Foodie Couple Heading for SD next Week --
-- staying at Gaslamp. Have car (and will travel).
- terrific Mexican (upscale/mid) for dinner -- anywhere (we're from LA and love Babita, Rivera).
- something beach area for dinner (MB, PB or LJ)
- already did a search for gaslamp
We really like Rivera but there isn't anything remotely on that level for Mexican/Latin in SD. For upscale in SD you will only have a few choices in SD mainly focusing on "California" cuisine with some French influences, Georges, Kitchen 1540
For mid to upscale Mexican head to Tijuana and Mision 19. Park in the Border Station lot, walk across, grab a cab to the restaurant, they'll call one to take you back to the border. Simply walk back and pick up your car. Just be sure to remember your passport. Truly, there is NOTHING in San Diego that even remotely resembles more sophisticated Mexican dining.
You might check out El Take it Easy on 30th. They do some pretty interesting things with a lot of Mexican flair and influence which is unique to them and to SD. You can walk a block to their sister restaurant The Linkery and pick up a bottle of their Mexican olive oil as a souvenier. It is outstanding.
Upscale Mex, I would take the water taxi over from Gaslamp to Coronado to Candelas..or you can go up to Escondido to Hacienda de Vega..one of my faves.
Beach dinner, George's at the Cove sit on the ocean terrace or Eddie V's...drinks at Marine Room in La Jolla.
JRDN at Tower 23 in PB for drinks and apps after riding bikes down the boardwalk..hit up Green Flash and World Famous at the Surfer..ride the roller coaster at Belmont Park.
Gaslamp, Dobson's for the divine mussel bisque en croute...JSix at Hotel Solamar for lunch or dinner...Top of the Market at the Fish Market upstairs...oyster bar/sushi bar/bayfront patio for drinks and apps.
re: Beach Chick
Thanks for the recs so far. I know a lot of my query was pretty general.
Instead of upscale Mexican, what about just a terrific Mexican restaurant? (Realize there's a humongous posting on this topic, I scanned it, but just got a lot of debate).
Also Italian recs would be good.
Also recs for restaurants in the hip neighborhoods (I'm blanking on their names, forgive me, just starting my research).
Let's see - for good, but not necessarily upscale Mexican food, Super Cocina, Tacos El Gordo, Mama Testa, and Mariscos German would all fit the bill.
For Italian, it does depend on what you're looking for. Both Pizzeria Bruno and Cafe Calabria both produce true Neapolitan-style pizzas. Arrivederci in Hillcrest is good but crowded. My favorite, but non-traditional (to say the least), Italian restaurant currently is Cucina Urbana, but I've heard good things about Bencotto in Little Italy as well.
As far as restaurants in "hip" neighborhoods - you can go to Urban Solace, the Linkery, El Take It Easy, Toronado, the Ritual Tavern (and a few others I can't recall at this time), but going to 30th and University, in San Diego's North Park neighborhood. South Park is another hip neighborhood (and you would just go south on 30th from North Park), and I would suggest going to either Vagabond or Alchemy.