Known for its spacious beaches and enjoyable weather, San Diego, Calif., is one of the nation’s most sought-after vacation spots. On the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, this city attracts a variety of vacationers hoping to both relax and also explore all that the city has to offer. San Diego is home to many fabulous hotels, and with these hotels come exceptional hotel restaurants. With an emphasis on local produce and a desire for sophistication, these five restaurants are a must when dining in San Diego.
- A.R. Valentien, The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Great attention is given to seasonal produce at A.R. Valentien, located in The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Because of their attention to local and seasonal food, the menu is constantly changing, but does not disappoint. Both the food and the architecture in the restaurant are a tribute to Southern California. Cher Jeff Jackson has more than 30 years of experience and succeeds in pairing basic ingredients with minimal handling, highlighting the strengths of the individual foods. An example of this is the Alaskan halibut from the dinner menu, which is served with mustard greens, roasted mushrooms, and a white anchovy and green garlic vinaigrette.
- Nine-Ten at the Grande Colonial
2010 StarChefs Rising Star Chef winner Jason Knibb also uses local ingredients at Nine-Ten, located in the Grande Colonial Hotel. This sophisticated bistro features California-style cuisine that is both casual and elegant. The restaurant uses regional produce, in dishes like the slow-roasted Colorado lamb loin with purple Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cardoons, asparagus, nettles, and lamb sauce.
- Saltbox, Hotel Palomar
Located in the Hotel Palomar San Diego, Saltbox serves elegant, traditional food but with a street food twist. The menu features mostly classic American staples, like the "Hamburguesa Grande," and the edgy cocktail menu by famed mixologist Erin Williams offers a combination of both sophistication and quirky treats. Try the "Sunday Morning" cocktail, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, maple syrup, lemon, and Peychaud's bitters. This contemporary restaurant is not only luxurious, but also playful.
- The Grant Grill, The US GRANT
Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, The Grant Grill at The US GRANT San Diego offers traditional American favorites that are taken to the next level. The attention to detail produces savory dishes the entire family can enjoy, like the Grant Grill Waffle Brunch Buffet, featuring more than 25 sweet and savory waffle toppings. While the dishes may be traditional at The Grant Grill, their execution is unique and memorable.
- Addison, The Grand Del Mar
This final restaurant, located at The Grand Del Mar, is the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star Restaurant in San Diego. Addison is home to chef William Bradley, who executes classic French techniques with locally grown ingredients. The restaurant is famed for its wine collection; a magnificent 2,500-bottle custom glass walled cellar sits in the main dining room. The courses are perfectly paced, and the restaurant offers a four-, seven-, or 10-course option. If you wish to experience perfect indulgence, this is one spot not to miss.