Beaumont's -- Great neighborhood spot in Birdrock. Newer menu has lots of options (everything from baked brie and "guys fries" ro seared scallops and skirt steak) and they have live music every night of the week. Blues on Sunday, cover bands, singer/songerwirter types. not too loud, but just enough to make it fun and feel like a "night out." Great happy hour during the week, too. with $5 drinks and "guacamame" -- guacamole with edamame.
Alexander's -- Romantic little spot with white table slothes and white candles everywhere. Same family that owns Old Venice in Point Loma (same menu too). Italian food, and not too expensive for such a sweet ambiance. Tiny space can get a tad loud, and def be prepared for a wait on weekends.
Bencotto -- Great date place in Little Italy. Nothing onthe menu is over $20, gorgeous dining room -- very sleek and modern-Italian, the best gnocchi I've ever had and just a good vide all around. Love Little Italy for a date-night, too, because you can wander around afterwards and get a gelatto, window shop at all the design shops, have a night cap at Glass Door, etc.
Casa de Bandini -- The new location in Carlsbad is HUGE, but still feels intimiate, especially in the bar seats. Still has some of the best margs and best guacamole in town, and a great patio with lights and trickling fountains. Near the Forum shops which means there is tons of parking!
Chocolat Cremerie -- Great little dessert bar in Hillcrest, that also has a full menu. Great pannis and salads and cheese and appetizers, and then a whole amazing menu of chocolates and sweets. Right on the corner of Fifth Ave at University, so easily walkable to the Ken movie theater, Wine Lover for drinks and plenty of bookstores and window shopping.