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Restaurant Week Returns; Where Will You Spend Your Dining Dollars?

A short list of where to nosh and sip during Restaurant Week next week.

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Seven days and 180 restaurants. San Diego Restaurant Week (January 18 to 24) is upon us, and Eater compiled a small sampling of suggestions that range from never-fail favorites to under-the-radar eateries and just-minted restaurants.

The set lunch and dinner menus range in price and selection, but the week's main goal is to encourage you —and your wallet— to try restaurants and food that you might not have otherwise, so it's perfectly timed in line with New Year's resolutions starting to fall off the map. Here's a map to get you started; most places suggest making reservations.

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Say hola to half order of house-made guacamole, three tacos of choice (including Chicken al Pastor and Rajas Vegetable) and a mini frothy frozen horchata, all for $15 at lunch. For dinner, options expand for $5 more. Expect Esquite (grilled corn, chile, lime, quest and crema) and a mini Mexican Street Bowl (fresh mango, pineapple, melon, cucumber, jicama, chile, lime juice). Available at both locales.

Croce's Park West

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Croce's is celebrating its first January Restaurant Week in its new space, at the former Avenue 5 in Bankers Hill. Lunch is just $15 and dinner jumps to $40. What to expect: Truffle Ricotta Gnocchi with roasted mushrooms and leek fondue, which normally goes for $14.

Prepkitchen

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The Prepkitchen team is gearing up for a hectic week, with all three locales (Del Mar, Little Italy, La Jolla) offering its full menu during Restaurant Week, charging $20 for lunch and $40 for dinner. La Jolla sister Whisknladle is also rolling out its full menu and promoting a $50 dinner.

A $40 dinner is a steal at this upscale farm-to-tables seafood spot. A preview to get you drooling: Hamachi Tartare with yuzu, jalapeño-onion relish, capers, lemon olive-oil, ponzu cucumber; Orange Octopus with green-tea soba noodles, carrot, ginger, broccoli, chile de árbol, garlic, blood-orange olive oil; Key Lime Semifreddo with basil cream and meyer lemon gelato.

Expect a solid lineup of Mediterranean-inspired dishes by Executive Chef Donald Lockhart for $40 (Crispy Pork Belly with a honey-Sriracha glaze, San Sebastian Flatbread with rock shrimp, Spanish chorizo, manchego piquillo pepper sauce and cilantro and a seasonal dessert). Open nightly at 5 p.m. for the cost-conscious meal.

Jsix Restaurant

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This newly remodeled Gaslamp fixture has a three-course dinner menu for $40 (think Beet Salad with fried goat cheese, Crispy Duck Duo with confit duck legs, Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart). The Kimpton hotel restaurant will open for dinner at 5 p.m. during the week.

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar

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Chef Jason Knibb and Pastry Chef Rachel King have some surprises up their sleeves for the week (a mouthwatering preview: Steelhead trout and gluten free coconut custard). The three courses cost $50 and tack on another $20 for the wine pairing. Happy hour drinks, but not food, will be served during the week, which is being cut short by one day, through January 23.

Wine Vault & Bistro

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To thank regulars for showing up year round (and not just during the discounted dining week), this wine oasis will offer a "sneak peak" of the Restaurant Week menu a few days early, January 15 to 17. Guests who say they are "regulars" when they RSVP each get a free glass of bubbly. The price is pretty cheap: $30 for three courses (New Orleans Gumbo, Sous Vide Hanger Steak, International Blue Cheese Trio) and just $15 extra for the wine pairing.

Pacifica Del Mar

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Chris Powell, Pacifica’s new executive chef, is coming strong out of the gate with lunch and dinner menus for his first Restaurant Week with the 25-year old restaurant. Lunch features two courses for $20, beginning with starters such as Ahi Tuna Poke with avocado mousse, tobiko caviar, sesame soy marinade and sesame crackers. An entree option: Tiger Prawn Puttanesca with ziti noodles, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, arugula and extra virgin olive oil.

Stake Chophouse & Bar

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Coronado's newest snazzy steakhouse is pulling out all the stops to get diners to drive across Coronado Bridge next week. For $50, choose from Wood Fired Oysters Rockefeller, French Onion Soup or Stake’s signature ‘Stake’ Tartar and from one of five main dishes, including Petite Filet Mignon, Seared Ahi Tuna and a Wood Fired Double Cut Pork Chop (Flannery New York Strip or the Dry Age Bone-In Rib Eye cost $14 extra). Pastry Chef Francis Laureano (Bottega Louie) will whip up Apple Strudel, Profiteroles and the Chocolate Caramel Mousse Bar for the finale.

