If we're friends and you currently live in San Diego, you know that my favourite restaurant here (by leaps and bounds) is Kindred. It's hard to describe this place without giving away a bit of the magic, but what I will say is that everyone I bring to Kindred ends up loving the experience. It walks the line between heavy-metal watering hole and Victorian lair, taking every preconceived notion of a vegan dining experience and tossing it out the window.
I'm not a food critic but I will circle back to the fact that everyone loves this place. It's food that is simultaneously different and comforting, regardless of your lifestyle choices. The menu is always changing and I have a hard time choosing a favourite, but right now I'm on a major caesar salad kick. If you love pickles, they have a fried version that should be illegal and I've never seen anyone regret ordering the jackfruit sandwich.
If cocktails are more your thing, you might want to go during off hours and have a seat at the bar. I'm convinced the bartender's are ninjas because in the time it takes me to make one martini these guys are pouring out 10 different complex drinks.
Every Thursday they host a tiki-themed night with a special menu (for food and cocktails) that changes monthly. In December they had a grilled cheese with kimchi (it had a way cooler name) that I'm still fantasizing about 2 months later.
One thing I also want to mention is that they do an incredible brunch with a lot of gluten free options, so if you're looking for a vegan brunch spot in San Diego that will accommodate all your picky California friends, this is it. They have seating outside as well, so feel free to bring your dog, he will be spoiled with lots of pets. 🙂