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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.

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Rabid_Koala Sept. 10, 2010 @ 5:30 p.m.

I haven't been there since it was Casa de Bandini, there was NO way I was going to patronize the Delaware North disasters. I am glad that a local operator is once again running the place and I wish him well.


Sheryl Sept. 13, 2010 @ 3:43 p.m.

Great review -- it put a smile on my face! Now I have a place to take vistors in Old Town. Heck -- now I have some place to eat in Old Town!


rpyrke Sept. 16, 2010 @ 5:21 p.m.

We tried this last evening and didn't seem to get the same quality of food, perhaps due to a slow Wednesday evening. Service and atmosphere were good to excellent. Drinks were great as described. We loved the corn soup, house cured salmon was ok although the potatoes tasted not quite right. The Shreded Pork and Polenta was good. Tomato salad good. The Churros were undercooked and the server was very accommodating in replacing with the pear tart. Pear tart was mediocre. It may have been an off night and we did not try a main course and I don't want this to be too negative as we did have a good time there.


Cosmostinks Oct. 7, 2010 @ 11:38 a.m.

I am still grieving over the loss of one of San Diego's most beautiful and festive restaurants,Casa Bandini. Yes 7 million dollars later they ripped out all of the beautifull mature landscaping and fountains and put in this sterile, Hideous and expensive Eyesore. Here's a great idea! Take San Diego's most popular and profitable restraunt,dump 7 million of our tax dollars on it and make it an eyesore that is guarunteed to Fail!Oh you already did! Myself and my 100 friends will never be back. Perhaps when it Fails you can put it back the way we loved it, until then me and my friends will be avoiding all of Old Town, as it has been Ruined.


IslandGirl July 19, 2011 @ 9:39 p.m.

I, too, am a fan of the renovated Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant - from the old fashioned lanterns and firepit in the evening to the colorful flowers AND GARDEN from which the chef selects various veggies and herbs daily. The menu goes beyond traditional Mexican fare (it's awesome) to include fresh fish, pasta and steak - a nice variety of both entrees and appetizers (try the Happy Hour shrimp taco on a flour tortilla - huge & delicious). My recent dinner selection of charred romaine, light dressing, included a perfectly prepared salmon fillet - simple yet out of this world! The drink selection is quite fun with some true classics, but don't miss their slightly "muddled" twist on their namesake, the Cosmopolitan! After 4 visits to the Cosmo, I was finally able to settle on a room selection (it's tough - do I want the copper tub for two, the fireplace, or...)for my holiday weekend!


Twister July 20, 2011 @ 9:02 a.m.

Unless they've radically changed in the last month, the only thing good about this place was the service. The wandering guitarrero was in good humor, and we horsed around with him a bit. The young man serving us was a competent, young, handsome, affable real man. At our table of four women and one man, we all agreed that is was the worst "Mexican" food we had eaten in years, perhaps decades. The women complained bitterly of the watery Margaritas. The chips we tasteless, the "salsa" without spirit or soul. We usually got to Berta's (not exactly Mexican, but South American) anyway, where there's parking. Sadly, Berta's has started to slip a bit from excellent, but it's still good and far from the amateurish concoctions at "Cosmopolitan."


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