The Inside Scoop on Himitsu, La Jolla’s Newest Sushi Spot

Himitsu, one of the highly anticipated new La Jolla restaurant has officially opened its doors. The name, which means ‘secret’ in Japanese, is well suited to its tucked-away corner on Torrey Pines Road. Executive Chef Mitsu Aihara has curated a unique menu of traditional sushi and nigiri along with Japanese-style tapas, multiple sakes, an excellent wine list, and essential Japanese beers.

Aihara has been a fixture behind the bar of well known Sushi Ota in Pacific Beach for the past 16 years until he received the blessing of his mentor to forge ahead with his own venture – Himitsu. The new spot (which was initially called Mitsu), is the latest project under the direction of Julian Hakim and Aram Baloyan, the duo behind the popular La Jolla Mexican restaurant, The Taco Stand.

Himitsu well on its way to becoming La Jolla’s premiere new authentic dining spot. We got the chance to try it out for ourselves – and it did not disappoint! Here’s the rundown on the new eatery.

Aihara’s take on Japanese cuisine is similar to the experience at Sushi Ota but includes other fresh seafood dishes and small plates (including omakase) that will rotate weekly or even nightly, depending on fish availability and the Chef’s preference.

The Dining Experience

Our dinner for the evening consisted of an appetizer, sushi rolls, and scallops. We started off with the Spicy Edamame, which is flavored with a hint of garlic salt, chili pepper threads, and shichimi pepper. It was spicy, but not too spicy – and delicious.

Next up were the Seared Scallops (pictured above). Five Maine Scallops were served with a creamy, smooth corn puree,  mixed with a brown butter-soy cream with Mentaiko. This was definitely one of my favorite dishes of the evening; the sauce was melt-in-your-mouth incredible and complimented the mild flavor of the Scallops quite well.

We also indulged in the Himitsu Roll (pictured above), with spicy salmon and crab, scallop, jalapeno, cilantro aioli, and a hint of lemon zest. These were surprisingly fresh and light-tasting; I could see this being a go-to dish during the summer. All of the seafood was incredibly fresh, as well. The Soft Shell Crab Roll (pictured above) was filled to the brim with deep-fried soft shell crab, lettuce, asparagus, and drizzled with salsa – which gave it a different taste, and overall had a somewhat smoky feel. What stood out to us was how different each roll tasted. You could really tell which was which, and at a sushi restaurant, this really points to the skill of its chefs.

The Space

The space itself is composed of a large outdoor patio and an indoor intimate sushi bar. The outdoor patio is inviting, warm, and well-lit, which makes it perfect for a date night or dinner out with friends. Its location is central to downtown La Jolla, but the patio is set back and removed enough that you don’t take notice.

A few things that really stood out to us at Himitsu were the comfortable (casual but still with an air of fine dining) atmosphere, the unique textures and flavors of each roll, and the customized presentation of every dish. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind sushi restaurant, and a new La Jolla restaurant that should definitely go on your must-try list for sushi in San Diego.

The restaurant opened only recently (early October), so their menu is always changing. We may see a Happy Hour menu and lunch service in the near future.

Himitsu is open Monday-Friday from 5pm-10pm, and Saturdays from 5pm-10:30pm. They are located at 1030 Torrey Pines Road, Suite G, right in La Jolla and just a half hour north of downtown San Diego. Visit himitsusd.com for reservations or give them a call at (858) 263-4463.

[Images courtesy of Himitsu La Jolla]

 

 

Jose’s in La Jolla: Tacos, Tequila, & Ocean Views

jose's la jolla mexican food

 

Jose’s Courtroom has been a longtime local favorite since the restaurant/bar opened its doors in 1956. Authentic, hearty Mexican cuisine with a modern twist – and of course, great margaritas – have truly turned this spot into a La Jolla gem. And they are definitely known for their tacos! We got the exclusive recipe for their delicious shrimp tacos and cabbage salad, which is made in-house every day, along with a peek back into the history of what has made Jose’s so special among other La Jolla restaurants.

Jose’s Through the Years

Walk through the doors at Jose’s and look for something that many passersby don’t immediately notice: the restaurant/bar’s long history spelled (or drawn, rather) out in the mural overlooking the bar; 23 men are pictured; every time one of those men dies, the rest gather at the bar after the funeral. The death of longtime real estate salesman Charles Tischoff was the first to begin this unique tradition.

Jose’s is actually the fourth or fifth successor to the space on Herschel Street, which originally was occupied by Cecil’s (for owner Cecil Smith), which followed La Valencia’s lead in 1933 and obtained La Jolla’s second liquor license ever! For most customers, however, the restaurant is – and always will be – The Court Room, and its history lives in the minds of former owners; most notably, Bill Fallis. He commissioned an artist to paint the aforementioned mural in 1959; they were his “best customers and the  leaders of the town.” They were all customers of the Court Room at 7919 Herschel.

“Recession Spaghetti” & One-Cent Postcards

Years later, Fallis took over. His initial advertising budget was 50 one-cent postcards (those were the days!). They had a “five-cent spaghetti ‘recession dinner’” and never took reservations. While customers dined on spaghetti, a waitress would casually walk by carrying trays of lobster and steak, meant to entice the diner to upgrade their meal. Back then, though, even the steak and lobster only cost $1.95!

The Courtroom moved to Prospect St in 1973, replacing a restaurant called O’Bryan’s. Before then, it was The Schnitzelbank restaurant, which offered German food and imported and domestic beers. The head cook’s name was Jose Arreola – which is how the name Jose’s Court Room was brought to life.

Shrimp Tacos Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked shrimp (2 oz) sautéed and marinated with a special seasoning (salt, chili flakes, garlic, pepper, paprika) cooked using soybean oil
  • Chopped green and red bell peppers (2 tbsp or 1 oz)
  • Chopped onions (1 tbsp or 0.5 oz)
  • House-made Repollo cabbage salad (4 tbsp or 2 oz)
  • Chipotle pesto sauce (1 tbsp or 0.5 oz)
  • Corn or flour tortillas

Steps:

  1. Sautee the shrimp marinated with the special seasoning using soybean oil
  2. Add fresh bell pepper and onions
  3. Sautee for about 5 minutes, then place on top of some freshly cooked corn or flour tortillas
  4. Make a cabbage salad (repollo) and chipotle pesto as garnishes (see below)

Cabbage Salad (Repollo) Recipe

Mix and marinate the following ingredients:

  • Cabbage salad
  • Rainbow carrots
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Celery seeds

Chipotle Pesto: Store-bought chipotle seasoning and mixed with a House ranch dressing. Both can be purchased at your nearest grocery store.

Jose’s Courtroom is located at 1037 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037. Head over for a taco or two – and maybe a margarita!

 

9 New Restaurants at Westfield UTC You Have To Try!

This year, Westfield UTC in La Jolla has gone through some major renovations and updates – from the brand new Nordstrom to a slew of new, upscale, and trendy restaurants, this spot has definitely become more than just a shopping mall! Most of the new eateries will be opening this fall (October or November).

Here is your guide to all the newest additions to the UTC restaurant La Jolla scene, including another branch of one of San Diego’s favorite breakfast spots, a trendy new South African steakhouse, and a popular upscale Mexican restaurant from Orange County.

Shake Shack

Expected November 2017

Everyone’s favorite burger and shake “fine-casual” burger chain is expected to touch down in San Diego later this year on Level 2 of a new, three-level retail building at Westfield UTC. The 3,000 square foot indoor/outdoor eatery will be constructed using mostly reclaimed materials. In addition to the regular menu, there will also be frozen custard concretes (think a McFlurry) featuring mix-ins from local food purveyors. Shake Shack is mostly known for its 100% all-natural, antibiotic, and hormone-free Angus beef burgers, griddled-crisp flat-top dogs, cage-free chicken sandwiches, fresh-made frozen custard, and crinkle cut fries.

Great Maple

Expected November 2017

Great Maple will bring its high-quality modern American fare in a mid-century modern atmosphere to Westfield UTC, serving patrons on a large outdoor patio (great for people-watching!). The restaurant has been extremely popular in Hillcrest since 2013; this location will be its fourth. Brunch is as popular as the maple bacon donuts that are served at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

True Food Kitchen

Expected early fall 2017

The healthy eatery, with a menu guided by holistic health guru Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options in a chic setting. The newest outpost at UTC (and San Diego’s second location, the first of which is at Fashion Valley) will have an indoor/outdoor bar; two outdoor covered patios; and a scratch bar featuring fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, seasonal cocktails, and beer/wine.

Arbor

Expected late fall 2017

A sister restaurant to Little Italy’s stylish, Kiwi-centric Queenstown Public House and North Park’s Dunedin, Arbor will offer shareable plates, organic sandwiches, burgers, wine and craft beer for lunch and dinner. Expect a menu centered around organic beef burgers and (of course!) a devotion to San Diego craft beer.

Javier’s Finest Foods of Mexico

Expected October 2017

First founded in Laguna Beach in 1995 by Javier Sosa, Javier’s specializes in upscale, regional Mexican cuisine made using sustainable ingredients and is known for its large selection of tequila. Javier’s has another new site in the works for Century City, as well as existing eateries in Irvine, Newport Beach, Las Vegas and Los Cabos, Mexico. The La Jolla branch will be similar in design and menu to the Newport outpost.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Expected late fall 2017

With locations in Orange County’s Tustin and Newport Beach, The Winery offers contemporary California cuisine and an expansive wine list with more than 650 selections. The 8,000 square foot Westfield UTC branch will be close to the new Nordstrom, and in addition to the main restaurant, The Winery will also feature a 1,000 square foot wine bar with a separate kitchen in the center of the mall, which will offer a sharable bites menu, wine flights, and grab-and-go options.

Smokeyard BBQ & Chophouse

Expected October 2017

This South African-influenced steakhouse offers a casual ambiance and a menu with dishes that span a variety of influences, including crispy rock shrimp, vegetable samosas, St. Louis spare ribs, and an array of steaks and sides; casual touches like BBQ Potato Chips and pulled pork sandwiches give it a unique spin. The restaurant also has a location in Mammoth Lakes.

Raised by Wolves

Expected late 2017

Arsalun Tafazoli’s Consortium Holdings Projects company has its sights set on La Jolla for this fall. Having recently opened its newest project, Born & Raised (located in the Gaslamp), Raised by Wolves is set to be their next hot spot. Though little is known at this point about Raised By Wolves, it is rumored to be a speakeasy-style cocktail bar with the flare you’d find at other CH Projects locations like Noble Experiment, El Dorado, and Polite Provisions.

Din Tai Fung

Expected early fall 2017

With over 120 locations around the world, this wildly popular Taiwanese restaurant will likely have San Diegans lining up to get a taste of their famed xiaolongbao steamed soup dumplings. Din Tai Fung was named one of the top ten restaurants in the world by The New York Times in 1993, and the restaurant’s first Hong Kong branch was awarded a Michelin star in 2009.

Cooper’s Market & Café: La Jolla Shores’ Newest Addition

Cooper’s Market and Café sits prominently on the corner of Avenida de la Playa and La Jolla Shores Drive, complete with a cozy outdoor patio and an inviting, open indoor space. Having opened just a few months ago in the La Jolla Shoresneighborhood, owner Lisa Kennedy is ready to take on the market and dining industry – one exquisitely-baked croissant at a time.

We got the chance to sit down with Lisa and chat about her aspirations for the cafe, why she loves what she does, and her four-legged inspiration: a stout French Bulldog named Cooper.

