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Apr 27, 2012 08:57 PM

Graduation Lunch

Hi everyone! Newbie here...but been a longtime lurker. Would love to get some advice from the experts :]

I'm trying to decide on a graduation restaurant on a Saturday for a group of 16. I'd like to spend ~$30 pp and am wondering what the best options are since Saturday lunch is not as common. At that budget I am thinking I'm either going to end up with good view but mediocre food, or good food and mediocre ambiance. I love a lot of Sunday brunch menus, but a lot of places don't offer them on Saturday!

Potentially thinking about Prado pre-set menu (summer menu still hasn't come out yet), Brockton without a pre-set menu, Jake's Del Mar...tried calling some other places (JSix, Pacifica, etc) but they all had some restrictions that I couldn't work with.

I'd really love to try Cucina Urbana or Searsucker but they're not open for lunch or brunch on Saturdays.

Thanks in advanced!

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  1. Great view, pretty good lunch on a Saturday....Bali Hai. When I was there it looked like they would be comfy with a large group. (But not really a foodie place like some of the places you mentioned, but then I don't think of Prado that way either.)

    6 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Thanks! This looks good :) Doesn't have to be a foodie place, but just trying to think of anything that my guests would enjoy (mix of em...some foodies, some oldies who just wanna eat).

      1. re: elwang

        I highly recommend the hoisin beef skewers and the onion rings--they were both stellar.

      2. re: escondido123

        Good call esco123 on Bali Hai..great view, good food and tons of parking.

        1. re: Beach Chick

          have you been since Chef Powell left? I'm wondering if the food is up to the same caliber. I've never had the chance to visit.

          I'm going to throw Whisknladle out there, as well as Prep-Kitchen Little Italy. I know I've been recommending Flavor Del Mar a lot recently, but they have an amazing view, great food, and a private room - The lunch menu looks to fit your price range very well

          1. re: Rodzilla

            Flavor was the first place I thought. They aren't as well known for their brunch but have a very nice one (both in food and view).

            On Bali Hai, have to re-affirm that I can't quite recommend it after Chef Powell left unless someone has been there and can assure it is good.

        2. re: escondido123

          Bali Hai would be great. Also Casa Guadalajara is very reasonable and does a good job with mid-sized parties.

        3. I reviewed it here under Lunch in Point Loma about two weeks ago. Never ate there before.

          1. Catamaran outside on the terrace, with view of the bay and boardwalk. New chef, formerly of the Lodge at Torrey Pines. Not sure if the website has updated lunch/breakfast menus-- but they could easily accomodate a large group and any special requests.

            7 Replies
            1. re: pickypicky

              I haven't been there and their menus show no prices. Since you've eaten there, how was it and how were the prices?

              1. re: escondido123

                The menus online are not what I remember when I was there. Lunch was in $10+ range, if I remember correctly-- and ranged from salads, sandwiches, to full entrees. I had a fish sandwich with a chile mayo on a torta roll. Not highly original but delicious and nicely presented. We asked about the burger, and they grind Niman beef in-house-- same kind of quality as the A R Valentien but not as expensive.

              2. re: pickypicky

                Would that be part of the Atoll restaurant. Haven't been there in years, sounds like a great place on a sunny day.

                1. re: foodiechick

                  Oh, but even on a grey day the views are still amazing...and I'd love to be there in a thunder storm!

                  1. re: foodiechick

                    New breakfast menu (not the Brunch buffet but the menu breakfast)-- as good as the Lodge's but with a better view. Def. go on a sunny day. The dining room is 80s hideous, ala "Southern California Old People's Home."

                    1. re: pickypicky

                      I don't know if you're referring to the Bali Hai, but if you are it has been completely renovated and is very open and airy with a retro vibe.

                      1. re: escondido123

                        No, I meant the Atoll dining room at the Catamaran. The Bali Hai renov is very nice.

                2. Thanks everyone for the recommendations!!

                  I ended up going with Bali Hai since I also have some older Asian tastes to accommodate and I think they would like the Hawaiian/Asian-influenced foods :)

                  I am thinking about doing a brunch on Sunday possibly one of these other places??

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: elwang

                      I think the Bali Hai will be a good call..they have a boat dock and command a water taxi over and tool around the bay for an hour for the 'big man on campus' would be a fun ending..

                      Sunday, like our beloved Fakey mentioned Urban Solace is a excellent.
                      Searsucker for brunch is quite the menu.

                    2. Haha okay new dilemma! Thanks to Beach Chick for the recommendation on the water taxi, I'm thinking about taking the taxi from Bali Hai after lunch to Coronado...however, this probably means I'm gonna need to take everyone to eat somewhere since we'll be getting there around 5PM and after bumming around together for a few'll be time to eat again! But I'd really like something really low key, quick and easy but also some place good to bring everyone to...not too picky about location, although Coronado might be nice/easier. Any suggestions??

                      Thanks again!! :D You guys rock!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: elwang

                        I can't help with the dinner rec, but I can 3rd Urban Solace for the Brunch

                        1. re: elwang

                          Hi elwang!
                          Good call on the water taxi but make sure they will pick up your group at the Bali Hai dock..are you renting out the water taxi for the 2 hours or having them pick up the 16 people?
                          Call to arrange..
                          Coronado, you can go to the Coronado Brewery..take a tour, have a beer and app's/dinner.
                          Candelas is another great place...everyday happy hour from 4-6pm..this would be the ticket.
                          Coronado Ferry Landing with shops and resto's on the bay.
                          Have fun and report back!


                          1. re: Beach Chick

                            Thanks so much Beach Chick for all the recs! They're gonna pick up the 16 people from Bali Hai and drop-off at Coronado - I'm excited! I think 2 hours on the Bay wouldn't be that exciting...or maybe just because I've had to take way too many people on the SDHE Harbor Cruise :P

                            I'll definitely report back :) Thanks everyone!

                            1. re: elwang

                              Awesome elwang!
                              See about happy hour at Candelas Coronado..