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Some advice for next Thurs in the Gaslamp for a BOS Chowhounder?

In town next week on business. 8 folks for a business dinner, but it is a fairly young crowd of ambitious eaters and drinkers. We are staying at the Hard Rock, apparently for better or worse.

Did some research on here and it looks like there are less options close by than I anticipated.

1. Nabu, service sounds meh.
2. Acqua Al 2, only one review which makes me nervous, although the menu looks good.
3. Blue Point, meh.,

The high points within close vicinity of the hotel appear to be:

1. Donovan's
2. Oceanaire

I'd really rather not do a steak house because its not really "San Diego" in my mind, so I am thinking cab it to Fish Market for drinks/apps, followed by Oceanaire for dinner. That idea was recomended on this board.

Couple questions:

1. Assuming we go with my plan, the reason for Fish Market is to get the "San Diego" experience, which I would hope would basically guarantee us a seat by the water or at least with a view. On a Thursday night, is that going to be a problem for just drinks and apps for 8?

2. Any other recomendations which don't involve much more than a 10 minute cab ride? Price is not irrelevant (i.e. no $250pp omakase) but $50-$100 a person is not a huge deal.

Thanks all!

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Oceanaire
San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

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  1. Even though it is a steak house Cowboy Star might be a good option. It is relatively close by, has an unique ambience and very good food which is much better than your average steak house. It is also not too loud for a business dinner (they also have a separate room if it is necessary for you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: honkman

      +1 for Cowboy Star. San Diegan's like steakhouses too!
      For a San Diego experience I'd want drinks with a view and for that would choose Island Prime C Level or Candela's because that vantage point, view across the water to the downtown skyline, is much better than looking out at the bay and Navy grey nothingness from downtown at the Fish Market.

    2. I would do Jsix at the Hotel Solamar in the Gaslamp..excellent menu and venue.
      You could take the water taxi over to Coronado and you could eat at the gorgeous Hotel Del Coronado at the fab 1500 Ocean restaurant and then have drinks at the bar and wander the stunning grounds...have a couple of taxis meet you at the dock..

      Candelas is another thought from the water taxi and great views of Downtown SD.
      Grant Grill at the US Grant Hotel is quite good.
      Dobson's for some of the best mussel bisque en croute with some wine and sourdough bread with great fresh fish entrees.

      Fish Market Downtown, I would go to the Top of the Market which is upstairs..great fresh seafood...sushi bar downstairs is quite good and drinks and app's on the outside patio deck bayfront.
      Island Prime at Harbor Island for drinks and app's only...waterfront.
      Bali Hai in Shelter Island for some of the best mai tais and Polynesian food with great bayfront SD views.
      Roy's Hawaiian SD would be another option.

      Go and have a scallop sandwich at Point Loma Seafoods for lunch and a carnitas/carne asada burrito at one of many of our fab taco shops throughout town.
      If you get to La Jolla, I would go to the Marine Room or George's Modern for fine dining or the ocean terrace for casual..get their before sunset.
      Have fun and report back!

      www.sdhe.com
      www.hoteldel.com
      www.marineroom.com
      www.georgesatthecove.com

      1. cucina urbana is a great spot and personal favorite of mine.. Short cab ride and you can then go over to mister A's across the street for after dinner drinks..

        2 Replies
        1. re: SDGourmand

          I would actually consider Mr. A's for sundown cocktails (a little early though this time of year-maybe 5:10 pm). They have a happy hour on the patio. I am rather new to town but if there is better view in the downtown area of the mountains, city, bay and out toward the sea, then I am all ears. Georges has an AMAZING ocean view, but in la Jolla.

          1. re: lyn

            Top of the Hyatt at the Manchester Grand is a great spot for cocktails..

            www.manchestergrand.hyatt.com

        2. Know that seafood out here is not at all like the seafood in BOS, despite being at oceanfront. (my husband grew up in BOS- Milton).

          Since you said Drinks and apps and a view, Island Prime will fill that bill.

          Mr. A's would also be impressive for out of towners.

          For good food downtown, Cowboy Star. It would be more amenable for a business dinner. You don't have to order beef (pork belly, lamb, duck, chicken, pork, seabass, salmon...)

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          Island Prime
          880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

          1. Cowboy Star is great call but..
            'I'd really rather not do a steak house'..

            Comparing BOS seafood to SAN are two different animals..
            OP wants a 'SD experience' with seafood..though I love me a good Neptune's and Locke-Ober, I feel that you can't get any more SD than Georges, 1500 Ocean, Jsix or Top of the Market.