With the holidays fast approaching, we’ve compiled a list of San Diego’s most unique dining rooms that have great offerings for family gatherings, corporate holidays and groups. Perfect for any occasion, these private dining options offer everything from intimate chef dinners, a wine cave, incredible views of the Pacific Ocean or even your own sushi bar.
The Grant Grill at THE US GRANT Hotel: This restaurant’s private dining room offers an intimate setting, seating up to 12 guests. The room has ornate mahogany finishes, historic photos and The Grant Grill’s wine vault and a chic backdrop for the guest’s vision to be brought to life. The culinary team, lead by Executive Chef Mark Kropczynski and Chef de Cuisine Sam Burman, can prepare a customized menu of market-fresh California cuisine for a breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch event. Multi-course wine or craft cocktail pairings can be curated by the Sommelier or award-winning mixologist, Jeff Josenhans.
The Wine Cave at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa: Enclosed in brick and accented with leather and glass, the Wine Cave at Rancho Valencia is home to the resort’s most valuable and rare fine wines where guests can also truly exceptional dining experience, whether for a private intimate dinner or small formal reception. The stunning private dining room features an outdoor terrace overlooking a Eucalyptus Grove and a collection holding over 250 bottles from 750ml up to 18 liters, as well as full sized oak barrels with the resort’s own private blends. Rancho Valencia features wines sourced from micro-producers in California, France, Italy and Spain as well as wine sourced from Canada, Mexico, Tasmania, South Africa and Turkey. Rancho Valencia’s talented culinary team can prepare an unforgettable wine paired reception featuring locally sourced ingredients from just a few miles down the road at nearby Chino Farms.
Bang Bang: Located in the heart of San Diego’s famous Gaslamp District, Bang Bang was designed by Owner and Designer Mauricio Couturier and LED nightlife impresario and Partner, Johnny Shockey. A tunneled staircase entrance reminiscent of a Tokyo subway, complete with Tokyo subway sounds streaming through hidden speakers, transports guests into Bang Bang which features modular design details including color-based video projection and mapping, oversized Japanese lanterns and the largest disco ball on the west coast. Offering three separate concepts in one space – one part asian fusion restaurant / one part sushi bar / one part “theatre” which hosts live music, DJs and movies, Bang Bang is able to host private events that can hold up to 400 people.
Offering various room sizes to fit any corporate holiday party, guests can choose from a hosted kitchen station, tray passed hot appetizers / sushi, or even a live sushi making station helmed by Executive Chef Kappa and his team of sushi experts. Offering a new twist for holiday parties, the sushi station offers basic rolls, nigiri, and speciality rolls, including the Party Party roll, made up of crab, avocado, cucumber topped with tune, salmon, yellowtail, albacore mixed with cilantro, tomato, onion and marinated with garlic soy and wasabi oil.
Brockton Villa: Known for impeccable views, friendly service and exquisite culinary offerings, La Jolla Cove’s charming Brockton Villa restaurant has expanded their repertoire to include private parties. The delightful beach cottage offers a seaside venue with spectacular views of the world-famous La Jolla Cove and has become a favorite “show off” destination for locals and visitors alike. The historic house-turned-restaurant has kept the original floor plan, with a “mud room,” dining room, and wrap-around veranda, as well as an added-on outdoor patio area, and can comfortably host groups ranging from 20-100 people. The Inside Dining Room features a large abalone-inlaid fireplace, as well as an ocean view, enhancing a cozy, inviting atmosphere. The Outside Patio offers a fantastic open-air setting, where tables are shaded by umbrellas and an old pepper tree, which is lit at night by white party lights. Guests are welcome to add their own arrangements and decorate however they would like to fit the theme of their party. To book a private event with a custom menu, guests may contact Banquet Manager Jeff Beyoghlow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Commons Bar: This holiday season, San Diegans can celebrate their holiday party at The Commons for a fun, approachable event. The Commons is located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter and is directly across from Horton Plaza which allows for perfect accessibility and easy parking. The space provides a 2,800 square-foot venue where guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the Gaslamp, along with an energy that resonates within the bar itself. The Commons is ideal for groups ranging from 10 to 200 guests and features a 500 square-foot private, upstairs Mezzanine game room with six flat screen TVs, foosball and shuffleboard tables, and a private bar that allows for speciality drinks to be created especially for the event or a VIP reception prior to the event. The Commons is all about customizing a party to fit the hosts’ needs, from its vintage drive-in movie theatre sign stretching across the bar that can be tailored specifically to the event, to a completely customized menu of casual and conversational bar fare.
AVANT at Rancho Bernardo Inn: Offers a fresh approach to private dining for the holidays. With a focus on inspired culinary exploration, leisurely socializing, and warm, inviting spaces, every gathering becomes a special occasion. The newly appointed Chef de Cuisine Tomas Baistrocchi, serves vibrant, creative dishes and artisan libations in an inviting setting defined by its indoor-outdoor design, dynamic spaces and lush garden.
