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Birthday Dinner Suggestions

Yes, this is a mundane topic, but I really need ideas! And it's my birthday! Thoughts from your Chowhounders are appreciated. My favorite kind of restaurants/restaurant food: French, New American (meaning not steak and potatoes), fish, Italian, Provencal, Spanish.

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  1. Urban Solace, Smoking Goat, Cafe Chloe, Farmhouse Cafe, Cucina Urbana, Georges

    8 Replies
    1. re: honkman

      Almost totally agree with the honk, only exception is Farmhouse, other than breakfast, and that's iffy at times, I just don't see it as anything but ordinary.

      1. re: cstr

        Okay, cstr. Thanks for the response.

        1. re: cstr

          Funny. Farmhouse would be first on that list for me- but all are very good.

        2. re: honkman

          Yeah, good ones. I love Urban Solace, Cucina Urbana and Cafe Chloe. Will ck out the others. Thanks for the reply

          1. re: djohns12

            Then I would highly recommend to try Smoking Goat. We had some strong dishes there recently

            1. re: djohns12

              If you like those places, you should also try Farm House - they have a small menu but really good seafood specials that change daily, and a good wine list. The chicken liver mousse is fantastic. Jaynes Gastropub, Great Maple, Craft & Commerce and Waypoint Public might also be to your liking.

              1. re: aliceqfoodie

                Really liked Great Maple. Craft and Commerce was okay. You're one of several who've endorsed Farm House, so that's on the list. Thanks a lot!

                1. re: djohns12

                  I really like Craft & Commerce for lunch - super affordable and no crowds. Prep Kitchen in Little Italy is another good lunch spot. Dinner is a little pricey and uneven, but can be good. In the same nabe, Isola Pizza bar is good too.

          2. Veladora at the Rancho Valencia Resort in RSF
            Morada at the RSF Inn
            Bali Hai in Shelter Island
            George's in LJ
            Eddie V's in LJ
            Drinks at the Marine Room at sunset
            Manhattan's in LJ
            AR Valentien at the Lodge at Torrey Pines
            Go stay at one of the local casinos (Barona, Valley View or Harrahs) and dine at one of the steakhouse and party and gamble..maybe catch a show/concert

            I like staying at one of the 4-5* resorts in town and make a stay cay out of it..US Grant, Loew's, Park Hyatt..
            You can also head up to Ritz Laguna Niguel or Hotel Bel Air..

            Happy Birthday!

            1 Reply
            1. Lots of good suggestions already, incl. those by honkman and BC, but it might help us help you to know where you've already been to.

              I mean if you like Italian, you might look at Buono Forchetta

              1. Left field suggestion: Chopahn at 6th and F, downtown.

                Cafe Chloe

                1. Since you've been to Cafe Chole, arguably one of our best restaurants, I think you should head straight to Eddie V's or George's.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: DoctorChow

                    Cafe Chole? Did they open an Indian themed place as well?

                    [sorry - had to do it]

                    1. Any particular part of town?

                      Tons of good to great restaurants all over North Park... Most of the dining in NP is good, but often not as good as the hype. However Ritual Tavern has particularly awesome desserts.

                      Beach Chick - Bali Hai? Really? A fun place, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't go for the food... Def not on par with the others on your list IMO.

                      There is a place across from the airport...can't remember the name. But the tagline is "Metro Steaks and Seafood." (I always make fun of this... like cows from NYC or something???) Anyway, good food, good happy hour prices, but mostly I go for the view!!!! Best place for sunset happy hour... and good drinks.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alegramarcel

                        Bali Hai has really stepped up its game in the last couple of years after the remodel.
                        Plus, the mai tai alone is worth it all.


                      2. Another place you might want to consider for your birthday dinner is Top of the Market. Very good food and a wonderful view.

                        1. I am hijacking this old thread for my upcoming birthday. Husband wants to take me to dinner. He suggested The Tractor Room based on their "unusual game" choices. I scoffed. I have not dined there but their menu looks a little simplistic.

                          Has anyone dined there? Does the quality lift the simpleton aspect of the menu? Or was my scoffing warranted?

                          At the end of the day I would like to dine somewhere unique and intersting, but under the $300 mark.

                          We went to Chopahn last year and I LOVED it. Shirahama is in the running, so is a trip to SGV for Dim Sum.


                          Thanxxx in advance, Dag

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Dagney

                            If you want unusual game with great cocktail you might want to look at Lions Share

                            1. re: honkman

                              We have been there. We liked it. Possible...

                            2. re: Dagney

                              ... so is a trip to SGV for Dim Sum.

                              But it won't be for a "birthday dinner" however. Dim sum service ends at 2 p.m.

                              In San Diego, Lion's Share is a good option as honkman mentions up above, as others worthy of consideration (not necessarily for game) should include Jsix, Table No. 10, and perhaps Puesto.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                That's right, dim sum is not a dinner gig....

                                We have not been to Table 10 or Puesto.