I think you should pick the nicest restaurant that her father will approve of so that the dowry issues seem surmountable. Order him any kind of cocktail that he desires- money should be no object for this one beverage. Then, after he accepts, you should enjoy a wild night with some of your closest co-workers, making sure to dance to some reggaeton at Club Dynamite- and then have a TJ-style dog at Taqueria Lucha Libre next door, at 2 am.
At the wedding, when you see her for the first time since the arrangement was made, ask her if she likes pizza by the slice and then take her to Pizzeria Luigi for an artichoke slice and enjoy getting to know her. THEN you ask her what she finds romantic, and take her to Addison no matter what she says.
What food does she like? Level of food appreciation? Do you cook for her often yourself? If she likes food and you don't cook for her often or even if you do.... maybe you surprise her with a homemade meal/proposal. It's intimate and if you don't cook often the chaos that could ensue might be an awesome story 10, 15, 25 years from now. PM me and I'd be more than happy to help you through a few simple ideas that are excellent.
The restaurant recos so far are great ideas and you couldn't go wrong with any of them. I like the Farm House idea most of all because of the intimacy of the place and that I know for 100% certain if you called ahead Olivea would do you guys right. I'm sure all the other places would do something special too but because of how small the Farm House is, he'd probably sit down with you guys for a few courses and chat it up making a memorable experience.
Good luck man!
My two cents would be that proposing over dinner in a restaurant is very cliche..
Do you think your fiancee to be would be comfortable with lots of people watch you get on one knee and pop the question?
Propose in a place that means something to you both..ocean, hiking, top of the Eiffel tower.
I would propose somewhere and then take her to a wonderful dinner and stay the weekend somewhere romantic.
Grand Del Mar Resort and Addison would be a lovely place to follow it up with dinner and a long weekend of room service and walks on the beach...
Addison would be an excellent choice. The food and service are excellent. Their menu changes daily. The atmosphere is calm and quiet. The staff is ultra-professional and would be able to make your evening special.
The Marine Room is located practically in the ocean. The service is good. The food is good, it's just not going to be anything creative or different. The Marine Room is kind of a "go-to" place for special occasions, so they will know how to accommodate your night.
For a left field choice, I will also recommend The Farm House Cafe on Adams Avenue. Farmhouse is a tiny, quaint, intimate little restaurant with excellent food and dedicated foodie staff. The night my husband and I dined there, our server had a 20 minute conversation with the chef about the best wine selection for our dinner. Granted, they were slow that night, but we were impressed.
What would your intended like? Does she have an adventurous palate? Does she enjoy fine dining? You should definitely make sure the restaurant is a place she will like.
And no, proposing over dinner is not cliche', as long as you do it right......;>