HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Dec 9, 2009 07:25 PM

Small wedding reception in San Diego -- where should I NOT go?

Hey everyone. Thanks for the awesome suggestions for places in SD for small wedding receptions/rehearsal dinners. So, I have a list, and was wondering how to narrow down the choices. Which place would NOT be worth it, based on food, beers, and ambiance? We're coming in from the East Coast, so we want something that has good food, good beer, preferably with a nice view and outside, private space.

Here's the details:
There will be 25-40 guests for my small wedding next May. I'm looking to spend about $50-75 per person on dinner, up to $100 if it's an absolutely awesome place. We're staying in PB, but we will travel to good food. We're looking for a relaxed atmosphere (no Marine Room please), but keep in mind that it's a wedding reception (so no Fishery).

Here's the options (there are different reasons why each place is on the list):
Breeze Cafe in Del Mar
The Prado
Stone Brewery (he just loves Stone IPAs)
Brockton Villa (renting out the whole location for dinner)
Urban Solace
Top of the Market
George's Cali Modern

So, which ones would you cut (and why)?

Thanks so much!

PS- we're adventurous eaters and like the idea of local foods IF it's well executed. We typically eat Asian fusion foods. Cali and "new American" are also good choices for us. We don't often eat Meditterean/Italian/French. We love Mexican, but probably not a good choice for a wedding reception.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. From your list I would immediately eliminate The Prado. Great location, louzy food.

    I would also recommend George's. Great location, great food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 4wino

      +1 on both of those suggestions.

      -the food at the Prado is pretty mediocre.
      - George's has a terrific view, and a lovely Cal-modern menu with a focus on local ingredients.
      - i'd lose Breeze cafe in Del Mar. great location, but the food is nothing special.
      - you might also want to eliminate Oceanaire simply because it's a chain, and not necessarily something special to San Diego.

    2. Mega triple NO on the Prado. Urban Solace is good comfort food with a slight twist. Have you considered Market? I think they have a private dining area.

      1. I would avoid Breeze Cafe, Brockton Villa, Prado and Top of the Market. All of them are not really good in terms of food quality. Urban Solace is nice for some comfort food (but not really outstanding one) but I wouldn't like the location for an wedding reception.

        Have you considered Wine Vault ? I know that there sometimes private parties and they make quite good food (it won't be on the same level as George''s) for good prices.

        1 Reply
        1. re: honkman

          I was going to suggest Wine Vault! I think it would be perfect for a wedding reception/rehearsal dinner.

        2. Yea, I think I was looking for a reason to drop Prado (the space is nice tho).

          I haven't thought about Wine Vault; we don't really drink wine. Fiance drinks nice beers tho. The food looks great.

          I haven't been to Market.. what's the ambiance there?

          5 Replies
          1. re: newfoodie129

            Would your guests drink wine? Wine Vault could help you there and, since it's a private party, you could also ask about bringing in your own beer (SD has a ton of great microbrews to choose from... we went with Ballast Point for our reception).

            I really like honkman's suggestion, because Wine Vault's setting + the food would make a memorable reception.

            1. re: geekyfoodie

              Wow, strong support for Wine Vault. I like to food concepts they have. What does the decor look like inside? I'm not from SD, so I can't go visit it. Does any have any good pictures of the inside by chance?

              1. re: newfoodie129

                It has an upscale quasi-mediterranean look to it. I believe it was once a Greek restaurant, many years ago. The walls are whitewashed, and there are archways. Candle-lit tables, soft lighting. It's a pretty nice space. They also have a heated outdoor patio which could be a cool place for appetizers and cocktails. The beer distributor they work with has a good portfolio of local and import beer, so they should be able to accommodate whatever you want. They have several draft handles.

                1. re: newfoodie129

                  Yeah, wish I could help you, but I only have pictures of the food. To add to Josh's description, there's a great patio with a fire pit, which would be great for receiving/guestbook/drinks/apps. The tables and chairs inside are basic wood with some white detailing (like wood top tables with white legs), so they can easily be dressed up with flowers, runners, and candles. Lots of shelves of wine and lots of neutral colors. There's also a fireplace inside that people can congregate around after dinner to mingle and have dessert. It's a great size for 25-40 guests.

                  The staff has been nothing but helpful each time I've called and visited, so I'm sure someone would be willing to email you a few photos of the interior. I love the food there... the execution is consistently great, so there is little chance you'll be disappointed with your meal.

                  I just got married, so if you need any help with resources outside of Chow's purview, feel free to contact me via my blog (the link's on my profile page). Good luck!

              2. re: newfoodie129

                definitely drop (Pacifica) Breeze Cafe. It's all outdoors but in a small shopping mall and nothing special enough that says "wedding reception."

                drop Brockton Villa. Food is meh, at best.

                Market is "casual upscale," however you define it. Dress code is business casual but you can get away w/ a nice pair of jeans, heels and a nice top. They have an enclosed outdoor patio area that could probably hold your group. It's in Del Mar, roughly 15 minutes north on the freeway from PB.

                George's California Modern is very good and they have nice private rooms. It'd be my top pick on your list.

              3. I would drop JRDN. Terrible service.

                I would also consider The Prado because of the location. I would say its the best one on the list.