HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >


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

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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. 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. I would suggest Wine Vault for dinner and then Vin de Syrah for cocktails.

        1. 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. Georges or Winevault.

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: Fake Name

              But you gotta admit that that sounds fun, right?

            2. +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

                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

                  Then I'd do exactly what Salty has suggested.


                  1. re: tallmomsd

                    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

                      How about 1500 Ocean?

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

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        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. What about Craft + Commerce in Little Italy?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gator28

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

                    2. 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

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

                      2. 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!