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Hot Picks: San Diego

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

San Diego has been named "America's Finest City and as such it offers a superb climate, a wealth of cultural, sports and recreational activities and an endless variety of great dining. Exploring this city is sheer pleasure to the culinary destination traveler. Here are some options for your visit!
Click on the picture to find the information you want.

 

Where to Stay

Where to Eat

What to Do

 

Hot Picks: San Diego

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

 

Where to Stay

THE WESTGATE HOTEL




Photo by Michael Reiss

The Westgate Hotel is a member of the Leading Hotel of the World. This is a prestigious designation accorded to only those hotels that meet the highest standards in every category of customer satisfaction. You will experience this level the moment you step into the lobby, designed as a re-creation of Versailles, with its 18th century antiques, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, French tapestries and Persian carpets.

The same elegant decor is found in the private meeting/dining rooms, spacious, comfortable guest rooms and public dining areas. The gracious ambiance provides the backdrop for the excellent customer service provided by well trained staff who come from all corners of the globe, thus adding a diversity to the urbane hotel, located in the heart of downtown.

 


The Westgate Hotel's beautiful interiors create an elegant, expansive atmosphere.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

Besides providing their out of town guests with an uncommonly civilized hotel stay, the Westgate Hotel takes great care to offer a year round series of dining and cultural events to welcome, surprise and delight their local customers, as well as their hotel guests.

Live entertainment is provided daily in the Plaza Bar, an ethereal harpists make your tea time experience heavenly, soulful piano enhances your dining experiences in the lobby during happy hour, at Le Fountainebleau and during Westgate Hotel's Sunday Brunch.

These are some of the extra touches that make your stay memorable. Every detail, every staff encounter, every dining experience is designed to exceed your expectations, and it does!

The Westgate Hotel preserves and perfects the tradition of fine living and fine dining. It is an experience to be savored and enjoyed. Treat yourself to a taste of pampering and refinement, treat yourself to The Westgate Hotel and its dining options. (See "Where to Eat, San Diego.")


The Westgate Hotel's large guest rooms are beautifully appointed in a classical style.

Photo by Michael Reiss

The Westgate Hotel
1055 Second Ave.
San Diego
(619) 238 1818

 

 

Hotel Parisi - La Jolla

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Experience the jewel that is La Jolla from Hotel Parisi, an urban retreat that provides a relaxing and elegant, Zen-like experience to soothe body, mind and spirit. Designated as one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this unique European-style property with 20 suites, is designed for the discriminating traveler who values discreet, nurturing personal attention.

Each room has custom-built furniture, the finest Egyptian cotton bed linens, sophisticated room lighting and original art. If the nearby ocean and shops are not enough, the battalion of wellness experts that are on call 24 hours of the day will make your stay memorable, and a repeat visit an absolute must!

Hotel Parisi's tranquil interior space creates a special haven for its guests.
Photo by Michael Reiss


Hotel Parisi
1111 Prospect St.
La Jolla, Ca.
(858) 454 1511



Loews Coronado Bay Resort- San Diego


Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Located on a private peninsula, just 15 minutes from downtown San Diego, this luxurious classic California resort offers both leisure and business travelers an exceptional level of service, stunning ocean views, a full spectrum of guest amenities and superb cuisine at Azzura Point. In addition, the property takes full advantage of its scenic waterfront setting, offering all manner of aquatic and marine rentals including a gondola cruise complete with serenading gondolier. Loews Resorts take pride in their "Loews Love Kids" and "Loews Loves Pets" programs.


Loews Coronado Bay Resort
has romantic, breathtaking views.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Loews Coronado Bay Resort
4000 Coronado Bay Rd.
Coronado, Ca.
(619) 424 4000

 

Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter


Photo by Michael Reiss

Start with a great location - directly opposite San Diego's waterfront convention center and directly at the edge of the famous Gaslamp Quarter, renowned for nightlife and great restaurants and you've got the makings of a great hotel experience. Then add to it striking architecture and design that creates the feel of an elegant urban loft, two outstanding restaurants, a complimentary business center, and a very personable, helpful and professional staff. That's the essence of this new Hilton Hotel San Diego - Gaslamp Quarter with the convenient convention center location.

 


Hilton's
sparking pool provides a resort vacation at its best--in view of the Convention Center and the Bay.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Hilton San Diego - Gaslamp Quarter
401 K Street
San Diego, Ca.
(619) 445 8667

 

The Grand Colonial - La Jolla

Photo by Michael Reiss


Standing just one block from the Pacific Ocean since 1913, The Grande Colonial provides gracious, European-style service in an atmosphere of elegance and comfort. All 75 nonsmoking rooms are spacious with soothing decor and historically inspired furnishings. The amenities are deluxe, the service attentive and the location is convenient to all points of interest in La Jolla and the greater San Diego area.




The Grand Colonial Hotel
in La Jolla has a gracious classical interior.
Photo by Michael Reiss


The Grande Colonial
910 Prospect St.
La Jolla, Ca.
(858) 454- 2181

 

Hotel La Jolla

 




Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Just blocks from the beach, yet perched high up to provide magnificent ocean and hillside vistas from every room, this boutique property offers rooms that are spacious, well appointed, and comfortable with breathtaking views.

