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New Year's Eve dinner with kids

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Okay, here’s my dilemma. My wife and I will be in San Diego from Tuesday, Dec.28 through Sunday, Jan. 2. As frequent visitors, we have our eating agenda pretty well mapped out. Okan on Tuesday night, Kaito Sushi on Wednesday night, and probably Café Chloe on Thursday night (more on that later), with a long list to pick from for daytime meals that includes Super Cocina, Tender Greens, Mariscos German, Las Brisas, Mariscos Godoy, Aqui es Texcoco, Mariscos El Pescador, Sang Dao, Sab-E-Lee, and Ba Ren. We’re always on the hunt for new places, so if you have any hot new spots, please let me know. So much good food, so little time!

On Friday, we will be joined by good friends and their three children, ages 10 and 8 (twins). Our flights back home leave prior to dinnertime on Sunday, so we only have two dinners with them – one on Friday, New Year’s Eve, and the other on Saturday, New Year’s Day. We have a reservation at Yakyudori Yakitori & Ramen on Saturday, so that leaves New Year’s Eve. I originally made a reservation at Café Chloe, but they called back to tell me that they would have to charge the full $65 price fixe for the three kids. The kids eat like birds, so paying $65 each for their meals isn’t going to work. I’ve checked a number of other restaurants that might be suitable for family dining with three small children, but they all also have price fixe menus for New Year’s Eve. Okan and Otan are closed. So, San Diego Hounds, I need your help. Can you suggest an appropriate place with good food for our group of four adults and three children for a New Year’s Eve dinner? Other than Chinese (our friends are Chinese and primarily eat Chinese food at home) and Mexican (which will be largely the type of food we will be eating at lunch with them), I’m open as to the type of food. It doesn’t need to be ethnic or exotic, just good. I’d like a place that is moderately priced, and with a nice ambience – not upscale, but also not too downscale. Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. I rarely pay attention to New Year's Eve specials as we always entertain this night but I recall an email from Sea Rocket where they announced a night of tapas for New Year's Eve:

    http://searocketbistro.com/content/se...

    I'm pretty sure most others will be prix fixe this night. Similar would be El Take It Easy (it does not appear they're offering a NYE prix fixe dinner).

    Others I'm sure will chime in, but the last time I ate at Sea Rocket I felt it had gone downhill slightly but I know of others who maintain it's still excellent.

    -----
    El Take It Easy
    3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ewilensky

      I would never recommend Sea Rocket to anybody.

      Edit: To elaborate, I've never been a huge enthusiast, but their decline over the last few visits has been precipitous, IMO. I think the last meal I had there I really enjoyed was probably more than a year ago, and on our last visit some of the food was nearly inedible. I think they have a problem with not caring about their food, at least that's how it comes across to me.

      1. re: Josh

        Josh - I seem to recall you were a fan at one point. What happened? I'm not as big of a fan as I was when they first opened (uneven dishes as of late and bad service - I was willing to overlook the bad service when they first opened as "gowing pains" but there's no excuse anymore) but for NYE tapas they might be a decent place - especially with kids.

        1. re: Ewilensky

          I had enough decent meals there when they first opened, but the decline in quality has been just too much to take.

    2. Alchemy - It's still a prix fixe menu but only $38 (and you might call them and ask them if they can do something for the kids). Alchemy is currently one of our favorite places of the recent "new wave of bistro/gastropub" places in SD (like Urban Solace, Starlite, Jayne's, Cucina Urbana).

      1. There's a spot in Clairemont we like a lot called Buga. It's Korean BBQ, grilled at the table, and the atmosphere can be pretty festive, depending on how busy they are. Not sure if that's too close to Chinese, or if they're open, but might be worth a shot.

        1. I agree with Josh on Buga. It would be an excellent option because it's sort of like dinner and a show...your meal is cooking in front of you. It would keep the kids entertained. As far as I'm concerned, it's quite authentic Korean and different from Chinese cuisine.

          1. Alchemy would be a good choice the price is right for the quality, kid friendly and they are offering the full menu along w/ the prix fixe....

            1. You might want to check Roy's (locations downtown and UTC). I dont know what the NYE dinner entails, but I do know that they take special care of children and the food is very good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sdnativa

                Thanks, all. I made a reservation at Alchemy. Buga was also a good recommendation, but Alchemy got the nod for a greater range of dishes. We have some pretty good Korean BBQ in Seattle, though not as good as L.A., where I previously lived. I'll keep Buga on my list for my next trip to San Diego.