 

A Neighborhood Market

The idea of a neighborhood-friendly hangout “where everyone knows your name” was instantly an attractive one to Lisa. Having spent quite a bit of time in La Jolla over the years, she realized it was lacking in one area: a place where locals could go for an easy and quick lunch, or just to simply pick up some high quality pre-made food and get back to their busy day; a neighborhood market that provides fresh, locally sourced produce but also a relaxing and quiet place to just literally hang out. She realized this is an especially great perk for all the nearby kayakers (Everyday California is right next door) and makes for an easy stop after a long day on the water. And thus, the concept for Cooper’s was born.

Food Straight From the Source

Whatever is made in the back kitchen and prepared for in-house diners is also available for pickup — there is no separate to-go menu. Everything is sourced “from the people who should be making it:” the croissants are shipped in from France; the bagels come directly from New York, broiled, and weigh in at a perfect four ounces – not six; the cheese hails from Wisconsin; and the ice cream and dairy are by Blue Bunny, straight out of Iowa. The chicken salad recipe is her mother’s, which she happily passed down to the cafe, and all of the juices they sell are fresh, cold-pressed, and organic (Sol-ti Juice). The café also offers a large selection of local roasts by James Coffee Company – Lisa’s brother founded James back in 2013, and shares her views on sourcing authentically; they work only with passionate farmers, and know exactly where all of their coffee beans come from.

In this way, Lisa notes, “everything in the kitchen has a story.” She sources from companies that are not only experts at what they do, but are also all family-owned and have been around long enough to cultivate an authentic passion for the craft. In Lisa’s eyes, passion equals consistency; and to compromise either would be a compromise in quality.

Everyday Elevated Cuisine

Lisa moved to Southern California from the Midwest when she was twelve, and in between has called a variety of places home. New Zealand, for her, stuck out in particular; she recalls living near a small bakery and sandwich shop, where a family could pick up their bread for the day and continue on. Tiny markets, all with their own specialty – produce, bread, dairy – lined every street corner, and when she moved here, Lisa craved that same small-town feel.

It’s that same atmosphere she wishes to cultivate at Cooper’s: “everyday elevated cuisine” for families, tourists, and locals alike. And for Lisa, it’s that connection with each customer that gets her excited about going in to work every day. She’s working on (and already seems to) know the name of every single person that walks through her doors, and is making it a future goal to host local mixers, get togethers, and most importantly, dog meetups, which she has already (aptly) dubbed “Cooper’s Hour.”

A Vibrant Community

Lisa hopes to make Cooper’s a regular locals hangout at the Shores, which has always been a unique community that sets itself apart from La Jolla proper. That easygoing ‘surf’ vibe is one of the things that attracted Lisa to the area in the first place. She’s been walking her dog down to the Shores every day for the past two years; and that’s when she really began to get to know the community and the people who live there.

Over the next several months, Lisa plans on continuing to add to the market and café. She hopes to expand the kitchen and outdoor dining/lounge area, and eventually build a bike station complete with tire pumps and coffee to-go for all the local bicyclists. The cafe is still in transition, and little things are being added every single day; even her regular customers love seeing the changes, and Lisa is excited to continue building what she hopes will become the neighborhood hub of La Jolla Shores.

Stop by Cooper’s Market & Café at 8080 La Jolla Shores Dr. – and keep an eye out for their adorable mascot, Cooper himself! They are open 6:30am-8:30pm Monday through Friday, and 7am-8:30pm Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to check their Facebook for continued updates!

Best Places to Grab a Sandwich on the Fly in La Jolla

Grab a Sandwich

If you’re busy and have a lot on your plate, you probably don’t have a lot of time to think about the non-metaphorical one you’ll be eating lunch off of.

La Jolla has some seriously good sandwich spots that make filling, high caliber lunches for folks on the go or perfect for a picnic at the beach. Here’s our picks for best sandwich spots in La Jolla.

Keg N Bottle La Jolla (formerly La Jolla Country Market)

This market, located at the corner of Torrey Pines Rd and Herschel, is situated in a little plaza surrounded by various eateries perfect for a group with different tastes. The Keg N Bottle appears to be more of a convenience store than a sandwich shop, so you may be surprised by its deli in the back of the store. The sandwiches are absolutely amazing and only $6 or $7 for very large portions.

This place enhances its local-vibe through the sandwich names themselves. Savor La Valencia (turkey breast, bacon, avocado). Dive into a Mt. Soledad (Italian sub, ham, salami, pepperoni). Relish a Torrey Pines (roast beef). They also have an undercover lunch deal. For $5, get yourself half-a-sandwich (often ideal as they’re massive anyhow!), bag of chips and a drink. Wow.

 

 The Cheese Shop

A longtime favorite among locals (it was established in 1972!), the Cheese Shop is known for its incredible selections of – well, you guessed it – cheese, but it also offers other deliciously fresh food. Take your pick from a variety of cheese sandwiches, the Classics, and even a few hot sandwich options, including Corned Beef, Pastrami, and Reubens. There are plenty of soups and sides to go around and make for the perfect addition to your lunchtime meal on-the-go.

If you’re grabbing a sandwich for a picnic by the beach, try one of their Complete Boxed Lunches. They come with the whole enchilada: sandwiches, salad cups, cookies, drinks, and any other additions you like. The shop also offers an impressive stock of candy from around the world plus hard to find soft drinks.

Pro-tip: treat yo’self and get one of their famous homemade flourless oatmeal cookies; you won’t regret it. The Cheese Shop is located in the La Jolla Shores neighborhood at 2165 Avenida De La Playa.

Girard Gourmet

This spot is a local staple, bringing the ingredients from its own local farm in Julian aptly named, “Corgis Castle” after their

 

love for Corgis. You can’t get much more organic than that! So forget the old ham and cheese routine; here you can get smoked salmon, eggplant & pesto, chicken curry or turkey & avocado sandwiches. All have our thumbs up, especially if ocean fog has settled in and you pair the wich with one of their homemade soups.

Looking for a quick sweet treat after lunch? When you walk in, you can’t help but let you eyes gaze upon the hand decorated cookies in the window. Treat yourself to a sugary beach-themed cookie! Girard Gourmet is located in downtown La Jolla at 7837 Girard Ave.

Jersey Mikes

La Jolla is loved for its small-town, community feel. Even though Jersey Mikes is a franchise, it still has the vibe of a local spot. This Jersey Mikes is run by triplet brothers that know their customers by name and is sandwich home to many, such as students coming after classes from Bishops High School. Some of the favorites include the #9 Club Supreme (turkey and roast Beef with bacon), #7 (turkey breast and provolone) and #20 (the Grilled Pastrami Reuben).

A big perk of JM? The garage that’s to the west of the sandwich shop has free parking. This is a huge plus in this car-packed area!

Mendocino Farms

If you want to venture a bit out of downtown La Jolla, Mendocino Farms recently opened up at the Shops at La Jolla Village. The to-go sandwich market specializes in all-natural, healthy bites and has a variety of deli sandwiches, salads, and snacks. They are vegan-friendly, and usually offer ultra-fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Our favorites include the Low and Slow Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Farm Club, which is their take on the traditional club sandwich. Check them out at 8795 Villa La Jolla Dr.

9 Essential Drinks You Need to Try for Happy Hour in La Jolla

When La Jolla gives you beautiful sunsets, delicious restaurants, and a thrilling downtown what more could you ask for? Ah, of course, Happy Hour. La Jolla Happy Hour is the best time to sample drinks from some of the top restaurants in La Jolla.

Even though there are so many different restaurants in La Jolla, we narrowed it down to our top 9 choices which we think are the most deliciously exceptional at the best happy house price. From custom cocktails to classics with a twist, there’s something for everyone on this happy hour roundup.

1. “Organic Moscow Mule” – Beaumont’s Eatery

If you haven’t tried a Moscow Mule, you’re missing out. This delicious drink is one of Beaumont’s Eatery’s most popular drinks. The drink is made of Tru Organic Vodka, Ginger Beer, Angostura Bitters, and a lime.

The Moscow Mule is an enjoyable cold-copper mug experience that’s a lot of fun. They’re served in copper cups to keep the drink as cold as possible, so you can enjoy it for as long as possible.

Beaumont’s Eatery. located in Bird Rock, is one of La Jolla’s best restaurants for live music. Its fun party vibe and casual feel make it one of the top choices for La Jolla locals.

Happy Hour is from 11:30 am – 6:30 pm daily for drinks.

Full price Moscow Mules are $10.75 but for Happy Hour it’s only $6.

2. “Cucumber Basil Smash” – Seasons 52

There’s only one way to describe the Cucumber Basil Smash. Smashing. The drink is made of Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka, White Cranberry Juice, Cucumber, Basil, and Lime.

It’s a local favorite because it’s light, refreshing drink that is light on calories.

Seasons 52 is a great spot for happy hour after a long day of shopping at UTC mall. They have seasonally inspired menus featuring ingredients at their peak of freshness. They use rustic cooking techniques like brick oven roasting and open-fire grilling that bring out natural flavors. All in all, it’s a great atmosphere and high-quality food and of course, excellent drinks.

Happy Hour is M-F 4-6:30 PM.

Cucumber Basil Smash is normally $10.50 but for Happy Hour this Specialty Cocktail is $8.

[Image courtesy of George’s at the Cove]

3. “Southside” – George’s At The Cove

This is one of their most refreshing cocktails! The Southside includes Plymouth Gin, lemon, mint, and cane sugar. It’s minty, refreshing and citrusy – perfect after a long day in the office or just to quench your thirst among friends.

Happy Hour is hosted in their mid-level bar, George’s Level2. They are also launching a brand-new Late Night happy hour, which will be Thurs-Sat from 9pm-midnight and feature $10 specialty cocktails and discounted small bites.

George’s at the Cove is a renowned three-level dining destination located in the heart of La Jolla overlooking the Pacific Ocean and northern coastline. Cocktails are made with in-house ingredients and hand cut ice. There are recipes and twists on classic drinks along with unique punches, sours, coolers and more.

George’s At The Cove Happy Hour is M-F 3:30 to 6:30 pm. All Happy Hour Cocktails are $8.

Duke's La Jolla Ocean View

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4. “Heart Opener” – The Hake

The Heart Opener is heart wrenchingly good. It’s the Hake’s tastiest drink made up of Avua Cachaca, Luxardo, Pistachio Falernum.

The Hake Restaurant uses a seasonal farm-to-table approach focusing on fresh seafood and an upscale casual bistro atmosphere. It offers a unique global-inspired menu created by Chefs Federico Rigoletti and Roberto Craig of Mexico City’s Puntarena Restaurant fame.

The bar offers Craft and classic cocktails, local beers on tap, a fine collection of single malt whiskeys and a large selection of Mezcal. A carefully selected wine list with over 30 wines by the glass, reflects our passion in the glass as well as on the plate.

Happy Hour is every day 5-7 PM.

Signature Cocktails are $8.

5. Rosé – We Olive Wine & Bar

Don’t whine, just wine. The rosé showcases aromas of crushed raspberries and watermelon. The pale salmon coloring of this classic Provencal style wine is made from 100% Grenache.

Debuting in early 2011, We Olive La Jolla was the first We Olive to expand beyond premium California Olive Oils and feature an ocean-view Wine Bar, showcasing small-production California wines, local craft beer, and a menu of olive oil inspired small plates.

Happy Hour specials are from 3:30 to 6:30 M-F where beers are $2 off and wine is $3 off except on Wednesdays. On Wine Wednesdays, all wine glasses are half off from 3:30 to 6:30 pm.

Their other Happy Hour specials include Sunday Funday where wine bottles are $7 off.