 


Most of Hotel La Jolla's guest rooms have breathtaking ocean views.
Photo by Michael Reiss


Enjoy the proximity to all of La Jolla and San Diego's points of interest and the magnificent sunsets at Hotel La Jolla, the stylish property that features all the amenities, plus the personal touch that only a small, intimate hotel can provide. And don't forget the happening gourmet restaurant, Clays, which is located on property! ( See separate review, "Where to Eat, San Diego.")


You can relax at Hotel La Jolla's sparkling swimming pool.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Hotel La Jolla
7955 La Jolla Shores Dr.
La Jolla
(858) 551 3620

 

Hot Picks: San Diego

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

 

Where to Eat

Market




Photo by Michael Reiss

 

You don't have to wait for market day to experience the aromas, sights and tastes that makes a farmer's market such a special treat. At MARKET Restaurant and Bar you can enjoy the freshest of ingredients brought to you by daily by Executive Chef Carl Schroeder and his team who literally bring in the produce, meat and fish the very day it is served.

Chef Schroeder plys his masterful talent to bring out the subtleties and counterpoints of his ingredients turning them into exquisite, layered combinations that contrast, compliment and awakens the senses. Each preparation dazzles the eye and delights the palette. His California modern menu is reflected in the warm hued bar and dining areas that feature art installations designed to mirror the changing ingredients used by the chef.

The wine list, developed by wine director Brian Donegan further reflects the restaurant's commitment to source the finest. Preference is given to smaller producers who have total control from vine to bottle. As such, the list changes often again to ensure the best available wines for pairing with the food. Leave the marketing to Chef Schroeder and the desire to go to MARKET will take on a whole new meaning.

 


This is MARKET'S beautifully appointed dining room.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Blue Cheese Soufflé& Local Apple Tasting - Calvados Roasted Apples, Wild Arugula, Honey Glazed Walnuts
Crispy Oyster "Cobb" - Haricot Verts, Avocado, Creamy Horseradish Dressing

Favorite Entrees:

Hawaiian Monchong - Cipolllini Onion-Forest Mushroom Ragout, Crispy Calamari, Caper Remoulade
Beef Shortribs - Whipped Sweet Onion Potatoes, Choy Sum, Cabernet Jus

Favorite Dessert:

Pumpkin & Caramelized Apple Tart - Brown Sugar-Bourbon Ice Cream, Walnut Streusel, Raisin Puree

.
This is "Hawaiian Monchong - Cipolllini Onion-Forest Mushroom Ragout, Crispy Calamari, Caper Remoulade," a dish utilizing dual preparations as a culinary counterpoint.

Photo by Michael Reiss

MARKET Restaurant + Bar
3702 Via de la Valle
Del Mar
(858) 523 0007


Le Fountainebleau



Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Le Fountainebleau is located on the second floor of the Westgate Hotel. This award winning restaurant has been acclaimed for its decor, ambiance, fine cuisine, wine service and Sunday Brunch.

Leave the world behind and step into another period in time where the art of gracious service, elegant ambiance, quiet conversation and exquisite food reigns. Allow yourself to be treated as royalty by an international team of servers who are ready to address your every request.

The contemporary French dining created by Executive Chef Fabrice Hardel is flawless. Diners experience the French Michelin Star tradition of impeccable food and service enhanced by live piano entertainment. The combination is irresistible. This is dining at its finest only to be exceeded by the Saturday night tradition of live music for dancing while dining, a rare treat not to be missed.

 



At Le Fountainebleau many gourmet items are prepared table side a la minute for your dining pleasure.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Split Pea Veloute
Applewood smoked bacon, duck tortrllini, rosemary croutons
Be-wise Ranch Heirloom Tomatoes Salad
Avocado sorbet, Parmesan Reggiano tuile and balsamic creme de vinaigre

Favorite Entrees:

Main Lobster
porcini mushroom polenta, lobster gastrique, nectarine, peach, apricot and grapes kebab & samosa
Prime Beef Tenderloin
Asparagus gratinees, baby artichoke, black mission fig and ricotta raviolis

Favorite Dessert:

Crepe Suzette for two
Vanilla bean ice cream
Prepared tableside


This is the "Main Lobster porcini mushroom polenta, lobster gastrique, nectarine, peach, apricot and grapes kebab & samoa,"one of the many creative dishes served at Le Fountainebleau.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Le Fountainebleau
The Westgate Hotel
1055 Second Ave.
San Diego
(619) 238 1818


George's at the Cove



Photo by Michael Reiss

 

The restaurant's three stories boast an unsurpassed view of the sparkling La Jolla cove. Yet, besides the view, locals and tourists in the know come here for the superb cuisine. Chef Trey Foshee offers an exciting selection of masterfully prepared and presented items that are guaranteed fresh because he routinely purchases them on the way to work. The Tasting Menu is a fine way to sample his latest creations.

 

Favorite Appetizers:

House Cured Salmon, fennel, new potato and fava bean salad, fennel "pollen" and lemon oil
Chilled Tomato and Pepper Soup, Peekytoe crab and avocado cocktail

Favorite Entrees:

Pacific Swordfish, roasted eggplant, baby spinach salad, Romesco sauce
Tian of Lamb,spinach, eggplant tomatoes, and zucchini in a sauce Provençal

Favorite Dessert:

Stone Fruit Tart, nectarines, peaches and plums in a free form tart served with nectarine ice cream and apricot marmalade



Chef Trey Foshee's superbly fresh and creative cuisine make George's a fine choice in dining.
Shown is the"House Cured Salmon, fennel, new potato and fava bean salad, fennel 'pollen' and lemon oil."

