I'm coming to San Diego for a conference in the beginning of May, and staying at Westgate Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. I like to eat, but it seems that Gaslamp isn't exactly the place to do it in. Unfortunately, I'm hemmed in by networking issues, which means a Sunday night dinner with 10 people which includes the vegetarian who is tired of salad and pasta, the lowcarbbutwon'tteatredmeat person, and the several people who would rather walk than take a cab. The tab is likely to be picked up by our former boss which is a nice gesture but doesn't get reimbursed, so I don't want to get too expensive.
The restaurants that have come up on posts here are places like Cowboy Star, Cafe Chloe, Dobson, and Donovan, but when I look at the menus the vegetarian options are boring or non existent, or the price seems high. I've made reservations at JSix, but I'm not entirely sure it's the right choice either (perhaps Searsucker instead?).
So.... help! My limitations for the right restaurant:
1. Has good vegetarian options: I would prefer a place that has creative hot vegetarian options, beyond salad, butternut squash ravioli or mushroom risotto.
2. Doesn't make the vegetarian and the lowcarbbutwon'teatredmeat person feel out of place, so a steakhouse is not a good choice
3. is within walking distance: at most one mile from the hotel of safe walking for the dedicated walkers of the group (can be a little farther if it's safe).
4. Is moderately priced - $30-40 a person, plus alcohol (no big drinkers in the group, so a creative cocktail menu is not important)
5. Can cope with a group of 10 that could go up to 12 people or down to 7, with a noise level that lets us talk comfortably on a Sunday night.
6. Has decent options for the avid eater (me!)
A good ethnic restaurant might bridge all of this - Indian, Japanese, Turkish, and Ethiopian has gone over well with the group, but these haven't popped up on Chowhound posts regarding Gaslamp. Not sure if it means that Gaslamp doesn't have ANY options, there aren't any GOOD options, or they're good but just pale in comparison to Cowboy Star and Cafe Chloe.
I would appreciate suggestions for this challenging group, and thanks in advance!