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ONE night in SD - what would you do?

AioneH Dec 5, 2012 06:55 PM

My husband and I will be in San Diego for one night in late-Dec. We'd love to stay somewhere within walking/short cab ride distance of an awesome restaurant and some bars to grab drinks on a Saturday night. We will have a car if needed, but would prefer to walk in order to enjoy some beverages.

Money for dinner doesn’t matter and we are semi-adventurous. For drinks, we love all beer, wine and cocktails. We’re in our 30s so we’d be looking for someplace with atmosphere but not the “club” scene. I’m willing to book a hotel based on its nearness to great food and drinks…any suggestions?

What is the current “hot” restaurant in San Diego and/or the shouldn’t miss place if we have one night to enjoy?

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  1. ipsedixit RE: AioneH Dec 5, 2012 07:31 PM

    I'm relatively new to the area, so you might want to wait for some of the vets to chime in, but I'll give you my 0.02.

    Stay in the Gaslamp area, where there are enough bars to keep a small country liquored up, and its convenient enough for a day-trip, by ferry, to Coronado where you can grab some great gelato at Bottega Italiana and take in the sights.

    As to where to eat in/around the Gaslamp area, I would suggest either Jsix, Cowboy Star, Hane Sushi or Shino Sushi.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      RhonelyInsanediego RE: ipsedixit Dec 6, 2012 11:34 AM

      The Ice Arena on the ocean at the Hotel Del is something that I think is definitely worth seeing and there are some nice places to eat on the Island as well.

      1500 Ocean at the Del
      Sheerwater at the Del
      ENO wine bar at the Del
      Candelas - for upscale Mexican
      Brigantine - for Fish Tacos and oysters
      Leroy's - Seasonal Cali cuisine
      Boathouse - Surf and Turf
      Coronado Brewing - Beer and Pub Grub
      Sapori or Vigaluccis - Italian
      Peohes - Killer views with overpriced seafood

      1. re: ipsedixit
        AioneH RE: ipsedixit Dec 7, 2012 01:10 PM

        Fantastic. Sounds like a lot of people agree w/ the Gaslamp area. I'll check it out more!

        1. re: AioneH
          bizzwriter RE: AioneH Dec 7, 2012 01:28 PM

          Since you're now zeroing in on the Gaslamp, I'm going to chime in with my #1 pre-dinner recommendation for that area: drinks at Noble Experiment. It's an experience you won't soon forget. You'll need to make a reservation at least a week in advance to ensure seating.


      2. c
        chetatkinsdiet RE: AioneH Dec 5, 2012 10:25 PM

        Just a question- do you want to stay out late? If not, I'd stay in La Jolla and hit george's and then be in walking distance of tons of places to get drinks. (This is all presuming money isn't an issue for any of it)

        4 Replies
        1. re: chetatkinsdiet
          pickypicky RE: chetatkinsdiet Dec 6, 2012 10:21 AM

          I second chet. In La Jolla within walking you have George's and 910, as dinner options. (Or Herringbone if "hot" trumps "great food" for you.) There are lots of drinks options after that, including the LA V and Eddie V's.

          1. re: pickypicky
            RB Hound RE: pickypicky Dec 6, 2012 11:56 AM

            The Public House in La Jolla has a pretty impressive selection of beers.

            1. re: RB Hound
              AioneH RE: RB Hound Dec 7, 2012 01:10 PM

              Noted. We like impressive selections of beer!

            2. re: pickypicky
              AioneH RE: pickypicky Dec 7, 2012 01:09 PM

              Thanks - sounds like a good option. We are planning to stay out for a bit after dinner, but do have an early flight the next morning so it won't be TOO late.

          2. Rodzilla RE: AioneH Dec 6, 2012 02:47 PM

            a quick look at your profile tells me you're from Minneapolis. I agree with everyone else about Georges. Hard to find cuisine that's more representative of SD, and the cove is one of the best places in SD.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Rodzilla
              RB Hound RE: Rodzilla Dec 6, 2012 04:14 PM

              One question, though - they say "one night" (which seems to suggest a side trip from something like LA). If they don't catch a lot of daylight (which is about 7:00 - 4:30, give or take), then the visuals of the Cove are a waste of time.

