Site Seen: San Diego Restaurant Week

First, a little history on restaurant week. The first one began in New York City in 1992 when the city hosted the Democratic National Convention. Tim Zagat and friends wanted the attendees of the event to experience New York’s culinary gems, and convinced dozens of restaurants around the city to host a special prix fix menu for the price of $19.92 — the year of the convention. For years after that, the price crept up one cent each year to coincide with the date, and the “restaurant week” concept has reached every major city. 

What’s different about San Diego is that for years, its restaurants only offered dinner options, priced $20-40. After they started offering $10-20 lunch options last year, the eating field opened up considerably.  

If you’re stuck within the pricey confines of La Jolla proper, well then, lucky you. La Jolla’s tastiest restaurants are all up for grabs this week, the most notable being George’s at the Cove. Arguably the best restaurant in La Jolla, George’s boasts two differently priced dining rooms — the swankier “California Modern” ($40) and the picture perfect rooftop terrace ($30). With entrees like pacific albacore with pancetta wrapped salsify, this is probably your best chance to out-douche your housemates this quarter. 

For those of us who think $40 is too pricey for a single meal — that is, most of us — the $10 lunch menus are the way to go. Admittedly, the restaurants are fewer and instead of three courses, it’s usually only two. But it’s still hard to beat options like seafood ravioli and mango panna cotta ($10, Via Italia Trattoria in Encinitas) in terms of price and quality.