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GREAT food...AND great AMBIANCE in san diego... help?!

tallmomsd Sep 17, 2012 05:39 PM

Hi everyone,so! six of my girlfriends are going out on the town on the 29th... as part of my 50th Birthday celebration weekend! We are ALL foodies, 1 of us is a thai chef, 2 are from out of town. We will be dressed up for dancing, and it needs to feel special, but NOT over the top (elegance or $$). I have searched, looked at ratings, and more...

Sbicca? Hexagone? Blue Boheme?
or does it need to be a chain (jakes,


  1. honkman Sep 17, 2012 06:06 PM

    I would recommend Georges (downstairs). Excellent food, good cocktails, nice ambience but not overly expensive. We had mediocre experiences at Sbicca and Blue Boheme

    1 Reply
    1. re: honkman
      ipsedixit Sep 17, 2012 08:13 PM

      +1 on Georges.

    2. foodiechick Sep 17, 2012 06:15 PM

      Unfortunately, I don't think you will get recs on this board for any of the restaurants you listed above.

      Honkman is right on.

      1. j
        janeyoc Sep 17, 2012 06:35 PM

        I would suggest Wine Vault for dinner and then Vin de Syrah for cocktails.

        1. SaltyRaisins Sep 17, 2012 07:07 PM

          Starlite for dinner. Then Aero Club for a whiskey. Then dancing at Bar Dynamite, then a late (even if subpar) taco at Luche Libre. All on one street with five min walks in between. You may be on the thin side of the bell curve, but then what more is a bell curve other than a silly statistical representation of meaningless "age" distribution?


          2 Replies
          1. re: SaltyRaisins
            DiningDiva Sep 18, 2012 11:56 AM

            Love it SR!

            1. re: DiningDiva
              pegasus505 Sep 19, 2012 03:47 PM

              Ditto, SR

          2. Fake Name Sep 17, 2012 08:41 PM

            Georges or Winevault.

            I'd not consider either of your possibilities based on your goals.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Fake Name
              SaltyRaisins Sep 17, 2012 10:16 PM

              But you gotta admit that that sounds fun, right?

            2. Rodzilla Sep 17, 2012 11:19 PM

              +5 for Georges, but you aren't going to find much dancing around La Jolla afterwards - any restrictions on location?

              There are places closer to Downtown that have good food and a fitting ambiance, but none will showcase what SD has to offer as well as Georges IMO.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Rodzilla
                tallmomsd Sep 18, 2012 07:46 AM

                thank you everyone, this feedback is really helpful! am re-thinking things now. so georges if La Jolla, but what about downtown (closer to dancing!)

                1. re: tallmomsd
                  Fake Name Sep 18, 2012 01:13 PM

                  Then I'd do exactly what Salty has suggested.


                  1. re: tallmomsd
                    Rodzilla Sep 18, 2012 02:54 PM

                    Starlight, Cafe Chloe, and Wine Vault are all normal recs for food but I'm not sure it's the ambiance you want.

                    Cucina Urbana, Saltbox, and Jsix would all be worth looking into as well - which may have more of a scene, but I'm not sure how "special" it will feel...you could see about get reservations for Noble Experiment for cocktails.

                    you could go for the view at Bertand at Mr. A's...but you'll pay for it.

                    1. re: tallmomsd
                      ipsedixit Sep 18, 2012 08:00 PM

                      How about 1500 Ocean?

                      Wonder if Opaque is still doing events in SD ...

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        Rodzilla Sep 18, 2012 10:28 PM

                        I haven't heard much since Martinez left + pretty costly, and I'm not sure there's all that much of a Coronado nightlife.

                  2. g
                    gator28 Sep 18, 2012 11:02 AM

                    What about Craft + Commerce in Little Italy?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gator28
                      Rodzilla Sep 18, 2012 02:37 PM

                      kind of an upscale pub? Likely way to casual to be considered a special occasion, and not really a dancing spot

                      1. re: Rodzilla
                        pickypicky Sep 18, 2012 03:30 PM

                        depends on how much they get out.

                        1. re: pickypicky
                          ipsedixit Sep 18, 2012 07:55 PM


                    2. Dagney Sep 18, 2012 06:13 PM

                      Hmmm. in the Gaslamp? Yeah I second J Six. I have not eaten at Saltbox, but it always appears to be fairly well put together, meaning it does not look like a frat party. Oh! and Bice could be a solid choice. As for clubs, stay AWAY from Belo, but check out Fluxx.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Dagney
                        Rodzilla Sep 18, 2012 06:45 PM

                        I think Fluxx is likely a bit more techno, rave-esq club scene thatn they're looking for.

                      2. t
                        tallmomsd Sep 19, 2012 12:59 PM

                        well, the GOOD news is that thanks to all of you, I have a nice list of restaurants to try all throughout my 50th year! so - in keeping all of my guests tastes in mind - here's what we're doing on the one night:
                        dinner at Cafe Sevilla (dining room not show), then to Vin de Syrah - mostly so I can send my friends in by pairs, and watch them try to find the secret entrance. do a little dancing there, and then over to ANDAZ roof top for the spectacular view of the city (p.s. they have a wonderful mix-ologist "josh" that makes amazing martini's (was definately under-utilized the night I was there doing research. everyone next to us was ordering rum and coke's. for us he muddled cucumber, with some simple syrup, vodka, gingerale and a splash of bitters (there may have been other ingredients but that what I saw);
                        then we'll go over to Humphrey's Back Stage Live to meet up with a larger number of gals for dancing to their live band (70's, disco and top 40). I'll try all those other restaurants with my HUSBAND! thanks again everyone!

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