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Feb 2, 2014 11:24 AM

First timer....last minute trip!

My husband and I are taking a last minute trip valentine's day weekend...need some recs for dinner on vday (doesn't have to be fancy, but good food), a few places for the best fish tacos, and a few other dinners. We love seafood and mexican (a bit upscale) for dinner, but again love good fish tacos...

14th- hard night with reservations. So far, have made one at The Fishery, Top of the Market, Eddie V's, Fish Public...Any of those worth it? Any other suggestions?

- We would love to try Market, no reservations. Will try for another night.
-Is the Blind Burro good? The menu looks great.
-Also have reservation for Saturday at nine-ten.

We have never been to the area and would love some some help!

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  1. You have a solid list!

    For fish tacos you could add South Beach Bar and Grill in Ocean Beach, which will give you an added element of OB culture, which is fairly unique to San Diego.



    1. Looks like you did some homework before posting!

      I agree with Dagney -- all of the places on your list are "worth it". And yes, Blind Burro is good.

      For Valentines, though, I'd downselect from Eddie V's and Top of the Market, and suggest that you might want to add Georges and Farmhouse Cafe to your short-list.

      By the way, there was an article in the SD Ut today with some info about Top of the Market that you might find interesting.

      1. I'd send you to the Marisco's El Pescador truck, which can be found of the 5 south in the Toys R Us parking lot in Chula Vista, for some excellent Baja Style fish tacos and other goodies.

        24 Replies
        1. re: cstr

          Thank you for all of your replies.
          Looks like we will do Eddie V's on v-day
          Sat- either Market or Fish Public
          Sunday- Cucina Urbana

          Does Marisco's do grilled fish tacos as well?

          I could not find the Top of the Market article? I would be interested in reading it. Thanks!

          1. re: lborr530

            The article was in the editorial section, I think, and was headlined something like "fish story". It wasn't about Top of the Market per se, but there were a number of references to it it in the story.

            1. re: lborr530

              Skip Fish Public

              It's okay, but not that worth seeking out for an out-of-towner.
              Food is average, wine list so-so, service spotty

              1. re: DiningDiva

                Thanks. Is there anywhere else you would add to my list to try?

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    The Hilton Bayfront I think, but we will have a car, so location doesn't matter much.

                    1. re: lborr530

                      Blind Burro
                      Fish Market..Oyster bar or Sushi bar..not downstairs resto...Top of the Market is good but pricey.
                      Oceanaire happy hour

                      La Jolla/Del Mar/Rancho Santa Fe

                      Georges Modern or Ocean Terrace for casual lunch.
                      Eddie V's
                      Alfonso's for large nachos & margs.
                      Pony Room for lunch @ Rancho Valencia Resort
                      AR Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines.
                      Roberto's taco shop in Del Mar on Carmel Valley road.
                      Tony Jacals
                      Brigantine Del Mar or Shelter Island for everyday happy hour with great fish tacos and upgrade with different fish and grilled..
                      Oscars Mex Seafood
                      Bull Taco Cardiff

                      Have fun and report back!

                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        Rancho Valencia is losing their executive and sous chefs this month, I would wait how they replace them

                        1. re: honkman

                          I was looking into the blind burro. We are definitely doing Eddie V's for Vday and I have looked into Georges Modern as well.

                          I have looked at nine-ten, but can't tell if it is quite worth it?!?

                          I was intrigued by fish public, but the above comment has me second guessing the food not worth the trip?

                          Oscar's looks great as well for lunch.
                          I will certainly update after my trip...I always appreciate the help!

                          1. re: lborr530

                            Eddie V's for Vday will be have a reservation?

                            I would hit up drinks before hand at George's bar since it is 3 levels and then after dinner, drinks at La Valencia Hotel which is the gorgeous Pink Hotel..the piano bar by the huge picture window for a B&B and a nice end to the night.
                            Marine Room on the water at LJ Beach and Tennis Club is great before sunset for drinks..waves at high tide hit the window.

                            Breakfast next day could be Green Flash/World Famous/Kono's or Tower 23 hotel in Pacific Beach and walk the boardwalk and rent bike cruisers at Hamel's across from the Mission Beach roller coaster which btw, is a blast and then hit up Oscars for a late lunch and finish off with early sunset at the firepit at Tower 23 for drinks and apps.

                            Finish up in the Gaslamp with a Blind Burro dinner and drinks and walk across the Ped bridge back to your hotel.

                            1. re: lborr530

                              My comment about Fish Public was based on the last meal I had there with my family during the holidays. We were eating after the rush and the restaurant was not slammed.

