Cosmopolitan Restaurant and Hotel
★★★½ (Very Good to Excellent)
Old Town State Historic Park, 2600 Calhoun Street, 619-297-1874; oldtowncosmopolitan.com (website menu semi-obsolete)
HOURS: Lunch, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; dinner, 5:00–9:00 p.m.
PRICES: Appetizers, $3–$15; mains, $10–$29 (most in upper teens); desserts, $7.
CUISINE AND BEVERAGES: “Old San Diego cuisine?” More like seasonal California/Mediterranean-meets-gourmet-Mexican, with local produce and well-raised meats. Great old-timey, near-forgotten cocktails, plus varied international wine list, mainly under $50, plenty by the glass.
PICK HITS: Rum Raymos cocktail; white corn soup; heirloom tomato salad; house-cured salmon on potato tart; confit of suckling pig with polenta; carne asada with corn and nopales; Meyer Ranch Prime top sirloin. Good bets: charred Romaine salad (Caesar variation); watermelon salad with goat cheese; steamed mussels and clams; Meyer Ranch Prime rib-eye.
NEED TO KNOW: Informal (Yumans in shorts). Parking a pain during tourist season. No veg entrées but good appetizer grazing for lacto-vegetarians (and carnivores too). Long walk through park from public lot. Best access for mobility-challenged: Start from small parking lot for Fiesta de Reyes at Juan and Calhoun Streets, go a quarter-block uphill on wide dirt path to side entrance, with ramp access to lower patio and then to main patio/restaurant-level.