San Diego Restaurant Week returns September 16-21 for the cuisine experience that says au revoir to summer flavors. Bi-annually, foodies flock to the over 180 participating restaurants in San Diego County whipping up prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. These six days of culinary exploration awaken the dining scene that thrives around us, from coastal seafood to city-style American eats.
Whether you’re a frequent diner who knows each menu by heart or you wait for an opportune occasion to stretch those legs at San Diego’s best, many local favorites are welcoming the masses with a range of options and price points. This year, grab a two-course lunch for $10, $15 or $20. Or go for a three-course dinner for $20, $30 or $40. With such a wide selection of eateries to choose from, we zoomed in on a handful that offer just what you’re looking for. Plan ahead, and save your seat for Restaurant Week, September 16-21.
Dine smart and in style at our 2012 San Diego Restaurant Week picks.
New & Hot
100 Wines: Head to this new Hillcrest space brought to San Diego from the creative minds of Bo-beau kitchen + bar. For a $30 dinner, guests can choose from Lamb Meatballs, a Valencian Salad, Pork Osso Bucco, Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Oven Roasted Pizza and a sweet dessert option of Tiramisu in a Jar or Chocolate Pot de Crème.
d bar: Explore this lively spot, offering a $15 lunch menu and $30 dinner option. Lunch highlights a soup and sandwich or d bar’s pizza of the day. Dinner boasts Diver Scallops, a Meat and Taters dish with 8 oz. Meyer ranch prime flat iron or a Veggie-licious plate with asparagus, tomato pesto, grilled flatbread, black bean hummus, quinoa and crispy faro.
Herringbone: La Jolla’s new hot spot will welcome guests to experience their “Ocean Bazaar” culinary stylings for both lunch and dinner during Restaurant Week. For a $15 lunch, you’ll find Shrimp Tacos, a Shortrib Burger, Albacore Nicoise Salad and a choice of Chocolate Hazalenut Bar or Sorbet & Crushed Meringue. Or head in late to discover the dinner menu for $40 that embraces a choice of Tahitian Albacore, Berkshire Pork Chop, Sitka Bay Troll Caught King Salmon, Squid Chorizo & Black Bean and more.
Pinzimini: Inside of the renovated Westin Gaslamp Quarter, Pinzimini boasts modern Italian cuisine by Chef Joan Kosowski. A lunch for $15 includes Penne Pasta, Gemelli Pasta, Tuscan Pizza or Salsiccia Pizza. Dine in style with a $30 dinner featuring Linguini Pasta, Grilled Chicken Scaloppini, Roasted Salmon, Shrimp Bruschetta, Veal Porcini Meatballs, and dessert options of Ricotta Berries Tart or Molten Chocolate Cake.
Katsuya by Starck: In the heart of downtown, take on Katsuya’s three-course dinner menu for $30 featuring Creamy Rock Shrimp, Spicy Albacore Sashimi with Crispy Onion, Miso-Marinated Black Cod, Beef Tobanyaki, Chicken Teriyaki and a Trio of Tastes for dessert.
Peohe’s in Coronado: Pair a posh atmosphere with delicious foods. For $30 per person, enjoy a prix-fixe dinner menu including Lobster Bisque, a Bleu Cheese Bacon Wedge, Coronado Beer Braised Beef Short Rib, Blue Crab-Stuffed Tilapia, Pecan Crusted Atlantic Salmon, Thai Roasted Chicken, and dessert choices of Mini Hot Chocolate Lava Cake, Mocha Cheesecake or a Macadamia Nut Crème Brulee.
Nine-Ten: Steps from the La Jolla Cove, enjoy a three-course dinner for $40 with Heirloom Tomato Salad, Hamachi Sashimi, Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly and entrees including a Grilled Prime C.A.B. Hanger Steak, Maine Scallops, Red Wine Braised Prime Beef Short Ribs, Pan Roasted Sea Bass, La Belle Farms Duck Breast and more. Dessert offers up a choice of Coconut Chiboust, Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, Frozen Blueberry Mousse and more. (Main Image)
Casual with a Twist
Gaijin Noodle + Sake House: For $20, dinner is served at Gaijin Noodle + Sake House with an eclectic spin on the traditional. Starters include Pork Carnitas Bao Bao, Karaage Bao Bao and Wakame. Then, Gaijin boasts their signature Yakitori grill. Guests can choose two skewers, including options like Duroc Pork Kimchi, Portobello Mushroom, Jidori Chicken Thigh and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus. Half-bowls of Noodles include options like Spicy Miso Chasu Hakata Ramen, a Wasabi Shoyu Vegetable Hakata Ramen and Gaijin Drunken Noodles.
Analog: This tantalizing and fun three-course dinner is priced at $30 and includes your choice of Braised Sterling Silber Short Ribs, Grilled Orange-Sesame Glazed Salmon, Lobster Corn Dogs, BBQ Pork “Banh Mi” Street Tacos and more. Dessert offers Butterscotch Pudding, Peanut Butter Cup Cakes and Zabaione with Berries.
