I am charged with finding good eatin' for a group of guys (most from NYC) visiting San Diego for a long weekend in December in honor of our buddy's upcoming nuptials.
We're staying at the Marriott Hotel & Marina (by the convention center).
Below are our plans and what we're looking for in each meal.
THURSDAY DINNER (5 people)
Casual but nice with a decent wine list or BYO. Preferably walking distance from the Marriott. Likely choice = Cafe Chloe
FRIDAY LUNCH (5-6 people)
Inexpensive take-out we can bring back to the hotel--something we can't (or ordinarily wouldn't) get in NYC. We will likely have a car available and be on our way from the Mission Bay area to downtown, so anywhere roughly on the way will work. Likely candidates = In-N-Out Burger or a fish taco place (Bahia? El Zarape? South Beach Cafe?).
FRIDAY DINNER (8-9 people)
Top-notch restaurant with a solid winelist where we can be a bit boisterous without disturbing other patrons (too much), but where the room isn't too loud (we want to be able to hear each other around the table). We will likely have a van available, but would prefer to find something within walking distance of the hotel. Budget comes second to great food/wine/ambiance. From poking around this board, it seems Donovan's is the top steak place, if we decide to go that route. But we'd probably prefer a place that has more non-steak options. Would Parallel 33 be a good choice? AR Valentien? Something else?
Probably another take-out option like Friday. This time we'll be headed back downtown from Escondido, so something along I-15 would be ideal.
We'll be headed to Tijuana in the afternoon, though, so maybe we should just wait until we cross the border and grab some tacos on the other side? Is El Guero still in business? Still good?
La Diferencia seems to be the most consistently recommended Tijuana joint on chowhound. Does it still get the thumbs up? Is it walkable from Ave. Revolucion? If not, is it safe to take taxis there? Do we need reservations?
Take-out we can bring back to the hotel, preferably something we can't get in NYC (i.e., not bagels or donuts). Any good breakfast take-out joints near the Marriott?
Any other tips, criticisms, or suggestions are welcome.