Best Unendangered Caviar: Caviar Tacos at Quarter Kitchen, Ivy Hotel, 600 F Street at Sixth Avenue, downtown, 619-814-2000, quarterkitchen
.com. The 'Bertos don't make tacos like these: shells of supernal delicacy, made of wafer-thin slices of potato, curving around a lush filling of fine Tsar Nicoulai American paddlefish caviar, and robed in crème fraîche gently amended with horseradish, red onion, and chives. (You can opt for endangered Caspian caviar, but the lower-priced spread is as glorious as it is virtuous.) A mouth-filling combination with light, sensual textures, this is food for the sea gods, who would doubtless be tickled blue by it. This kitchen also turns out fine truffled french fries. (But be careful: When you go to Quarter Kitchen/ Keep your money in your socks./ The water price and parking fees/ Will have you on the rocks...)
"Life's a Beach" special award: JRDN, Tower 23 Hotel, 4551 Ocean Boulevard (at Feldspar Street), Pacific Beach, 858-270-5736, JRDN.com. A breezy break on the beachside back patio on a summer evening exemplifies everything that's best about San Diego living. Lively food, cocktails, and spirit -- not to mention a little sand in your sandals.