Food & Drink in La Jolla


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  • Prepkitchen
    The small empire that is Whisknladle Hospitality started with a serendipitous meeting of French Laundry vet Ryan Johnston and aspiring restaurateur—and undaunted cooking-school dropout—Arturo Kassel. Their vision? Gourmet comfort food, with none of the guilty excess that term might imply. Just about every ingredient at Whisknladle, down to buttermilk dressings and canadian bacon, would be prepared from scratch, filling a menu that would change with the finest gradations of the seasons. "We want to find that balance of making our guests comfortable and pulling one foot out of their comfort zone," Johnston recently told San Diego Magazine—which means the french toast might exude lemon and lavender and the fried chicken might nest on purslane. In a 2008 review, the Union-Tribune described "delightful, soul-satisfying" dishes such as "juicy, perfectly roasted chicken" at "one of the most exciting restaurants in San Diego." The crowds agreed. So Johnston and Kassel decided to expand the experience, inspired, as their website says, "by our desire to eat Whisknladle-quality food on a regular basis while sticking to our restaurant-employee budgets." Prepkitchen is a little simpler and more casual, but dishes such as porter-braised short rib and biscuits with chorizo gravy prove the new venture takes the same care as the original when it comes to sourcing ingredients and clearly labeling sugar and salt containers.
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    7556 Fay Ave.
    La Jolla, CA US
  • Jose's
    Instead of bailiffs and judges, Jose’s Courtroom brims with surfers and sunbathers from nearby beaches, their hair still damp with saltwater and their flip-flops dusted in a thin layer of sand. The decades-old La Jolla institution draws beach bums, businesspeople, and tourists alike with its colorful cocktails and menu of Mexican favorites. Chef Jose Rodriguez puts almost 20 years of experience to work as he folds meats and seafood into tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. He stuffs burritos with tender chicken, juicy steak, and plump shrimp along with generous scoops of fresh salsa and guacamole. At ceramic-tile tabletops out in the boisterous dining room, diners nibble on chips and salsa and clink glasses of margaritas and bottles of Mexican beer. On the covered front patio, meanwhile, others enjoy the warm summer air, watching the sun set over the Cove. On the weekends, this festive eatery hosts dance parties, when DJs play popular music videos on the flat-screen televisions. The same flat-screen televisions also broadcast live sports, from action-packed football games to football games where they just kind of stand there and watch the clock wind down.
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    1037 Prospect St
    La Jolla, CA US
  • Fugu's Sushi & Wok
    Exotic fish waggle their fins at passersby from their aquarium at Fugu's Sushi & Wok, daring visitors to experience the ocean with all five senses. Yellow lights bathe dark wood tables in warmth as guests dive into fresh sushi, sashimi, and other cool treats. From behind the sushi bar, a skilled chef rolls and chops 60 types of maki and nigiri, including yellowtail hand rolls and two-piece bites of squid and octopus. Specialty rolls arrive accented by ingredients such as avocado, chili sauce, and white or brown rice and radiate more color than a rainbow trapped in a gumball machine. Warm Chinese entrees such as walnut shrimp and cashew chicken brim with earthy flavors, which pair nicely with the restaurant's selection of sakes and crisp white wines.
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    915 Pearl St.
    La Jolla, CA US
  • George's California Modern
    George's on the Cove couldn't exist anywhere else. Executive chef Trey Foshee—one of Food & Wine magazine's 10 Best New Chefs in 1998—grounds his seasonal menus in the very essence of San Diego and La Jolla Cove. Along with using locally-sourced produce and seafood, Trey and his kitchen staff create dishes that encapsulate Southern Californian flavors as they routinely spotlight one noteworthy ingredient amid other foraged and freshly-caught accents. This dedication to local culinary character, as well as the panoramic ocean views afforded to virtually every table, led Frommer's to laud it as, "Perhaps La Jolla's signature restaurant." Flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows, chefs put a contemporary spin on classic fish tacos by replacing tortillas with corn-nut-encrusted slices of raw yellowfin tuna, and then wrapping the slices around diced tuna tartare and fried avocado. A seasonal a la carte menu often includes items such as california lamb loin and shoulder with charred eggplant and pine-nut risotto, and the bistro menu features potato gnocchi with bay scallops, roasted fennel, and sage. To compliment each meal, servers recommend bottles from the restaurant's massive list of domestic and international wines, which earned Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence. Reaching three levels, the restaurant provides both casual and refined dining atmospheres. On the ground floor, California Modern offers three distinct dining experiences: patrons may order a la carte items, commit to a six-course tasting menu, or fully discover Chef Foshee's philosophy by trying the TBL3 dining experience. At Table Three, patrons enjoy 12–14 courses, which function as more of a narrative than a menu. The courses incorporate local ingredients as well as the Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese cultural influences that define San Diego's cuisine and character. On the middle level, George’s Bar fosters a casual dining experience with a surplus of draft beers accompanied by the bistro menu and large televisions that frequently display sporting events. Upstairs, the Ocean Terrace provides the most stunning views and opportunities to spot floating islands, earning a place on Travel and Leisure magazine's list of the World's Hottest Rooftop Restaurants.
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    1250 Prospect St
    La Jolla, CA US
  • Smashburger
    The premier destination for amazing burgers and good burgers, Smashburger in La Jolla on Prospect St is one of the area's best-rated restaurants. It's an ideal choice for customers looking for excellent quality and a fantastic waitstaff. Defined by its outdoor seating, the restaurant is a fantastic option when you feel like soaking in some of that California sun. No specific attire is required, so feel free to dress casually and comfortably. Also, though the prices may be low, you can bank on the ingredients being fresh. In fact, you should certainly be able to enjoy a good meal for nine or ten bucks, and can probably get in and out for just a Lincoln if you try. With several vegetarian items on the menu, there really is something for every taste. Also, if you're searching for the perfect spot for a family gathering (or a birthday meal), it's rated as a nice local option for big groups and families with children, and at some point, everyone should try the french fries or the burger, as they'll both make a good impression. One of the better fast-food chains in the area, a trip to this Smashburger is definitely worthwhile. The service, in general, is "fresh" and "good." Also, its cost is known to be "good." Visitors to the restaurant have the ability to park nearby on the street.
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    1000 Prospect St
    La Jolla, CA US
  • The Sandwich Club
    Located in La Jolla, The Sandwich Club is a hugely-popular deli that has delicious pizza. This restaurant delivers an unforgettable dining experience set in a familiar vibe. It's a local favorite for customers interested in good food. Defined by its outdoor seating, the restaurant is a fantastic option when you want to kick back and relax in the Cali sun. There's no particular required attire, so feel free to dress comfortably. Also, though the overall price can be a bit on the low side, you won't be sacrificing any quality. There really is something for everyone, with healthy options, as well as vegan and vegetarian items on the robust menu. Plus, if you're on the lookout for the perfect spot for family or friends, it's been reviewed as a solid option for large groups and kids. In addition to its convenient take-out offerings, the restaurant even provides catering for events around town. A highly-regarded option for lunch in La Jolla, a visit to The Sandwich Club is definitely worthwhile. Visitors to the restaurant have the ability to park nearby on the street. Would you prefer to ride there? Bicycle parking is also provided.
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    7825 Fay Ave
    La Jolla, CA US

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