One night in san diego

one guy from austin, the other from l.a. both pretty familiar with the strong suits of those cities.
need a place for great cocktails and food. if we have to split those up, so be it, but the food place should at least have good beer and wine.
all cuisines welcome, nothing too fancy or expensive or stuffy.
rather not go more than two places. have transportation.
any suggestions? bracero looks aces but worried about getting in ( this is for next week).
mixed reviews for juniper and ivy so not entirely sure about that.
food quality more important than atmosphere.

many thanks.

Where are you staying? Downtown area (i.e., Little Italy, East Village, Mission Hills, Hillcrest, Marina District, etc.)?

I’ve been to Bracero, and while the consensus by the SD foodigerati ranks as it one of the best of its kind, I was completely bored by the place.

J&I, falls in the same vein of Bracero, as most really love it, but most of the time the place leaves me a bit empty. Maybe when they debut the tasting menu my thoughts will change.

But if you’re staying in that area (i.e. Downtown area-ish), then J&I is probably your best bet, but you might also consider Lion’s Share and Wine Vault & Bistro (only open Thu-Sat). The former in the Marina District, and the latter in Mission Hills.

thanks for the tips. since we’ll have a car i figure it doesnt matter where staying because we will drive anywhere in the area for the good stuff. im driving back to la that night.

J&I has a tasting menu for about 5 months now

Not when I was there a couple of weeks after July 4

But good to know

It’s only available on Thursday for 8 people

For drinks:
Noble Experiment
Stone Brewing in Liberty Station
Fathom @ Shelter Island Pier…great local beer on tap and homemade sausages
Juniper & Ivy

Drinks & Food:
Juniper & Ivy
Aqui es Texcoco
Red Tracton’s in the bar
A.R. Valentien at The Lodge Torrey Pines
George’s Modern
George’s upstairs at the Cove…more casual
The Patio
Oyster Bar at Fish Market Downtown or upstairs at Top of the Market…NOT resto downstairs!

i couldnt tell from the website whether or not aqui es texcoco has any adult beverages.
beer? hard liquor? thanks.

They have some Mexican craft beers such as Cucapá. They also serve pulque, but I haven’t tried it.

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IMHO, go to Bracero. Upstairs tables are for reservations, but the upstairs bar is walk-in seating as is the whole of downstairs. You can order off the full menu anywhere. Should be no problem to get a couple seats without reservations.

The lengua tacos are spectacular as are the lamb neck tacos. Grilled Octopus is spectacular. The shrimp and bone marrow (surf and turf) sopes are killing it too. Crispy Pork Belly with pipian mole sauce … wow!. Lots of creative Tequila and Mescal based cocktails and others…

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If you like sushi, then highly recommend Sushi Tadokoro. Make reservations at the bar for an experience you won’t forget.

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They have Mex beers but no hard liquor.

just like to say an additional thanks for the suggestions.

we ended up with drinks at noble experiment and dinner at bracero. noble is a nice little room, they’re friendly and know how to make a very good cocktail.

bracero was pretty good. very good seafood tostada and excellent octopus. chocolata clam good not great. some tuna several ways thing they were pushing was eh. good lamb neck taco, nice and lamby, but jeez, that’s a pretty expensive little taco. tequila list nothing special.

Awesome…glad you had a good time and many thanks for reporting back!!