“I think San Diego is definitely improving. It’s trying to find itself. I know a lot of restaurants in San Diego are still mediocre at best — it’s not even near the caliber of restaurants you find in New York, Chicago, even San Francisco. But San Diego is definitely on the right track.”
Inn at the Park
Park Manor Suites, 3615 Fifth Avenue (at Spruce Street), Hillcrest, 619-291-0999; 800-874-2649.
HOURS: Sunday–Thursday 5:00–10:00 p.m., weekends until 11:00. Lunch at rooftop Top of the Park, weekdays 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
PRICES: Soups, $5–$6; appetizers and salads, $9–$14; entrées, $19–$27; desserts about $8.
CUISINE AND BEVERAGES: American-Continental comfort cuisine with trendy tropical touches. Modest international wine list, mainly of affordable, well-known bottlings. Full bar.
PICK HITS: Calamari fritto misto, duck breast, scallops with white truffle oil, coconut-lime crème brulée.
NEED TO KNOW: Ambience sophisticated but informal, with mixed gay-straight crowd (très gai on Fridays). Piano bar nightly, starting at 7:00 p.m. One vegan pasta entrée. Hotel guests have dibs on tables, so reservations strongly advised for any night.