6. Sangria – Herringbone

Sweet and fruity, Herringbone’s Sangria is delicious. The Sangria is made of Red wine, raspberries, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate, and lime.

Located in the coastal community of La Jolla, Herringbone is a restaurant brand conceptualized by Top Chef alum Chef Brian Malarkey. Herringbone features “Fish Meats Field” coastal cuisine with an emphasis on line-caught seafood and high-quality meats.

Happy Hour is 4-6 pm daily & all night Mondays. Bonus Tip: Oyster Hour $ Oysters daily from 4-6pm.

Sangria’s are $6.

7. “Maya Jungle Cruise” – Leña Craft Mexican

If you like exotic alcohol, this is the drink for you. It’s made of Tequila Exotico, Xtabentum, Amaro Nonino, fresh pineapple, fresh lime, banana demerara, and pomegranate molasses.

Lena Craft Mexican is a gastropub, located in the heart of La Jolla, CA. Local’s love the authentic flavors and good vibe that Leña gives.

Happy Hour is M-F 3-6 PM.

All Margarita’s are $6 and beers are $1 off.

8. “My First Time” – Wheat and Water

Everybody’s scared the first time they do anything. Drink creator Ashley Moore says “My First Time” is a fun play on the phrase. It’s a handcrafted drink made with jalapeno-infused Rancho Alegre Tequila, St. Germain, Yellow Chartreuse, lemon, grapefruit bitters, and salt.

Wheat & Water specializes in wood-fired pizza, shared plates, healthy salads and charcuterie. Featuring a variety of beer from local and national breweries, wines ranging from California and Europe and a cocktail list of originals and our favorite classics.

Happy Hour is M-F 8PM to Close.

All cocktails are $7.

Duke’s Mai Tai – Duke’s La Jolla

Anyone who’s been to Duke’s knows that this is one of their best drinks. The Mai Tai is made with Pineapple Passion Orange Guava and La Lahaina Rum.

Overlooking the La Jolla Cove, Duke’s serves genuine, friendly hospitality with contemporary interpretations of traditional island plates. As a tribute to Hawaii and Southern California beach lifestyles, Duke’s celebrates family, views and the spirit of aloha. We welcome our guests to become a part of our ’ohana.

Duke’s Aloha Hours happen daily from 3-6 PM.

All cocktails are $8 during Aloha Hours.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Eating Vegan in La Jolla

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La Jolla is a vegan-friendly hub, and restaurants in the Village have always emphasized health and sustainability. We’ve made it even easier for you to enjoy the best vegan food by rounding up all the options we could think of – we hope you find a new favorite with our Ultimate Guide to Eating Vegan in La Jolla!

As always, please call ahead to check on availability of options or any allergy concerns.

Purely Vegan Restaurants

Eliminate all strategizing and guesswork with these straight-up vegan restaurants.

Trilogy Sanctuary Vegan Cafe has a wide-ranging menu to hit the spot any time of day. of meals, snacks, desserts. They also offer a diverse selection of smoothies, juices, shots and tea! Try their raw nut-based cheesecake pictured at top! 7650 Girard Ave #400

Beaming superfood cafe comes to La Jolla after great success in the Santa Monica area. Beaming mainly serves smoothies and juices, but also has a sizeable list of baked goods, snacks, and desserts! Entrees, soups and salads rotate daily. Find them at La Plaza. 7863 Girard Ave #201

Farm to Fork Juice is our new favorite juice place in La Jolla, mainly because it’s not just juice. Check out the rest of their menu, including the spaghetti and meatballs and soup selection. 5646 La Jolla Blvd

Lots of Vegan Options

If you’re going out with a gang of vegans and non-vegans, these eateries will keep everyone happy.

Fruittitude is the place to go if you’re exclusively interested in lighter options. Fruittitude serves juice and acai bowls, along with an variety of boba slushes, greek yogurt bowls, sandwiches and wraps, salads. If you’re too busy to go out and get lunch, they’ll deliver to downtown La Jolla Monday – Friday! 7777 Girard Ave #10

Pictured above is the south east Asian style beef wrap from Lean & Green! This newer restaurant has quickly become very popular with La Jollans. Check out their menu of power shakes, smoothies, burritos, rice bowls, wraps, and acai bowls. If you’re looking for a savory meal, we recommend the Teriyaki Bowl of brown rice with broccoli, pine nuts, and vegan Teriyaki sauce. 7825 Fay Ave

Juice Kaboose serves juices and smoothies, wraps and sandwiches, and bowls (like pitaya, acai, quinoa, hummus, maui fruit salad!). Nestled in a line of shops in the heart of La Jolla, Juice Kaboose is convenient for getting lunch on a workday, or if you’re about to go tasting at La Jolla Brewing Company and want to get your vitamins in. 7556 Fay Ave

We all know Thai restaurants tend to have solid vegan options, so give Chedi Thai Bistro on Pearl or Spice & Rice on Girard a shot. If you can’t decide between the two, Chedi Thai has great Happy Hour and lunch deals, but Spice & Rice has outdoor dining options. 737 Pearl St #1107734 Girard Ave

 

Going out to lunch with the in-laws? Persuade them to go to The Cottage, a charming local eatery that has a whole vegan section on the lunch menu. (The vegan is not reflected online, if you had looked and were panicking). The Cottage only serves dinner seasonally, so make sure to call ahead and see what dining options you have before you plan for dinner at 6! 7702 Fay Ave

For locals, Coffee Cup is the place to start your day! Tasty, nutritious breakfasts, brunches, and lunches give you energy and are packed with veggies. Happily, most meals either already are vegan or are easily made so by swapping out milk, meat or eggs with substitutes like soymilk, soyrizo, and grilled or marinated tofu. 1109 Wall St

George’s at the Cove has a surprisingly large amount of vegan options, for a restaurant that also specializes in seafood. We recommend Ocean Terrace or California Modern, two of their three dining venues, as Level2 is mainly cocktails and bar fare (though that has its value too!). You can’t really go wrong with anything here! 1250 Prospect St

Like Thai food, Indian food is also pretty vegan-friendly. Taste of the Himalayas on Girard has incredible Nepalese and Indian food served in a cozy atmosphere, and Tandoori Chef on Pearl is another option. 8008 Girard Ave #170613 Pearl St

A Few Options

Don Carlos Taco shop has the best burritos in town! If you want to go beyond the classic bean burrito, vegan substitutions like soyrizo are available. 737 Pearl Street Suite 113

Shore Thing Cafe serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch and has at least a few vegan options. It seems the oatmeal, acai bowl, and some of the sandwiches and salads are pretty safe, though you will want to ask to be sure. 8080 La Jolla Shores Drive

For vegan options, Pannikin Coffee & Tea has a few salads, an always-vegan daily soup, a hummus and veggie plate, and a granola which seems like it could be vegan. There’s likely a vegan pastry or two floating around in the case if you ask. Of course, vegan milk options for coffee and tea are available. 7467 Girard Ave

The Promiscuous Fork and Girard Gourmet have salads and sandwiches that you can ask for all non-vegan materials to be taken out of. It’s not clear that the bread is vegan (although it probably is, avoiding brioches) so just ask to be sure before getting anything. Fun fact, the produce at Girard Gourmet is all farm-to-table from their local farm! 6984 La Jolla Blvd7837 Girard Ave.

If we missed any of your favorites, please let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to check them out! Happy dining!

Best Restaurants in La Jolla with Ocean Views

Duke's La Jolla Ocean View

Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, impressing friends from out of town, or going on a first date, nothing beats an incredible dinner at a beautiful restaurant! One of the great things about downtown La Jolla is all of the fabulous restaurants, and once you throw an epic view into the mix, you’ve got the recipe for a perfect evening. Here are the best La Jolla restaurants with a view, from semi-casual to fine dining!

A Few Words of Advice…

Whichever of these romantic La Jolla restaurants you choose, make reservations early and be flexible with the time you want to go. You’ll get a better chance of a table with an optimal view if you go on off hours. Similar strategies go for parking, go early in case you can’t find a spot immediately, or make it easy on yourself and valet. As always, look at the menu and call ahead if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies and want to know your options.

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Duke’s La Jolla

Duke’s (pictured at top) is a great restaurant for couples that don’t take things too seriously, or aren’t interested in a traditional romantic “fancy dinner”. Visitors will enjoy fantastic seafood, with great cocktails and classic Hawaiian desserts for the ultimate meal. Enjoy an amazing evening view with twinkling lights above you if you choose to eat on the patio. Don’t stress about ties, as Duke’s has a casual dress code.

Marine Room Ocean View

Marine Room

The Marine Room (above) is by far one of the best romantic restaurants with an ocean view in La Jolla. Dinner at high tide is best for the most wave action as surf crashes against the windows. While most people enjoy the window view, but it’s fair to warn that this feature can be distracting or overwhelming if you’re sensitive to noise or motion. We recommend starting off with the Lobster bisque, and any seafood dish is the best way to go here in particular the lobster tail. The Marine Room does have a strict formal dress code, but it’s worth it for an exquisite experience with incredible food.

More Dining Options in La Jolla

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Steak

Eddie V’s offers some of the best fine-dining in La Jolla featuing a seafood and steak menu along with a live jazz cocktail bar. What to get: reportedly, the Lobster Tacos are “to die for”. We also think the Bananas foster cake is worth a shot, particularly if you like your desserts served flambe! The back half of Eddie V’s looks off a cliff towards La Jolla Shores and across the ocean. Eddie V’s has a business casual dress code.

George’s at the Cove

George’s at the Cove is well known in La Jolla as a popular place for a romantic dinner! Even better, George’s terrace undoubtedly has a great ocean view thanks to its location high up on cliff. If you’re into Mixology and creative cocktails, this is the place (with a beach view) for you! We recommend Sea3, a margarita with dehydrated mango, lime & chile infused tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, sea cube. George’s offers different dining experiences whether you choose New American, Level 2 (prime for cocktails and bar adventures,) or Ocean Terrace (outdoor dining). There’s not an incredibly harsh dress code, but you’ll still want to dress nicely.

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Crab Catcher

Well known as a great seafood place in La Jolla, Crab Catcher is most famous for their crab legs and perhaps surprisingly, their truffle fries! Truffle fries might not be expected from a fine dining restaurant, but we’ll tell you they’re incredible just before a tender filet mignon. Expect a great view of the waves from your table. Crab Catcher is a classic fine dining atmosphere, so we recommend business casual.

The Shores Restaurant

Celebrate with a clear view to La Jolla Shores beach and its striking sunsets at The Shores Restaurant. There’s certainly good food here, but most diners agree it’s the view that makes the experience. For the real “romantic restaurant” experience, The Shores has an open-air patio if you want to dine with a salty sea breeze in your hair. If you visit during summer be sure to order the lobster three course special, otherwise you can’t go wrong with any of the fresh seafood dishes offered year-round. There’s a pretty casual dress code (though bring a jacket if you dine outside). Just a note: if you have trouble finding it, it’s located inside La Jolla Shores Hotel.

Top 6 Winter 2017 Restaurant Openings in La Jolla

La Jolla’s restaurant scene is constantly evolving, and there is never a shortage of places for those wanting to add something new into their dining rotation. From the recently opened to the works-in-progress, we’ve researched the top new spots in La Jolla – ranging from fried chicken to dumplings. We’re excited about these 7 restaurant openings that will round out everything the La Jolla dining scene has to offer!

