Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich at Harley Gray

Even with the discounted prices, San Diego Restaurant Week can get a bit expensive after hitting multiple spots. Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar landed in our radar due to their reasonable dinner price of $20.

This restaurant is located in Mission Hills, around the corner from Brooklyn Girl Eatery, Farmer's Bottega, and Dennis's beloved ramen joint Izakaya Masa.

seating area of Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar bar area of Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar  

We entered a cozy looking restaurant with a mixture of booths and tables. I felt comfortable with the purple mood lighting surrounding the center bar. It felt very chill here. There wasn't a hostess at the front but someone near the bar area motioned for us to sit wherever, so we grabbed a corner table.

One of my top choices for this year's San Diego Restaurant Week was Farmer's Bottega. And... it's also my 200th review! I wrote over half of those within the last two years! Wow does time fly by before you know it!

At 7:30pm on a Sunday, the restaurant was packed and we were seated in the back patio area. Even though it was chillier outside, the heat lamps were at a perfect temperature that Dennis, wearing his big coat, was neither hot nor cold, and myself, in a sweater, felt quite cozy. It was also quieter and less cramped in the patio so we were quite happy with the placement.

Burnt Carrots Salad at Farmer's Bottega

Burnt Carrots Salad / avocado + red onion + cilantro + feta + citrus thyme vinaigrette

I heard good things about this salad

Leroy's Kitchen & Lounge is on the beautiful island of Coronado. When San Diego Restaurant Week rolled around, I thought it'd be a glorious time to cross the blue bridge for a visit. The restaurant is a few streets away from the historic Hotel del Coronado but we were able to score a parking spot nearby. Our late lunch may have been another helpful factor.

outdoor patio at Leroy's Kitchen and Lounge in Coronado

There's a patio area with bright red umbrellas for basking in the sunny San Diego weather while the inside has both booths and tables.

bar at Leroy's Kitchen and Lounge in Coronado

There are a few TV's for watching sports at the bar while you drink. The beer menu has a varied selection on tap plus space to advertise upcoming promotions.

We were seated at a booth facing the bar and provided the SDRW lunch menu. It's a $15 pre-fix lunch with one appetizer and one entree.

I'm the planner type and during my San Diego Restaurant Week research, Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant caught my eye. Our prior experience with this restaurant is the airport side business providing pre-made sandwiches/salads. Since that is already Dennis's default airport food choice, we had a good feeling about this place. The SDRW menu had so many enticing options that I delayed our reservation by a day to bring extra people to dinner! 

The San Diego Restaurant Week $30 pre-fixe dinner menu includes a choice of an appetizer, entree and dessert and is attached at the bottom of the post.


Brandied Foie Gras Pate at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

Brandied Foie Gras Pate (+$6.95) / Blueberry Compote, Candied Walnuts, Endive Salad, Grilled Levain

We upgraded to the foie gras appetizer and were rewarded with a generous sized, richly smooth liver paired with a mildly sweet blueberry compote. The buttery bread was the perfect firmness for a base. Side salad was coated with a slightly acidic but blueberry sugared apple vinegar dressing.

We're always checking out new places for San Diego Restaurant Week and were invited to preview the SDRW menu at The Marine Room in La Jolla. This fine dining restaurant has huge windows facing the ocean, which is especially mesmorizing when it is HIGH TIDE. I never knew there existed a restaurant where you could watch the waves splashing at the heavy duty windows while dining (view depends on season/time of the year).

The restaurant itself is located in a residential looking area so you go through a little bit of windy streets to reach it. Once there, you can valet your car or find street parking nearby. We were seated by the hostess and were ready to eat.

The San Diego Restaurant Menu is attached at the end of the post and contains 3 appetizers, 6 entrees, and a dessert to choose from.

Our Appetizers:

Pistachio Panch Phoron Wild Prawns at the Marine Room in La Jolla

Pistachio Panch Phoron Wild Prawns / Tuxedo Barley, Eggplant chutney, Penny Royale, Pink Grapefruit Dressing

Pistachio Panch Phoron Wild Prawns at the Marine Room in La Jolla

Back view of the shrimp with the fantastic seasoning!

Sundays are our lazy sleep-in days. By 1pm, the hunger inside was roaring for us to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! San Diego Restaurant Week had just started and Cafe La Rue won out as our destination based on distance and menu potential. I was also drawn to the thought of visiting La Valencia Hotel since I've seen tons of buzz on my instagram feed.