With three one-of-a-kind private dining spaces – La Taberna, El Biz and the AVANT kitchen – there is a space for every kind of holiday gathering. See below for details of the restaurant’s three private dining options:
- La Taberna seats up to 50 guests and overlooks the gorgeous greens at Rancho Bernardo Inn.
- El Biz is a 630 square foot space that seats up to 18 guests and includes a fireplace and floor to ceiling stained glass wall with amber and red hues.
- The AVANT Kitchen is a truly unique approach, which offers personal time with the Chef and an intimate private demonstration.
For more information, click here or call 858.675.8551
True Food Kitchen: As groups become more particular about picking meeting venues that cater to a variety of specific needs, True Food Kitchen provides an easily accessible solution for the most discerning clientele. True Food Kitchen caters to ever-evolving palates by not only providing a beautiful venue at an approachable price point, but also by catering to guests with dietary needs across the board, including vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free and paleo dishes – each prepared with seasonal and responsibly sourced ingredients. Each dish is inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, which advocates eating nutrient-rich, whole and fresh foods for a healthy, happy and long life. Placed adjacent to the restaurant’s open kitchen, True Food Kitchen San Diego’s private dining room replicates the farm-to-table and nutrition-forward menu concept, lined with fresh plants and greenery. The room is equipped with a sound system and can be closed off to accommodate up to 35 guests, or left open to allow larger parties to flow into the main dining room.
Searsucker San Diego: Situated upstairs over the hustle and bustle of downtown’s popular Searsucker’s main dining area, the restaurant’s private dining room can accommodate up to 32 guests. Continuing Thomas Schoos design aesthetic, Searsucker’s dining room boasts contemporary artwork, eclectic lighting and top of the line audiovisual components. From the size and structure of the room to the ambiance set by the lighting, sound and decor, this room provides the ideal setting for a range of private events. Guests may even choose to enhance their event with a special presentation by Executive Chef Brian Malarkey, who can personally guide them through their dining experience from drinks to dessert.
Searsucker Del Mar: Del Mar hotspot, Searsucker Del Mar, by Executive Chef Brian Malarkey offers a unique background featuring an improvisation on the themes of vintage Americana and the American West. The spacious 6,000 square-feet restaurant features an abundance of room for indoor and outdoor socializing and dining. In addition to the main dining room and patio, the restaurant has several private dining room options for guests including a small side room (can seat up to 10 people), a large private dining room (can seat up to 30 people) and the “I’ll have Another Lounge” back bar area which has a separate entrance and can host 50-100 people. The two smaller PDRs can also be combined while the restaurant’s back bar, side patio and seated fire pit area can also be closed off for private events. With the addition of new TV’s in the expanded patio area, Searsucker Del Mar is also able to offer various AV/tech capabilities to enhance your event as well.
Herringbone La Jolla: Located in the famed coastal community of La Jolla, Herringbone by Executive Chef Brian Malarkey boasts vintage beauty and modern openness to make the ideal setting for any private event. Featuring six ancient olive trees and an open kitchen, Herringbone also has a semi-private “loft dining” space that can seat up to 22 guests. Offering a menu of “fish meats field” cuisine featuring unique surf and turf dishes and a variety of seafood options, Herringbone’s menu includes various seafood platters, flatbreads and additional signature dishes that are all great for groups to enjoy. The perfect space for any event from an intimate dinner to a buy-out dinner, Herringbone’s delicious menu and inventive cocktails will leave a lasting impression on guests.
BICE Ristorante: Located just a few blocks from the San Diego Convention Center and in the heart of the Gaslamp District, BiCE Ristorante offers an exquisite setting for special events. Set in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere, BiCE offers flexible dining spaces ready to accommodate groups ranging from 52 to 120 guests. The private Milano Room offers complete privacy from the main dining room, fitting up to 52 people seated. Further, the private dining room is equipped with top-of-the-line audiovisual capabilities including a projector with an 83″ flatscreen perfect for presentations, slideshows and more. Special occasions at BiCE are complemented by impeccable Italian cuisine by Executive Chef Mario Cassineri and Chef de Cuisine Francesca Penoncelli, who take pride in customizing menus with daring and flavorful dishes aimed to please casual diners and epicureans alike. As a special offer, any private holiday lunches or dinners booked before October 31 will receive a $25 gift certificate per guest – the bigger the event, the bigger the gift!
