Arashi Teppan Steak and Sushi's dining room boasts decor as warm and inviting as the fires that spring from its mid-table griddles, where chefs tend food before diners' eyes. They turn food preparation into a performance of showy knife-work and spouting flames, with a finale of delicious meals. While they prepare stir-fried meats, rice, and seafood for guests, sushi chefs turn similar ingredients into elegantly plated raw rolls, drizzled with intricate patterns of sauce as flavorful as they are colorful.
Once the home of Wyatt Earp's gambling hall and saloon, Georges on Fifth also holds the distinction of being the most photographed building in the Gaslamp Quarter. Today, the venue casts off the sounds of tinny pianos for the aromas of Zagat-rated dishes, each painstakingly crafted by executive chef Jose Kelley. The flavors of certified Angus beef, Snake River Farms Kobe beef, and USDA Prime cuts heighten beneath port-wine and Jack Daniel's demi-glaces, and fresh, flaky seafood in the form of scallops, halibut, and salmon don equally delicate notes from herb-infused oils. With Chef Kelley's wine list made up of more than 50 West Coast and international varietals, diners can find a pleasing accompaniment to any dish.
Inside the celebrated eatery, romantic lighting emanates from ornate chandeliers and dances on exposed brick walls, wood accents, and the piano player's solar-powered hands. Portraits of San Diegans dot the interior walls to showcase the work of artist John Wismont, who held the Guinness Book of World Record’s title of “Most Prolific Portrait Painter” for nine years.
Argentine restaurant Puerto La Boca is named for the colorful La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, an area originally settled by Italian immigrants. So the restaurant fits naturally into San Diego's Little Italy, even if the focus is on Argentine-style grilled meats. Tasteful wood-framed art and Argentine photos, as well as tall wood wine racks showcasing the collection of wines from Mendoza, accent the dining room tables set with beige linens. There's also a bar with live music on Fridays as well as sidewalk seating beneath the blue awning at the restaurant's entrance. The beefy grill menu includes succulent Argentine cuts including the asado de tira (Argentinean short rib), picaÌ±a (culotte steak) and lomo (filet mignon). Halibut "Mar del Plata" in a Roquefort cream sauce with mashed pumpkin is also a signature dish. Those seeking a taste of the restaurant's Italian heritage will appreciate the selection of pastas and pizzas.
For carnivores, nothing tops Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses’ USDA Prime steak cooked at 800 degrees and then served on a sizzling 500 degree plate with brown butter. In 1965, Ruth Fertel purchased Chris Steak House to put her kids through college and over 40 years later, the brand has reached incredible success with restaurants across the globe. Del Mar’s Ruth’s Chris offers up stellar steaks and service with impressive consistency. Customers can try the sizzling blue crabcakes or seared ahi tuna to start, then order up the steak of their dreams, from filet mignon and porterhouses to the gargantuan cowboy ribeye with perfect marbling. Side options include potatoes au gratin and creamed spinach. Beyond great steaks, there’s barbecued shrimp sautéed New Orleans-style, juicy lamb chops and fresh Maine lobster. Customers who still have room for dessert can try the caramelized banana cream pie or bread pudding in whisky sauce.
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.
Locals and guests of the Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites flock to Humphreys on Shelter Island not just for chef Paul Murphy‰Ûªs winning global-meets-California cuisine, or its dreamy waterfront setting in the marina, but also for its jazz, blues and rock live music acts, popular Champagne brunch, great wine list and stylish, contemporary, yet kid-friendly, environment. Diners dig into calamari, swordfish or braised short ribs in a breezy, creamy setting with soothing views of stylish yachts seen through floor-to-ceiling windows. Wee ones are more than welcome with kids menus, booster seats and coloring books. Humphreys can get quite lively in the evening, when diners sup in the candle-lit setting and sip on cocktails from the full bar. They even have a separate outdoor concert venue that seats 1400.