Bread & Cie. has some GREAT sandwiches. This is by no means a place to find bargains, but you get what you pay for. I personally love the muffins and scones and coffee they serve (best muffins in town). A simple word of warning, however: Bread & Cie is ALWAYS busy, and tables can be hard to come by.
This is the latest House of Blues to open, and it is pretty nice. In addition to a huge restaurant area and bar, the actual concert area is rather uniquely designed with the upper level offering seating and a bar and the lower level going up to the stage and another bar. Beer is, of course, very pricey, and in the concert bars, it is served in a can. On the upside, the accoustics were pretty good.
This place has it all as far as coffee shops go. They have live music, comedy and occasionally bellydancing most nights of the week. The atmosphere is really laid back, with lots of threadbare couches and low tables set up in circles to make the place feel more at home. Oh, ya, and they serve excellent coffee (many varieties) that costs about the same as most other local coffee shops.
Crazy Shirts is a Hawaii based clothing store which has a few locations on the mainland (mostly in California). The concept is simple:quirky t-shirts dyed with Hawaiian products like coffee, hemp, beer, and Blue Maui liqour. However, while the clothes are cool, they are really expensive. The Seaport Village locations (there are 2) are often swamped with tourists, making it difficult to get a good look at anything or get any help.
As far as gift stores go, this one ranks pretty high. In addition to nature oriented figurines and posters (many, many whales and dolphins), they also carry books on local wildlife, like the grey whales, and really nice jewelry, among other things. Most important (especially in terms of SeaPort Village shops) is that the staff were incredibly helpful and nice.
This store sells mostly magents, but it has other oddities/novelties similar to what you might find at a Spencer's chain store. Magnets are the main attraction, though, and they have some great, extremely crude but very funny magnets...or at least they used to. A recent trip proved to be a disappointment, as the inventory was quite cleared out and all the truly funny and clever magnets were gone. Hopefully this was just a timing issue and not a sign of how the store will be run from now on...
This is a nice alternative to the zoo and a good way to feel like you're seeing the animals in a more authentic setting. The train ride is the big highlight of the park, mimicing a safari. No matter how long the lines are (they move fast anyway), the train ride is not to be missed.
This is a dependable, professional place to take your car for repairs, oil changes, or to buy spare parts. Staff is courteous and after they repair your car or do your oil change, they will wash your car for free.
My experience with Jeromes involved buying a couch for a very small appartment. The piece we ended up with is a beautiful, sturdy piece of furniture that was quite reasonably priced. The payment plans Jeromes offers are also excellent. However, in the time we were in the store, we had three or four different sales people hasseling us to buy from them. At one point, we even saw them arguing over who had seen us first! So, be warned, they have really nice, reasonably priced furniture, and rather aggressive sales people who want to upsell you into an entire living room ensemble when all you really want is a couch.
West Elm's new location in Mission Valley has a shiney, well laid out showroom with some nice, modern designed furniture, but all in all, I was not impressed. This seemed to me like a store that was trying too hard to be hip and chic and ended up being pricey and snoody. I did like a few of their larger pieces of furniture, but the accents were way overpriced compared to the nearly identical pieces one could find elsewhere (Ikea or Pier One, for instance).