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee (Now Open)

811 Prospect Street

StreetCar Merchants has officially added a La Jolla location a few blocks away from The Cove as of late December. StreetCar’s Louisiana-style Southern food has already had great success in North Park with a customer base “overwhelmingly” made up of La Jollans, a “big surprise” to co-founder Ron Suel. On the decision to branch out to La Jolla, Suel said “I think we bring diversity to the marketplace…I’m always one to take a risk [and] our food speaks for generations.” With promises of authentic fried chicken, doughnuts warm from the fryer, and great coffee, StreetCar Merchants is one of the most exciting (and unique) restaurant openings in La Jolla this year. Takeout available.

Red O (Opening Soon!)

4340 La Jolla Village Drive

Red O, a fine dining seafood and steak establishment with a Mexican twist, will open across from Westfield UTC in the coming months. Famed chef Rick Bayless and his team head all creative and menu decisions, resulting in a world-class restaurant on par with his other restaurants. Red O occupies a higher price range for the diner, but is surely worth a visit.

Din Tai Fung (Opening Soon!)

UTC Mall

Have you been longing for a steamed dumpling and noodle restaurant in La Jolla? Finally, Taiwanese world-renowned dumpling house Din Tai Fung will be opening a new location at Westfield UTC! Their gorgeously illustrated menu includes a broad variety of dumpling and noodle dishes (and buns!) with several vegetarian and gluten-free options. We’re looking forward to the Kimchi and Pork dumplings.

Mendocino Farms (Now Open)

8795 Villa La Jolla Drive

Mendocino Farms recently opened at The Shops at La Jolla and will likely give Whole Foods a run for their money. Freshly handmade sandwiches and salads often using local, organic, hormone-free ingredients dominate a menu that also offers many vegan and gluten-free options. We’re excited for their “Foodie Favorites” sandwich selection which includes Kurobuta pork belly banh mi, Steak BLT on pretzel bun, and the Drake’s Farm Celebration sandwich featuring goat cheese. Mendocino Farms fits in a lower price range overall but may be considered to run a little high for lunch (sandwiches usually from $9.25 to $11.45). Indoors and patio dining is offered and takeout options are available.

Masala Street (Now Open)

915 Pearl Street Suite B/C

Now open on Pearl Street, Masala Street hopes to bring a “new era of Indian dining” to La Jolla . Masala Street is fusion food, where ingredients and recipes from multiple cultures are blended. Here, Grand Master Chef Hemant Oberoi takes a new perspective on Indian and Californian food with his trendsetting dishes. We’ve heard the Tacosas (samosa tacos) are very good. Be aware that this restaurant has a higher price range, but make sure to grab a reservation at this exciting fine dining establishment!

 

Shake Shack (Opening Soon!)

UTC Mall

Shake Shack is coming soon to the food court at Westfield UTC to satisfy foodies and shoppers with their famous burgers and frozen custards. What started as a modest hot dog stand in New York has now become one of the most popular spots for burgers, fries and other quick bites in Southern California. Best known for their milkshakes and delicious burgers, Shake Shack also serves a variety of ice cream cones and chicken sandwiches. They even sport a menu for dogs that includes dog biscuits and tiny sundaes with vanilla custard and peanut butter sauce!

Which new La Jolla Restaurant have you tried? Let us know what new places you’ve tried by leaving a comment below.

7 Hotel Bars in La Jolla (That Even Locals Will Love)

In a world-class tourist destination like La Jolla, we have to have fantastic hotels—and what’s a hotel without its bar? While San Diego is known for our craft beer, we also excel in craft (and classic) cocktails. Give these La Jolla hotel bars a shot whether you’re just in town for the week or a longtime local!

Mustangs & Burros

Mustangs & Burros at Estancia La Jolla is an outdoor restaurant with a fantastic bar. It not only has a seasonal drink menu with excellent wines (including some house wines!) and local beers but also a rotating cocktail selection. We’ll recommend The Local and the Smoked Orange based on the most current drink menu on their website, but chances are you can’t go wrong with any cocktail you order. The gorgeous outdoor patio can get a little chilly in the winter, so bring an extra jacket for your legs, but you’re good the rest of the year. Try to tour the botanic gardens at the hotel while you’re there!

Nine-Ten

Nine-Ten is the Grande Colonial’s restaurant and bar, named after its location at 910 Prospect Street. A luxurious interior makes for a great dinner date or drinks, or a fantastic vacation locale. The Nine-Ten bar has not only a stellar wine and beer offering, but an impressive cocktail list featuring several in-house specials. Do yourself a favor and get their Half-Baked Chocolate Cake with whipped cream or Harissa Grilled Shrimp Toast available on the bar menu. For cocktails, we recommend the fresh 910 Spritz or fruitier Victor’s Secret.

 

The Grill at Torrey Pines

Stop by The Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines for a relaxing drink or dinner. With a great sunset view, five warm fire pits, and an artistic trellis, this outdoor venue of the nicer hotel bars in the roundup. Catch some live music Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 – 8:30 pm after a long day at the nearby Torrey Pines Golf Course. The bar has an extensive list of local beers and a rotating selection of cocktails with seasonal specials, as well as a fantastic wine list.

Manhattan of La Jolla

The Manhattan of La Jolla lounge at the Empress Hotel embodies the feeling of an old New York nightclub where one might hear jazz classics like Clooney and Martin perform. With a brick interior and snowy white tablecloths, this makes for a great dinner date or just drinks. While you’re there, enjoy live music four evenings a week (Wednesday to Thursday 7 – 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 8 – 11 pm). For a true New York feeling, we recommend the Park Avenue Martini, which is Blue Ice vodka and Grappi chocolate liqueur.

La Sala

Nestled inside the picturesque La Valencia is La Sala lounge. Recently remodeled with a gorgeous interior and lots of space to socialize and relax, it also sports a great view of La Jolla Cove. Sit back and enjoy a glass of champagne or some tapas with friends and watch the sunset. The bar has an extensive wine and beer menu, along with hand-mixed cocktails. Check out Local’s Hour from 3 – 7 pm daily for $5 Red and/or White Glass of Wine, Draft Beer, Well Drinks, $7 Martinis, and $5 Food Specials. As far as recommendations go, we’ve heard the Berry Mojito and Dark & Stormy are worth a try.

 

Shores Restaurant

While all of these hotel bars are great, The Shores Restaurant at La Jolla Shores Hotel is perfect for drinks by the beach! Catch Happy Hour at The Shores from 4 – 6 pm every day except Saturday. We recommend the Shores Sangria (pictured above) or the Sun and Sand with monkey shoulder scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, luxardo, and blood orange. The Shores Restaurant is also fantastic for dinner.

Hiatus

Enjoy a glass of champagne or minty mojito poolside at Hiatus at Hotel La Jolla, a boutique hotel by Hilton. Don’t worry about the chill of the evening or hard metal pool chairs, as they have a gorgeous collection of woven wicker chairs with cushions and firepits for warmth. Hiatus is open for relaxing and mingling from 4 – 10 pm Friday through Saturday and 4 – 9 pm Thursday and Sunday.

 

Skip the Crowds: 7 Off the Beaten Path Restaurants in La Jolla

La Jolla is known for its fantastic supply of restaurants and world-class food. However, when you’re just looking to eat somewhere, the crowds and long wait times can be a frustration. Whether you’re looking to mix up your Friday night routine or are just too hungry to wait, don’t sacrifice quality for accessibility! Get fantastic food and skip the crowds with these off the beaten path locales—and maybe you’ll find a new favorite La Jolla restaurant!

Caroline’s Seaside Cafe

8610 Kennel Way
Caroline’s Seaside Cafe is just next to La Jolla Shores Beach, making for a meal with a great view. We recommend dining on the patio where you can feel the fresh breeze off the ocean! Caroline’s does breakfast from 8am – 11:30am and brunch from 11:30am – 3pm on weekdays, and weekend brunch from 8am-3pm. They are committed to organic and sustainable food sourcing and proudly serves locally roasted Bird Rock coffee. If you’re looking for a healthy lunch, there are several options that incorporate vegetables, and a rotating list of monthly specials for those who love variety!

Trilogy Sanctuary Vegan Cafe

7650 Girard Ave, Suite 401
If you’re looking for a refreshing break from your everyday life, just step into the rooftop Trilogy Sanctuary Vegan Cafe. This La Jolla restaurant is part of the larger Trilogy business that teaches regular and aerial yoga, wellness counseling, and sells U.S.-made and ethical athletic clothing. The all-vegan menu features uber healthy options—no need to worry about getting your vitamins and minerals for the day! There’s sandwiches, smoothies, desserts, acai/pitaya bowls, crepes (with “bacon”!) and more. Even if you’re not vegan, the soups or salads will be familiar. Their “Cheese” platter is pictured above.

Bella Vista Social Club and Caffe

2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr
At Sanford Consortium (next to the Salk Institute) the Bella Vista Social Club and Caffe has established itself as a premier spot for socializing with local elites and great Italian food! Network with local businesspeople, academics, and international travelers. It’s at a perfect location, at the intersection of the famous La Jolla Shores beach, UCSD and Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and Torrey Pines Golf Course. Bella Vista has the full menu of a restaurant, perfect for nourishment through conversations of any length or an after-beach dinner. Guests can enjoy gourmet Italian food with local IPAs and craft beers and quality wines.

Turmeric Thai Kitchen

6435 Caminito Blythefield
Located on Mount Soledad, Turmeric Thai Kitchen isn’t in traditional restaurant territory! This lends it a cozy, secluded vibe along with lessening crowds and traffic. It’s just off of a residential area, so pull out the GPS for this one. It is BYOB, so grab something before you arrive! A corking charge may apply. Turmeric serves a variety of traditional Thai dishes, including the popular panang beef curry and mango sticky rice. Turmeric has both balcony and indoor eating and can seat small or large parties.

The Promiscuous Fork

6984 La Jolla Blvd
The Promiscuous Fork (pictured at top) specializes in high-quality food in casual formats like sandwiches and burgers. Whether you’re an adventurous foodie or just someone who wants a good lunch, this is the place for you! The highly varied menu features a spread of meat or vegetarian options with a wide range of flavor inspirations. Try a Caprese sandwich or the Hippie sandwich pictured above.

Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ

888 Prospect St
Thought you couldn’t find BBQ in La Jolla? Think again! This La Jolla restaurant serves up a hearty BBQ experience, hidden under office buildings just a few blocks away from La Jolla Cove. While Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ specializes in barbeque, they also have lighter options like meal salads and sides for BBQ like traditional greens or fresh corn. Try the Jerk Chicken sandwich if you’re looking for variety, or treat yourself to a night out with a selection of beer and wine.

Farmer and the Seahorse

10996 Torreyana Rd
Farmer and the Seahorse at the Alexandria Hotel focuses on fresh, local ingredients and an excellent customer experience. This is the place to go for fine dining with a unique La Jolla twist, but it’s out of the way enough (near Torrey Pines Golf Course) that you’ll evade some of the tourist crowds. Breakfast and lunch is served 8am – 3pm Monday through Friday, Happy Hour is from 4pm – 7pm Wednesday through Friday, and Sunday brunch is hosted 10am – 2pm. Find a sample menu at their website.

Where to Find the Best Late Night Eats in La Jolla

After a night out at La Jolla Playhouse or after spending a whole day at the beach, we all need a little something to fill our empty stomachs. However, it can be hard to find a La Jolla restaurant open after 10 pm! To help, we’ve rounded up all the best late night eats in La Jolla.

Open 24 Hours

Rigoberto’s is a locals go-to late night eatery known for their salsa bar and substantial burritos. If you need a good chile relleno, carne asada burrito, or some dank carne asada fries you won’t be disappointed. Find them at 6990 La Jolla Blvd.

