Need help in Rancho Bernardo
We are looking for a restaurant to accomodate a group of 40-50 people in the Rancho Bernardo/Escondido area.
We would like something casual, but with a decent atmosphere. This will be a wedding rehearsal/pre wedding dinner. The wedding will be at the Wild Animal Park and they are not looking for anything upscale for their dinner. They would even consider a pizza/pasta place if the food is great and the atmosphere is good. Their favorite food is Mexican so that would be a good option. Otherwise, their preferences might lean more towards upscale brew/pub. Nothing seedy, just good food, moderately priced with a casual, fun atmosphere.
Any ideas? It would be really great if the restaurant had a private banquet room available.
The two places that come to mind that can handle 40-50 in Escondido are Cocina del Charro on Quince street and Mi Guadalajara on North 2nd. Cocina del Charro actually has a separate banquet area but I can't say the atmosphere in it is anything special. Hacienda de Vega has a beautiful setting but the food is mediocre unless it's gotten better recently.
Try Stone World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido. There is a separate dining area for large groups above the main dining area or they might be able to work something out outside. The food ranges from decent to good (albeit probably overpriced) but the space is great, the grounds are beautiful and they have excellent beer.
Another option would be to go for dim sum at Pearl in Rancho Bernardo.
I would probably rank Hacienda de Vega ahead of Charro and Guadalajara, both in food and ambience. The latter two come across as you standard American-Mexican places, not bad, and better than your standard El Torito, but Haciendia is a cut above, and it really is pretty on the patio and they can handle a large group. I will also second Pearl as a good suggestion. They can take large groups, but it does get kinda noisy in the room, and I am not sure if they have a private room.
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. We are putting together a list and will make a road trip soon to check them out.
Some of these places are really beautiful in the pictures, so we're excited about the possibilities.
If you have any more suggestions, we'd love to hear them!