Address: 1044 Wall Street
A fresh addition to the San Diego area, Whisknladle is the product of two big talents: owner Arturo Kassel, who recently returned to his West Coast roots after managing Manhattan hot spot Kittichai, and chef Ryan Johnston, a Thomas Keller protégé. The light-filled dining room is sleek and mostly white, with a casual open-air patio that's perfect for people-watching. Johnston's menu is based on locally grown organic produce from Milpa and Chino Farms (made famous by Alice Waters). Dishes might include pale alebraised short ribs over spicy carrots and polenta or crisp chicken with saffron-laced risotto and harissa. The affordable and accessible wine list is divided into clever sections like "When in Rhône" and "Italian Stallions." Even the desserts employ organic ingredients: The chocolate peanut butter ice cream is simply sinful (entrées, $16$27).