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special dinner: kaito, tbl3, or ???

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Here in SD, we tend to go out for neighborhood fare: Starlite, Tender Greens, etc. But we have a special occasion and are seeking an all-out extravaganza.

Anywhere to add to the short list?

Price is not an object. We don't eat meat and we don't drink wine.

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  1. Addison. If you contact the GM ahead of time to explain your drink preference, they will probably be able to accommodate you with a good "mocktail."

    Though, Omikase (oh dear, spelling?) at Kaito would be incredible to.

    Some things to consider:

    Addison is ultra ultra high end, choreographed, precision dining. If you have never experienced anything like it, Addison is a cacophony of sensory stimuli; from the room, to the service, to the amazing food, it's like food opera.

    Kaito is a more casual environment, but the chef is incredibly personable and welcoming, you will be treated like a dear friend. The quality of your meal will be second to none.

    Hope this helps!

    Dagney

    9 Replies
    1. re: Dagney

      Honestly, we thought Addison was a giant waste of money- elevated banquet food would be the mean way of saying it, but it wasn't particularly impressive in either service or food. It was good, but it's trying to be a type of fine dining that it just doesn't achieve.

      1. re: chetatkinsdiet

        at least it didn't achieve it when you were there. I've been a few times and each was a tremendous experience in both food and service. Throw your best Super Sergio's joke here.

        Addison would be my choice.

        1. re: Fake Name

          FN, I've always had great times at Addison. Been a loyal customer ever since they opened, and the quality of food and service has steadily improved.

          My only complaint is that they do not change their menu enough. Last year, I went there 4 times, and 3 of the times they had the same or almost the same menu.

          Still dream about their cauliflower dish from a couple of years ago.

          1. re: Fake Name

            Honestly, it's hotel banquet food done in a nicer setting- put in any other major city there's no way this would survive. I'm being taken there in a few weeks so I'm sure I'll post again, but for the kind of money Addison costs it makes far more sense to go to LA to the any number of places that really know fine dining. Unfortunately, fine dining is just one of those things San Diego has never done very well.

            1. re: chetatkinsdiet

              Clearly your experience is different from mine.

              "Honestly".

              1. re: Fake Name

                Right? "Honestly" I agree with you FN. lol...

              2. re: chetatkinsdiet

                So, are you honestly saying you don't like Addison?

                1. re: chetatkinsdiet

                  Chet, I agree 100%. You nail it with: elevated banquet food and in no other city would it survive as what it purports to be. Opera it is, but a 3rd class production in an Ohio opera house. All the pretension without an understanding of true fine dining.

                  (Banquet Food seems to be a SD trend. Wine Vault is another place that tastes like pre-made wedding buffet to me-- and the Promiscuous Fork in LJ)

                  And need I remind the poster of Addison's owner's politics? That alone would ruin my dinner.

                  Great suggestions below ||||||

                  1. re: pickypicky

                    I don't know under which chef you had dinner at Wine Vault but especially Chef K.C. Howland was one of the most underrated chefs in SD and the food at Wine Vault was everything else than banquet food.

          2. Fish Market, upstairs.

            1. When you say you don't "eat meat" it means you're pescatarian (fish + veggies)?

              I wouldn't call Kaito an "all-out extravaganza" - It is actually quite reasonably priced compared to your normal places as each person costs about $65-85

              For "all-out" I think you should decide if you value the food more or the entire overall experience.
              TBL3 will give you awesome food with acceptable service
              Addison will give you acceptable food with awesome service

              I don't know anywhere in San Diego where you get both anymore (RIP Blanca)

              1. I would stay at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe for the night and the free breakfast for two for $149 a night and dine at Mille Fleurs or Delicias which is a half a block away in the village of RSF.

                www.travelzoo.com/local-deals/San-Die...

                1. What are your requirements for special occasion? As others have said, Kaito is a more casual atmosphere and moderate pricing.

                  TBL3, is always a great option, and I'm sure the kitchen will be able to accommodate with more fish/veggie focused courses.

                  Ota is another possibility, from what I've read the omakase is more of a kaiseki type experience..a few more composed dishes than say Kaito with comparable quality. You will have to schedule a few weeks in advance to sit at the bar with Ota-San.

                  I guess it depends on the experience you're looking for as well. I would only recommend Katio/Ota at the bar, but if you're looking for something more intimate TBL3 at Georges is likely the best option.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Rodzilla

                    I'd agree with all of this- though personally I'd lean towards TBL3

                  2. Starlite or Kaito. Both always end up feeling "special" somehow. Good ingredients and good service, I guess.

                    Cheers!

                    Ah...just read that you are regulars at Starlite. Kaito then. On a different level than sushi in SD county, on par with that found in other cities, and above the bar for chill, unpretentious accessibility of the itamae.

                    1. Oh well, the CH overseers will probably excuse my reply, but, in the interest of the OP's desires, I would really recommend a meal at the Rancho la Puerta in Tecate.

                      1. Thanks all. We've decided on tbl3. I turn 50 in January and my wife makes the same transition in May. So we decided to have both of our special bday meals at tbl3, allowing us to enjoy the seasonal differences between the two menus.

                        And for good measure, we'll make sure to hit Kaito for omakase at the half-way point.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: notjustastomach

                          Wow.

                          TBL3 twice in the span of 5 months, with a visit to Kaito wedged in between?

                          That's good living and a marvelous way to kick off the next 50 years of your lives together.

                          Congrats and enjoy.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Great choice! congratulations!

                            The amazing part is that both of your TBL3 experiences will be at least 75% different :)