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Long weekend at the US Grant Hotel...

Playing tourist in my hometown..eating and drinking...you're fave's?

Keep it positive with no usage of the words: Montebello, Gaslamp wasteland, Mussel Bisque en croute, H2O water taxi or Berlin.


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  1. Grant Grill inside the hotel has some very good food in a very classy atmosphere with live jazz Thursday-Saturday nights.

    3 Replies
    1. re: El Chevere

      Keeping this positive, I had dinner at the Grant Grill about a year ago.

      I'd try Lion's Share or Cafe Chloe.

      1. re: Fake Name

        Lion's Share it is..cocktials.
        Cafe Chloe..do they have new chairs yet?

      2. re: El Chevere

        Drinks and app's at the Grant Grill are a must..
        Thanks Chev!

        1. You might want to explore the restaurants at the Horton Plaza. There used to be a surprisingly decent Chinese buffet place and a very good build-your-own burger place, with veggie options. (and beer and wine!)

          Horton Plaza was one, if not the first, of Jon Jerde's foray's into designing integrated retail/mixed use public spaces. At the time of its construction, the downtown area was still very depressed and rundown. Despite the controversy the project created amongst the various factions in San Diego, once finished it was deemed a success, which the annual retail sales figures bear out. Today Horton Plaza project is widely credited for playing a major role in kick starting the downtown renaissance.

          The management offices at the Plaza used to hand out a very informative pamphlet for a self-guided tour of the complex .

          After Horton Plaza, Jon Jerde expanded on his vision of mixed use retail public spaces by designing the Fremont Street Experience in Vegas.

          Obs, he has done many other projects, but these are the two of this type with which I am most familiar.

          For further info:




          Have a great staycation!

          6 Replies
          1. re: Gypsy Jan

            not to mention projects in LA and Japan. funny how few remember Jerde and instead look at the Rouse group over on the East coast, sure they're good at adapting existing structures, but Jerde was (is?) doing retail/entertainment from the ground up. Horton? garish and cheap details, but effective and well laid out.

            1. re: Gypsy Jan

              Thanks Jan for the info..

              Met Ernie and Jon years ago at the ICSC in Vegas after Horton Plaza was built, which at the time, was cutting edge.
              Sadly, I'm more knowledgeable about their fruit based parking structure and how to weasel the free parking with validation.

                1. re: Fake Name

                  You have your own Horton plaza parking level with exclusive bike parking, nice.

                  1. re: Fake Name

                    Solid KTM boy..love how you kept it relevant with the photo shop pepper!

              1. DD gave Spike Africa's a decent review.

                Just off the top of my head.....

                Salad Style
                Cafe Chloe
                Cafe Istanbul
                Calbi Taco truck (check their schedule)
                Lion's Share (received some love here on Chow)

                If you see a female riding a police bike say hi!


                1 Reply
                1. re: Dagney

                  'If you see a female riding a police bike say hi!'

                  Dags..are you my 'get out of jail free card' . . hee hee

                2. This will be your best opportunity to try out Donut bar since it sells out early.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: polldeldiablo

                    For me, I like donuts later in the day..can't eat them for breakfast..but will definitely check it out.

                  2. Monkey Paw and Neighborhood and Downtown Johnny Browns for beer selection. As a bonus, DJB has shuffleboard.

                    1. Basic Pizza has a bowling alley.

                      8 Replies
                        1. re: Dagney

                          For reals player?
                          Love love love me a game of bowling...wearing those funky shoes and drinking Miller HIgh Life long necks!

                          1. re: Beach Chick

                            I'm pretty sure it's Basic.....well shoot, okay let me check. But there is definitely a bowling alley in downtown.

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              Okay my bad!! I was thinking a few blocks off...

                              The bowling alley is inside The Tavern Bowl...:))

                            2. Hanna's
                              Taste of the Himalayas
                              Mama's Bakery

                              3 Replies
                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    ha! ipse! that IS the McD's I first did the cusp-hover and get hash browns and filet-o! too funny, March 1999. was in town on business and had time to kill before hitting the airport (wasn't feeling skid-row enough to start drinking in the AM, so hit a used bookstore instead and hung out on the cruise ship pier reading a bio of Andy Warhol and then just walked to the airport and had a fish taco.) that was a good day.

                              1. forgot, never had a bad meal at nearby Athens Market--best Greek food I have found in SD.

                                1. Wow. . thank you all for your fab suggestions!!

                                  1. Beach Chick are you back from your weekend yet? Please share a trip report of your dining (and drinking) experiences.

                                    1. Stayed this weekend at the US Grant Hotel...my third time..part of Starwood Luxury Collection..debatable.

                                      Had a couple of craft cocktails at the Grant Grill..sat at the bar which was lovely..bartenders are great..when did they get 6 top pub high tops and stainless steel high chairs?
                                      Ordered the calamari which was ok.

                                      Went to Donovan's Prime Seafood (had a living social deal) Oyster Rock, Mussels, Seafood Chowder and Prime Rib sliders for my DH (loved them)..everything was pretty good but the room is a funky box layout so we sat outside..one back from the rail.

                                      Memorial Day weekend in the Gaslamp is something I should of thought through a little more but after a couple of cocktails, it all became comical.

                                      We went bowling at Tavern Bowl in East Village..what a riot.

                                      We had breakfast/brunch at Currant...really enjoyed it.
                                      The mushroom Gruyere omelet was tasty along with the spicy bloody...service was great.

                                      IMO, Gaslamp needs a good power wash.

                                      29 Replies
                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                        Power wash. To say the least. lol...