JRDN Restaurant: Located at the chic Tower23 Hotel in Pacific Beach, San Diego, JRDN is well known for their fresh cuisine combined with a lively atmosphere and stunning oceanfront views. An ideal location for private events, the Wine Room features dramatic lighting, teak wood and a 1,000 bottle wine wall. The private dining space also opens onto the private, heated Sunset Patio which boasts the property’s signature ocean views. As the sun drops, guests can also gather around the outdoor fire pit. The Wine Room holds up to 50 guests with room for an additional 40 on the Sunset Patio. All special events are enhanced by award-winning Chef Nick Shinton’s casually sophisticated Californian cuisine.
Chandler’s Restaurant at the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront is a stunning, oceanfront location overlooking the cliffs in Carlsbad and the Pacific Ocean. With open-air, heated patios overlooking the beach, private parties of up to 30 guests can celebrate the holidays in true Southern California style. Chef Pascal Vignau’s celebrated ‘New American’ cuisine mixes classic American dishes with bold, international tastes and is the perfect accompaniment to the gorgeous location. For parties of more than 30, adjoining private dining spaces are available as well.
*Information courtesy of J Public Relations
Dining in San Diego – Rooms with a View
Pacifica Del Mar: With five distinct areas available, Pacifica’s private dining options offer the perfect setting for any holiday event. Whether it’s a corporate party filling the entire restaurant, or an intimate dinner amid hundreds of vintage wines in Pacifica’s Wine Room, every occasion has a signature space. Private parties feature custom cuisine, and guests also have access to Pacifica’s Ocean Bar and its unrivaled selection of over 200 of the world’s finest vodkas. This award-winning restaurant is one of the few in San Diego that are open for Thanksgiving and Christmas lunch and dinner.
1555 Camino Del Mar
Breeze Café: Labeled as one of San Diego’s best kept secrets, the Breeze Café offers guests a prime location to hold private dinner parties and cocktail receptions. This seaside covered patio offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the quaint seaside village of Old Del Mar. Second only to the view is the fare and full range of micro brews, wines and signature cocktails that are also available.
1555 Camino Del Mar
Cusp Dining & Drinks: As bright and airy as La Jolla itself, Cusp Dining & Drinks offers holiday guests a place to relax and enjoy the 280 degree view of the Pacific Ocean from each one of its seats. The coastal eatery features a semi-private room at the far end of the restaurant for intimate gatherings, and an event space adjacent to the restaurant where guests can quietly enjoy Mediterranean-inspired cuisine served alongside sweeping views of the coast. Cusp will also be open for Thanksgiving from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Hiatus: This intimate poolside lounge is the perfect little hideaway by the shore that guests to La Jolla look for. A swank escape from the mundane, Hiatus sets the mood to hangout and relax with treasured friends, family members and coworkers next to the pool or cozied up by the outdoor fireplace. Not only does Hiatus provide a brief respite from daily life, it also tantalizes the senses with customized bites prepared by Executive Chef Donald Lockhart, flavorful cocktails and highly acclaimed design.
Cusp & Hiatus
7955 La Jolla Shores Dr.
Dining in San Diego- For the Cosmopolitan Entertainer
Jsix: Ideally located in downtown’s vibrant Gaslamp District, Jsix is a lively restaurant that leaves holiday guests with a lasting impression of what it means to live in San Diego. Jsix’s new, private Bridge Room has the capabilities to seat guests for intimate parties or receptions. Custom menus are also created for each party by award-winning Chef Christian Graves.
LOUNGEsix: is the premier San Diego rooftop lounge in the cosmopolitan Gaslamp Quarter. Located atop Solamar Terrace, it is the ideal leisure retreat day or night. Guests can sip evening libations featuring top-shelf spirits and fresh, organic fruit, or linger over small bites from the casual bar menu. Surrounding Hotel Solamar’s Shore Pool and scattered throughout the lounge, LOUNGEsix’s cabanas make a perfect space for a private party. Arrange for bottle service and enjoy the night life at its finest.
Jsix & LOUNGEsix
616 J Street
RA Sushi: Personalize your holiday affair, and make it a pop-up sushi restaurant featuring some of the city’s top Asian fusion cuisine. RA Sushi will deliver everything you need, right down to the bar and highly skilled sushi chef primed and ready to create signature sushi for all of your guests. If getting out of the house is more your style, RA is also available for private events, creating a vibrant yet chic atmosphere for you and your guests.
Saltbox: The lounge-style restaurant in the heart of downtown invites guests in to share some time together for the holidays. Luxe and moody décor make for an intimate space balanced by the comfort of carefully created, ingredient-driven fare by Chef de Cuisine Jeremiah Bryant. Available for small and large parties, Saltbox is a downtown escape equipped to deliver an exceptional experience for any event.
1047 5th Ave
SummerSalt Pool Lounge: This rooftop space is designed to make events an even bigger splash, with parties held just steps from an infinity pool and lounge. Located on the fourth floor of Hotel Palomar, SummerSalt overlooks downtown San Diego’s cityscape, offering guests chic surroundings and their own private view of the bustling city below.