Photo by Michael Reiss

George's at the Cove

1250 Prospect St.
La Jolla, Ca.
(858) 454 4244

 

RAMA




Photo by Michael Reiss

 

From the moment you approach Rama you realize that this is not your neighborhood Thai restaurant. Positioned in a warehouse setting, the decor creates an exotic and dreamlike quality with sheer, billowing drapery floating from the high ceilings to create intimate dining areas for groups or a romantic tete a tete.

The extensive menu covers the range of traditional favorites and offers authentic specialties rarely found elsewhere. Every item is savory and full flavored yet restrained, allowing the ingredients to blend into a seductive medley of flavors that tantalize the palette. The waitstaff is eager to help you organize a multi course feast and suggest drinks to compliment your selections.

The upbeat background music is well modulated to enhance rather than overpower the dining experience. Even if you already have a favorite neighborhood Thai haunt, Rama will exceed your expectations and offer you a thoroughly satisfying fine dining Thai feast.



At Rama billowing drapery floating from the high ceilings create an intimate dining atmosphere.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:
Heaven Rolls ( Fresh Rolls)
Romaine lettuce, tofu, glass noodles, basil, carrots, and alfalfa sprouts wrapped in rice paper served with peanut plum sauce
Papaya Salad
Shredded fresh green papaya with dried shrimp, garlic, tomatoes and limejuice, topped with peanuts

Favorite Entrees:

Roast Barbecue Duck over spinach with pickled ginger, served with a Thai sauce
Fresh Striped Bass topped with green mangoes, red onions, scallions, rice, mint and chili lime sauce

Favorite Dessert:

House rice pudding

.
Rama's
salad offering are fresh and inspired.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

RAMA
327 4th Ave.
Gaslamp Quarter
619 501 8424


STINGAREE



Photo by Michael Reiss

 

The reputation of this boldly innovative night spot, Stingaree, named for its former red light district location in the Gaslamp District, is fast becoming legendary. This is the spot to see and be seen and be a part of the hip, hot downtown scene that is happening in San Diego.

What may be most surprising is the exclusive, upscale dining that is part of this nightlife destination. Executive Chef Antonio Fiscia literally stops at his neighborhood organic farms on the way to work and brings with him the best and freshest of the season. He combines his ingredients using old world technique and new world panache to produce some unique creations that pair perfectly with the thoughtful and interesting selection of wines available in flights of three or by the glass. Dine in style and experience the scene at Stingaree.

 



Intimate booths are an option at Stingaree, an exclusive, upscale dining venue in downtown San Diego.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Royal Shellfish Bisque - crab meat, cognac, red wine reduction
Risotto ORSGs - garlic, porcinis, asparagus, parmesan

Favorite Entrees:

Achiote crusted halibut - fregola, chorizo, clams, peppers, lobster broth
Kobe Burger Rossini - Australian Kobe beef, seared foie gras, truffle parm fries

Favorite Dessert:

Nutmeg Chocolate Lava Cake - vanilla ice cream, Chino farm strawberries

.
Stingaree's
food is delicous and beautifully presented.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Stingaree
454 6th Ave.
619 544 9500

 

The Oceanaire Seafood Room




Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Anchors away as you board The Oceanaire Seafood Room--this two-story, 10, 000 sq. foot oceanliner inspired space to experience the sea fare of Captain, uh, Executive Chef Brian Malarkey.

The menu is composed daily to feature the freshest of fish and seafood from near and far. Oysters and cold seafood platters are popular starters and besides simple, straightforward fish preparations, the specialties section of the menu offers creative interpretations for the gourmet palette.

The wine list offers selections by the glass and according to our knowledgeable server, over half the patrons choose red wine (mostly Pinot Noirs) to pair with their seafood and fish courses. The lively ambiance and generous portions lends itself to parties and groups who want to cruise away the night.



The Oceanaire Seafood Room has a lively and energetic atmosphere.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Cajun Rubbed B.B.Q. Prawns
Red Chili Rock Shrimp, citrus-ginger

Favorite Entrees:

Herb Rubbed Fijian ONO "Wahoo, roesmary and apple compound butter, butternut mashers
Bouillabaise

Favorite Dessert:

Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
uses only the freshest seafood.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

The Oceanaire Seafood Room
400 J St.
(619) 858 2277


J SIX

 

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

A new "old" looking building designed by San Diegan Bob Puccini, is located in the newly opened Hotel Solamar. The address, namely the intersection of J Street and 6th Avenue, is the namesake of the restaurant, JSIX.

As you enter, the golden lighting and architectural detail entice you into a grand old San Francisco- looking setting that translates into intimate table settings, an open demonstration kitchen, and a luminescent bar offering several signature cocktails. This is a perfect setting for a perfect meal offered by Executive Chef Deborah Schneider, who fuses global influences with fresh California products to create a contemporary coastal cuisine with bold, eclectic and authentic flavors.