              Bring your nose plugs, though. :)

              1. re: RB Hound
                Rodzilla RE: RB Hound Dec 6, 2012 11:48 PM

                Valid point, but I would still go for the food and atmosphere.

                1. re: RB Hound
                  AioneH RE: RB Hound Dec 7, 2012 01:07 PM

                  Thanks for the tip! We'll be in SD after a few nights in Carlsbad - so chances are we'll be there for a good chunk of the daytime.

                2. re: Rodzilla
                  AioneH RE: Rodzilla Dec 7, 2012 01:11 PM

                  Thanks, that's good perspective!

                  1. re: AioneH
                    Rodzilla RE: AioneH Dec 8, 2012 10:52 PM

                    I was at Georges for a private reception yesterday, and I came back to reiterate my recommendation.

                    I just saw the Carlsbad bit, if you're a sushi fan I recommend a stop for the Omakase at Kaito in Encinitas. Not the trendy atmosphere you're looking for on your big night out, but some of the best sushi in SoCal.

                    1. re: Rodzilla
                      keena RE: Rodzilla Dec 9, 2012 12:40 PM

                      Finally drove up to Encinitas to try Kaito last week. OMG! Absolutely loved it! And this is coming from someone who usually goes to Ota. Kaz was really funny and a true master. I wish we lived closer to there but what a wonderful omakase it was. Loved everything that came our way.

                3. deckape RE: AioneH Dec 6, 2012 04:07 PM

                  If money is indeed no concern, check into staying at the La Valencia Hotel or the Colonial Inn. Both are in the "village" of La Jolla and a quick walk to stunning ocean views and some pretty good food and, of course, good cocktailing.

                  1. Beach Chick RE: AioneH Dec 7, 2012 04:45 AM

                    One night, Hotel Del during Xmas is stunning but can be pricey for one night but I like the Coronado vibe.
                    Gaslamp, stay at Hotel Solamar, Omni or US Grant and dine at Grant Grill, Top of the Market, Jsix..drinks at the top of the Hyatt...tons of bars..
                    La Jolla, Eddie V's, Georges, Nine- Ten and stay at La Valencia or Grande Colonial..lots of restos.

                    1. p
                      pickypicky RE: AioneH Dec 7, 2012 07:53 AM

                      One other different option: The Lodge at Torrey Pines Dine at A R Valentien after drinks in front of oak log fire in the small cozy bar or drinks on Terrace with view of sunset. Right outside the Lodge are trails to stroll or hike in Torrey Pines Reserve with views of the ocean. Very unique and totally SD/LJ.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: pickypicky
                        Fake Name RE: pickypicky Dec 7, 2012 08:26 AM

                        Sorry, but oak logs are unacceptable in restaurant fires. The nature of the heat and flame content make them unsuitable.

                        I prefer hickory or ash- much better.

                        1. re: Fake Name
                          pickypicky RE: Fake Name Dec 7, 2012 08:52 AM

                          How about fake logs?

                          1. re: pickypicky
                            Fake Name RE: pickypicky Dec 7, 2012 12:40 PM

                            With color and crackle?

                            You betcha.

                            1. re: Fake Name
                              travelinggirl RE: Fake Name Dec 7, 2012 01:17 PM

                              San Diego is one of the most amazing cities in the US! I love it there. Go to the Marriott Gaslamp and hit the rooftop. Awesome night time bar offering the best view of the city and Petco Park. Definitely stay in the Gaslamp area.

                      2. m
                        MichaelSoberanes RE: AioneH Dec 8, 2012 09:45 PM

                        In north park, near Hillcrest and university height lies Lafayette hotel. Walking distance to about 100 restaurants and bars! Next door to red fox piano bar. Look into that area! Maybe not the best hotel, but an awesome area.

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