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Dec 16, 2011 03:50 PM

Calm. Quiet. Warm. Peaceful. Soft. Care. Slow. Refined. Hushed. Candlelight.

Where in San Diego can I enjoy a meal in an environment with these characteristics? There must be places besides Addison.

Mrs Name and I want to enjoy a meal with friends- just a few- and have meaningful and enlightening dialog (that's why the friends are coming) without having to scream at each other, without being rushed out of our seats. Maybe it's a nice booth, a quiet table staff that know we're no there to visit them, but know the menu and wine list well enough to assist.

Not willing to spend a fortune- we'll go straight up to Del Mar for that. But I'm not going to quibble, either. I'm willing to make compromises on the food- must be high quality, but a limited menu is fine.

Think the opposite of:

Banker's Hill <<<<<<<
Harney "Sushi" <<<<<<
Urban Kitchen
Starlite Lounge
Cucina Urbana
Super Sergios
Wine Vault

all of which are good places (yes, some are better than others) but are so busy and noisy I really don't enjoy them very much. Except Super Sergios, and then I eat in my car, listening to soft music without commercial interruption.

Know any?

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  1. I was kind of surprised with this, but my recent experience with Cafe Bleu on Washington had these characteristics. I hated the atmosphere at their other location, but the new place is a lot nicer and less shiny-surfaced. The food is not the most creative, but is good, and their new part owner, Javier, takes very good care of his customers.

    A presto

    2 Replies
      1. re: SaltyRaisins

        Just ate there a few days ago with wife and friends. Very pleasant dining experience overall -- nice room, eclectic wine list, staff. But while food wasn't bad it fell a bit short. Canapes as apps were a mixed bag, one very interesting but another like a frozen pastry puff. My fish (opah) had a nice smoky flavor from the grill and a delicious romesco sauce, but was terribly overcooked to the hockey puck level. Probably should have sent it back but I hate to do that. Definitely a nice place to eat with friends, but hard for me to recommend on food quality unless we just had an unlucky night.

      2. Have you been to Freebirds in Hillcrest yet?

        Cross it off your list. They were playing Beastie Boys on a Monday at volume 11 when I went.

        Would Manhattan in La Jolla fit the bill?

        Or maybe Po Pazzo (not so great) or Puerto La Boca (good) on nights they don't have live music?

        1. Grant Grill had a quiet, relaxed atmosphere when we went. Lots of leather and padded chairs seemed to help keep the noise down.

          1 Reply
          1. Faklin...
            We enjoy a couple of places in the Ranch...
            Mille Fleurs and The Inn of RSF..understated elegance..kind of like me.. : )
            Grant Grill and Le Fountainebleau room next door.
            I love dark, quiet, leather booths with a chilled relish trash, strong cocktails and rubenesque paintings..

            12 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              "I love dark, quiet, leather booths with a chilled relish trash, strong cocktails and rubesque paintings"

              I see you've been hitting up Albie's Beef Inn again. Not what I think FN had in mind ;-)

              1. re: DiningDiva

                actually, Bully's east came immediately to mind. But the food is just too far away from The Standard.

                1. re: Fake Name

                  I immediately assumed she was referring to Bully's East. Love those booths next to or in the bar area....for the complete opposite of what you are looking for lol.

                  1. re: Fake Name

                    Me too, but I haven't seen any Rubenesque paintings at Bullys, and the nudes are still ever present at Albies

                  2. re: DiningDiva

                    LOL..I was going to write Albie's Beef Inn but thought not.
                    Manhattan's in LJ is so old school but some of the waiters break into operatic song which is a lovely sound.

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Big changes at Manhattan's. The opera singers have all passed on, and the place has turned into an absolute scene. We had to walk out 2 weeks ago because of the noise level of the overflow crowd.

                      1. re: foodiechick

                        Well that is a huge bummer...those beloved waiters singing will be missed.
                        Maybe the 'absolute scene' was because you walked in the door..
                        ; )

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          I love these faux flare-ups between the two "chicks"

                          1. re: mcgrath

                            Do you have suggestions on the topic, McGrath?

                            1. re: millerowski

                              Hi keed! No suggestions other than the one perfect place already mentioned, where one can get mock turtle soup.

                    2. re: Beach Chick

                      The Village in RSF does seem to be the last bastion of quiet dining in the county. I am curious to see what will happen with Delicias once it gets its makeover.

                    3. Mille Fleurs
                      Oton--even get your own private room!
                      Tapenade. is quiet but haven't been there in a while, so can't vouch for the food.
                      or Mision 19 in TJ if you're so inclined.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: daantaat

                        Oton- good choice. Went once, should return. Thanks!