Approximately 150 restaurants across the county are participating in this year’s event. Each will feature a special three-course menu for $20, $30 or $40, depending on location (tax, beverage and gratuity not included, wine and spirit pairings available at some locations for an additional fee).
The $20 menu is an addition this year and is offered by restaurants such as Mr. Tiki in the Gaslamp Quarter.
“Our hope is to inspire guests to walk through our doors and into the South Pacific,” said Christopher Penta, general manager of the island-inspired eatery. “Enjoy a swanky slice of paradise at a price that can’t be beat.”
Mr. Tiki will feature pan-seared barramundi, rum-glazed pork tenderloin and wasabi-crusted filet medallions as its main course selections.
Last year, about 250,000 diners participated in restaurant week activities, designed to promote the local dining industry. Many use the opportunity to try new restaurants that normally would be too pricey. From Chula Vista to North County, restaurants of all varieties participate in this event.
“While they are getting a three-course meal for just $40 per person, they can expect the exact same quality, preparation style and service they would expect on any other night dining,” said Leslie Araiza-Lorenzo from Nine-Ten restaurant in La Jolla. Araiza-Lorenzo also said Nine-Ten will offer $2 valet parking during restaurant week.
Sam Kim at Rice, in the W Hotel, said the eatery will host celebrity guest chef Kevin Harry from New York and will showcase a special menu specifically for Restaurant Week.
Participating Pacific Beach restaurants include:
1775 E. Mission Bay Drive
3999 Mission Blvd.
1404 W. Vacation Road
1710 W. Mission Bay Drive
• Firehouse American Eatery and Lounge
722 Grand Ave.
• The Fishery
5040 Cass St.
• The French Gourmet
960 Turquoise St.
723 Felspar St.
• Nicks at the Beach
809 Thomas St.
• Red Marlin
1441 Quivira Road
There are nearly 7,200 restaurants in San Diego County, with $4.2 billion in annual taxable food and beverage sales, according to figures on the California Restaurant Association website. Many of these are feeling the pinch in the current economy as San Diegans struggle with rising unemployment rates and home foreclosures. Many potential patrons have put their fine dining habits on ice as of late.
A special partner of this year’s restaurant week is the Girl Scouts of America, which will promote its trademark cookie sales campaign that begins at the end of January. Several restaurants will feature special dessert recipes integrating Girl Scout Cookie favorites like Thin Mints and Samoas.
Now in its fifth year, San Diego Restaurant Week is sponsored by the California Restaurant Association San Diego Chapter, the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau and San Diego magazine. Not only does it serve to highlight America’s Finest City’s finest restaurants; in the past, it’s been very good for business, packing out eateries during normally slower weeknights (events run Sundays through Fridays) in a slower time of the year.
No special tickets or passes are required for Restaurant Week. However, reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling the restaurants directly or by visiting www.sandiegorestaurant
The website also lists all participating restaurants by price and geographic region. A fall restaurant week is scheduled for Sept. 13 to 18.