One word comes to mind when you visit the Grant Grill, inside the legendary US Grant Hotel, is luxury. What many don’t know is that the Grant Grill has an extensive history in southern California and has been a staple in the community since 1951. It was regarded as a power lunch establishment, catering to only male lawyers, bankers, and newspaper editors until 1969. That year, a group of local female attorneys rocked the Grant Grill’s world by instituting a yearlong sit-in until the all-male policy was finally abandoned. To this day the Grant Grill shows respect to these courageous women who performed the “Grant Grill Invasion,” with a plaque placed outside the entrance.
Once the 1970s hit, the Grant Grill broadened into a restaurant that catered to San Diego’s elite, maintaining its reputation of exclusivity and prestige. As time progressed and renovations occurred the Grant Grill has become a three meal, fine dining restaurant garnering national acclaim and Four-Diamond ratings. The restaurant is a symbol of endurance, standing the test of time.
Located on the corner of Broadway and 4th Avenue, the Grant Hotel was completely renovated in 2006 bringing back its original grandeur and combining historic features with contemporary touches. This art deco inspired style can be seen inside the Grant Grill, with gorgeous classic mahogany wood paneling, sophisticated white linen table tops, and extraordinary lighting fixtures. Grant Grill is broken up into three rooms where passing through each doorway adorned with a curtain feels like you’re entering a new restaurant.
The first area features a full bar and a grand piano with high-top silver tables and matching chairs, as well as low-top wood tables with funky curved silver chairs. A second room has white linen covered tables with plush cream chairs, and large cream booths with elegant wood finishes. The last room is more relaxed with an array of taupe couches and chairs, mini circular white and glass tables, and light blue patterned accent pillows. Each room has its own elegance and sleekness allowing guests to enjoy the seasonal menus and delicious cocktails in style.
Everything at the Grant Grill is created for guests to experience sophistication and excellence; the menu is no exception to this ideal. Chef Sam Burman combines seasonal inspirations and local ingredients to create twists on traditional dishes. He says that his cooking style is simple and honest letting the true flavors of his ingredients take center stage in his dishes. This devotion to natural flavors can be seen throughout his entire breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
For breakfast, try the Farmer’s Market Omelet with summer squash, roasted peppers, and fontina cheese. The house made pretzel with sea salt and a mustard dill butter is perfect for a quick bite with an afternoon cocktail. Enjoy a sandwich with the local catch, roasted tomatoes, and sweet and sour onion butter lettuce gribiche on sourdough bread. Start dinner with the famous Grant Mock Turtle Soup, finished with Sherry. Follow it up with the 32-day dry aged rib eye with a shallot marmalade, chanterelles, smoked potatoes, red wine jus, and truffle fries. Each menu item is designed to heighten comfort food and highlight the ingredients Southern California offers.
Grant Grill is open daily at 6:30 a.m. closing at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Valet parking is free during breakfast and lunchtime and $10 during dinner hours, which beats most parking lots in the area. Thursday thru Saturday nights starting at 8 p.m., the Grant Grill Lounge transforms into a live music venue, featuring the city’s most talked about artists. Guests delight in jazz, blues, soul, and rock, to name a few genres local artists perform at the Grant Grill Lounge. Happy Hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday thru Thursday with $6 drink specials and ½ off Happy Hour food items. An extensive seasonal brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays offers the perfect way to start or end your weekend.
The Grant Grill is located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter within walking distance to shopping, theatres, and the Convention Center. There are many attractions close by to check out before or after your visit to the Grant Grill. Just wandering through the U.S. Grant Hotel is a great way to spend an hour seeing some of San Diego’s richest history. The House of Blues is within blocks of the Grant Grill, and a must-see attraction. A performance of the San Diego Symphony at nearby Copley Symphony Hall or a show at the San Diego Repertory Theatre would be perfect complements to dinner at Grant Grill.