Since 1994, Asti Ristorante offers an Italian fine dining experience in the heart of the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. Professional service, elegant interiors, exciting outdoor patio and outstanding Italian cuisine, guarantee a memorable dining experience.
Guava's kitchen sizzles with a menu of American, Mexican, and seaside favorites, and bartenders whip up legendary margaritas and signature cocktails. Cajun spices cling to a grill-blackened slab of mahi-mahi smothered in a sweet-chili sauce and a mango salsa made in-house ($14). The baja burrito granda ($13) clusters succulent chunks of house marinated and grilled carne asada mixed with melted cheese and pico de gallo in a tomato-basil tortilla, and the loco coconut flavors a tender chicken breast fillet with eponymous coconut ($9). Groups wash down snacks with the Bionic Beaver, a pitcher overflowing with a mix of five alcoholic varietals sweetened with cranberry juice, grenadine ($13), and a compliment from a passing stranger.
Step back in time to the 1950s and meet friends for a special dinner at Lou & Mickey’s. Designed as a post-World War II supper club, the dining room features green, leather upholstery insets on the walls, dark wood archways and an opulent tile floor, imported from Italy. Time has a way of standing still at Lou & Mickey’s, where the attached cocktail lounge sports a solid, zinc bar – rare for its temperature controlling properties– that is never too cold or too hot, a comfortable feature for the Convention Center neighborhood where days can turn from a chilly, marine layer to blazing sunshine in a few short hours. The menu honors that mid-American past with contemporary updates to its steakhouse and seafood specialties, without losing sight of the heritage that has kept it going. A large patio waits outside but hardly competes with the elegant dining room.
The word lighthouse conjures images of stormy seas and a beacon leading ships to safety. Tom Ham’s Lighthouse largely fits that motif, leading diners onto a comfy dining deck with views of San Diego’s stellar sunsets and downtown skyline. Tom came to San Diego in the 1950s with a love of California history that still echoes today, thanks to his collection of nautical memorabilia that still hangs throughout the newly remodeled space, which was once a functioning lighthouse, warning sailors of the dangerous bay waters ahead. Despite the dusty history, the dining atmosphere is very much still alive inside, with white tablecloths serving as a backdrop for fresh seafood entrées and fortifying brunch staples.
Since 1970, diners have flocked to World Famous to savor fresh coastal cuisine in a charming space with rustic wooden walls, wooden tables, and views of Pacific Beach's pale sand and glittering ocean. Chef Chris Bates crafts new specials each day depending on what looks best at the market, often centering dishes around mahi-mahi, Pacific red snapper, and other fish that leap directly from the sea into his pots and pans. He and his team also carve prime rib onto baguettes, grill hand-cut steaks, and steam lobster tails to serve with drawn butter. Bartenders mix bloody marys and peppered-vodka oyster shooters, pour wines, and craft dessert cocktails to enhance the flavorful meals.