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Del Mar help

In La Jolla for a few days in Oct to do a quick family weekend. Seeking input on choices in DelMar. Three names from friend: Kitchen 1540, Pacifica, Jake's.
There are six of us. Looking for something special, memorable. All enjoy good food, good vino, good atmosphere. It's a rare get together so we can splurge.
Also, any good ideas for casual pizza in La Jolla?

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  1. Try Fidels or Tony Jacals for good Mexican food. Good margaritas also. It's on Stevens Ave near the Racetrack. The Fish Market is also good. That's on the same street. Good pizza at Pizza Port. There is also homemade root beer and beer. That's in Solana Beach off 101, a little north of Del Mar.

    1. Kitchen 1540 for sure. Wouldn't waste my time with jakes or Pacifica, unless it was for a drink only.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SDGourmand

        Second Kitchen 1540. You might call ahead and reserve an outdoor cabana. Kinda like the cabanas at hotel pools. Gives you a private space but you're still under the stars (if the marine layer doesn't come in).

        1. re: steveprez

          Kitchen 1540 is the best of your list. They also have a private room that will seat 6. If you want to really amp up the food, wine, service and atmosphere, Addison on the other side of the 5 freeway in Carmel Valley is very good.

      2. Some other very good food places in the Del Mar/Solana Beach area are Market, Pamplemousse Grille and Blanca. (FYI, I have not visited Blanca since the new Chef, he has some big fans here.)

        I am a very big fan of Addison, but dinner for 6 there can get you to someplace between 1k-1.5k with your own wine!

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        Pamplemousse Grille
        514 Via de la Valle, Suite 100, Solana Beach, CA 92075

        2 Replies
        1. re: 4wino

          Skip Jakes. 1540 and The Market for sure. I even like Sbicca. Half off wine nights on Tues and Thurs. And since you have no problem splurging, get some takeout from Prep Kitchen and have a sunset picnic at Powerhouse park.

          1. re: globalsurf

            Has Sbicca improved their food? I haven't been for many years b/c I kept going back, assuming I was missing something and/or not getting why people liked it but came to the conclusion that it was mediocre food at Del Mar prices.

        2. For pizza we like Sammy's Woodfire Pizza in La Jolla close to UCSD.
          http://www.sammyspizza.com/

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          Sammy's Woodfired Pizza
          8650 Genesee Ave Ste 236, San Diego, CA 92122

          2 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile

            There's a Sammy's in the Del Mar Highlands Mall.

            1. re: wienermobile

              If good pizza is what you crave, it is worth the drive to get to Pizzeria Bruno in Normal Heights - head and shoulders above any other wood-fired oven place in town and it meets your criteria for good food, vino and atmosphere. About 30 minutes from Del Mar.
              Locally in Del Mar, Prepkitchen has good food.

            2. I agree with others that Jakes and Pacifica are unremarkable in terms of the food, although each one has a great setting and view. You probably wouldn't have a negative overall experience at either, but the food wouldn't be memorable.

              Kitchen 1540 has the greatest potential to be truly memorable - a gorgeous view with wonderful food.

              Also, there's a new place opening in October called Flavor in the Del Mar plaza, and I think the chef is affiliated with another great local restaurant, Market, so expectations for Flavor are very high. Not sure what the opening date is.

              I also like Prep Kitchen a lot, but I don't think it's in the memorable category. Very good and high quality, just more casual and not that unique or memorable.

              IMO, your best bet in Del Mar (for what you describe) is Kitchen 1540. Enjoy!

              1 Reply
              1. re: carli

                the chef of flavor is jason maitland he used to be the chef at arterra.. The guy who worked front of the house left market to partner with Jason on this project..