I live downtown and started making an effort to get in my car to avoid the majority of Gaslamp/downtown restaurants, which I can consider mediocre, more expensive than they should be, and less than spectacular service . Once every 6 months I need to go back to one of these mediocre restaurants to remind myself not to be lazy and continue to get in the car and drive 10-20 minutes for a wider and better selection.
Had a less than memorable dinner at La Strada on Friday. Nothing special on the menu caught my attention (though they do have a wide selection--maybe they should concentrate on fewer items and do these real well). Had a pasta dish--lots of pasta, but nothing special from a flavor standpoint. The meat and specials that night were not exactly cheap. They do have a good wine list and the service was very good. If you are from a major metropolitan area that specializes in good Italian food (i.e. NY, Chicago, SF), as I am, it is hard to make this a regular place you would want to visit--if you're the once a year or once in your lifetime tourist/conventioneer, then that's a different story.
Also went back to McCormich & Schmicks at the Omni. Part of a chain, so it's hard to maintain consistency from one location to the next. Less than enamored with the offerings (heavy salt emphasis) and will choose other favorites in other areas of San Diego.
Thank goodness I recently discovered 3rd Corner, The Vine, Come On In, Bernini's Bistro, Baci, etc.