 

Open Late on Weekdays

Popular with students, the Living Room Coffeehouse (cover and top image) is open until 2 am every day and offers a variety of coffee drinks, desserts, and meals. The first floor has both a bistro and a full bar, and lots of tables and other seating to recharge or wind down or chill out upstairs in their Hookah bar where you can order drinks and food. Find them at 1010 Prospect St.

 

Hennessey’s Tavern La Jolla is an Irish-style pub, open until 2 am every day (according to their Facebook page). Stop by for great deals on drinks and food and daily specials! Find them at 7811 Herschel Ave.

Jose’s Courtroom is a Mexican restaurant and bar, open until 11 pm on Thursday and until 1 am on Friday and Saturday. Known for tasty dishes like ceviche, albondigas, and mahi mahi tacos, Jose’s also serves margaritas, beer, tequila and mezcal, and other drinks. Find them at 1037 Prospect St.

 


Shore Rider Bar along La Jolla Shores Beach is open until 11pm on weekdays and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Cold beers and seafood are Shore Rider’s specialties (try the Crispy Squid starters!) though the menu is mainly centered around classic burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Find them at 2168 Avenida De La Playa.

The Spot restaurant and bar is famous for their deep-dish Chicago style pizza and fine wines. The kitchen is open until 11 pm on weeknights and open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, though the bar serves until 1 am on on weeknights and 2 am on Friday and Saturday. Find them at 1005 Prospect St.

 

Herringbone La Jolla is open until 11 pm nightly serving drinks and savory bites! If you’re looking for something larger, they also serve dinner until 10 pm. Don’t miss Herringbone’s specialty cocktails and selection of local craft beers. Find them at 7837 Herschel Ave.

Open Late on Weekends Only

If you’re looking for some late night eats on the weekend, you have a few more options! Enjoy a crispy wood-fired pizza at Wheat and Water, open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Find them at 5737 La Jolla Blvd.

You’ll find amazing Italian food at Piatti La Jolla! Piatti is open until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Find them at 2182 Avenida De La Playa.

Manhattan of La Jolla, located inside the Empress Hotel, serves fine Italian food and cocktails. Catch live music performances with the style of an old New York jazz club! Manhattan of La Jolla is open until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Find them at 7766 Fay Ave.

What are some of your late eating spots in La Jolla?

7 Must-Have French Toasts in La Jolla

Brockton Villa Coast Toast Brunch La Jolla Restaurants - Image originally from Brockton VIilla at brocktonvilla.com7 Must-Try French Toasts in La Jolla

Both fluffy and chewy, french toast is one of the most popular breakfasts there is. But hang on—just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s boring! In La Jolla’s incredible restaurant community, you’ll find enticing variations that go beyond the standard fare. Here’s the 7 La Jolla restaurants with the best french toast recipes.

 

 

Sugar & Scribe

Sugar & Scribe Bakery and Restaurant offers a charming dining experience. Even better than the decor? Sugar & Scribe’s Brioche French Toast, featuring poached strawberries, balsamic maple reduction, and sabayon. Breakfast and lunch are served all day, giving you sweet and savory options.

Prepkitchen La Jolla

A Whisknlade Hospitality restaurant, Prepkitchen La Jolla focuses on seasonal cuisine made with farm-fresh ingredients. A favorite of locals, their incredible Brioche French Toast is topped with bourbon apples, crème Anglaise, and candied pecans.

Nine-Ten

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar at the Grande Colonial Hotel is La Jolla fine dining at its best. If you’re looking for a luxurious breakfast, their Brioche French Toast is elaborately topped with mascarpone banana mousse, pecan and oats crumble, macerated strawberries and bananas, and chocolate sauce.

Stuffed French Toast from The Cottage La Jolla restaurant. Image originally from user Oleg. on flickr.comThe Cottage La Jolla

The Cottage has a fantastic brunch reputation that is in no small part due to their famous Stuffed French Toast. Thick slices of brioche lie under strawberry compote and sweet mascarpone cheese.

 

 

Elijah’s Restaurant & Delicatessan

Elijah’s Challah French Toast is local favorite. Thick slices of homemade challah dusted with sugar have just the right amount of chew. Don’t forget to take home lunch on your way out, as Elijah’s won “Best Pastrami in San Diego” from the San Diego Jewish Journal.

Brockton Villa

The Coast Toast at Brockton Villa (top image) is eggy and rich, made playful by its signature hint of orange. Savor yours with a gorgeous ocean view from the patio! Feel free to bring a furry friend to brunch, as Brockton Villa’s patio dining is dog-friendly.

Cody’s La Jolla

Cody’s coastal dining offers a seaside view and classic Americana dishes. Cody’s french toast is medley of textures from the candied walnuts, to the strawberries, finally topped with marscapone honey butter.

Any of these La Jolla restaurants won’t disappoint—let us know in the comments which your favorites were!

 

 

La Plaza Shopping Center Welcomes 3 New Tenants

La Plaza, La Jolla’s new premier shopping center, is already a fantastic place to shop and dine. But wait…looks like the experience is about to get better. La Plaza La Jolla is introducing 3 new tenants:

  • Azzurra Capri
  • Kenneth Barlis
  • Le Petit Bistrot

What is it that each of these has to offer?

 

For Shoes that Really Sparkle: Azzurra Capri

This Mediterranean-inspired sandal brand and boutique, Azzurra Capri, has its flagship store in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. Not that I mind venturing into SD’s marvelous Italian neighborhood (#espresso #pastries), but it’s going to be wonderful to have this unique boutique right here in La Jolla; it’ll be the perfect bridge between the North County client base and the current San Diego store.

Azzurra Capri will be proud to host its namesake signature Italian handmade leather sandals. Created by owner and designer, Diana Carolina, she started designing these sandals when inspired by a trip to the Emalfi Coast of Italy. Now, everything that goes into the shoe, even when custom made in the store, is straight form Italy. These beautiful sandals are sold around the world and are trademarked by dazzling Swarovski crystals – certified, of course.

Wedding Bells Anyone? Kenneth Barlis

Tying the knot soon? Or know someone who is? If so, look no further than Kenneth Barlis, San Diego’s ultimate luxury formal and bridal wear designer, for wedding dress and accessory needs.

Barlis’ work has been shown internationally and been featured in top fashion magazines like Vogue Italia. Look forward to garments and pieces featuring his signature intricate layering, detail and use of natural materials.

Get a feel for his fashion and style from the Kenneth Barlis Instagram.

For Truly Authentic Parisian Cuisine: Le Petit Bistrot

My favorite thing about Paris, without a doubt, is the endless supply of plazas and sidewalks lined with outdoor cafes. I’m excited to say that, thanks to this new La Plaza bistrot, I’ll no longer have to jump on an airplane to experience this French phenomenon.

Guest chef star, Gérard Chauvet, and his sous-chef (and son-in-law), Pierre-Olivier Dedieu, are bringing France to us right here in La Jolla through their cooking. The visionary behind it all, Eric Le Glass, promises that Le Petit Bistrot will be a traditional French Bistro with strong roots in Parisian cuisine. It’ll be the very first one in California, featuring items from already established restaurant menus and brand new dishes.

The breakfast menu will include classic French items like fresh croissants and decadent crepes. For lunch and dinner, we can look forward to dishes like French Onion Soup, Escargots a la Bourguignonne and Duck Confit et Pommes Salardaises.

I’m particularly excited about the design and ambience. Diners will actually be able to view the dishes being prepared via an open kitchen. In my humble opinion, dining is all the more fun when we can see the process behind the meal.

French Breakfast from Le Petit Bistro in La Jolla, CA

French Onion Soup from Le Petit Bistro in La Jolla, CA

Sea Scallops from Le Petit Bistro in La Jolla, CA

Orange Crabmeat from Le Petit Bistro in La Jolla, CA

 

La Plaza: Learn More & Get Connected

Learn more about this luxury destination shopping center at our page: La Plaza: The Most Anticipated Venue of the Year.

To get updates on openings and see some afternoon inspiring pictures, make sure to get connected with La Plaza on their FacebookTwitter (@LaPlazaLaJolla) and Instagram(@LaPlazaLaJolla).

Best La Jolla Restaurants to Eat at Solo

Some days, when one’s company, two’s a crowd. If you’re feeling the need for a little “me time”, take yourself out to a La Jolla restaurant and focus on enjoying some fantastic food! Here are the best La Jolla restaurants to eat at alone.

For Calm Relaxation: The Shores Restaurant

Perched right on the sand of La Jolla Shores, the Shores Restaurant has the best La Jolla ocean view possible. Sit near the window with a martini or meal such as shrimp tacos or mussels and homemade crostini.

For a Glass of Wine: We Olive

Love wine and olive oil? We Olive La Jolla is a hidden gem tucked away on Prospect. The front is a shop store, selling everything from infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars to artisan jams and spreads. The back is a bar and patio overlooking the Cove and ocean in the distance.

You don’t have to try just one type of wine; get a wine flight to sample a few wines. This goes incredibly well with the olive oil tasting, where you get cubes of soft bread and different types of olive oil and balsamic vinegars to try. Simply. Heavenly.

For Something New: The Hake

The famous La Jolla restaurant, The Hake, offers very unique drinks and cuisine. The founders are from Mexico City, so they brought the fun plate sharing atmosphere culture and blended it with local ingredients and seafood.

From Rosarito shrimp tacos and ribeye lettuce to a marnier drink that won a worldwide competition, The Hake is a must visit restaurant.

For People Watching: Bernini’s

Housed on Fay Avenue, Bernini’s Bistro has a good amount of outdoor seating parallel to the sidewalk. Many people pass in and out of here, walking between the downtown village and nearby areas like Bird Rock, so it’s the perfect spot for people watching.

Plus, if you’re a fan of Italian food with a twist, you’ll love the cuisine by Chef Mario Medina.

For a Full Day Solo

If you’re having a full day solo, check out The Guide to Traveling Solo in La Jolla Itinerary.

 

5 Ways to Be a Tourist in Your Hometown La Jolla

Live in beautiful Southern California and lack vacation time? La Jolla, California is a top tourist destination for a reason. Even if you’ve lived here for years, there’s still La Jolla exploring to do.

Here are the top 5 ways to be a tourist in the Jewel.

1. Book yourself a spa day.

Why do you have to be in a far off land to pamper yourself? We say take the relaxation time you’ve earned. At the La Jolla Estancia Resort & Spa, you’ll feel feel miles away work and errands. Here are just a few spa services & amenities Estancia offers:

  • Massage therapies
  • Body treatments
  • Manicures & Pedicures
  • Waxing services
  • Eucalyptus steam room
  • Saltwater whirlpool
  • Rain shower

Check out the full list of services and how to book your own treatment at the La Jolla Estancia Resort & Spa website.

2. Take a tour.

From food and wine tours to kayak tours, La Jolla has many aspects to explore. For example, if you’re too busy to stroll the city on an average day, we highly recommend taking the walking tour of the murals of La Jolla.
Learn how to do so at our Art Lovers’ Itinerary blog.

3. Pick a restaurant you’ve never dined at.

You probably have your favorite local spots for cuisine. Change things up and go to a new La Jolla restaurant, one of the bistros or cafes you walk by and think, “I should try that some time”. To truly make it a holiday status event? Make reservations ahead of time and pick out an extra special outfit.

Need ideas for restaurants? Get insight on a variety of La Jolla restaurants and food here.

4. Visit one of the local museums.

The La Jolla museums change up exhibits often, so even if you’ve been before, you’ll come back to something new.

