feedback on my itinerary please
My husband and I arrive Friday afternoon for a conference for 5 nights. Staying at Hilton Bayfront. His only free day is Sunday, but he will have nights free for dinners. I am free the whole time. I've been trolling the boards and here is what I have tentatively come up with. Input is greatly appreciated. I like good design and atmosphere, but with good food. We want mostly casual and lively, but nothing too young and hipster. We are 39/40. We were in SD 3 years ago and stayed in La Jolla/Torrey Pines the whole time, so that is why I've left that area out. Been to George's!
Friday- arrive around 3. Explore around hotel and Gaslamp.. Dinner at Bencotto or Cucina Urbana?
Sat- Little Italy farmers market and some shopping. Dinner at Neighborhood, then drinks at Noble Experiment.
Sunday- brunch at Cafe Chloe, then ferry or water taxi to Coronado, rent bikes to explore island, happy hour fish tacos and Candelas. Late dinner near hotel at Knotty Barrel or Basic if still hungry.
Monday- Shop and explore in Hillcrest/Mission Hills. Dinner at Seersucker? Or Craft and Commerce? Too Hipster?
Tuesday- maybe antique mall or museum? Dinner at Urban Solace.
I want Mariscos German truck for lunch one day. Where is it?
Am I missing anything great? Should I make changes, substitutions or switch things around? I may have to because i dont have any reservations yet. Where do i need them? i don't think we are getting a car, was planning to cab and trolley. Is that a bad idea?
thanks in advance!
Friday - Cucina Urbana will require a reservation.
Sat - Good. Reservations for Noble Experiment
Sun - Good.
Mon - Since you're already hitting two consotorium holding spots (neighborhood, noble experiment) I would probably look somewhere other than Craft & Commerce - it's also likely a bit "hipster" for your taste. Don't waste your time at Searsucker, there's better to be had - you could head back towards little Italy and check out Prep Kitchen, or Bankers Hill for similar New American type cuisine. Ogawashi (Sushi/ Japanese same designer as Craft & Commerce) or Saltbox at the Palomar both on 5th and C are options as well.
Alternatively you could just stay in Hillcrest for dinner, I would recommend Akinori Sushi or Dbar.
Tuesday - Urban Solace...excellent call, make a res to be safe.
I would add Jsix at the Hotel Solamar.
Grant Grill at the US Grant.
Bice is good.
Cowboy Star for steaks.
Oyster bar at the Fish Market.
Drinks at the Top of the Hyatt.
Since you're doing the ferry, you gotta go for the Mussel Bisque at Dobsons.
Basic is great..happy hour at Omni is fun.
Ped bridge from hotel is perfect to get to the Gaslamp.
They have segways on Coronado..drinks at the Hotel Del.
Saturday and Sunday are excellent. Skip Seersucker and swap in Starlite Lounge. And how about Ortega's for the Hillcrest portion? I recommend Bencotto over Cucina Urbana which I personally find fucking insufferable- like TGI Fridays for foodies. My friends in the local Italian community agree. Better: get burrata and ham and drown it in superb olive oil along with your excellent pizza at Caffé Calabria.
Head to Mariscos German truck if you must, but I'm currently in love with Mariscos El Pescador truck that's semi-permanent down in Chula Vista - a bit out of your way, but the only area with food approaching good regional Mexican in SD county if you wanted, say, a superb fish taco without whipping out the passport. I know I recommended Ortega's above, but that's different: a chippy-salsa-margarita neighborhood place with great service and consistently good food. Some here love Super Cocina, but you could make better use of your time eating at a couple spots in Chula Vista. DiningDiva is your authority here.
I see that I've turned this into a Mexican steeplechase for you, but the fact that you're not above heaven-sent roach coaches means something.
Thank you all for the feedback. With so much to choose from, it's hard to decide. I think we will just leave Monday night open and go to one of your suggestions based on what we are in the mood for. I had Prep Kitchen and Bankers Hill on a list already. Ogawashi looks great for sushi! I keep reading about Jsix and Bice, but from the pics, they look more subdued and more formal. Am I wrong?
Jsix can be a bit more formal than, say, Prep Kitchen. But in a good way, and it's one of my favorite places in/around DTSD for both lunch and dinner. Great great tuna sandwich. Bice is probably on the formal side of the ledger.
Also, if you are going to do sushi, I highly recommend Shino Sushi + Kappo in Little Itlay.
Don't forget Akinori!
Any of them will be quality choices. Hane would likely be the choice for the connoisseur, I mentioned Ogawashi because I can speak for the quality on from recent visits, it's closer to your hotel, and likely the most affordable.
Monday nights sit at the bar in front of Chef Matt - he'll have a bandanna on. You won't be disappointed.
Fri - You'll need reservations for either restaurant on Friday, but both are good
Sat/Sun - I would switch in Knotty Barrel for Saturday for dinner/drinks and then do drinks at Noble after the Coronado trip.
Mon - I would recommend you stay near the Hillcrest/Mission Hills area for dinner since you're already there. Some good options are: Banker's Hill Bar and Grill, Starlite, Brooklyn Girl, Akinori
Try to get reservations where you can as it will make things easier. Cab/Trolley should be ok with your general itinerary if you don't mind some walking, although the mission hills/hillcrest day will require more cabs
I just noticed that restaurant week starts on Sunday. Do you have to order the Prix Fix restaurant week menu if the restaurant is participating? Is it generally a good experience and value or best avoided? I think the only one on my list would be if we go to Bankers Hill.