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Mar 7, 2012 12:12 AM

21st birthday dinner ideas?

My boyfriend is turning 21 soon and I am going to pay him a surprise visit on his birthday. I'd really like to take him somewhere fun for his 21st where he can have some great food and try a few drinks. However, it needs to be somewhere that I can get in as well, since I won't be 21 for a few more months. My boyfriend goes to UCSD but has a car, so we could potentially travel outside of La Jolla. Any places that are particularly noteworthy for such an occasion?

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  1. Have you thought about heading down to Rosarito Beach for the weekend?
    Bajamar is one of my fave's to stay and your close to eating lobster and drinking beers at Puerto Nuevo..
    If not, George's Modern in LJ, Trulucks has a great happy hour in faux LJ next to the Hyatt.
    You can go for drinks and app's at the Marine Room and sit in the bar and hopefully, the high tide will be up and the waves will splash against the glass.
    Jsix at the Hotel Solamar in the Gaslamp..check for rooms too so you can have champagne back in your room and go out and have some fun.

    Happy birthday to your boyfriend!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      Thanks so much for your reply! I've checked out some of your ideas and they all seem really nice- we've actually been wanting to try George's for a while. Unfortunately most of these places seem a bit too pricey for my budget. I'd like to treat him since it's his birthday and all, but I have already paid $150 for my plane ticket and am a poor college student. Any suggestions that are a bit less pricey?

      1. re: chikckakeet

        I would second truluck's. Go at HH and the prices are more than right. And the quality of the food is there. However, you have to go early to nab a table.

        1. re: 4wino

          My flight doesn't arrive until 7:50 PM and I leave the next day, so I'm worried we wouldn't make it in time for HH :/

          1. re: chikckakeet

            This late flight is a problem. La Jolla / UTC tends to shut down early, really early, even by San Diego standards. Even if you are on time, you would be hitting a lot of places as they are winding things down. I think you are much better off going directly from the airport to something in the Gaslamp / East Village / Little Italy, even as much maligned as those areas often are.

            1. re: RB Hound

              I agree, the situation is not ideal but it's the best I could do since I have a midterm the day I leave. I'm fine with heading straight from the airport to something in downtown SD. In fact, this is probably the best option since the airport is closer to those areas than UCSD is.

    2. I would check with his friends to see what they have planned. You are getting in so late and it is a surprise, so chances are high he'll be in black out mode by then. It might save you a night of anger. Otherwise, I don't see a point in blowing a bunch of cash on places like Georges, TJ or whatever for someone who wants to get tanked and probably doesn't care too much for solid food or traveling too far. La Jolla Brew House or something similar will probably fit the bill.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mjill

        He won't be going out with his friends, that much I can guarantee. He enjoys good food but I think for the purpose of his 21st I'd really just like to take him somewhere we can grab dinner and I can buy him a drink or two he'd like to try. We'll probably end up going back to his apt to drink together afterwards.

        1. re: mjill

          The La Jolla Brew House actually looks like it might be the best fit given our circumstances. The price range is good and it's open late, even on a Tue. Thanks for the suggestion!

          1. re: chikckakeet

            I personally would recommend against the Brew House, my experiences there have not been positive (and several friends have said the same thing independently). How much are you willing to spend? Starlite is in the $15-20/entree range, very good food, a cool bar and awesome drinks. It's in Mission Hills so you'd have to drive.

            1. re: mayache

              Would be perfect except I'm not 21 yet, so I wouldn't be able to get in.

              1. re: mayache

                The Public House in La Jolla is nearby, has a much wider selection of beers than the Brew House, and better food. Unless you are coming in on a Sunday evening (only open until 9) or Monday (closed altogether), they are open until 11.


          2. Hi..
            Is he going to be picking you up at the airport?
            If so, maybe head to the Bali Hai on Shelter Island which is about 5-10 minutes (RB ; ) and have a lovely dinner with views of SD and its on the bayfront and they make a fab mai tai with food to match.
            You could also have lunch in San Diego and that could be George's up on the ocean terrace which is casual in LJ to Fish Market sushi bar on the waterfront downtown.
            Tender Greens at Liberty Station next to the airport is excellent for lunch or dinner.
            SD shuts down early..