Perched on a cliff in La Jolla, Crab Catcher's sea-foam-green dining room surveys the source of its acclaimed 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.
Oceanside eatery with steaks, seafood, and a bounty of gluten-free options.
Where to Sit: To make the most of this beachside experience, try snagging a table next to the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Pacific.
When to Go: Head in between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. for happy hour. Jake's specials extend beyond the typical drinks and appetizers into the realm of fresh seafood at persuasive prices.
While You're in the Neighborhood
For date night: Just next door, Powerhouse Park (1658 Coast Boulevard at 17th Street) sports an outdoor theater and palm-tree-studded lawns ideal for a romantic stroll.
For flying solo: About 3 miles away, the Del Mar racetrack (2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard) hosts summer-long thoroughbred-racing events, inviting guests to place bets on which steed will win the race and which jockey will be named Best Dressed.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: For a taste of Jake's at home, whip up the restaurant's breakfast potatoes using this recipe.
Outside The Beach House – Cardiff by the Sea, waves crash and ocean breezes blow as diners enjoy their meal on a patio that sits beside the Pacific Ocean shoreline. The feast for the eyes is only matched by Executive Chef Michael Ingino’s menu of seafood, steak, and fowl entrees. To ensure meals are as fresh as possible, the selection of these entrees changes daily, depending on the season and whether any new vegetables have been invented lately.
On a sunny day, salty sea breezes tumble over the sands of Solana beach and through the open windows of Woody's Solana Beach eatery. Chefs complement the ocean-enriched air with fresh catches of the day prepared to diners' specifications and their classic seafood paella with chorizo sausage and saffron rice. The restaurant hosts brunch every Sunday, which, in addition to hot breakfast eats, features such drink specials as bottomless champagne, for which diners can enjoy while watching Sunday NFL games on Woody's eight high-definition TVs. Corrugated metal emulates the texture of water, covering the walls between exposed metal beams and wood paneling. The hammered-tin silhouette of a whale frolics amid the faux waves, creating a playful metallic seascape.