San Diego Restaurant Week: La Jolla Edition

San Diego Restaurant Week happens twice a year (January and then again in September or October) and is one of the most exciting culinary events of the season. Participating San Diego County and La Jolla restaurants offer designated fixed-cost menus throughout the week, each being two or three courses – an appetizer (sometimes two), a main dish, and a dessert. Most restaurants participate in either lunch or dinner, though some are doing both this year, and some choose to do a prix-fixe menu instead. Here are some of our picks for San Diego Restaurant Week in La Jolla!

For Lunch

Puesto

Where: 1026 Wall Street, La Jolla 92037
Cost: $15 per person
Cuisine/What to Get: Mexican, seafood. Puesto is a chic, casual spot that’s known for their epic tacos and incredible margaritas! Taco options include Chicken al pastor, zucchini and cactus, Maine lobster, and plenty more. There is a great selection of shared plates, bowls, and appetizers, as well as a few traditional Mexican desserts.

Spice & Rice Thai Kitchen

Where: 7734 Girard Ave #C, La Jolla 92037.
Cost: $10 per person for two courses
Cuisine/What to Get: Thai, Asian, fusion. From traditional noodle dishes like Pad Thai to main courses like yellow curry, cashew nut chicken, and Thai stir fry, there is plenty to choose from on this extensive menu! As one of the only Thai restaurants in La Jolla, this is a great spot to grab a casual lunch during the week – and it won’t break the bank.

Brockton Villa

Where: 1235 Coast Blvd, La Jolla 92037
Cost: $15 per person for two courses; two courses with wine pairing $20
Cuisine/What to Get: American, California, contemporary. Housed in a beautiful historic cottage right on the coast (with great ocean views), Brockton Villa is a great place for a more casual lunch. Main dishes include Beer Braised Corned Beef Sandwich, a Grilled Atlantic Salmon BLT, and a Cove Club. For dessert, we suggest their ‘world famous’ Coast Toast, which is a rich French Toast topped with vanilla ice cream.

Olive and Basil

Where: 8008 Girard Ave No 220, La Jolla 92037
Cost: $15 per person for two courses
Cuisine/What to Get: Greek, Mediterranean, Persian, seafood. Enjoy incredible Mediterranean food just steps away from La Jolla Cove! Olive and Basil is a great lunch deal for SDRW. The Hummus Platter is the way to go for the appetizer; main dishes include items like a chicken skewer plate, Gyro plate, and their signature Olive and Basil Pasta. You can add baklava or Persian ice cream to your meal for an extra $6.

Galaxy Taco

Where: 2259 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla 92037
Cost: $20 for two courses
Cuisine/What to Get: Galaxy Taco is a chic casual spot for tacos down at La Jolla Shores, and a great lunch spot for during the week. Shareable appetizers include made-to-order guacamole, Mexican chicken and rice soup, and a Mexican Caesar Salad. For the main dish, diners can choose any two tacos from their selection of nine – including Baja fried fish, Barbacoa short rib, Quesa Carnitas, and grilled avocado; to name a few! It’s a kid-friendly spot (complete with a kids menu), so this is a great place for families.

For Dinner

Catania

Where: 7863 Girard Avenue #301, La Jolla 92037
Cost: $50 per person for three courses; entire menu is available
Cuisine/What to Get: Italian, contemporary. Catania is known for its authentic, handcrafted Italian dishes. We recommend starting with the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio or the Braised Beef Meatballs, both of which are hit appetizers. Main entrées on the Restaurant Week Menu include a variety of pizzas, pastas, and a few select fish (including Whole Branzino and Grilled Swordfish) and chicken dishes.

Mustangs & Burros

Where: 9700 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla 92037 (at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa)
Cost: $30 per person for three courses
Cuisine/What to Get: Delight in a delicious three-course dinner on Mustangs & Burros’ hacienda patio this SDRW. This casual La Jolla restaurant serves up Baja-inspired cuisine for lunch and dinner; creative dishes are both locally inspired and locally sourced by the in-house culinary team, who also take a personalized approach to an innovative spirits program. Special new Baja-inspired entrée options for Restaurant Week include grilled Mahi Mahi, Bavette steak with lobster-corn risotto, and pan-seared duck with cherry balsamic.

The Grill at Torrey Pines

Where: 11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla 92037
Cost: $40 per person for three courses
Cuisine: American, California contemporary. Complete with a beautiful backdrop, the Grill at Torrey Pines sits atop the cliffs next to Torrey Pines State Reserve and the golf course, inside the Lodge at Torrey Pines. The spot is known for its fresh take on California cuisine and dedication to farm-to-table fare. For appetizers, we recommend the Ahi Tuna Carpaccio or the Green Goddess Salad. Entrée items include Wood-grilled Tri-Tip and a yummy Hot Smoked Salmon.

NINE-TEN Restaurant

Where: 910 Prospect Street, La Jolla (inside the Grande Colonial Hotel)
Cost: $50 per person for three courses; $75 per person with wine pairings
Cuisine/What to Get: American, California. NINE-TEN is an award-winning restaurant in the heart of the Village, known for its fresh, farm-to-table California contemporary cuisine. Appetizers include items like Short Rib Ravioli and Grilled Octopus, entrée dishes include Prime Beef Short Rib, Steelhead Salmon, and Anson Mills Far Verde + Roasted Vegetables.

Duke’s La Jolla

Where: 1216 Prospect Street, La Jolla 92037
Cost: $40 per person for three courses, your choice of entrée from a prix-fixe menu
Cuisine/What to Get: Hawaiian, Seafood, Contemporary. Duke’s has a wide ranging menu with plenty of options, including seafood, steaks, and more. We suggest starting with the classic Maui Onion Soup, followed by either the BBQ Baby Back Ribs or the Sautéed Macnut & Herb Crusted, which is a parmesan and panko-dusted fresh fish topped with tomato lemon caper butter, jasmine rice, and bok choy macadamia nut slaw.

The Marine Room

Where: 2000 Spindrift Dr., La Jolla 92037
Cost: $50 per person for three courses
Cuisine/What to Get: French, Seafood. The Marine Room is a world-class restaurant that sits right on the water and treats diners to incredible views of the crashing waves as they eat. You can’t go wrong with any dish on the menu here! Our favorite appetizer is the Lobster Bisque, while some of the delicious dinner menu available specially for Restaurant Week include Red Walnut Zaatar Coated Maine Diver Scallops and Sea Salt Crispy Skin Branzino. Signature entrées (regular menu items) are available for $15 more per person.

George’s at the Cove: Ocean Terrace

Where: 1250 Prospect St., La Jolla 92037
Cost: $30 per person for three courses
Cuisine/What to Get:American, contemporary, California. George’s at the Cove is famous for its sweeping ocean views and incredible patio dining. You just can’t beat the atmosphere for a night out with great food! Appetizer menu items for Restaurant Week include an assortment of small seafood plates (grilled octopus, fresh fish tacos, and Ahi tostadas), and this year’s dinner options on the Restaurant Week menu include Spaghetti with Clams, Sesame Crusted Tombo, Grilled Faroe Island Salmon, and Pork Tacos; to name a few!

For more information on all of the La Jolla restaurants participating in SDRW, including those in downtown San Diego and the rest of San Diego county, visit sandiegorestaurantweek.com!

 

 

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.

 

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.