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Dec 5, 2012 06:55 PM

ONE night in SD - what would you do?

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. 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

      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

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

        1. re: AioneH

          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. 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

          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

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

            1. re: RB Hound

              Noted. We like impressive selections of beer!

            2. re: pickypicky

              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. 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

              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

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

                1. re: RB Hound

                  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

                  Thanks, that's good perspective!

                  1. re: AioneH

                    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

                      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. 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. 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.