4622 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116, USA
Photo by Lyudmila Zotova/Madison
MadisonLocals flock to this restaurant and bar in lively University Heights for innovative cocktails and award-winning design. (The midcentury–inspired design of the 3,000-square-foot space, with an impressive vaulted ceiling and cedar walls decorated with colorful geometric patterns, won an Orchid Award from the San Diego Architectural Foundation in 2016.) The Cali-Med menu features simple, well-executed dishes such as a watermelon salad with grilled halloumi cheese and a bone-in pork chop served with broccoli rabe. The bar program shines with a wide selection of natural wines and creative cocktails like the Jumping Cholla with mezcal, pineapple, lime, egg-white foam, and Hawaiian black lava salt. Madison’s owner Jeffrey Fink also runs M-Theory Music so the restaurant’s soundtrack is always on point and an artwork strung across the dining room archway is inspired by guitar strings.