Just got back from a marvelous California vacation for which I studied up a bit here on chowhound to find the best eats. Thank you for your help, and please let me reciprocate:
SD, in Pacific Beach, The Fishery at Cass and Opal. Best calimari app I have ever had. Fish entrees were very good too. Restaurant was loud, but it was Friday night and the place was packed.
In La Jolla had a delicious, generous lunch at the Cottage, a real find, that town is pricey!
In Monterey: Decided to skip the highly recommended Sardine Factory (pasta $18, salmon $22 hmmm...) and found the Loose Noodle on Lighthouse Ave. Delicious, resonably priced, simple meal. Great service, quiet.
In SF: Very good Chinese at Hunan Restaurant on Sansome. The dumplings were exquisite.
Biggest disappointment: Decided to splurge and go to Postrio's, which we'd read about in travel and food mags. My husband sent his dinner back *twice* because it was cold. Apparently it has become a place to see and be seen and they have forgotten to pay attention to the food!
Hit the Swan Oyster Depot for lunch. Read about it here, thanks! Delicious food and really amusing staff.
In Berkeley meet friends at Chez Panisse, another restaurant I had only read about. Now they live up to their reputation! My pasta and clamsauce was great. they hold true to their word and really care about the food and serving it properly.
Thanks again for your suggestions, any more to help plan our next western adventure?