5. Learn something new.

As you would when on a vacation far away, take a class or sign up for something totally different than your normal routine – perhaps a painting & wine course with My Art Shed or a cooking class at Sur La Table.

When you’re a tourist in a foreign city, you’re constantly learning new things, so here are 8 Things You Don’t Know About La Jolla.

Best Dog Friendly Restaurants in La Jolla

Best Dog Friendly Restaurants in La Jolla 

Have you ever gone to a restaurant, leash in hand, only to discover your dog can’t enter? It’s the worst, especially when it was food you were really looking forward to. We want to share La Jolla restaurants that are guaranteed both dog friendly and great restaurants food-wise.

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Here are our top La Jolla restaurant picks for dog owners:

Best for By the Beach: Barbarella Restaurant

Barbarella is located on Avenida de la Playa, just a few minutes stroll from the beautiful La Jolla Shores Beach. Take your dog on an evening beach stroll (they’re welcome after 6 year-round and after 4 pm in winter), then hit Barbarella for dinner.
Barbarella even offers a doggie menu featuring items like Hot Diggity Dog, Puppy Delight and Rover Easy, so your dog can enjoy a dinner out, too.
For human types, the Barbarella menu has a variety of dinner entrees such as Funghi Pizza, Fresh Ricotta & Basil Ravioli and Seared Salmon.

Best for Mexican with a Twist: Puesto

La Jolla Mexican food is great all around, but the extra special twist and atmosphere makes La Jolla’s Puesto a top choice…that and the fact dogs are allowed, of course. Puesto is famous for tacos and frozen horchata (the perfect refreshing drink after an afternoon of running around with your dog!)
For any dog-loving vegetarians, this spot has flavor-packed, unique veggie options like the Potato Soy Chorizo, Zucchini & Cactus and Rajas Veg. Mmmm.

Best for Brunch: Cody’s La Jolla

This is one of La Jolla’s top brunch spots. And because Cody’s La Jolla is a dog-friendly restaurant, it’s probably best brunch venue for your weekends. Cody’s offers a wide variety of fantastic mid-morning selections such as decadent French Toast, Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict and Bacon Cheddar Omelette.
Enjoy the brunch with your pup and then walk down to Ellen Browning Scripps Park. This green space just above the Cove is perfect for playing frisbee or catch with dogs.

Best for Hosting Events: Piatti

As with Barbarella, La Jolla’s Piatti is another fantastic Italian restaurant in the La Jolla Shores neighborhood of La Jolla. The menu, organized course by course, let’s you create your own personalized Italian meal experience.
Start with Bruschetta. Then enjoy the Romaine Caesar Salad. Maybe try their Fusilloni.
Due to their great space and accommodations, Piatti is extra perfect when it comes to party and event planning, whether it’s an anniversary or, hey, your dog’s birthday – throw them their own b-day bash here at Piatti!

Best Healthy Entrees in La Jolla Restaurants

Cheese-loaded burgers. Fries. Desserts. There are many tempting entrees and treats that can make one meal worth a whole day’s calories. Luckily, there are many La Jolla restaurants that offer enticing menu options that are also healthy, so you don’t have to choose between flavor and nutrition. That way, you can have your metaphorical cake and eat it too. Here are our top healthy options.

Ahi Tacos

As The Hake’s ahi tacos are wrapped with thinly sliced jicama rather than standard tortillas, you can skip the carbohydrates and not even miss them. Loaded with soft, low-calorie, high-protein ahi and superfood avocado, it almost feels wrong how good these are for being so nutrient-packed. Sriracha offers spice to kick up the metabolism, too.

Rib-Eye Lettuce Wraps

The Hake wins again with their rib-eye lettuce wraps. Wrapped in nutritious, almost non-caloric lettuce, the focus is on the heavenly sweet-soy marinated rib-eye, scallions and pickles (cured in-house). The combination makes for an amazing taste that’s good for both you and your taste buds.

Hummus Duo

Interested in sharing an appetizer, but not wanting the feeling that comes after too many mozzarella sticks or garlic fries? Head to We Olive and enjoy the peaceful view that comes with the healthy, fresh starters. The hummus duo lets you pick two types of the house-made dip, such as the black olive & blood orange hummus or the garden basil hummus. They’re served with light crackers and beautifully cut strips of colorful veggies for dipping. When you’re savoring a crisp carrot coated with black olive & blood orange hummus, you won’t be missing that deep fried cheese.

 

Cinco De Mayo in La Jolla

Cinco de Mayo in La Jolla:

The fifth of May has come to be known as Cinco de Mayo in many places besides its country of origin, Mexico. When the Mexican army beat the French army in a battle on May 5, 1862, it was very unexpected. They celebrated their win victoriously, and this celebration became tradition. Join in by visiting local restaurants and festivals sporting Mexican cuisine, drinks and more!

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For wickedly good margaritas:

Jose’s

From as early as 10 am to late at night, come to Jose’s for magnificent margaritas and killer cuisine. Because this spot has become so well known in the community, the restaurant usually rents out an extra parking lot and has live music to really kick the party up!

For fantastic cuisine:

Alfonso’s of La Jolla

Alfonso’s of La Jolla has all type of Casa Specialties like Steak Ranchero, Pescado Veracruzano, Puerto Nuevo Lobster Tail and Tamales Del Norte…plus all the other classic staples like quesadilla and burritos.

And don’t worry about lack of beverages, there are several margarita options here.

For catering your own party:

Porkyland

Bring the party to you and host your own Cinco de Mayo Bonanza. With all the decorating and party details, we suggest letting Porkyland take care of the catering. This restaurant makes amazing food such as enchiladas and carnitas. Best of all? They can deliver it straight to your house.

For Ages 21 – 39:

All Hallows Catholic Church

The All Hallows Catholic Church is hosting a sweet Mexican dinner along with coronas and margaritas all Hallows style for only $15! (As its for a younger adult demographic, must be between the ages of 21 and 39 to attend).

For a Full Blown Festival:

Old Town

Head to Old Town in nearby San Diego for their annual Cinco de Mayo Festival. With 3 stages of live music, 10 restaurants offering discounted specials and historical demonstration and performances, you’ll get the full Cinco de Mayo experience.

Fancy French Dining? Dinner at Finch’s

Avez-vous faim? (Are you hungry?) If you have an appetite for French food, we highly recommend Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar. This La Jolla restaurant isn’t just serving cuisine that’s European-inspired, it’s offering ambience that is. This cozy restaurant is tucked down a lane on Garnet Avenue, hidden between 2 shops and 1 medium-sized fountain. Read on to get a feel for the food, drink and daily specials.

 

What We’ve Been Buzzing About

Start the meal off right with something stronger than water. Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar has an extensive wine list and cocktail menu. If you’ve already decided on your main course and are unsure on pairing, we recommend asking the staff. They are very knowledgeable and happy to hear your preferences before making a suggestion.

 

Let’s Get Started

There are a wide variety of appetizers. The Stuffed Squash Blossoms are a lighter, more upscale version of mozzarella sticks. These small squashes, heaven for savory-flavor lovers, are individually packed with herb goat cheese, crusted with Panko and served with tomato coulis.

For a lighter starter, we recommend the Tomato Burrata Caprese. Refreshing tomato slices are layered with basil and Italian-imported mozzarella that’s cool yet pulls apart like warm butter. Adorned with arugula and balsamic vinaigrette, you may as well be in Europe.

For the Main Course

From multiple lamb dishes to shrimp-based entrees, the menu here is updated quarterly to reflect seasonal produce and guests’ tastes. One page long, it’s short and sweet, offering enough diversity to accommodate a variety of palates, but not so long your mind is tired out after scanning it.

Lamb Rack Romana is made up of savory, comfort favorites like roasted fingerling potatoes, which are served extra hot and butter-loaded. The broccoli tempuraand honey mustard aioli nicely set off the lamb itself, which is served herb crusted and crispy.

For our vegetarians out there, the Mushroom Ravioli is a hearty version of the traditional pasta. The vegetable-packed ravioli are served over a tangle of beans, spinach and tomatoes, all in a pesto broth that’s lighter than normal pesto. For an added punch of protein? Those that each fish, our pescatarians, can add salmon or shrimp for an extra cost. (Our only warning here is to those that like their salt. There’s little to no salt flavor in this dish, which is healthy on the heart, lacking for those that love their popcorn extra salted.)

 

   

Something Sweet

No matter how many squash blossoms you tucked into earlier, we recommend getting a dessert. With options like Nutella Creme Brulee and Peach Cobbler, you can always split it with fellow full diners.

The salted caramel bread pudding is good on its own but really taken to the next level when paired with cool vanilla ice cream and thick caramel sauce. Sparking reminders of funnel cakes and bakery pastries, it seems to conjure up a feeling of nostalgia.

The chocolate cake with black cherry ice cream is ideal for those who love their sweets both fruity and chocolate-based. Served with fresh strawberries, the best part of this dish is how the hot, lava-centered cake contrasts with the ice cream’s cold temperature. Though delicious, our top vote has to go to the salted caramel bread pudding.

Ambience

At nighttime, the twinkly lights come on, as does the mood music. Though ideal for a variety of events and celebrations, this spot is best for date night. Whether you’re taking your honey out for an anniversary or simply want to spend time together, romance is the prominent tone.

Here earlier in the day?

The vibe is similar, though somewhat distinct in La Jolla’s day time. Get a feel for a midday meal experience at our blog La Jolla’s Most Hidden Restaurant: A Treasure Worth Finding.

Love Beer? Public House, Pub for the True Beer Enthusiast

Love Beer?

There’s an old German proverb that says, “It takes beer to make thirst worthwhile”. Here at Public House in La Jolla, California, they couldn’t agree more. This pub carries 300 to 400 beers at a time, with 34 of them rotating on draft. Whether you’re craving something from France, Belgium or right here in America, Public House on Kline makes thirst worthwhile, especially with its casual, watch-the-game ambience that’s perfect for unwinding after work.

Happy Hour

Enjoy a happy hour, or even a few of them!, Wednesdays through Fridays from 3 to 6 pm. Draft beers are $2 off, wine $5 a glass and all starter appetizers half-off. (That makes some of the top favorites only $6.)

Until April 2015, Public House, La Jolla wasn’t even open on Mondays, but they decided that after making it through Monday, a hard day’s work after the weekend deserved a good beer. This is why Monday is now Industry Night, when happy hour is on from 4 to 7 pm and again from 8 to 10 pm. Sip on an after work beer or cider, such as their Nektar “Zombie Killer” Apple Cider with honey and cherry juice.

Appetizers

With all these great happy hour discounts, let’s get down to what these starters actually are. They aren’t just your basic french fries and onion rings. Instead, find options like Maryland Crab Cakes: three blue crab cakes drizzled in ancho mayo that are crispy on the outside and pull-apart soft on the inside. Served alongside the cakes is a colorful salad adorned with corn relish and feta cheese. Yum.

To share, the Kobe Wagyu Sliders are a perfect option. The three mini burgers are packed with grass-fed Wagyu Kobe beef straight from New Zealand. Topped with Cheddar Jack cheese and served with a large helping of french fries, they’ll have you feeling like an Aussie in no time.

For our non-meat eaters, we invite you to dive into the Veggie Bruschetta. This attractive plate comes out with 4 crostinis, each layered with avocado, buffalo mozzarella, diced tomatoes and gorgonzola with blue cheese dressing. Vegetarian or not, however, this is a delectable dish prime for any cheese lover.

 

Other Great Deals to Note

Tuesday is Burger Night, when you can buy one Angus or Veggie burger and get another free. It does require the purchase of two drinks but, with hundreds of amazing beers and delectable ciders to choose from, a beverage is a must here anyhow!

