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Jan 12, 2014 09:39 PM

Anniversary dinner with girlfriend ~$50pp if possible

Hey all, I was hoping I could get some suggestions for an anniversary dinner with my girlfriend. We're 19 so we won't be drinking any wine, I know that's relevant to the price. I will eat absolutely anything, she's much more picky. She really loves salad and some types of soup but beyond that she will eat pasta and she LOVES Asian noodle dishes.
Any suggestions?

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    1. re: SaltyRaisins

      While Underbelly is great for lunch, and dinners on a chilly night, there's no way in heck I'd have an anniversary dinner there.

      As far as where to go, well, at $50 pp, without alcohol, you can eat just about anywhere if you are smart. What sort of ambiance are you looking for? Beach? Mountains? City?

      Since your girlfriend is into noodles, Italian is probably the way to go. To that end, Il Fornaio in Coronado is a good bet for the ambiance and the ridiculously awesome view of the Downtown skyline (the food is good, but not really Chowworthy).

    2. Cucina Urbana - good salads and pasta but also many other good dishes. Make reservation early
      Another option would be Farmhouse Cafe - they normally have one good homemade pasta dish on the menu and goof salads

      2 Replies
      1. re: honkman

        And both places have great Asian noodle soups. Oh, wait, nevermind.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          At least they have everything else

      2. I can't think of a single Asian restaurant that really has the kind of atmosphere I'd want for an anniversary. But since pasta is an option, you might want to consider Baci's on Morena, Salvatore's downtown, or Busallachi's a Modo Mio in Hillcrest as possibilities.

        I love Cucina Urbana and Farmhouse, and you should probably check them out, but they're less anniversary-ish, IMO. Underbelly has great ramen, but it's also not a place that I'd choose to go on an anniversary. (If it were me. Which it isn't.)

        1. I'm going to suggest 2 off-the-wall suggestions: Benihana and Rendezvous.

          Benihana has a very serviceable seafood noodle soup, and Rendezvous has a handful of different noodle soups to choose from.

          Both have a very nice(r) atmosphere, and should be budget friendly.

          13 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            I haven't been to Benihana in so long I can't recall when it was that I was there. But I do recall that my girlfriend at the time (ca. 1980 maybe?) and I had a lot of fun.

            Just looked at their current menu and the seafood diablo caught my eye. Have you had it? Any good? Worth the $21.50 pricetag?

            Gotta hand it to you ispe, you do come up with some interesting ideas.

            1. re: DoctorChow

              It's pretty good but like lots of things at Benihana it's overpriced. But then again you're paying for a show, in addition to the actual food.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Yeah, the show is part of the cost.

                But wow, seafood diablo with noodles...mmmmmm...just the thought of it makes me want to run over there!

                So, in the end it depends on what nopico wants to do for their anniversary, I guess. If he wants a fun time and a culinary show to go with it, then this is definitely a place to consider. And the seafood diablo is definitely a dish that one of them might want to try!

                If I were 19, in other words, maybe this would be the place!

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Fried rice!

                  Which hubby never brings home after his trips to the VA hospital.

                  Sadly, I am home, taking care of the dogs and he forgets that I LOVE fried rice.

                  1. re: Gypsy Jan

                    I will bring you back some next time I go.

                    (Shhh. I'm a closet Benihana fan.)

              2. re: ipsedixit

                We actually really love Rendezvous, it's one of our favorite restaurants (though we've grown to prefer Dumpling Inn), the only reason we aren't going is because we go all the time

                Also, EDIT: Ah sorry forgot to mention my girlfriend doesn't eat fish (though I'm trying to convert her). Still may consider Benihanas- we did something in similar style last year by going to Melting Pot (which I don't recommend), sure it's not teppanyaki but it's still a fun activity in itself that comes with the added benefit of food. That came out to about $100 total which is why I'm keeping it in the same ballpark. I've also been considering trying a French place such as Tapenade or Cafe Chloe because she's now saying she can enjoy a high quality steak so I'm sure steak frites would work for her. Not certain though, will continue the search.

                  1. re: nopico

                    I stand by my original rec, especially seeing that Tajima is being considered as an atmospheric place.

                    I think Underbelly fits your request, nopico, because it's kinda different but is still Asian inspired noodles with great meats and in a good part of town for a date.

                    Although craft beer is a big part of their thing, you can have an excellent time with non-alcoholic drinks there for sure.


                    1. re: nopico

                      Based on that I would definitely say Cucina Urbana. The short ribs with fresh pappardelle noodles will be her winner.

                      1. re: nopico

                        Since you've now expanded your options to include steak, you might want to also add Donovan's in Univ. City or Cowboy Star downtown to your list of possible restaurants.

                        1. re: DoctorChow

                          I think it would be tough to do Donovan's for 50/person.

                          Even Cowboy Star would be cutting it mighty close. Doable, but a tight fit me thinks.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Considering Donovan's a bit- I go to school in San Luis Obispo and go to Jocko's in Nippomo occasionally, I prefer their spencer and filet to Donovan's, but it is nice for an anniversary. I don't think my girlfriend really appreciates steak enough to merit Donovan's though, "can I get that well done" *shudders*.

                            As for Underbelly and Tajima we've been to both and actually prefer Yakitori (sorry ;-;).

                            Ipsed this is a bit of an off the wall question but seeing as our anniversary coincides with Chinese New Year (well, close enough) and that my girlfriend is Chinese, are there any nice Chinese places in LA you'd recommend? We've talked about going to LA for Chinese New Year and if you have recommendations we may consider it.

                            Thank you everyone for the help so far!

                            1. re: nopico

                              ... but seeing as our anniversary coincides with Chinese New Year (well, close enough) and that my girlfriend is Chinese, are there any nice Chinese places in LA you'd recommend?


                              I would suggest you repost your query on the LA board, or feel free to email me directly (it's on my profile page).

                              Folks on the LA board would be happy to help, as would I (either on that board or directly), just not sure this would be a good query for the SD board.


                    2. Cucina Urbana
                      Rendezvous in Del Mar

                      Love the Benihana idea..
                      Love the show!

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: Fake Name

                          Lol ironic you mention that because my entire life that has been my family's classic "Las Olas is too crowded" back up. We know it's not great by any means but when we've already been put in the mood for sit down and Mexican it satisfies. Plain carne asada tacos with ranchero sauce works for me every time.

                          @Beach Chick:
                          I'm leaning toward Cucina Urbana and will keep Benihana on my mind. I could go for the filet/chicken special but apparently that's January only and my anniversary is February 1. We'll see how things play out. As for Rendezvous see above.

                          1. re: nopico

                            I love Dumpling Inn too..

                            How about a gondola ride for two ($95 for two) at the Loew's Coronado and then a everyday happy hour at Brigantine Coronado for fish tacos and some chowder..or Whale Watching (lots of whales this year @ $39 for two) and then head out to C Level on Harbor Island for happy hour.

                            Year of the could see if there is a deal for horseback riding on the beach and head out to a noodle house. ; )