Places to eat near the Grand Hyatt
I'll be staying at the Grand Hyatt for 4 days on a business trip. I am asking the help of fellow board members to steer me towards great eats. In exchange, I promise to write mini-reviews of the places I visit. I did it in the past and it turned out to be a great success (at least for me).
I will have not have a car but I am a good walker. I'd prefer something with 30 mins walking of the Grand Hyatt. However, I will take a cab for something exceptionally good. I'm not much into burger joints, otherwise I am OK with pretty much everything, from the cheap ethnic shack to the expensive upscale place (business is paying, eh :). I won't have a date or business customers to impress and entertain. It will be only me and my hunger for tasty food.
I am looking also for a pub with a good selection of beers or a nice wine bar where I can relax a little in the evening.
PS. This is the address of the hotel.
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
One Market Place,
San Diego, California, USA 92101
Walkable to your hotel, Neighborhood and Downtown Johnny Browns have the best selection of beer on tap.
Neighborhood has better food, 2 for 1 pints of local beer at happy hour and a trendier atmosphere. I really like the chorizo corn dogs at Neighborhood.
Johnny Browns is a lot bigger and is generally not very crowded, has a more laid back/sports bar vibe with TV's, pool table and shuffleboard and is closer to your hotel.
Check out each bar's website to see if there are specific beers that appeal to you as well.
Downtown Johnny Brown's
1220 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
I am in San Diego now. I arrived last night. I had dinner at Sally's Sea Food as suggest in a post here that now I can no longer see.
I happened to meet a colleague in the hotel lobby as I was going out and he joined me. When we got in, it took several minutes before someone paid attention to us. At one point we had 5 staff workers standing in front of us. None of them bothered to ask us if we needed help. Eventually, what seems to be an overwhelmed host told us there was a 10 mins wait for a table inside, despite there were many empty tables, or no wait for a table outside where the heaters were broken. We opted for a table outside. Our waiter showed up fairly quickly to take our orders. I ordered the fixed menu (http://sallyssandiego.com/food-wine/p... $35) which included fried calamari, short ribs, and a chocolate and banana desert. I was a bit surprised that the main entree wasn' t fish being a sea food restaurant. My companion ordered the signature appetizer ($16) only since he had a late lunch. For drinks, I liked the idea of the beer pairing with the menu, but I ordered a read ale instead (I forget the name) which I liked, and my companion ordered a glass of red wine (again, I forget exactly what).
Our drinks arrived quickly. Not so our food. After maybe a 30-40 minutes and no food, our waiter showed up again and deeply apologized for the delay in the kitchen saying he would get a manager involved. A few minutes later the manager showed up with all our dishes together, including the desert, and a promise to "take care of us at the end".
The calamari were crisp and dry. I liked the fake newspaper (some sort of laminated paper) at the bottom of the dish for presentation. The ribs (two boneless pieces) were very tender and tasty. They came with a couple of grilled jumbo shrimps which were also very tender. The chocolate cake was good. It had a dense outer layer with some kind of with a rich creamy interior. Overall I found my food very good and well prepared, but not exceptional either for taste or presentation. When I read the menu I had higher expectations.
When our bill came we found the manager gave us a 50% discount. In NJ/NYC, where I live, you are lucky to get a verbal apology. And we we hadn't even complained! Kudos to our waiter for being proactive and extra tip for him (on the full bill amount).
This morning I had the buffet breakfast at the hotel's Lael's restaurant. Nothing interesting to write about it. Just the standard overpriced high-end hotel breakfast, rather poor service, and a "broken espresso machine".
I would suggest you try Jsix restaurant which is a healthy walk from the Hyatt (at 6th Avenue and J Street in the boutique Hotel Solamar), or you could always catch a pedi-cab. There is a rooftop Bar/Lounge, but the main draw is Chef Graves simple yet creative menu in the downstairs restaurant, using high quality, local ingredients.