If you’re often in the downtown village on the weekend, you known how popular brunch is. What you may not know is that Public House does $15 for endless mimosas from 11 am to 3 pm. With purchase of a meal, you can enjoy a whole lot of orange juice and bubbly for a low cost!

The Lowdown on The Village’s Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Nestled in the heart of La Jolla Village is another restaurant outpost of Karl Strauss Brewing Company, a Top 10 California Craft Brewer with an extensive variety of beers. Before Karl Strauss beer goes onto the market, the in-house team performs 25 distinct tests to ensure it’s up to quality standards. Host your own 26th test to be extra sure by swinging by for a beer in the Village.

Putting the Happy in Happy Hour

Whether you’re on vacation or taking a break from a hard day’s work, indulge in great happy hour deals from 3 to 6 pm. Did you know that select apps such as the spicy hummus, boneless wings and beer pretzels are only $5? Pair these with a beer, well, wine or flight for only $4, making for a great happy hour at a great price.

 

Full-on Food

Perhaps you’re hungry for more than just appetizers. The food here is not your average pub grub. With an extensively diverse menu, the only problem here is deciding what to order. For those who want to keep with the beer theme, the loaded beer cheese soup is a three-cheese, sausage and bacon packed chowder that’s intensely satisfying. It’s made complete with a hearty, salted pretzel.

For something lighter that’ll still leave you content, we can’t say enough good things about the Ginger Crusted Salmon. Soft on the inside and crisp on the outside, this salmon is prepared with sauteed rainbow chard, steamed broccoli and avocado. Firecracker sauce coats the dish, adding the perfect punch of flavor to this nutrient-loaded meal.

Validated Parking

If your appetite is saying yes, but you’re concerned about parking, don’t worry. Finding a spot can be an adventure in the downtown La Jolla Village, but Karl Strauss validates for up to 2 hours at the underground parking garage on the corner of Herschel Avenue and Prospect Street.

Cask Night Thursdays

On Thursdays, come ready to have your thirst quenched at Cask Night at 6 pm. A Cask Master will introduce you to a new cask-conditioned beer, which is a brew that’s been matured in an 11 gallon cask to undergo secondary fermentation. This develops and enhances new flavors not experienced with regular keg beer. When served, it’s pulled from the cask via a siphon pump device so no CO2 is involved. The end result? One amazing drink.

While You’re Here

If you’re already in the heart of the village, we recommend strolling to La Jolla Cove after your Karl Strauss experience. If you have more time and deciding what to do, here’s sample itinerary for you at Itinerary for a Day at La Jolla Cove.

Best Restaurants in La Jolla Hotels

Best Restaurants in La Jolla Hotels

When you’re on vacation, you’re ready to relax and have planning made easy. By staying at a hotel with great dining at your fingertips, this comfort is easy to achieve. If you’re a local, enjoying a good meal at a restaurant in a La Jolla hotel can make you feel as if you’re on vacation yourself. Here are a few of our top picks for hotels with top-notch dining.

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Estancia

This all-inclusive resort in La Jolla’s Torrey Pines region offers not just one, but two restaurant options: the Adobe El Restaurante and Mustangs & Burros. Adobe El Restaurante, nestled on a second story patio that overlooks a large green courtyard, is their primary lunch location.

Sip on wine, and enjoy fresh sourdough with garlic butter from the bread basket while you wait for your main course, such as salmon nicoise salad, to arrive.

Mustangs & Burros, the main dinner venue just southwest on the property, is mostly outdoors. With a magnificent fireplace, well-designed seating and a beautiful patio roofing, it’s got character that will transport you to another country. The food is magnificent, the menu offering a variety of options such as Mustang’s angus burger and coriander crusted ahi.

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Grande-Colonial

The Nine-Ten restaurant at the Grande Colonial is award-winning on many levels. Its head chef Jason Knibb has received countless honors like “Best Chef in San Diego” and asked onto prestigious culinary shows such as “Iron Chef”. Enjoy his culinary creations at outdoor seating on Prospect Street, prime for people watching day or night, or sit inside to soak up the dim lighting and ambience of dinner time.

The lunch menu is light and refreshing, ensuring you’re satisfied without feeling overly full. When it comes to the dinner menu, there are a variety of enticing 3 and 5 course meals that are prepared to the finest of quality. The 3-course dinner with wine pairings is ideal for those who value wine that’s been exquisitely selected for each course. For chocolate lovers in particular, the Banyuls M. Chapoutier dessert wine served with the half-baked chocolate cake combination is an absolute must.

La Jolla Shores Hotel

Have a beach getaway, even if for only an hour or two, at the Shores Restaurant within the La Jolla Shores Hotel. Situated directly on the beach, it offers magnificent views. Home to a wonderful culinary team, it also offers incredibly well-made food.

Likely due to its seaside location, there’s a plethora of exciting seafood options. Try their flavor-packed shrimp tacos served with guacamole or dive into savory muscles. (The plate comes with a large crostini that becomes dangerously close to heaven when dipped into the muscle bowl’s superb broth.)

Interested in Booking?

Perhaps you want to do more than just dine at these locations, you’re interested in making a room reservation. Learn more about the hotel accommodations themselves at our blog: La Jolla’s Top 5 Hotels: Why to Book Now.

Best Places To Go On Taco Tuesdays in La Jolla

Taco Tuesday isn’t an occasional indulgence in Southern California; it’s a beloved weekly tradition. From beer battered to grilled, from classic cod to rare taco-fillings, restaurants in La Jolla, California have fierce competition for the best tacos. We did some serious food research to put together a list of our top recommends.

Hennessey’s

An Emerald Isle-inspired pub for tacos? Surprising, but true. Combine the great cultural inspirations of Mexico and Ireland by tucking into beer-battered fish tacos at Hennessey’s on Herschel. Served with refried beans, cheese and crispy chips, this is a hearty meal that seriously hits the spot.

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The Hake

The Hake is a downtown spot to tone down heaviness and take things lightly, especially when it comes to food. The ahi “tacos” are served in crisp, jicama slices rather than tortillas that make the dish extra light and refreshing.

For something a bit heartier, we recommend the Rosarito shrimp tacos. Battered and coated in chipotle mayo sauce, each bite combines an eye-popping variety of textures and flavors that leave you incredibly satisfied.

The Shores Restaurant

Speaking of shrimp, we have to include the Shores Restaurant at the La Jolla Shores Hotel. Rather than being battered and fried, these grilled shrimp are hefty enough to pack a wicked punch of flavor, but not so heavy you feel any discontent after. Layered with cabbage and served with sinfully creamy (yet nutrition-packed) guacamole, they’re great for either dinner or lunch.

The Promiscuous Fork

Like the restaurant name’s inspired-utensil, here you can be shameless in your love for tacos. The Promiscuous Fork has a variety of options, but we have to bow down with praise at the blackened salmon tacos.

The salmon is encrusted with cajun a seasoning that packs a seriously powerful punch. It’s then placed on a corn tortilla and layered with cabbage and a decadent, sweet sauce to balance out the sassy spice. Served in a casual, get-to-know-your-neighbor ambience, it’s a prime spot for a real locals experience.

Already looking to Wednesday?

Perhaps you now know where you want to hit for Taco Tuesday. What about tomorrow? Have a plan for where to cheers to Wine Wednesday? No worries; we’ve put together a top list for you to check out at The 3 Best Wine Wednesdays in La Jolla.

Dining in La Jolla Grocery Stores: Experienced it?

When we go to grocery stores, we typically get food to stock our cupboards with. What if we could get ingredients for tomorrow’s lunch, but enjoy dinner for ourselves and our families at the same time? Great news is that at several sweet grocery spots in La Jolla, you can do just that.

Bristol Farms

Head to Bristol Farms for groceries, then hit Bristol Farms Cafe for a meal any time of day. They have specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day of the week. Early shoppers can enjoy hearty options like Bristol’s Own Traditional Breakfast of 2 eggs scrambled, 2 strips of bacon, morning potatoes and 2 slices for wheat toast for just $4.99. Evening shoppers can look forward to daily deal meals like chopped chicken salad, BLT melts, filet of fish sandwiches and stuffed burgers (each just $7.99).

There’s a wide variety of other types of food, as well, such as the salads, soup and even an ahi poke bar!

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is appreciated for its high quality food and organic products. Any food or items sold in the grocery store have to go through strict tests and submit to fierce guidelines to make it in.

That’s how you know the gastropub inside, Torrey Pints, has top of the line food, too. The ingredients must adhere to the same guidelines as that of the grocery store, making for seriously good dishes like crispy calamari and winter caprese salads.

They have great daily deals, too, the most popular being the $10 burger, fries and beer on Thursdays. Load up on groceries for the weekend festivities first, then sit down with your savory dinner and pint after!

Sprouts

Sushi Wednesday. Fresh baked breads from Bread & Cie daily. Organic produce. There’s a lot of reasons why Sprouts in La Jolla has so many loyal shoppers.

We highly recommend coming in on Wednesday for Double Ads Day, which means twice the number of specials for major savings. Plus, they may not have a restaurant or cafe in-house, but you can pick up thickly-packed sandwiches at the deli or freshly made sushi that’s ready to eat for a great, no-hassle dinner. It’s a wonderful way to get high restaurant quality without having to make the trek to one!

Hungry for More?

If you’re interested learning more about the food scene in La Jolla in general, we invite you to check out our more in-depth Food Page.

Best Burger Deals in La Jolla

Best Burger Deals in La Jolla

Since the hamburgers invention in the 1800s, America has been passionate about this meat-packed (or veggie-version!) creation. With ever-growing ideas and the bacon craze, burgers continue to wow, morph and amaze. La Jolla, California is proud to have many restaurants featuring this great staple. Throughout the week, here are some ways to get some mouth-watering burgers on great offers.

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Tuesdays: Hennessey’s

Imagine going on a dinner date and, at the end, the waiter says, “We decided we’re going to take half off your bill. Thank you for dining with us.” Every Tuesday, this is exactly what happens at Hennessey’s. It’s buy 1 Burger. Get 1 Free.

If you’re going solo or just really love these burgers, here’s a popular trick. Buy the first one to eat for lunch. Get the second to go, and dinner is taken care of.

Also on Tuesdays: Public House

For another sweet burger spot on Tuesdays, check out Public House. Similar to Hennessey’s, you can get 2 for the price of 1. It’s buy one Angus or Veggie Burger, get one free.

However, please take note this deal is from select hours of 4 to 8 pm and only available with purchase of 2 drinks. But, let’s be real, at a spot famous for the number of beers it has on tap, who wouldn’t want a pint in hand anyhow?! (This deal is also dine-in only.)

Thursdays: Torrey Pints

At the Whole Foods at UTC, find the gastropub Torrey Pints tucked into the right-hand side. This hidden gem has great food, including burgers featured in a wildly popular deal on Thursdays. Get an organic burger, french fries and beer for just $10. Yum.

Islands

For those who like burgers in miniature form, Islands offers sliders on a their exclusive happy hour menu every weekday from 4 to 7 pm. Dive into beachside sliders (4 mini burgers with caramelized onions, ketchup, Island Reds and pickles) or Hawaiian sliders (which include grilled pineapple, caramelized onions, teriyaki sauce, swiss cheese, lettuce and mayo on mini toasted buns). These appetizer style burgers at 3351 Nobel Drive, are ideal for one or to share.

Everyday, All day: Burger Lounge

Burger Lounge offers fantastic, organic, grass-fed beef burgers and heavenly, hand-made veggie burgers every day of the week at great prices. Because it’s hard to spend over $10 any day or time, it’s a good option all week long.

