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The Nolen

453 Sixth Ave. (Island Ave.) Send to Phone
Swank rooftop bar with a first-rate drinks program, city views and casual eats.

Open nightly
Open late

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The Nolen, San Diego, CA

The Nolen Restaurant Review

: Named for landscape architect John Nolen, one of San Diego's city-planning trailblazers, this rooftop bar on the 14th floor is a stylish, open-air perch for sipping creative cocktails and drinking in the city lights. Settle into the cozy lounge spot by the fireplace or make new friends at the communal round table that encircles a flickering fire. Behind the main bar, guests will spy a backlit image of Balboa Park’s historical Cabrillo Bridge. Bar lead Andrew Larson is there, too, and he and his team are venturing into exciting territories with their spirits program. The Garden Party, for example, features gin with lime, arugula and agave, while the Burning Bush wows with tequila, lemon, strawberry shrub, peach liqueur, basil, spice and watermelon suds. They also have a cool barrel-aged program, myriad small-batch local spirits, and Tiki on tap --- try a flirty Painkiller made with rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice, orange juice and freshly grated nutmeg for tropical reverie in a glass. Gourmet comfort food fills the bar menu. Standouts include a chili-glazed meatball over thick slabs of Idaho potatoes; carnitas street tacos with salsa verde; and shrimp flatbread with spicy pesto. Kale Caesar salad, a jerk chicken quesadilla and charcuterie boards round out the choices. As if The Nolen’s menu wasn’t sexy enough, thoughtful lighting, architectural touches and sweeping, uninhibited views make it an ideal spot for a hot night on the town.


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