Cafe La Rue inside seatings

The main bar and dining area was spacious and not busy in the early afternoon. For this photo view, Dennis tested out a new 14mm Ultra-Wide angle lens which gave approximately a 110 degree view on his camera.

Cafe La Rue cozy booth

I love cozy booths like this so we plopped down happily into the cushions. There are three booths inside with the rest using regular, single person chairs.

The SDRW menu was $20 and gave several choices for the main course and the dessert course. Each main course had three components per the description "Main Course - Menage a Trois."

Muffuleta Sandwich at Cafe La Rue

Muffuleta Sandwich, Soup du Jour & Truffle Fries

The biannual San Diego Restaurant Week is a promotion we look forward to due to our ever growing "to do" list of restaurants. This year we were invited to preview the SDRW menu at Sbicca in beautiful Del Mar. This restaurant has been around for almost 18 years so they are doing something right!

Sbicca restaurant in Del Mar

Sbicca is only a stone's throw away from the ocean. There's two main seating areas on the lower level plus an additional upstairs patio that provides a better view of the ocean.

Sbicca restaurant dining in Del Mar

There was still some natural light outside so we chose to sit in this cozy side area. We were welcomed by Danny, the bar manager/assistant floor manager, and Amanda, the managing partner of Sbicca.

strawberry basil lemonade at Sbicca restaurant in Del Mar

We started the night right with the Strawberry Basil Lemonade cocktail, a drink special created for SDRW by Danny and Amanda.

It's about that time again. San Diego Restaurant Week for the fall starts on September 20 through September 27, 2015.  Over 180 restaurants are participating! Check out your favorite restaurants or try something new! The prix fixe lunches are either $10, $15, or $20 and the prix fixe dinners are either $20, $30, $40 or $50!

The theme of Restaurant Week is "Celebrate Local" and I was able to check out a few samples ahead of time at the SDRW Launch Party at Go Green Acres. Browse the tasty creations below and something may inspire you to check out a new or old restaurant favorite!

Blue Point Coastal Cuisine

Get a kick out of the tomato gazpacho with olive tapenade on a caper crostini from Blue Point Coastal Cuisine.

Cowboy Star in San Diego

Our third and final restaurant for San Diego Restaurant Week was Cowboy Star in downtown San Diego. We were interested in this menu because we noticed it included DESSERT for lunch too, which makes it a three course meal for only $20. Yea, I'm all over that!

Cowboy Star in San Diego Cowboy Star in San Diego

Being from Texas, the cowhide-style seats in the waiting area made me feel a bit nostalgic, even if it wasn't something you'd find at MY family home. And I just love cowboy hats! Surprisingly this blogger here doesn't even have her own! On the other side of the chairs was a bar area to pass time before seating in the main area.

After we ordered, they brought out a bread appetizer. It had a sourdough texture inside but was toasty brown on the outside! I didn't take pictures but it was probably served with butter.

Cauliflower Soup at Cowboy Star in San Diego

Our first appetizer was the Cauliflower Soup. I rarely see this on a menu so of course it was a must! The soup came out at the perfect temp and ready to eat. It had a richness and subtle cauliflower taste to all that creaminess and was topped with a few tibits of cauliflower and pepita seeds. It exceeded my expectations and I'd be willing to eat this again!

We've been to Brooklyn Girl once before for a friend's birthday and decided that San Diego Restaurant Week would be a great time to revisit! Their pre-fixe dinner menu was $30 and includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert. As a couple, we'd get to try more of the menu at one sitting!

chili flake and lemon popcorn at Brooklyn Girl Eatery

That night they served chili flakes and lemon seasoned popcorn as a complimentary appetizer. You can definitely taste a little bit of both flavors in there. It's tasty but not all kernels were fully popped so we hit a few hard pieces here and there. When staff cleaned up the table next to us, I noticed there were also kernals there so we weren't the only ones leaving them on the table. The popcorn flavors do change so you won't know until you're there!

Bear Hug Cocktail at Brooklyn Girl Eatery in San Diego

Dennis loves his whiskey drinks! This was the Bear Hug ($11), made with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey. It's a nice drink with a ginger spice and a hint of syrup from the walnut liquerer and honey, garnished with an orange peel.

Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs at Brooklyn Girl Eatery in San Diego

The first appetizer from the restaurant week menu was the Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs.