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Mar 26, 2010 06:38 PM

Rehearsal dinner near La Jolla/University City

My brother is getting married in San Diego this August and I' thought I'd help out by finding a spot for the Rehearsal Dinner. Especially since I care about the food. I mean, if it's not your wedding, at least you should get something good to eat.

The wedding's in La Jolla and he lives in University City, which I guess is close but I always get confused. The assumption is that out-of-towners will be staying in La Jolla? So, something close to those locations that can:

1. accommodate vegetarians
2. is yummy
3. fit 50-60 people
4. not too expensive. honestly, i have no idea what expensive is for such things, but we're not looking for black tie or anything. in fact, shorts-worthy would be preferable. I understand La Jolla's rather shwank, but we're looking for less-than-shwank.
5. is yummy.


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  1. - if the wedding itself isn't at Estancia, consider one of the restaurants there. they do tons of events, the food is good, and it's a laid-back atmosphere. the more casual one - Mustangs & Burros, has a really nice, rustic outdoor space with a fireplace.

    - Trattoria Acqua is definitely worth looking into - lovely Italian restaurant right on the water in La Jolla Cove.

    - there's also a location of Roy's in the UTC area (i know that means nothing to you), and they have a private room.

    other options in La Jolla, but they're pricey:
    - Nine-Ten
    - George's California Modern
    - AR Valentien at the Torrey Pines Lodge

    oh, and congrats to your brother!

    Trattoria Acqua
    1298 Prospect St., La Jolla, CA 92037

    Roy's Restaurant
    8670 Genesee Ave, San Diego, CA 92122

    Nine Ten
    910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

    Torrey Pines Lodge
    11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

    Adobe el Restaurante at Estancia La Jolla
    9700 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037

    George's Ocean Terrace
    1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      goodhealthgourmet has given you several good leads, although I would not go to any of them in shorts (unless you are a trendy 20-30 something year-old and have dressed them up with heels and a dressy top). Nice slacks w/o tie for the guys and casual dresses or slacks for the women would be more appropriate.

      The Cottage is known for breakfast/brunch. They've offered dinner off and on over the years.

    2. I'd suggest The Cottage in La Jolla Village, it meets all your criteria. It may require you to take the entire restaurant over to accommodate your party, which could be a good thing. It has a wonderful outside patio. I'd call and inquire about the possibility. Here's their website.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cstr

        i love The Cottage for breakfast/brunch. never been there for dinner but i assume the food is just as good then :) are you sure it's big enough for such a large party, though? the place is pretty small.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Between the porch and the patio it should be fine, dinner is very good.

      2. Another suggestion could Piatti in La Jolla. It's not the best Italian you will ever get but quite good. They have vegetarian option, a very nice patio, not to expensive and even close to the ocean.
        Just one word about Estancia - very nice hotel but we had company dinners there and the food was very disappointing.

        5 Replies
        1. re: honkman

          were your company dinners at Adobe, or at Mustangs & Burros? my family has stayed at Estancia several times when in town to visit me, and all the meals we had at Adobe were very good - i only recall having one app & drink at Mustangs & Burros so i can't really attest to the food there.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            We had dinners in two different restaurants at Estancia (but I don't know which one is Adobe or M&B) and also a reception outside. All three occasions were boring standard hotel food you can get everywhere - not a disaster but also nothing above average and something I would like to eat on a wedding reception.

            1. re: honkman

              ahh, i was wondering if they did different food for events & large parties. i guess the unfortunate answer is yes.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Probably they have "event" menus and then the menus for the regular guests. I have thoroughly enjoyed many meals at the Estancia. (The food at Mustang and Burros comes from the Adobe kitchen even though the menus of the two restaurants are not very similar.) The food is somewhat pricey, but the fresh ingredients, excellent preparation, and service warrant the prices--IMHO.
                So for a rehearsal dinner, if you wanted to save money, you'd probably need to order from the "event" menu--and then there would be no point if the food is as honkman describes.

          2. re: honkman

            I think Piatti's is your best bet for what you're looking for food, location and price-wise.

            If you're going to be on Convoy, the only places that will hold a large party will be Emerald (Cantonese) or China Max (Cantonese). Jasmine (Cantonese) is also set up for banquets but the food is not as good as Emerald.

            In the Mira Mesa area, the good Indian places (Surati Farsan, Punjabi Tandoor, Copper Chimney) are not large enough for your party, although the latter two do cater.

            Punjabi Tandoor
            9235 Activity Rd, San Diego, CA

            China Max Restaurant
            4698 Convoy St Ste 101, San Diego, CA 92111

          3. thank you for your suggestions. for additional clarifications:

            1. any idea how much this Cottage would be per person?
            2. we're looking around $30 per person, which feels low but i've never done this before.
            3. Mira Mesa is another place to look. is that where all the varied Asian restaurants are? ooh, what's that street called? convey?
            4. The dinner will be on a Saturday night, which I guess entails that the restaurant/venue be big enough to have a private room to accommodate that many on their chief earning night. (they're even getting married in a synagogue on a sunday! who gets married in a boring synagogue when in sunny California?!)
            5. for the record, for my own wedding, whenever that may be, we will be dining on duck confit. i will only invite as many guests as i can afford to feed duck to. a man must have his priorities, and duck is mine. after, of course, getting married.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Rosiepigs

              I think Piatti would work. They have a fairly reasonable catering rate. I don't think it would include alcohol at 30 per person. You could probably reserve an area of the patio which is quite nice.

              1. re: Rosiepigs

                - not a clue what The Cottage would cost, but you can call them and ask:
                - Mira Mesa is better for Indian and Filipjno. Convoy Street and its bounty of Asian restaurants is in Clairemont Mesa
                - people who can't afford the obscene expense of an outdoor wedding get married in a boring synagogue in sunny California ;)

                1. re: Rosiepigs

                  I'm sure they'll (The Cottage) work with you. Call'em.

                2. The best vegetarian wedding and special event caterer in San Diego is Eatopia Catering
         Their food is to live for. They have a very extensive, but not too expensive, menu with dishes such as vegan "caviar", "beef" wellington, deviled "eggs", boursin "cheese", "chicken" picatta, quiches, "cheese"cakes, etc. They also do a variety of ethic cuisines.