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La Jolla this Friday night

My wife and I will arrive from NC the day after Thanksgiving, and it will be my first trip to the area.
I have read all the La Jolla posts, as far back as I can and have assembeled the following "short list" for Friday night: George's - main dining room, Roppongi's, Fresh, or Trattoria Aqua. Nine-ten is is our hotel so I will try it later.
A friend of a friend recommended Top of the Cove but their online menu left me flat.
I would appreciate some feedback, particularly about George's (main room) and Top of the Cove.

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  1. top of the cove has a very simple menu, as do many places in La jolla.

    I visited tapenade, its slightly off prospect and its actually a nice french restaurant. the duck breast there is melt in your mouth tasty.

    George's is nice, its pretty standard fare. Roppongi has more of a fusion/hawaii style with it, kind of like roy's but tastier.

    1 Reply
    1. re: clayfu

      You know, I could swear that I recently read about Top of the Cove closing for a while (it has been sold, and is being "rethought"), but I can't find any reference to that. Their web site is still up, but that doesn't mean a lot.

    2. oops just wanted to add. you'll probably want to make reservations , this weekend might be very packed. Even on non holiday weekends tables can take up to 2 hours

      1. Roppongi is pretty bad in my experience as is Trattoria Aqua, but what about adding on Jack's or La Valencia?

        1. Roppongi's is very good. Their best deal is their 4-6 pm happy hour special where you get all their tapas/small plates 50% off. Essentially the only time we eat there is during happy hour, so can't really vouch for the regular menu.

          Jack's is very good--3 menus w/ 3 different levels and dining experiences (very casual, upscale bar or formal dining room).

          I have only eaten at La Valencia for weddings or group functions and found their food to be mediocre, average hotel food. Unless they have a separate restaraunt of some sort, I'd skip it b/c there's much better eatings in La Jolla.

          Tapenade has excellent French food. It's truffle season and they put them on the menu. Last year we had a divine black truffle and scrambled egg dish that just melted in our mouth!

          George's main dining room has excellent food and you won't go wrong there.

          1. Since this is your first time in the area I would suggest starting your evening out by watching the sunset at the Marine Room. It is just down the hill a bit from the Prospect area of La Jolla and has the best view due to the fact that the restaurant is built below the mean high tide line so the waves actually hit the glass as you sit in the lounge. You could then move on to dinner in downtown LJ.

            1 Reply
            1. I would also recommend Jack's, particularly if you are also looking for a social scene on a Friday night. (Pasquale's is pretty good for a social scene)...for a more casual ambience but very good food at a reasonable price, I would also recommend Bernini's Bistro. Enjoy.

              1. If you have more than one night and would like a quiet out of the way place that's delicious, try Come On In, a little bistro just off of Girard (walking distance from your hotel). They are open for lunch, too but it's much more casual. If you happen to be staying long enough to be there on a Thursday night they serve a lamb shank special that is out of this world. The white linen comes out for dinner...only about seven tables so you may want to call ahead.

                I had dinner at Nine Ten about two months ago, and was pleased with the food. It wasn't mind blowing, but I had the tasting menu paired with the wine and was very satisfied. The flavors were clean, west coast centered, and the pairings held up well. The chef is a member of the slow food movement and the menu trends towards the artisanal and local philosophies of the movement. There was hardly anyone in the restaurant however, so the atmosphere felt a bit dead. We were able to get a table out on the patio that had a nice view of the sunset (though it won't match the view from George's or the Marine Room).

                If you're looking for a good funky coffee spot, stop by the Living Room (just next door to your hotel) or Pannikan (up Girard).

                Let me know if you'll be leaving the La Jolla area and exploring any other parts of SD. Some of my all time favorite food is in SD county!

                3 Replies
                1. re: ExercisetoEat

                  We will be in La Jolla Fri. and Sat. nights, and on to town for Sunday, Monday and Tue. nights. My wife has meetings in town Mon. and Tue. and I am going to play Torrey Pines! I don't know exactly WHERE in SD we will be located. Thanks for any help, although I realize greater San Diego is a big area!

                  1. re: Tee

                    If you're golfing at Torrey Pines (beautiful, beautiful course, great time of year to do it!) around lunch time the grill adjacent to the driving range has awesome hamburgers, a "chicken under a brick" sandwich, and other lunch items.

                    Once you're downtown don't miss a stop by Extraordinary Desserts. This place has the best cake I've ever wrapped my lips around (I've tried at least seven different kinds), and respectable cappuccinos too. http://www.extraordinarydesserts.com/.... It's a great place to go after dinner for a glass of wine and dessert too. It's a very urban chic and minimalist interior, but really, who cares, it's all about the dessert!

                    Also downtown in Little Italy is one of my all time favorite restaurants, Indigo Grill. I just love this place because it blends the whole Pacific Rim into a funky and flavorful eating experience. It can be loud, it can be busy, it can be expensive, but I'm always happy to be there! http://www.cohnrestaurants.com/cohn/c... dishes are the butternut soup, the pipian encrusted Brie, and the applewood smoked pork ribs.

                    Finally if you meander off the downtown grid about five miles to the Hillcrest area, there is an authentic Mexico City styled restaurant called Chilangos. http://www.chilangosgrill.com/ The restaurant is run by a brother and sister team from Mexico. They use their mother's recipes (she was a chef for a German family living in Mexico City for many years), which are unlike any you'll find in a typical "Mexican" restaurant. It's a small place, you literally go into the kitchen to get to the restroom, but it's authentic and delicious.

                    1. re: Tee

                      if you're at the golf course, do not miss AR Valentien at the Torrey Pines Lodge. Really great food in a Craftsman style building. Quiet but not stuffy atmosphere.

                  2. If you venture a little past Hillcrest into North Park, there is an amazing restaurant called Spread, next to the North Park Theatre on University Ave. I've only eaten there once (they're closed Mondays, which is my only day off) but I'm still telling people about it. Everything is vegetarian, organic, picked-fresh-that-morning, but it's not "health-foody," if you know what I mean. The menu changes daily, but when my fiance and I ate there in the spring, we split a salad of 20 different kinds of field greens, with avocado, heirloom tomatoes, and edible flowers in a light vinaigrette; lavender guacamole, served with sliced fresh vegetables; the grilled cheese stack, served with heirloom tomato "ketchup" (the best grilled cheese sandwich I can remember eating); and for dessert, the chef brought out a large bowl of melted dark chocolate, on a dish of many different kinds of fruit - oroblanco, 3 kinds of apples, kiwi, berries, avocado - I never would have thought of dipping avocado in chocolate for dessert, but it was one of the yummiest and most surprising things I've ever tasted.