First time to San Diego
We typically do a lot of research, but didn't really get to do much before the trip to SD. We were staying right next to Petco Park and didn't want to venture too far. It rained a little bit, but we had a great time. My thoughts....
First night (Wednesday) we went to Hotel del Coronado for drinks at sunset and then went to the Gaslamp Quarter afterwards.
Hotel del Coronado is beautiful, but the bar wasn't at nice as I would have expected. Conversely, the Gaslamp Quarter was better than I anticipated. There a certainly a few cheesy chains, but there are also plenty of local places to make up for the chains.
Lunch Thursday was at La Puerta in the Gaslamp Quarter. We really liked that place.
Dinner Thursday was at C Level. We went primarily for the view, but the food did not disappoint. Portion sizes were ridiculously large.
On Friday we decided to hit Little Italy and just picked Davanti Entoteca out of the blue. I'm glad that we didn't realize that it is part of a small chain, because we probably wouldn't have picked it. However, the food was incredible.
We then walked down the the Waterfront Bar & Grill to drink away the rest of the day. It was a good way to end the trip.
There used to be a really nice classic cocktail area in the lobby of the Del. Then, for whatever misguided reasons, that was deleted during their remodel a few years ago (well, maybe it's been more than a few years now). I for one was really sad to see the lobby bar go, and think that the new arrangement -- how can I say this politely, ummm, well, ok -- sucks. Sorry that was the first place you went.
My companion and I never go there anymore, except when it's really warm and calm in the summertime, and then only on the "pier" bar (or whatever they call it).
C-Level was a good choice. Good food, good view, and as you said, you don't leave hungry!
I thought that we were the only ones that thought the new bar placement stinks at the Del. People just sit there like barnicles on piling, and that space gets so congested. There has got to be some space upstairs where they could put in a decent bar. Usually I don't feel like moving the car, so we cross the street, and hit the Brig. At least they have a proper bar. McP's is usually a bit too crazy for us.