                              1) Menu leans heavily to small plates
                              2) A few interesting dishes but, by and large, most of what's on offer are - or at least were - pedestrian at best
                              3) The bottle of wine we ordered was either not very good to begin with or corked. In either case it was undrinkable so we sent it back. We asked our server for a suggestion on an alternate bottle indicating price was not the deciding factor. Our server was unable to recommend a wine on the wine list indicating to us that 1) she didn't know much about wine and 2) knew even less about the wines on the wine list. We were charged for both bottles, including the bad one.
                              4) My nephew's chicken was raw at the bone on two of the 3 pieces he was served. It took a very, very long time for his replacement chicken to come to the point where everyone else had finished their meal.
                              5) The escolar my sister ordered was very good, I can't even remember what I ate. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good, it was just kind of ordinary and clearly not very memorable.
                              6) Our server was a "sweet young thing" the operative word here is young. She also was not particularly well trained and it was clear she was just doing this job because she was working her way through SDSU.

                              The room is beautiful and well done. The food and service don't do it justice.

                              BC gave you several lists of alternate restaurants. Heck, you could go across the street from Fish Public to Blue Boheme and get a better meal.

                              1. re: lborr530

                                nine-ten is good place for their 3-course lunch but disappointing for dinner where Georges Modern is one of the best options in SD

                  2. re: lborr530

                    On Saturday, consider the Farmer's Market in Little Italy.

                    There's a stand there, forget the name, that does pretty decent fish tacos, a la minute.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Yes, we have a reservation for Eddie V's...a little on the later side, but we have it! Drinks before at George's sounds great.

                      We are definitely going to the farmer's market saturday and renting the bikes sounds fun.

                      Would you choose George's Modern, Market, or Cucina Urbana for another dinner?

                      Any other good brunch options?

                      Thanks again! We can't wait...

                      1. re: lborr530

                        You could peruse the menu at George's Modern while having drinks before Eddie V's and decide if you want to do LJ, back to back nights.

                        When you say Market, are you talking Market Del Mar or Top of the Market at the Fish Market Downtown?

                        Love George's and they do casual for lunch on the ocean terrace well and George's Modern is sublime.

                        Cucina Urbana is casual good in Bankers Hill and close to Gaslamp...vibrant and can get loud

                        Little Italy Farmers Market is one of the best.


                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          We certainly don't mind driving two nights in a row if the restaurants are worth it. We also have Sunday night, so we could always do that is well.

                          I mean Market Del Mar...any thoughts?

                          George's doesn't have a reservation for Saturday, but we could always eat in the bar.

                          1. re: lborr530

                            Haven't been to Market Del Mar in years, so, I'll let others chime in on that one.

                            George's Modern LJ is one of the best restaurants, imo, in SD...TBL3 you might want to look into.
                            Combine that with drinks first at the Marine Room..

                            Having Sunday night, that opens up a lot of options for you..I would do George's on Sunday and hang around Saturday for Farmers market and maybe ride bikes in PB bayfront and beachside boardwalk., ride the roller coaster oceanfront...hit up Tower 23 on beach cruisers for drinks and apps..

                            Oscars Mex Seafood for some fish tacos, ceviche and a couple of tortas..get out of PB before dark..
                            ; )

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              Yes, if anyone has an opinion on Market Del Mar I would love to hear it.

                              Also, I would like any other opinions on Fish Public.

                              George's must be reservations on Sunday either! I will call tomorrow and see if we could get on a waitlist or we can try the bar.

                              1. re: lborr530

                                I agree with BC about back-to-back dinners in La Jolla, although you could do worse! If you strike out completely on a reservation at George's, I'd say go with Cucina Urbana. Yes, it can be a bit noisy, but if you can live with that it's in an interesting part of town and IMO you can't go too far wrong with the food.

                                I don't think that the farmers' market in Little Italy is one of the best, though...I think it's THE best. If I were going to go to just one while in SD, that'd definitely be it.

                                1. re: lborr530

                                  Well, husband and I dined at Market on my birthday a few years ago. We were...underwhelmed. The room is definitely meant to read as "fine dining," though maybe on the casual-er side of fine dining. The service was the kind of service I dread, "Hey guys..." was the greeting from our laid back, unrehearsed server. The food was good, but nothing amazing.

                         just felt like a weird room.

                                    1. re: foodiechick

                                      Ok, thank you so much for all of your responses!

                                      As of now....
                                      Eddie V'- Friday
                                      blind burro, cucina urbana, or George's modern if we can get a reservation or maybe just sit at the bar for our last two nights.

                                      Fish tacos- Oscar's, Marisco's el pescador, and south beach bar are all potentials.

                                      I will certainly report back...thanks for all your help!

                                      1. re: lborr530

                                        Have a great time and look forward to hearing how your trip turned out!

                  3. We loved the mussels at the Fishery-and the shrimp tacos were good too. We are only visiting so we we haven'ttried the others you mentioned but we have Blind Burro on our list.