Kensington Grill: Do Restaurant Week Kensington-style with this $30 three-course dinner. Feast on options such as Eggplant Bolognese Fettuccini, Brandt Beef Burger, Shrimp Waffle, KG Calamari, Loch Duart Salmon, Roasted Duck Breast, Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop and more. And for dessert, you’ll find rich Honey and Vanilla Panna Cotta, a Brownie Waffle and Banana Bread Pudding.
Casa Guadalajara: Spice things up with a $10 lunch or $20 dinner in Old Town. For lunch, choose from Tostada Jalisco, Fish Tacos, Enchiladas Suizas or Tostada Vegetariana. For dinner, chow on zesty options including Ceviche a la Duran, a Chile Colorado, Carnitas a la Michoacan, Pollo Mole Poblano, Seafood Chimichanga and dessert choices of Churro & Flan, Don Pancho or Deep Fried Ice Cream.
Romantic Date Night
Bertrand at Mister A’s: Impress your someone special with either a $20 lunch or $40 dinner. For lunch, choose from a House Ground Kobe Steak Burger, Traditional Paella or a Riesling Poached Salmon Salad. On the dinner menu, look for Traditional Lobster Bisque, Sauteed Samanco Bay Sea Scallops, a Duo of Brandt Farm Rib Eye and Short Rib, Pan Seared Petrole Sole Filet, House Made Linguini or a Vegetable Lasagna with Pesto.
Saltbox: Feast on Chef Simon Dolinky’s three-course spread for dinner, with options including Flash Fried Shishito Peppers, Slow Cooked Brisket Grilled Cheese, Belgian Ale Steamed Mussels, Jidori Chicken, Roasted White Corn Ravioli, a Hamburguesa Grande and more. For dessert, indulge in the Upside Down Cake.
Amaya: Take a bite out of this top restaurant serving a prix-fixe dinner menu for $40. Options include Catalan-Style Shrimp, Center Cut Rotisserie Pork Chop, a Filet of Whole-Roasted Prime Beef Tenderloin and Seared Sea Bass. For dessert, enjoy an Apricot Financier, Chocolate Marquise and Black Forest Cake Trifle.
With a View
Bali Hai: Soak in stunning views of the bay with either a $15 lunch option or $30 dinner. For lunch, guests can find Aloha Cobb, Chopped Chicken, Thai Chicken Caesar Salad, a Smoked Turkey Club, Rock Shrimp Tacos or Coriander Crusted Albacore. For dinner, you’ll dine on Pork Loin Medallion, Red Curry Duck, Orange Peel Beef, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Pan Seared Mahi Mahi and more. Sweets include unique treats like the Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream Sandwich Minis or the Passion Fruit Mousse.
Flavor Del Mar: A $20 lunch at this Del Mar beauty offers a Fuji Apple Salad, Mexican Bay Scallop Ceviche, Fra’Mani Turkey Club, Tuna Tataki and more. The $40 dinner boasts Spicy Crispy Shrimp, a Risotto, Jidori Chicken, Prime Flat Iron Steak or a Ricotta Cavatelli. Desserts include Butterscotch Budino, Chocolate Bar or Cherries Jubilee.
Humphreys Restaurant: For an impressive $30 dinner, select from seaside fresh options of Jumbo Lump Crabcake, Shrimp & Corn Chowder, a Tarragon Seafood Risotto, Espresso Crusted Filet Mignon and Lemon Basil Pot de Crème for dessert.
Truluck’s Seafood and Steak House at Aventine: Just because you’re working your way through a three-course meal doesn’t mean all diets should be thrown to the wind. Truluck’s $40 dinner menu offers a light Lobster Bisque, Mesclun Greens Salad, Salmon Bearnaise, Crab-Crusted Norwegian Whitefish, Parmesan-Crusted Sole and for dessert, Carrot Cake or Lemon Meringue Pie.
Café Japengo at Aventine: The $40 dinner menu doesn’t dish anything too heavy. Start with a choice of Thai Chicken Salad, Crispy Chicken Spring Rolls or a Spicy Seafood Salad. For main entrees, choose from Kona Seared Ahi, Cashew Shrimp, Seared Jumbo Scallops, Sushi Master Sashimi and more.
Soleil @k: Dine downtown with a $30 dinner menu that stays light and fresh. First course options include Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Cream of Lobster Soup or a Wedge Salad. The second course boasts Furikake Crusted Ahi, Pan Seared Pork Rib Chop or Prime Hanger Steak.
But that’s not all…San Diego Restaurant Week boasts over 180 restaurants participating in lunch and dinner, September 16 - 21. To view the entire list of participating San Diego restaurants, and to sort by neighborhood, price or community – visit sandiegorestaurantweek.com.
Get Started Early with the first-ever kick-off event to San Diego Restaurant Week on Friday, September 14 at the Broadway Pier at Port Pavilion. Find more details here.
Discover more San Diego restaurants and follow our dining blog for tips and trends.