Who doesn’t love a good night out? Fast Lane Drive members constantly find themselves at the areas up-and-coming eateries and bars, all of which offer new experiences. We love San Diego for its wide variety of cuisines and premium restaurants, and couldn’t help but share some of our favorites. For dinner and drinks, here are some of the best places to wine and dine in San Diego.
Catania is an Italian restaurant on the top floor of the newly-redesigned La Plaza center in La Jolla. Inspired by a two-week road trip, the owner and culinary partner designed the eatery to provide guests with an authentic Italian coastal cuisine experience. The restaurant provides panoramic ocean views and has a rotating selection of house-made pasta, handcrafted pizzas, and fresh Crudo. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal, grab a drink, and try one of their many famous desserts whipped up by a first-generation Sicilian-American chef.
Despite its award-winning menu, Baci Ristorante is still a friendly neighborhood gathering place for anyone and everyone. Family-owned, Baci chefs create delicious cuisine that embodies the flavors of Italy. Their AAA Four Diamond Award (won fourteen years in a row) menu includes high-quality seafood in addition to traditional Italian meals. The stars of the menu include steamed mussels, swordfish oreganato, and a variety of fine wines.
Located in San Diego’s historical Gaslamp District, Fleming’s serves up prime steaks and premium wines. Whether celebrating, having a night out with friends, or dining with clients, Fleming’s provides all of your favorites plus a local chef’s table that changes with the seasons. The perfect ambiance of this restaurant is heightened by their always-open bar and selection of local wines, cocktails, and spirits hand-chosen by their wine manager.
Born & Raised
American steakhouses are a classic, and Born & Raised certainly embodies this tradition. This high-end eatery has glamorous decor and a rooftop patio located in Little Italy. Their beef is dry-aged and prepared in a way to stay authentic to earlier, earthier grading practices. Born & Raised has an impressive selection of wine as well as cocktails, the latter of which are always made with the perfect balance of alcohol, spirits, juices, and ice. We recommend the Japanese wagyu steak; it truly does melt in your mouth.
The WineSellar & Brasserie
True to its name, this French wine bar and restaurant offers only the best wines, all small-batch and high-quality whether domestic or international. Each wine is personally selected, tasted, and evaluated by their expert sommeliers, who are also phenomenal at suggesting pairings when you dine-in. Try their house-made gnocchi, Australian rack of lamb, or a casual charcuterie plate amongst the wine professionals of WineSellar.
Adjacent to La Jolla’s Grande Colonial Hotel is the elegant Nine-Ten. Their chef, Jason Knibb, has developed a uniquely-worldly menu, filled with experimental dishes that combine cuisines. You’ll find Jamaican, Polish, and Hawaiian influences, among others, and brave guests may select the “Mercy of the Chef” tasting menu. Carefully pairing these fine dishes with their carefully curated beer and wine selection, Nine-Ten is a dining experience you’ll never forget.
Veladora is the restaurant of the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, which offers coastal ranch cuisine in a hacienda-style setting. While rustic, Veladora retains an air of sophistication through iron chandeliers and exquisite art. Their most popular entree is a pan-seared salmon with herbed couscous and green olive pesto, and the restaurant features an extensive dessert menu with favorites like the caramel and brown sugar streusel. Veladora’s wine list is composed of private-label wines produced solely for Rancho Valencia by the Coomber Family Ranch. You’ll also find a large selection of craft beers, fine spirits, and delicious cocktails.
La Bonne Table
If you enjoy French cuisine, La Bonne Table is for you. This bistro and bar offers classic French country dishes that change seasonally. The owner is also the chef, so you can rest assured he stakes his reputation on every dish coming to the table perfectly. Despite its location in bustling Hillcrest, it’s quaint, charming, and intimate — ideal for a nice date or catching up with a friend. There’s a romantic atmosphere, a unique coziness, and a full bar with French beer on tap.
For a lavish European experience, Addison offers an exceptional, contemporary French setting in North San Diego. It’s romantic, with fine cuisine, thoughtful attention, and marble flooring. Guests may opt for the five or ten-course tasting menu, supplemented with wine and Champagne pairings, cheese service, and A5 wagyu. As for wine, your options here are limitless. Addison’s collection includes 3,6000 bottles ranging from $45 to $13,000, emphasizing everything from vintages to newly-imported options.
George’s California Modern
For California cuisine, George’s California Modern in La Jolla is reimagining classic SoCal ingredients in an elevated way. This restaurant has an ocean view and encompasses George’s California Modern on the main level, George’s Bar on the second floor, and the rooftop Ocean Terrace. Guests choose between a four-course prix-fixe menu or multi-course tasting, complete with farm-to-table meals. The wine list is well-educated and ensures you’ll have a pairing no matter your meal. If cocktails are more your speed, George’s also features signature cocktails made with house-made bitters. For groups of only two to six people, George’s also offers their TBL3: a chef’s table for an exclusive 14-course meal prepared entirely on the chef’s whims.
Juniper & Ivy
Nestled in San Diego’s Little Italy is the lively restaurant of Juniper & Ivy. This converted, century-old warehouse features an exhibition kitchen and colorful geometric art. Iconic cocktails at their bar include their signature “Per-Simmon Says,” with Western Grace brandy, Uruapan Charanda, lemon, honey, persimmon, orange bitters, and Mexican chocolate bitters. Ingredients are Western-inspired and make up an ever-changing menu, always with options, everyone is sure to love. Best of all, their unique wine list has imports and selections more atypical for San Diego, giving you the chance to try something exotic and new.
The Marine Room
Located oceanfront in La Jolla is The Marine Room, a sophisticated seafood restaurant. The cuisine is crafted by none other than chef Bernard Guillas, who has been known for championing farm-fresh, locally-grown ingredients. Each entree here is delightfully tasty and combines unique flavor pairings, and their sophisticated wine program is not one to miss. There is nothing like dining alongside the ocean with waves crashing against glass windows during their High Tide signature meals. It’s a must for anyone who prefers high-end courses like lobster bisque, Togarashi sesame-crusted ahi, and diver scallops.
Dine and Drink With Fast Lane Drive
Fast Lane Drive is more than a car club, and we’re always happy to go out and celebrate! This list includes restaurants we adore as part of our afterparties or just on a whim. If cuisine and cars are among your favorite things, then Fast Lane Drive’s exclusive exotic and luxury car club might just be for you. Get in touch with us today using the form on our website, and we’ll see you at the next dinner!