It's hard to imagine a seaside dining experience more complete than the one at Dolphins Restaurant, Bar & Banquet. Sailboat masts bob in the harbor just beyond floor-to-ceiling windows, a red canoe hangs from the ceiling to complement nautical flags on the walls, and at the entrance visitors are greeted by a bronze sculpture depicting a human pyramid of dolphins. And that's before you get a look at the menu. Classic seafood dishes such as lobster tails and grilled teriyaki mahi mahi fill plates during dinner service but also during weddings, when tables are draped in white cloth, decorated with floral arrangements, and cleared of all single people. The restaurant also offers a weekly Sunday brunch, with more than 50 items to choose from.
At the sushi bar, chefs wrap colorful seafood and vegetable combinations into 25 largely simple rolls, including the Chef's Marina, which contains tempura rock shrimp and avocado, and the Tijuana, which pairs spicy tuna with roasted jalapenos. In the evening, a tree-studded patio glows with light from several fire-pits, and occasionally the whole restaurant fills with music from live bands, mariachi bands, and DJs.
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.
Fresh, sustainable seafood and California-inspired sushi are the focus at this waterfront restaurant in the San Diego Bay. A spacious, breeze-kissed patio overlooking the marina is great for enjoying sunset cocktails and appetizers like meaty Dungeness crab cakes or shiitake chicken spring rolls, while the inside dining room is characterized by soft music and moody lighting. Many entrÌ©es, including the Maine lobster paella and Pacific ahi tuna, are gluten-free, while vegetarians are accommodated with the roasted beet salad and Buddha roll stuffed with roasted bell peppers, asparagus, cucumber and yamagobo, and topped with avocado and kabayaki sauce. Parties looking for a unique, hands-on experience can book a private dining experience at the Chef‰Ûªs Table, where chef de cuisine Laura De Martin tailors a menu specially suited to guests‰Ûª tastes.