Chef Deborah's recipes are full bodied and true to their ethnic roots and are complemented by General Manager Rich Troiani's eclectic wine list. If you can't make it to one of the exotic corners of the world, go to JSIX for an international experience.

 


At JSix diners bask in the glow of luminescent architectural detail.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

King Trumpet and Shitake Mushroom Tart, melted Manchego cheese, field greens

Baby Spinach and Arugula, strawberries, jamon serrano, Spanish cabrales blue cheese, basil balsamic viaigrette

Favorite Entrees:

Peppered Lamb Loin, fig marmalade, risotto, star anise sauce
Tangerine Sauteed Shrimp,chili flakes, cilantro, pearl pasta and rice sticks

Favorite Dessert:

Guava Creme Brulee



At JSix the food is full flavored and delicious.

Photo by Michael Reiss

JSIX
Hotel Solamar
616 J Street at 6th Ave.
619 531 8744

 

Tapenade

 

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Chef Jean Michel Diot of Tapenade comes with an impeccable culinary pedigree from Lyon, France's center of gustatory tradition and excellence. Chef Diot does his tradition proud, serving some of the most serious and distinguished contemporary French food with an accent on Provençal fare.

From the very start with crusty, sweet French bread and homemade tapenade (available by the pound to go), you know you are in skilled hands. Whether choosing from the a la carte menu or the tasting menu, every selection is prepared with the finesse of a masterful chef at the helm combining the best of his French culinary background with the savoir faire of current trends to make for a superb and exciting dining adventure.

The wine service, provided by professional waitstaff, is knowledgeable and offers by the glass selections from the old and new world as well as a fine selection of half, and full bottles. The meal just rises to a crescendo as you debate which of the creative desserts to experience. Tapenade is a feast for all the senses.

 


Chef Jean Michel Diot of Tapenade chats with diners at his superbly innovative French restaurant.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Lobster medallions, Mango salad, lime, Coconut & Extra Virgin Olive oil Emulsion
House made Wild Mushrooms Raviolis, Port Wine Sauce, with White truffle Oil, Parmesan Reggiano

Favorite Entrees:

Confit Mallard Duck Legs, Du Puy Green lentils, Endives, Port Duck Sauce with porcini
Lobster, white corn, porcini mushrooms and English peas, Corn and lobster sauce with Tahitian Vanilla

Favorite Dessert:

Warm chocolate "fondant,"caramel and passion fruit sauce, coconut ice cream



At Tapenade the lobster bursts forth with foam- filled flavor.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Tapenade
7612 Fay Ave.
La Jolla, Ca.
(858) 551-7500

JRDN

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

JRDN, this way cool, way hip, way happening restaurant located in Pacific Beach is way more than the average beachfront eatery. Upon entering the sleek, contemporary space that is part of Tower 23, a chic, boutique hotel, the buzz is palpable. Besides the high energy bar scene, there is a serious sushi bar, as well as several indoor and outdoor dining areas all of which are unified by an artistic, backlit wall sculpture evoking the sand and waves of the ocean. Take a deep breathe, feel the ocean breeze, and settle in for an exciting dining experience.

The friendly waitstaff are eager to familiarize you with the unique aspects of JRDN's menu. Besides the appetizer and main course selections designed by the chef, the diner is offered the opportunity to customize their salad and main course by selecting the ingredients, sauces, dressings and accompaniments to suit their personal preferences. Because all of the ingredients are fresh and organic, it's hard to imagine any combination not being delectable and, in fact, whether creating your own or choosing from the chef's offerings, you are bound to enjoy the experience.


The decor at JRDN makes for an exciting dining expereience.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

baked humbolt fog goat cheese topped with sauteed domestic mushrooms, tomato coulis, and levain toast

jumbo lump crab cake, kaffir lime aioli and mache salad

Favorite Entrees:
miso marinated alaskan halibut, tatsoi,shitake mushrooms, sticky rice soy, lemon grass and ginger sauce

meyer's ranch, 12 oz. new york strip, chinese 5 spice rub,chimichurri and hawaiian barbecue sauce, crispy maui onion rings and pan roasted wild mushrooms with parsley and garlic butter

Favorite Dessert:

Tower of Chocolate


Each dish at JRDN is presended with creative flair.

Photo by Michael Reiss

JRDN
Tower 23 Hotel
723 Felspar St.
San Diego
(858) 270 5736

 

ZENBU

 

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Yes, there are many sushi places everywhere, but there is only one Zenbu. This cozy hideaway in La Jolla features generous portions of high quality sushi and unique, creative rolls, as well as contemporary Japanese and Asian cuisine.

The well stocked bar offers a selection of cocktails, sake, beer and wine by the glass and bottle to pair with the subtle and succulent menu items. The wide variety of happy-hour food and beverages makes this a popular haunt for locals and savvy tourists in the know.

When its sushi and more that you crave, go to Zenbu.


Besides it's Sushi Bar, Zenbu has full service dining tables and an intimate bar area.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

TDF House Roll, Shrimp Tempura, Spicy Crab, Cucumber, Avocado and topped with Spicy Tuna and a Sweet Pepper Sauce

Calamari - Green Papaya Salad with Lime Viaigrette


Favorite Entrees:

Wasabi Seared Tenderloin & Guerrero Negro Scallop Combo

Crispy Red Snapper, fried whole and served with Ponzu and Sweet Green chili Sauce


Favorite Dessert:

Baked plantains with coconut gelato and chocolate sauce




Whether its creative gourmet Asian fusion dishes or superb sushi, Zenbu has it all--beautifully presented and expertly prepared.