Also, since burgers are their specialty, they have several varieties that include turkey and salmon. The quinoa burger is definitely a game-changer that has vegetarians and meat-eaters applauding alike. Head to 1101 Wall Street to experience it for yourself.

Hungry for More?

To learn more about the culinary cuisine in La Jolla, check out our Restaurants Page. And if you’re looking for exclusive offers to keep you eating well at great prices, check out the latest at LaJollaDeals.com.

The 3 Best Wine Wednesdays in La Jolla

Made it through Wednesday? Congratulations; you’re over the mid-week hump! With 3 days of work behind you and the weekend that much closer, there’s no better way to celebrate than with a good glass of wine. La Jolla, Ca has a variety of spots hosting Wine Wednesdays that offer great wine at great prices. We did some recon and put together a list of our top recommends.

We Olive

For a hidden gem that specializes in local California wine, head to We Olive on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 pm. With its shop front exterior on Prospect Street, few know to walk to the back for a wine bar with an ocean view. Come experience their unique, hard-to-find wines by the taste, glass or bottle. If you’re interested in a few, no need to choose. Get a flight instead!

     

The Shores Restaurant

Every Wednesday, come to the Shores Restaurant at La Jolla Shores Hotel for a unique, women-empowering event: Divas that Drink. This La Jolla hotel and restaurant puts together a delectable menu just for this event and offers select bottles half-price. These chosen wines are from female winemakers too, so divas, it’s a great chance to support your fellow ladies!

Nine-Ten

This fine dining establishment is home to award-winning chefs and a great Wine Wednesday deal. Any bottle of wine on their list during lunch, dinner or at the bar is half-off. Why settle when a heavenly, imported wine is 50% off?

What about the rest of the week?

These spots and many other La Jolla restaurants offer wickedly good happy hours that feature wine, beers, cocktails and more. Learn about some of our top recommends at The 5 Best Happy Hours in La Jolla.

Torrey Pints: The Gastropub You’d Never Find

La Jolla, California is famously known for the incredible Torrey Pines State Reserve. A far less known gem is Torrey Pints, the cleverly named bar nestled within UTC’s Whole Foods. This is a spot where you can get organic produce, top-of-the-line meat and…a cool, crisp beer. A bar within a grocery store has a lot of perks, and we’re quite excited to share them with you.

What You’ll Be Sipping

Craft beer on tap. Wine. Cider. This spot has a beverage for everyone. And because they’re always looking to keep things fresh, the menu of drink items is constantly rotating and changing. It’s also good to note, if you’re looking for a drink of the non-alcoholic variety, they have you covered. Torrey Pints offers non-alcoholic beer and classic root beer on tap.

The Cuisine

Now, let’s get something you can sink your teeth into. From beef-packed burgers to salads and crispy calamari, there’s something here for everyone. The chefs at Torrey Pints are incredibly passionate about their food, something clear upon tasting. Ingredients are of the highest quality, going through incredibly rigorous quality-control tests and guidelines to make it into Whole Foods.

Chef Vanessa Briscoe and Bar Team Leader Francisco Ledezma say a top perk being in a grocery store is the creative freedom it gives the pub. If Head Chef Vanessa Briscoe is inspired to add something new to the menu or create a special for the day, any ingredient is almost guaranteed to be carried right here in Whole Foods. It also ensures for highest quality. By going to the seafood department and inquiring what’s the most prime, fresh fish that day, she can make sure she is getting the best of the best for Torrey Pints customers. This can definitely be verified by the crispy calamari, which are breaded in a wonderfully concoction primarily made up of olive oil, salt and pepper.

For devoted carnivores, the only problem here is the variety of enticing options to choose from. In the highly-applauded Banh Mi Sliders, you’ll find softly pulled pork layered with pickled daikon and shredded carrots, all on miniature Bread & Cie pretzel buns. Not only do they have an aroma that makes you want to tuck in pronto, the sliders are very appealing to the eye.

Torrey Pints’ most popular deal of the week by far is on Thursdays. Why? You can enjoy a massive, flavor-packed burger, french fries and it’s-almost-the-weekend beer for only $10. Wow.

 

For the vegetarian and vegan demographic, don’t worry; there are plenty of options without meat. The Kale Caesar salad. The Maui Taro Burger. Veggie Egg Rolls. The Winter Caprese, which is a truly unique dish made up of beets, herbed honey pine nut ricotta, wild arugula and beet oil. With so many contrasting colors, it’s definitely Instagram worthy.

Great Deals on the Daily

In addition to Thursday’s fantastic $10 Burger, Fries and Beer offer, other popular weekday deals include:

  • Monday: Wings & a Beer ($10)
  • Tuesday: Taco Tuesday ($6)
  • Wednesday: Flight Night ($6 Flights al day)
  • Friday: Oysters (6 for $6 – Where else can you get a fresh oyster for $1?)
  • Saturday: BirdRock BBQ Smokehouse Trio ($12)
  • Sunday: Waffle Brunch 9 am – 12 pm

Events & Live Music

The food is an enticing pull in and of itself, but there are other great things about coming here. Friday and Saturday nights this place typically features local music from a variety of genres, so sit back and chat while listening to some smooth blues or foot-tapping guitar. (Torrey Pints makes sure the music is at just the right volume. Clearly audible, but not so loud you have to shout to friends across the table.)

A variety of events are hosted by Torrey Pints, such as gatherings of local craft brew companies letting customers experiencing their latest and greatest, so make sure to be on the lookout for up-and-coming events!

Grocery Store Perks

Besides the ultimate pick of ingredients, there are other great perks to being in a grocery store. For example, if you have a child who has pretty specific tastes when it comes to food, you don’t have to worry about what options are on the menu. Simply stroll over to the main grocery area and pick up a guaranteed, go-to item they’ll enjoy, whether that’s an apple, fruit roll-up or bag of pretzels!

Or perhaps you have a good amount of grocery shopping to get done but have a friend or spouse who doesn’t need to join the journey. Simply drop them off at Torrey Pints and take your time making selections through the store. They’ll be more than happy to sip a pint for a bit, and you don’t have to feel rushed!

Combining the Torreys

To have a full “Torrey” themed-day, how about hiking the Torrey Pines State Reserve before hitting this spot for groceries & a well-earned drink? We’ve already laid out the itinerary at our blog: The Perfect Day at Torrey Pines, Already Planned!

Catania: Coastal Italian Cuisine with a Coastal View

Catania: Coastal Italian with a Coastal View

The main streets of La Jolla village, Girard Avenue, and Prospect Street, hold many wonderful gems. One of the newest? Catania, a coastal Italian-inspired restaurant, on the rooftop of La Plaza. From its wonderful, glass-clinking atmosphere and friendly staff to its happy hour, it’s a venue that should be on the top of everyone’s must-try list.

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Drinks

The drinks menu is as long, if not even longer, than the food menu itself. From signature cocktails to wines and draft beers, there something for every type of taste bud The Il Padrino, consisting of Adam’s Amaretto and Scotch, is perfect for Scotch lovers who enjoy a hint of sweet. For mimosa lovers, we recommend the Bellini. Catania’s version utilizes seasonal puree such as orange pulp infused with Tahitian vanilla.

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This puree is carefully blended into the champagne and prosecco and results in a light, foaminess that is incredibly refreshing. Get here by 6 pm on weekdays for happy hour to get these drinks at special prices.

Cuisine

This cuisine is not simply inspired by Italian culture, it’s authentic Italian food coming straight from a chef who worked in Italy for years before. You can taste the genuine flavors for yourself in the Funghi Pizza (fontina, seasonal mushrooms, garlic and oregano) and the Merguez Sausage Pizza (spicy lamb sausage, tomato, mozzarella, oregano and an egg, yes an egg). The unique twist of the egg on the Merguez Sausage is that it’s cracked into the middle and kept soft on the inside. As you pick up each slice, dip it into the creamy yolk for a truly rare pizza experience.

During happy hour (weekdays 3 to 6 pm and Friday & Saturday after 10 pm), these large pies of cheese and flavor-packed heaven are only $11 each, which may make them taste even better.

Something Sweet

It’s not uncommon to find ice cream or cake on a restaurant’s dessert menu, but how about a Rhubarb & Blood Orange Crostata? Served with vanilla gelato and candied orange zest on top, this Catania treat ends a meal with just the right amount of sweet.

We also recommend the Chocolate Budino. A pudding as rich as Donald Trump, it’s a treat chocolate lovers will definitely want to try.

Say Oui to We Olive: A Hidden Gem with an AMAZING Happy Hour

We Olive:

A Hidden Gem with an AMAZING Happy Hour

In the heart of La Jolla, California, walk along Prospect Street, and you’ll see a charming spot that’s has bottles of olive oil and other goodies up to the ceiling. We Olive may just look like a shop, but head to the back and prepare for a surprise. The ocean-facing side is a laid-back, charming wine bar with a patio looking onto the Pacific. With a fire for any windy chills and bar stool seating that maximizes ocean views, it’s a true hidden gem, especially during their happy hour.

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Olive Oil Tasting

Upon walking in, you find yourself reading labels with every type of olive oil and balsamic vinegar you can imagine. From rosemary-infused and basil olive oils to peach white and aged balsamic vinegars, the staff are happy to walk you through a brief lesson on olive oil and help you find your favorites.

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Although, why not get the full experience and sit down at the patio for happy hour or wine tasting? While you’re waiting, they’ll have a plate brought out to you with bread and various olive oils & balsamics for dipping and tasting. Anything they serve is for sale, so when you discover the magic of Arbequina Olive Oil paired with Aged Balsamic Vinegar, you can take them home with you.

Wine Tasting

A little wine tasting with your olive oil exploration really takes things to the next level. You can try wine by the taste, glass or bottle, and if you’re interested in a variety, get a flight. They keep things local with wine only from California, mostly from smaller boutique venues that offer unique, one-of-a-kind cases.

The best time to come for tasting? Wine Wednesdays, from 3 to 7 pm, when you can get half-priced glasses of wine!

Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie Plate

This plate is just the right size for sharing with a few fellow cheese lovers. The cheeses are rotated as the seasons change, so you can continually come in to something new and fresh. Three types of cheese are served with crackers, fruit, nuts, and unique meats (like boar!) The team here always makes sure to select ingredients that go incredibly well together.

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We Olive also offers a variety of hummus plates. No need to choose just one; select the We Olive Dip Duo, so you can taste two. The garden basil hummus & black olive and blood orange hummus go wonderfully with the crackers and colorful array of vegetables. The black olive and blood orange hummus on the sliced cucumber is particularly refreshing!

Happy Hour

Speaking of great offers, happy hour is held Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 7 pm. You’ll find exclusive deals on both glasses & bottles of wine and craft beer. We recommend enjoying a refreshing drink with one or two of the plates on the happy hour menu, the cheese and hummus plates which are great for sharing and wine pairing.

Important Note for Locals

Show the team you’re a La Jolla local and get happy hour deals every day of the week! It’s We Olive’s way of saying this spot appreciates this town’s locals and is proud to serve the community.

And if you work in La Jolla, make sure to come by Mondays for Industry Night. All wine glasses are half off! Now that’s a good way to end a hard day’s work.

What Next?

As you’re in the heart of the Village at 1158 Prospect Street already, we recommend checking out La Jolla Cove. If you’re in a mood for a walk after your relaxing wine, cheese and/or olive oil experience, take the coastal walk over to La Jolla Shores. Learn more about it and other hikes at the 5 Best Hikes & Trails in La Jolla.