places(plenty where I live)
Will also need a couple of recs up the coast as far as Del Mar. A great view would be fantastic.
I hope this is specific without being overbearing....

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thanks for your specific requests. It is actually very helpful. The restaurants in the Gaslamp are generally not the greatest but there are some gems.

    Cafe Chloe is a wonderful little french bistro that does Breakfast through Dinner and does all very well.
    Oceanaire in the Gaslamp does lovely seafood and their happy hour is amazing, dollar oysters.
    Also, Jsix downtown is pretty darn good restaurant that gets overlooked.
    I have heard good things about the restuarant in your hotel, reviewed in
    If you do a search on the board there are lots of threads regarding fish tacos.
    While you have a car I recently had amazing fish/lobster/carnitas tacos in Cardiff.
    A bit north of Del Mar but right on a cliff. They have a website bulltacocardiff (I think.) When you have a car Whisknladle and 910 are very good
    Good luck and I am sure others will chime in regarding your other questions.

    1. If you want good beer, you hit a great weekend to be in SD since it will be San Diego Beer Week.

      Is a great resource for beer events, bars and breweries in the area.

      Downtown Johnny Browns and Neighborhood downtown have great beer choices and Hamiltons is a lengthy bus ride/close cab ride away. Dont make the mistake of going to the Yard House just because it meets your goal of 30-50 beers at once, since you probably won't try 30 beers in a night anyway. The food at Neighborhood and Hamiltons is much better than the food at Johnny Browns, though.

      Also, Karl Strauss location downtown has a restaurant feeling to it where you might be able to get good beer without annoying your wife (very, very important).

      1. $$$$$ upscale--Addison in Carmel Valley (just east of Del Mar). No ocean views, but it's located on a very plushy golf course resort. Very plushy interior with outstanding food and service.
        $$$$ in Del Mar--Market. Falls in the Cali cuisine category. Excellent food, a tad more casual than Addison.
        $$$ in Santaluz, approx 10 min east of Del Mar--Cavaillon for French. They also have an outstanding Sunday brunch, best deal in town for 4 star cooking.

        View and great food do not necessarily go hand in hand. The best combo of both is George's on the Cove in La Jolla, downstairs formal dining room only.

        2nd Cafe Chloe and Oceanaire. Oceanaire has an ample side dish menu and you can easily make a meal out of them.

        Breakfast--Mission Coffee Cup in La Jolla or Cavaillon for Sunday brunch. I think Cafe Chloe has a breakfast menu and/or a Sunday brunch menu.

        1. "Trying to avoid the Gaslamp area for all if not most of the stay(Are the restaurants really that bad there ?)"

          Unfortunately yes.

          Most places on 5th follow the $30 entree, $15 app, mediocre food formula.

          Oceanaire is the only spot in the gaslamp with a visit.

          Cafe Chloe is close by and good.

          1. I find it rather amusing that the OP said he wanted to avoid the Gaslamp, but the replies keep giving him recs down there.

            Given your location, there are two places that have good lobster tacos that come to mind. World Famous in Pacific Beach has them and a great beach front location with view. I also like South Beach Bar and Grill in Ocean Beach though some on this board feel they are over sauced and dislike the fact that they do not use authentic Mexican Cheese. They are a bit messy, but I like them a lot. SBB&G also has a view of the ocean from the bar.

            For breakfast JRDN at Tower 23 in Pacific Beach has upscale breakfast items in a strikingly modern dining space with a great ocean front view (Sat, Sun only). A block away you can enjoy cheap breakfast eats with the locals at Kono's Surf Club. Stick to the excellent egg burritos #1 - #4 and the Kono's potatoes. The rest of the menu is nothing special. They have tables across the boardwalk where you can watch the surfers in action. Two blocks inland on Felspar St. is Isabel's Cantina. They have great coconut french toast and banana blackberry pancakes in a cool, pan asian setting.

            For French, try Tapenade in La Jolla, or Cavaillon in Santa Luz. Both have very good to excellent French fare in moderately upscale settings (Tapenade is the fancier of the two).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Captain Jack

              Sorry, after gf's post I realized that I confused Hilton Bayfront with the Hilton on Mission Bay. The Bayfront location makes my recs more difficult to get to without a car. The #30 bus services Pacific Beach and La Jolla from Downtown.