Photo by Michael Reiss

ZENBU
7660 Fay Ave.
La Jolla

Tel: 858 454 4540

http://www.zenbusushi.com

 

Asti Ristorante

Photo by Michael Reiss


How can anyone choose among the many restaurants on 5th Ave. in the gaslight district of San Diego? Well, one sure bet is to go with the Best of San Diego List and try Asti Restaurante for a gastronomic tour de force.

At Asti Restaurante go from north to south, sampling the best of Italy--all in one restaurant. The ingredients, preparation and presentation are all top notch, fresh, vibrant, and flavorful prepared by Master Chef Emanuele Daniele.

The wine list at Asti Restaurante combines the best of Italian and California selections with excellent pairings at every price point.

The environment includes a rustic brick walled interior with a mural depicting the Asti of yore. Authentic Italian waitstaff, who know food and wine, are available to make knowledgeable recommendations. This is Italian cuisine at its best.



Professional waiters give excellent service at the intimate and lively dinning room at Asti Restaurante.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Fritto Misto di Pesce,tender crispy fried squid, shrimp and vegetables served with a spicy red sauce

Insalata di Spinaci ,baby spinach salad with sliced mushrooms and crispy Prosciutto in a balsamic dressing.

Favorite Entrees:

Cavatelle Michelangelo, homemade semolina and ricotta cheese dumpling pasta with sun dried tomatoes, brandy, chicken, light marinara sauceand a touch of cream

Risotto al Porcini e Tartufi, Canaroli arborio rice with Porcini mushrooms, black truffles topped with genuine edible 23kt gold leaf

Favorite Dessert:
Grand Marnier Souffle





At Asti Restaurante you'll find suberb food with generous portions.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Asti Ristorante
728 Fifth Ave.

San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: 619.232.8844
http://www.astisandiego.com/


Additional Dining Experiences at the Westgate Hotel

 

Westgate Hotel
Champagne Sunday Brunch

 

San Diego's famed Champagne Sunday Brunch is a feast for the senses. This is the Westgate Hotel's Champagne Sunday Brunch. The more than 50 gourmet items, including fresh seafood, made-to-order sushi, omelets, crepes, waffles,and Bloody Mary's, as well as hand-carved meats, creative salads, pastries and more. Not only do the items look enticing, they taste even better! This is an outstanding value not to be missed.


At the Westgate Hotel's Champagne Sunday Brunch diners feast on the extensive gourmet offerings.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Westgate Hotel
Afternoon Tea

 




Photo by Michael Reiss


The Westgate Hotel's Afternoon Tea is served daily from 2:30 PM until 5:00 in the Versailles- inspired lobby of the hotel. It exceeds the grand British tradition by offering not only traditional items such as finger sandwiches, scones and sweets, but, in addition, seasonal berries with Grand Marnier cream and an impressive assortment of traditional and specially blended tea selections only found at The Westgate. Live harp music and gracious service make this a memorable treat.

 



The Westgate Hotel's Afternoon Tea includes ethereal harp music.


Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Cafe Westgate



Photo by Michael Reiss


Cafe Westgate is a California continental bistro serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It offers diners an array of items from simple and straightforward to casual and creative.

 


This is the elegant dining room of the Cafe Westgate at the Westgate Hotel.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

The staff are attentive and the elegant, chandeliered room is anything but your average cafe. This is a venue to be enjoyed by locals and travelers who want to be pampered on a budget.

 


Cafe Westgate serves beautifully presented food items.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 


The Plaza Bar

Voted San Diego's best piano bar by San Diego Magazine, this haunt attracts crowds eager to listen and perform. The vibes are harmonious, the drinks sizzle, and the edibles offer an impressive array of selections. The roster of performers changes nightly, so come often and stay late.


The Westgate Hotel
1055 Second Ave.
San Diego
(619) 238-1818




Clay's La Jolla



Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Located on the 11th Floor of the Hotel La Jolla, Clays Restaurant spans the horizon to offer sweeping panoramic vistas of La Jolla and the ocean from every table. The sleek, contemporary bar and dining areas reverberate with live jazz from Wednesday -Sunday.

Dining guests are graciously welcomed with a complimentary Kir Royale cocktail, as they peruse the menu and watch the artfully plated dishes be whisked to tables by enthusiastic waitstaff, ready to please.

Executive Chef Clay Bordan's menu offers a variety of creations that take you from Asia to Europe to California. His attention to detail, freshness, full flavor and the surprise use of uncommon ingredients makes for delectable dining.

The wine list offers selections at every price point to make wine pairing an adventure and a pleasure. Chef Clay's masterful preparations and enticing presentations make for a thoroughly delightful dining adventure.