OB Warehouse

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OB's upscale watering hole with bites from around the globe will have a special three-course dinner menu for $30 per person. Think Buttermilk Fried Chicken Oysters and Crispy Artichoke Hearts, Royal Goan Shrimp Curry and Grilled Mahi Mahi.

Puesto

Say hola to half order of house-made guacamole, three tacos of choice (including Chicken al Pastor and Rajas Vegetable) and a mini frothy frozen horchata, all for $15 at lunch. For dinner, options expand for $5 more. Expect Esquite (grilled corn, chile, lime, quest and crema) and a mini Mexican Street Bowl (fresh mango, pineapple, melon, cucumber, jicama, chile, lime juice). Available at both locales.

Croce's Park West

Croce's is celebrating its first January Restaurant Week in its new space, at the former Avenue 5 in Bankers Hill. Lunch is just $15 and dinner jumps to $40. What to expect: Truffle Ricotta Gnocchi with roasted mushrooms and leek fondue, which normally goes for $14.

Prepkitchen

The Prepkitchen team is gearing up for a hectic week, with all three locales (Del Mar, Little Italy, La Jolla) offering its full menu during Restaurant Week, charging $20 for lunch and $40 for dinner. La Jolla sister Whisknladle is also rolling out its full menu and promoting a $50 dinner.

Hake

A $40 dinner is a steal at this upscale farm-to-tables seafood spot. A preview to get you drooling: Hamachi Tartare with yuzu, jalapeño-onion relish, capers, lemon olive-oil, ponzu cucumber; Orange Octopus with green-tea soba noodles, carrot, ginger, broccoli, chile de árbol, garlic, blood-orange olive oil; Key Lime Semifreddo with basil cream and meyer lemon gelato.

Cusp

Expect a solid lineup of Mediterranean-inspired dishes by Executive Chef Donald Lockhart for $40 (Crispy Pork Belly with a honey-Sriracha glaze, San Sebastian Flatbread with rock shrimp, Spanish chorizo, manchego piquillo pepper sauce and cilantro and a seasonal dessert). Open nightly at 5 p.m. for the cost-conscious meal.

Jsix Restaurant

This newly remodeled Gaslamp fixture has a three-course dinner menu for $40 (think Beet Salad with fried goat cheese, Crispy Duck Duo with confit duck legs, Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart). The Kimpton hotel restaurant will open for dinner at 5 p.m. during the week.

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar

Chef Jason Knibb and Pastry Chef Rachel King have some surprises up their sleeves for the week (a mouthwatering preview: Steelhead trout and gluten free coconut custard). The three courses cost $50 and tack on another $20 for the wine pairing. Happy hour drinks, but not food, will be served during the week, which is being cut short by one day, through January 23.

Wine Vault & Bistro

To thank regulars for showing up year round (and not just during the discounted dining week), this wine oasis will offer a "sneak peak" of the Restaurant Week menu a few days early, January 15 to 17. Guests who say they are "regulars" when they RSVP each get a free glass of bubbly. The price is pretty cheap: $30 for three courses (New Orleans Gumbo, Sous Vide Hanger Steak, International Blue Cheese Trio) and just $15 extra for the wine pairing.

Pacifica Del Mar

Chris Powell, Pacifica’s new executive chef, is coming strong out of the gate with lunch and dinner menus for his first Restaurant Week with the 25-year old restaurant. Lunch features two courses for $20, beginning with starters such as Ahi Tuna Poke with avocado mousse, tobiko caviar, sesame soy marinade and sesame crackers. An entree option: Tiger Prawn Puttanesca with ziti noodles, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, arugula and extra virgin olive oil.

Stake Chophouse & Bar

Coronado's newest snazzy steakhouse is pulling out all the stops to get diners to drive across Coronado Bridge next week. For $50, choose from Wood Fired Oysters Rockefeller, French Onion Soup or Stake’s signature ‘Stake’ Tartar and from one of five main dishes, including Petite Filet Mignon, Seared Ahi Tuna and a Wood Fired Double Cut Pork Chop (Flannery New York Strip or the Dry Age Bone-In Rib Eye cost $14 extra). Pastry Chef Francis Laureano (Bottega Louie) will whip up Apple Strudel, Profiteroles and the Chocolate Caramel Mousse Bar for the finale.

OB Warehouse

OB's upscale watering hole with bites from around the globe will have a special three-course dinner menu for $30 per person. Think Buttermilk Fried Chicken Oysters and Crispy Artichoke Hearts, Royal Goan Shrimp Curry and Grilled Mahi Mahi.

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