swanky than not, a meal here adds a touch of luxury to a vacation in Southern California. We were in San Diego with relatives who mostly appreciate high-end, classy dinners out, so we knew that reservations here would make for a positive experience. And – best of all – it was New Year’s Eve.
A sophisticated ambience and quiet bustle (yes, it’s possible) create an atmosphere that the “fancy” relatives appreciated. A pianist tinkled unobtrusively in the background, sometimes accompanied by a vocalist (she specialized in jazz classics). Depending on the night, the live music can range from classical to classic rock – if this is important to you, please check when making your reservations. The restaurant decor is an odd mix of formal styling and Wyatt Earp-era memorabilia (this building used to be Wyatt Earp’s Gambling Hall and Saloon). There are caricatures of famous people hailing from San Diego on the walls – I was amused to see Orville Redenbacher among the drawings.
We started with the Dungeness Crab Cakes and the Shrimp Cocktail, both of which were outstanding (only four jumbo shrimp, but that’s typical at a restaurant like this). The Beefsteak Tomato and Maui Onion Salad was surprisingly delicate, for such a savory salad. But the real stars here are the steak and seafood.
The steaks here are, of course, outstanding. Only Prime cuts are used, and the seafood is fresh off the boat that morning. Prime Filet Mignon, Prime New York Strip,the sushi-grade Ahi and Jumbo Sea Scallops were impeccable. Rave reviews all around, and we had some demanding customers at our table! This restaurant was voted “The Best of the Best” Steakhouses in San Diego, and I’d have to agree.
Since we were there for New Year’s Eve, there were some noisemakers and party hats at our table. This touch went a long way with the children in our party, considering that George’s on Fifth (G5, to locals) is about as far from a crayons-and-paper-at-the-table type of restaurant as there is. The waitstaff was professional and courteous, and a bit removed (rather than over-friendly) as befits a restaurant of this type. Remember, this is a formal restaurant. It’s recommended for a romantic night out, an anniversary, or family gatherings with demanding, sophisticated companions – and most of all, for a fun yet classy New Year’s Eve.
Georges on Fifth
835 5th Ave (Gaslamp Quarter)
San Diego, CA