Raised on a Belgium farm, pastry pro Francois Goedhuys now peppers palates with European fare handcrafted from seasonal produce often plucked from his organic garden. The bistro's breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu tempts stoic tongues with a treasure trove of healthful noshables. Tuck in the eggplant sandwich painted with pesto and flattered with cheese on eight-grain or french-italian bread ($7.95) or the lamb stew swimming with german potatoes ($12.75).
Perched on a cliff in La Jolla, Crab Catcher's sea-foam-green dining room surveys the source of its Zagat-approved dishes: the ocean. Chefs let their hauls of fresh fish speak for themselves, simply accentuating sea bass with mustard-thyme sauce or tossing Mexican shrimp in cilantro-garlic butter. Patrons seated inside at lofty wicker chairs or hiding under the patio's tables complement their meals with wines hailing from vineyards nearby or as far as Australia.
Baking up a fresh, Californian spin on traditional New York-style thin-crust pizza, the chefs at Pizza Pronto craft gourmet pies using premium ingredients, a blend of Italian cheeses, and homemade sauces. They adorn their creations with all-natural toppings, including grilled eggplant, basil, and spicy gyro meat carved onsite. In fact, Pizza Pronto's fresh ingredients and crusts earned the eatery a 2012 Golden Grub Award and a spot on the Union Tribune's Best Pizza of 2012 finalist list.
As pizzas adopt golden hues inside ovens, chefs whip up hearty pastas, sandwiches, and marinated kebabs. They also forge robust salads that can complement any meal with crisp lettuce, veggies, and grilled meats.
Set near the sandy scenery of La Jolla’s beaches, Aloha Sushi Lounge marries Asian fusion sushi with its Hawaiian-influenced menu. Sashimi options such as the eight-piece tako—octopus ($12.50)—set tongues to feverish discussions not heard of since the discovery of fish in stick form. Specialty rolls such as the eel- and avocado-anchored Aloha roll ($12) or the portobello-packed Magic Shroom ($9) satisfy eaters who prefer their flavor layered. Small dishes perfect for sharing populate the starters menu, with morsels such as the oyster shooter ($2.50/oyster) or the flame-kissed Kobe beef slider ($11). Roomy cabana seating adds to Aloha’s chic, welcoming ambiance, and the intimate, low-lit interior makes it easy to hide being an affable octogenarian billionaire from inquiring first dates.
Dousing 16 different pasta dishes in housemade sauces, the chefs at Voce Del Mare foster gustatory glee while creating Italian cuisine during dinner and lunch. Inside the warmly lit dining room, servers dot white tablecloths with classic Italian appetizers, meaty or vegetarian salads, and seafood entrees. Contributing to the eatery's elegant ambiance, the gentle tinkling of piano music fills Voce Del Mare on weekend evenings. Delicate wrought-iron ferns creep up the white bar, giving way to slate-gray tiles and a smiling, solar-powered bartender. In the dining room, simple chandeliers illuminate dark-wood furnishings, potted plants, and the latticework of wine-bottle holders.