 


This is the man behind the gourmet treats that await you at Clays Restaurant at Hotel La Jolla, Executive Chef Clay Bordan.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Ahi Tuna Tower
diced saku tuna tossed in thai chili oil over micro radish sprouts, mango and japanese cucumber with blood orange mustard and purple thai rice cake
Roasted Duck Spring Rolls
thai sweet chili, persian black radish salad and pomegranate ginger reduction

Favorite Entrees:

Pan Seared Sea Bass
over mango fried purple thai rice cake, baby bok choy, soy sered long beans, ginger tangelo glaze and chili oil
Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops
topped with oven dried tomatoes and feta cheese, over roasted garlic mashed potatoes, baby spinach, ragout of leeks and cippolini onions and mint pesto

Favorite Dessert:

Chocolate Lava Cake
rich chocolate cake filled with warm chocolate ganache, with vanilla bean gelato and berry compote

.
Clays Restaurant at Hotel La Jolla
has an active, upbeat dining area.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Clay's
Atop the Hotel La Jolla
7955 La Jolla Shores Dr.
La Jolla
858 551 3620

 

Mistral

 

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Go where the wind blows, and if you are lucky, it will take you to Mistral at Loew's Coronado Beach Resort.

This is not a hotel restaurant, but a restaurant in a hotel. No expense has been spared to transform this space into a Provencal enclave that houses the best of Southern French and Northern Italian cuisine.

From their signature sparkling wine cocktail to their complimentary appetizers, Mistral makes a genuine tribute to the Mediterranean cuisine that parallels the latitude of San Diego.

Locally sourced products are highlighted and accented by the vast herb garden on the hotel's property and the wine selection enhances the dining experience by offering pairings that compliment the cuisine.

This waterfront restaurant, Mistral, reflects the land and sea it surrounds. Locals and tourists alike are enchanted by the authenticity and quality of the experience offered at Mistral, and they choose this dining experience as a destination unto itself.

 


Mistral's beautiful interior also looks out onto the romantic San Diego Bay.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Pate de Campagne of pork, Veal, Chicken, Pistachios with Dijon Mustard, and Cornichons

Salad of Roasted Beets, yellow tomatoes, and watermelon pearls wit an herbed goat cheese quennelle and San Daniele Prosciuttoo Crisp, Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Favorite Entrees:

Spiny Lobster Risotto, porcini Mushrooms and White Truffle Essence

Veal Chop, wrapped in Bacon, stuffed with Porcini Mushrooms, Truffles and Chevre with Veal Demi Glace, savoy Cabbage, Oyster King Mushrooms and Baby Round carrots

Favorite Dessert:
Tarte Tatin



At Mistral there are creative and exciting food items that reflect Mediterranean cuisine.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Mistral

Loews Coronado Bay Resort
4000 Coronado Bay Road
Coronado, California

Phone: (619) 424-4000

http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Hotels/Coronado-Bay-Resort/


Greystone the steakhouse

Photo by Michael Reiss

The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego is full of food, frivolity and fun. It attracts tourists, conventioneers, students and locals who want to stroll, people watch and enjoy a great evening out. But where to dine? If you're in the mood for steak and seafood, Greystone, The Steakhouse is an excellent choice.

Housed in the historic Bijou Theatre, its multi-level dining room features a contemporary, casual, inviting atmosphere. Among the many dining venues is a classically elegant wine room housing some of the wine collection that has won Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" every year since 1999. The menu offers choices in every category with stylish presentations and generous portions. This is the perfect spot for a large group offering something for everyone or the romantic duo spending a special night on the town.

 


This is the beautiful, romantic dining room at Greystone, the Steakhouse.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Appetizers:

Seared Sonoma Foie Gras with poached Pear and Port Reduction, over a bed of Mesclun Greens
Greystone Salad, Arugula, Radicchio, Pears, Stilton Cheese, Candied Walnuts and Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

Favorite Entrees:
Lobster Risotto in a light, Spicy Tomato Sauce with Maine Lobster and Fresh Thyme
Filet Mignon served over Roasted portobello Mushroom and Grilled Aspargus, topped with Truffle infused Veal reduction Sauce and Garnished with Haystack Potatoes.

Favorite Dessert:
Cantaloupe sorbet with Grahams six-grape port drizzle


Creativity is the rule at Greystone, the Steakhouse, both in prepartion and in presentation.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Greystone, the steakhouse
658 Fifth Ave.
San Diego
(619) 232 0225

A.R. Valentien

 



Photo by Michael Reiss

A sense of place permeates this distinctive, craftsman style restaurant housed in the Lodge at Torrey Pines. Views of the magnificent pines surround you as you peruse the menu of refined, California cuisine. The four course tasting menu offers exceptional value. Try A.R. Valentien for a gracious dining experience.

Favorite Appetizers:

Fairview Gardens' White Asparagus, Foie Gras Sauce
Hand Cut Pappardelle, Wild Ramps, Fresh Morels and English Peas

Favorite Entrees:

Seared Guerrero Negro Scallops, White Corn Risotto, Good Faith Cilantro
White King Salmon, Asparagus, Hon Shimeji Mushrooms, Santina Potato, Pinot Noir Sauce

Favorite Dessert:

Harry's Berries - Strawberry Rhubarb Feuillete, Caramel Sauce

 



"Seared Guerrero Negro Scallops, White Corn Risotto, Good Faith Cilantro" is an example of the spectacular food served at A.R. Valentien.

Photo by Michael Reiss



A.R.Valentien
The Lodge at Torrey Pines
11480 N. Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, Ca.


