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“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

** (Good)

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.

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