                                        1. re: Dagney

                                          Maybe a good shot of disinfectant also.

                                          1. re: Dagney

                                            When they spray the LJ Cove for the smell of guano, they need to make a bigger batch for the Gaslamp too.

                                            Dags..I asked for you for on opening day and they said you only worked weekends..could of used a police escort.

                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                              Yes, I work weekends only in the Gaslamp. The squad that works the ballpark is a special detail. Did you ask for "Dagney?" because that is not my real name..;))

                                              1. re: Dagney

                                                and they arrested her anyway.

                                                "Do you know who I am? I AM BEACHCHICK! I know people in high places from CHOWHOUND!"

                                                1. re: Fake Name

                                                  If only Chowhound issued a picture ID, we could get into Gas(fart) nightclubs and sail by the Homeland Security checks at the airport. :)

                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                    L O L. Oh yes. We are all great and powerful here aren't we?

                                                    1. re: Fake Name


                                                      I was backstage at a Rush concert years ago and we were doing the meet and greet and Geddy Lee, bassist for Rush, walked up to me and said, Do you know who I am, and I, the consummate smart ass said, excuse me, I should be asking you that question?

                                                      Thank goodness the Professor stepped in to fill him in on details.

                                                      We all had a good laugh.
                                                      I am no one but its fun to turn the tables.


                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                        I really need to hang with you, BC.

                                                2. re: Beach Chick

                                                  Sounds like you had a really fun time. I'm sure it was pretty crazy down there in the Gaslamp last night. Power wash! Good plan! I never think of the Grant Grill for cocktails & appetizers, but it sounds like it's a nice spot. Nice to be at a hotel where you can walk to things and not worry about San Diego's Finest Checkpoints.

                                                  1. re: DoctorChow

                                                    Glad you had a good outlook and great, comical time! Can we power wash once a week down there? Grant Grill did that bar redo a couple of years ago (I think), we saw it winter before last. I really like the vibe in that bar/lounge, but have not had a good experience in the dining room for several years.

                                                    Did you go to Dobson's for mussel bisque en croute with Harveys Bristol Cream? ;D

                                                    1. re: foodiechick

                                                      Dobson's is one of the standouts in the Gaslamp, IMO.

                                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                                        'Did you go to Dobson's for mussel bisque en croute with Harveys Bristol Cream? ;D'

                                                        So close...but so far away.

                                                      2. re: DoctorChow

                                                        All I could think of was that damn Petco Park..hee hee hee

                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                          Yes, that must have been difficult, but I guess you managed to tough it out somehow...

                                                      3. re: Beach Chick

                                                        From grant hotel to bowling, what a hoot!

                                                        1. re: cstr

                                                          I forgot how much I love to bowl and I was throwing down strikes too.
                                                          Pricey tho' at $55 an hour plus shoes.

                                                        2. re: Beach Chick

                                                          I really like the Currant, esp. their tater tots.

                                                          I've always been intrigued by the Currant's Chef's Table. Anyone been?

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            Tater tots..I'm a freak for those little things of crunchy beauty.
                                                            Didn't see them.. or the Chef's table.
                                                            It was busy with their bottomless Mimosa's for $8.

                                                          2. re: Beach Chick

                                                            Forgot to add that I had an experience with the ghost at US Grant Hotel..

                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                              yeah? even if OT, ya wanna share? or saving it for a chance at a clip on "Ghost Hunters"?

                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                For me, I can feel the presence after exiting the elevator to the hallway to the rooms.
                                                                Vibe was intense and it dissipated when entering the room but after a long night of dinner, drinks and bowling, you could feel her sitting on my bed and patting my leg.

                                                                Later, I checked to see if others had similar experiences and they all say she haunts the hallways.

                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                  "you could feel her sitting on my bed and patting my leg."

                                                                  Room number, please?

                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                    Laughing so hard you can hear me from North County!

                                                                    Odelay Fakey

                                                              2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                I have not stayed at the US Grant.

                                                                But I did encounter the ghost that haunts the Del.

                                                                Sweet lady and very sad.

                                                                I hope she gets released from her anguish.

                                                                1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                                                  You could feel her presence in the hallway but have not been in the room.

                                                            2. BC, I've been meaning to ask. I know this is slightly off-topic (moderators, be moderate), but if I were to do a long weekend at the Grant like you did, can you recommend a side of the hotel and floor to ask for when booking a room?

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                I would request the West side of the hotel on the 6th and 7th floors (suites)..
                                                                The pool just opened at the Westgate across the street..love the French elegance
                                                                Hilton Bayfront, Andaz, Marriott Gaslamp and Hotel Solamar are fab hotels that I would look into as well.

                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                    OK, so I've booked a west-facing room on the top floor of the Grant. It's not a suite, but it's a "deluxe" room, which should be fine. (Deluxe rooms are either corner rooms or the top floor.) I don't plan to spend that much time in the room anyway. Roaming about looking for chow and drink will be my priorities, and I'll certainly try out the bar & appetizers at the Grant itself. I've stayed in Coronodo three times doing this sort of thing, but this will be my first "playing tourist" adventure in downtown SD. Thanks again!

                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                      My companion and I finally followed your lead and played tourist downtown for three days. We stayed at the Grant, but in the end got a north-facing room on the 10th floor, which was perfect -- no sun into the windows dawn to dusk. Can't say I like the bar which seemed sterile with its stainless steel tables, but otherwise, an elegant place to stay.

                                                                      1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                        Glad you had fun.
                                                                        Concur on the bar design.
                                                                        Eclectic that IMO, does not work in an elegant surroundings such as the US Grant.