(888) 826-0224

 


Winesellar and Brasserie


Photo by Michael Reiss



The wine store, cellaring facility and restaurant makes for an unbeatable combination for the discerning gourmet and wine lover. An award winning wine list offered at just 20 per cent above retail with wines from under $10 to thousands of dollars offers unending possibilities to pair with the impeccable cuisine. Each item is thoughtful, a unique interpretation and exquisitely executed. The tasting menu is an unparalleled bargain. This is a dining experience at its finest.

 

Favorite Appetizers:

Three preparations of Duck Foie Gras - Seared with Peach, Port Glaze and Brioche, Terrine with Fig and Chiogga Beet Salad, Madeira Glazed Custard
Indian Spice Crusted Maine Diver Sea Scallops Medjooli Date Chutney, Fennel and Green Apple Salad

 

Favorite Entrees:

Two Preparations of Duck, Confit of the Leg and Grilled Breast, Ragout of Fresh Cranberry Beans and Morels
Black Pepper and Sage Roasted Pork Loin, Roasted Young Turnips, Mission Figs and Lavender Honey

Favorite Desserts:

Fresh Raspberry and Almond Clafoutis, Almond Ice Cream

 


"Three preparations of Duck" shows the depth and richness of The Winesellar's cuisine.

Photo by Michael Reiss

The Winesellar and Brasserie
9550 Waples Street
San Diego
(858) 450-9557

 

George's Ocean Terrace



Photo by Michael Reiss



This upstairs casual dining venue that caps George's at the Cove is no stepchild when it comes to view or dining. Having whetted your appetite on the stunning ocean view, you are ready to dive into a sophisticated patio dining spot that attracts a capacity crowd at both lunch and dinner. The atmosphere is casual and the vibes are fun.

Favorite Appetizers:

Lobster Risotto
Papparadelle Pasta, mushrooms, zucchini, goat cheese, rocket

Favorite Entrees:

Thai Inspired Fish Stew
Niman Ranch Veal T-bone, slow-baked tomatoes, eggplant & peppers

Favorite Desserts:

House made gelato, ice cream and sorbets.

 

 


George's Ocean Terrace inspired cuisine makes dining a delight.



Photo by Michael Reiss

George's Ocean Terrace
1250 Prospect St.
La Jolla
(858) 454- 4244

Sbicca



Photo by Michael Reiss

This sophisticated yet cozy local gathering spot is the perfect place to take in the ambiance and the creative cuisine of Chef Susan Sbicca. The menu offers items from many culinary traditions, all expertly executed and deftly presented.

Favorite Appetizers:

Sesame Seared Ahi with ruby wasabi sauce and cucumber serrano salsa
Ginger Sautéed Seafood Salad with scallops, rock shrimp, mussels and fish served with mixed greens, broccoli, pea sprouts and crunchy noodles

Favorite Entrees:

Spicy Cajun penne pasta with rock shrimp, andouille sausage, corn, roasted bell peppers and tomato garlic sauce
Sautéed white seabass with stir fried vegetables and wasabi beurre blanc

Favorite Dessert:

Gianduia fudge brownie with cappuccino gelato

 


Sbicca's
fine cuisine is graciously served.

Photo by Michael Reiss



Sbicca
215 15th Street
Del Mar
(858) 481-1001

 

Nine-Ten
La Jolla


Photo by Michael Reiss

 



Located in the historic Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla,Chef Jason Knibb prepares the best that the market has to offer He sources the freshest ingredients including fish flown in daily from Hawaii, the East Coast and France to make the meal memorable. Many items on the moderately priced menu are also offered as half portions for those who enjoy sampling many dishes.

 

Favorite Appetizers:

Lobster Risotto
Papparadelle Pasta, mushrooms, zucchini, goat cheese, rocket

Favorite Entrees:

Day-Boat Scallops, backyard- inspired vegetable salad
Niman Ranch Veal T-bone, slow-baked tomatoes, eggplant & peppers

Favorite Desserts:

House made gelato, ice cream and sorbets

 


Chef Jason Knibb
uses the freshest ingredients in Nine Ten's cuisine.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Nine-Ten
910 Prospect St.
La Jolla, Ca.
(858) 964-5400

Roppongi
La Jolla

Photo by Michael Reiss

Roppongi, named after a fashionable district in Tokyo (the word translates as "six pine trees"), offers a thoughtful, imaginative and always surprising array of fusion items that combine influences from the Pacific Rim, to Indian and back to Europe. The extensive menu is divided into tapas (smaller tasting portions) and more traditional categories of food items. The tapas section is a gourmet's dream come true, except that one can't possibly order all the items that appeal. These appetizers are surprisingly substantial and three or four shared between two will make a satisfying meal.


Masterful "Mongolian Shredded Duck Quesadilla with Spicy Asian Guacamole"

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Tapas:

Pan Seared Foie Gras, Japanese Pear and Orange Tamarind Sauce
Mongolian Shredded Duck Quesadilla with Spicy Asian Guacamole
Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Mint and Lettuce Cups
Woked Black Mussels with Leeks, Lemongrass, Coconut Milk and Green Curry
Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Spinach and Miso Dressing

 

 

Roppongi
875 Prospect St.
La Jolla, Ca.
(858) 551 5252

 

Terra



Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Terra, an American restaurant serving regional Pan American fare offers an exciting, eclectic selection of items. Chef Jeff Rossman uses a bold palette to season and present his highly original and well executed dishes. Twice honored with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, this moderately priced restaurant offers great value in both food and wine.

