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Nov 16, 2009 01:07 PM

Group Supper (La Jolla/UTC/Del Mar)

Hi all,
I've been blessed/cursed with finding a suitable restaurant for 10-15 people in the area around Sorrento Valley (La Jolla/UTC/Del Mar) that would be nice but not overly pricey with a decent wine list and vegetarian options. My wife and I go out to eat a decent amount, but it is rarely more than the 2 of us and I am not up on what a good group option would be.
The group is predominantly 30-ish, scientists, foreign (mostly European) and fairly adventurous with a few veggies in the mix. This is an annual supper and, traditionally, has ended up in the Gaslamp despite poor results with Gaslamp food/service in the past. Everyone is pretty fond of wines and the international element ends up demanding a fairly diverse winelist.
Thanks for any and all suggestions!

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  1. Try Roy's in UTC. We've had group dinners at Roy's in UTC, and it was very good. Plus your European guest might enjoy the Pan-Hawaiian cuisine. I'd also recommend Donovan's, but I don't know how they'd fair in the vegatarian deparment -- other than serving fish.

    7 Replies
    1. re: wanker

      Whisk n' Laddle has a nice area for groups, wine list is on the small side but has some interesting choices. Menu is varried and seasonal, food is really good. I really think you and your party would like it.

      1. re: stevuchan

        Had a great time at Whisk'n'ladle the one time I ate it a little after it opened. Great suggestion. They didn't have ranch dressing (I had a burger/fries) which I was ok with. I didn't mind at all. But then, the Server comes back a couple minutes later with fresh ranch dressing the kitchen whipped up, and it was delicious (light and fresh). That alone was pretty awesome.

        1. re: stevuchan

          I had no idea Whisk'n'Ladle had an area for groups - I invariably end up on the patio...
          Definitely a favorite of mine, and on my commute route, so I'll pop my head in to see what they say :)
          Keep 'em coming folks, there's got to be more than just a couple. Someone else at my work suggested Wired, but I thought it might be a little laid back. Thoughts?

          1. re: CampySD

            Wired is very small and very casual. It's also very loud in there and not good for group discussions.

            Winesellar and Brasserie may be an option, although I think the food is uneven. They have a private room that holds roughly 12-15 people. You'd definitely meet the "wine list" criteria.

            Roppongi's may be another option. They also have a private room, if that helps.

            Nine-Ten has good food and they can easily hold a large party in the main dining room.

            Piatti's at La Jolla Shores is moderately priced, decent food. Don't know anything about the wine list though.

            If they're willing to head east, Cavaillon is not that far inland from Del Mar. Good food, for sure.

            Market in Del Mar definitely has veggie options and a large wine list. I don't know if it exceeds your price range.

            Cavaillon Restaurant
            14701 Via Bettona, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92127

            1. re: daantaat

              Anyone been to Jai, Wolfgang Puck's resto on the UCSD campus? Gets little mention anywhere.

              1. re: stevuchan

                I am not sure anyone has been.

                I would like to hear a report on Jai's.

                1. re: stevewag23

                  Jai would easily have room for a group, plus you'd have the option of checking out some of the Stuart Art Collection before/after.

                  My husband and I came into a large number of Wolfgang Puck giftcards last holiday season, and since we don't have many options to use them down here in SD, Jai was the natural (only?) choice. We decided to check it out a few months ago and got there right when it opened for dinner.

                  We liked the modern decor and the service was really attentive. My recollection of exactly what we ordered is a little fuzzy since we've eaten tons of delicious food since then, but I got a lobster dish (that has been changed since we visited) and my husband tried the Miso-Sake Broiled Butterfish. We'd heard bad stories of people eating too much butterfish, so he was a little nervous, but the portion was just right. I had a taste and the fish was moist and good...indicative of why some people might be inclined to eat TOO much of it.

                  Overall, we were happy with it. A little pricey with appetizers and drinks, which was helped with the gift cards, but nice. I know they are offering a $30 prix fixe, which I might check out. UCSD is our alma mater, so we always enjoy a cruise around campus.

                  Jai by Wolfgang Puck
                  2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037

      2. 9-10 for la jolla
        Pamplemousse could be an option for del mar

        1. So, in the end, we had our celebration supper at Rappongi. In a way, the decision was made by our party size as no one else was able to accommodate that size group without separating us apart - once word got around of a higher end restaurant, our group exploded to 21 people. At Roppongi, we were able to have our own room and the menu was varied enough that no one felt limited.
          Overall, it was a very positive experience. Most of the group had never been before and were rather impressed with the style and location (understand that the average attendee would not be a regular among downtown La Jolla restaurants).
          With 20 people, we ordered almost every appetizer on the menu and let the plates make rounds around the table until they were finished. For entrees, most people opted for a variety of sushi rolls among 2-4 people and then we did the same pass the plates around routine. Of the three people I know that ordered entrees, 2 had shrimp and 1 had a veggie option, all 3 really enjoyed their portions. All in all, everything was very solid and most people were experiencing dishes for the first time so there wasn't much comparison to speak of. Roppongi is not my top pick for sushi, but I think they do rolls very well and that was the predominant sushi folks ordered anyhow... A large number of people also ordered desert and those also ended up being relatively easy to pass around in a family-style way as well.
          I have to say, despite my initial feeling at the choice, that it was a really good experience and I'd recommend Rappongi for this type of group supper. Since it was a single bill, people were free to order what they wanted and the "small plate"/sharing aspect made it easy for folks to play musical chairs without breaking up the pace of the meal or driving the servers crazy (I hope). I think we had ~10 bottles of wine + 1/2 the people had cocktails, appetizers, sushi, desert, coffee and we made it out the door at just over $50/head.

          Roppongi Restaurant and Sushi Bar
          875 Prospect, La Jolla, CA 92037

          1 Reply
          1. re: CampySD

            nice pick! Haven't been to Roppongi's for a while but have good memories of their tapas menu. I do agree w/ the sushi comment--it's average, at best and your $$ is better spent elsewhere.