Dinner With a Side of Showgirls, Mafia and Murder
Jan 27th 2011 5:00PM / by Nanette Wiser
At a cleverly themed eatery, dining out is more reminiscent of a movie set than a restaurant. Beyond Sea World's themed gastro destinations, sample
five other playfully themed restaurants in San Diego -- and don't forget to dress the part when you dine there.
Buca di Beppo: The Rat Pack thrive here -- Dean Martin crooning in the background, heaping family-style dishes and campy Jersey Italian '50s decor reign, including a
private dining booth with a Pope's head spinning as a centerpiece. Order a pitcher of sangria or lemon basil mojito and share plates of chicken carbonara, Chianti-braised short ribs, stuffed shells and Old World
705 6th Ave.; 619-233-7272
10749 Westview Pkwy., Mira Mesa; 858-536-2822
1921 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad; 760-479-2533
The Godfather Restaurant: Tony Soprano lurks in this fancy shmancy but casual Italian restaurant, complete with banquet room. Having celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2009
makes this family favorite the real deal, complete with favorite mafia movie
celebrity photos (Marlon Brando's on the website) and authentic cuisine, especially the cuori di carcioifi (seasoned fried artichoke hearts
baked in lemon, garlic, capers and Parmesan), the spaghetti carbonara, linguine alle vongole and eight cannelloni stuffed best with fresh
chicken livers and mushrooms or with marsala veal medallions.
7878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Kearny Mesa; 858-560-1747
Kansas City Barbecue: Smoking-hot horseradish pickles, lip-smacking pulled pork, pulled links or brisket and "Top Gun" memorabilia star here, a downtown original near the original cop shop pre-Seaport Village (the tailor next door specialized in
removing bloodstains long ago). Tom Cruise's Maverick jukebox scene was filmed here and despite the 2008 fire, Martin and K.C. fans restocked the walls
with Navy hats from all the ships, global license plates, Kansas sports memorabilia, the "Top Gun" piano and K.C. the pig mascot, now dubbed Smokey the
610 W. Market St.; 619-231-9680
The Marble Room: Before the movie "Burlesque" premiered, locals flocked to this bawdy venue festooned
with costumed servers, boa-clad shimmying dancers and funky bordello decor (think red and paintings of naked ladies). Enjoy outlandish California
cuisine, blue-plate specials, jazzy Jezebel Missy Anderson for blues Thursday, the Dime Store Band Friday and erotic era-themed cocktails (working
girl's martini: Absolut Mandarin, Apple Pucker, Cranberry soda).
535 Fifth Ave.; 619-702-5595
Mystery Café Dinner Theater: Whodunnit? You won't know until dessert. One of San Diego's favorite interactive experiences for more than 20 years is full of giggles, four-course fun and a chance to
be, rather than eat, a ham. Moll and gangster attire recommended, "Bonnie and Clyde" style.
505 Kalmia St., Hillcrest; 619-460-2200
Photo Courtesy of claytron, Flickr