Favorite Appetizers:

Coconut Dusted Crab Cakes topped with hot mustard
Chipotle Shrimp Salad, sweet corn, mixed beans, carrots, celery, roasted red peppers, organic Fallbrook field greens and Chipotle lime vinaigrette

Favorite Entrees:

Gulf Shrimp Linguini, lobster infused corn emulsion, wilted spinach, andouille sausage, morel mushrooms, and black linguini
Teriyaki Duck Breast, tamarind honey glaze, young bok choyand basil jasmine rice

Favorite Dessert:

Chocolate Cigar

 


At Terra Chef Jeff Rossman used bold creative touches in his exciting cuisine.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Terra
3900 Vermont St.(Uptown /Hillcrest)
San Diego, Ca.
(619) 293 7088

 

Extraordinary Desserts


Photo by Michael Reiss

In the mind of Owner/Pastry Chef Karen Krasne, "If you're going to splurge, it should be worth it." Chef Krasne combines her classical French pastry studies with her experience in the tropics of Hawaii and Mexico to create unique flavor combinations in her desserts and gelatos. She serves only the finest coffees and teas to accompany her creations. The proof is in the tasting and locals happily wait in line to select their favorites which are served garnished with fresh flowers.

Favorite Desserts:

Roasted Coconut Cream Torte
Chocolate Macadamia Torte


Desserts are served in a beautiful outdoor patio at Extraordinary Desserts.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Extraordinary Desserts
2929 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, Ca.
(619)294 7001

 

The Marine Room
La Jolla


The Marine Room
boasts table side service.

Photo by Michael Reiss

The unparalleled oceanfront location puts you right in the lap of breaking waves. The culinary talents of Chef Bernard Guillas puts you right in the lap of a nouveau French dining experience. The sounds of a smooth jazz trio (on Friday and Saturday evening) puts you right on the dance floor. What a combination for a romantic special occasion night out!

Favorite appetizers:

Skillet Roasted Forest Mushroom Basket, young artichokes and pearl onions, red vermouth reduction
Organic Spring Corn Brulee, spicy greens, gingered peach, pecan tuile, tupelo verjus dressing

 

Favorite Entrees:

Ginger oil basted Maine Lobster Tail, parsley potato mash, young vegetables, Lemoncello reduction
Country Meadow Rack of Lamb, maple mustard, crushed pistachios, silver thyme jus, leek goat cheese bread pudding

Favorite Dessert:

Gianduja Chocolate Bar Crunch, pistachio tuile, rose petals, griottes, raspberry Chambord


The "Ginger oil basted Maine Lobster Tail, parsley potato mash, young vegetables, Lemoncello reduction."

Photo by Michael Reiss

The Marine Room
200 Spindrift Dr.
La Jolla, Ca.
(858) 459 7222

 

 

Pacifica Del Mar
Del Mar



Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Overlooking the ocean in the Del Mar Plaza, this trendy Asian Fusion seafood restaurant, attracts a chic crowd. Dining on the patio or in the stylish interior, the chef's creations appeal to the eye as well as the palette. A favorite spot with locals and tourists.

 

Favorite Appetizers:

Japanese Clam Chowder, shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, scallions
Crispy Calamari, spicy Vietnamese dipping sauce, red pepper aioli

 

Favorite Entrees:

Blackened Salmon Salad, crisp vegetables, sushi rice, peanut sesame dressing
Penne Pasta, chicken, caramelized onions, spinach, porcini sherry cream sauce

Favorite Dessert:

Peach Crisp, topped with oatmeal streusel and honey-lavender gelato



Pacifica Del Mar's
beautiful rooftop patio overlooks the pacific ocean.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Pacifica Del Mar
1555 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar Plaza, Del Mar
(858) 792 0476

 

 

 

Hot Picks: San Diego

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

 

What To Do

 

The Gondola Company

Photo by Michael Reiss

Find a touch of Venice in San Diego. The Gondola Company offers romantic and relaxing cruises from 11 A. M. to midnight. Experience the magic as you gently cruise in your own private gondola through the enchanting canals and waterways of the Coronado Cays. All cruises include a complimentary appetizer or dessert plate. Blankets, an ice bucket and glasses are provided. You may bring your own beverage. A truly memorable experience!


At Loews Coronado Bay Resort at The Gondola Company your romantic gondola ride awaits you!

Photo by Michael Reiss


The Gondola Company

Loews Coronado Bay Resort
4000 Coronado Bay Rd.
Coronado, Ca.
(619) 424 4000

 

The Old Town Trolley Tours

 


San Diego is the second largest city in California so there's plenty to see and do. Get an orientation to the city via The Old Town Trolley Tours which you can pick up from any of the stops along their route. The guides are entertaining and informative and the tour will help you choose the spots you want to return to for more in-depth exploration. For more information contact your hotel concierge or the front desk or call (619) 298 8687.

 

 
 

 

Copyright, Professional Marking Group, 2012. All Rights Reserved.