Looking for Best Medium Priced Restaurants in La Jolla Area
I really like Barbarella in the La Jolla Shores area. Their menu changes often, but they usually have some nice appetizers such as fried calamari with fried wax beans or bruschetta and their entrees always include great pastas, pizzas, steak frites, fish etc. IMO the food here is really good for pretty modest prices.
Walked past La Taverna the other day and it looks as though it is going through an ownership change.
I definitely agree with Piatti's (similar to the Il Fornaio chain).
Come On In also serves dinner. Hard to beat the veal parmigiana with potatoes and vegetable for $ 17.95.
Bernini's Bistro is an excellent choice--think of Chive, except better food for 25% less money.
Sadaf is an excellent Persian restaurant.
The Village Grille is very good also. I really like their outdoor patio/bar, though not when the weather is cold like it currently is.
I liked the spice levels (and complexities), they also offer any dish with any meat or vegetable you like. I got duck panang curry, tofu curry, something called thai wrap (spinach leaves with little giblets you spinkle on), etc. I'm especially a fan of their panang, which other restaurants seem to drop the ball on consistently. I hope you like it if you try it...
I eat at Harry's all the time because my parents like to meet us there for breakfast, but I can't recommend the food. Soggy waffles with fake maple syrup in little peel-top containers, greasy eggs, limp bacon and undercooked hash browns. And that's on a good day. It's an institution though, so it continues.
Here are some recommendations for medium priced LJ Restaurants - I can't be too specific about the type because these are a bit eclectic:
George's Ocean Terrace (great view from the patio)
Jack's Grille (really good food)
Sammy's Pizza (pizzas, salads and bistro type entrees)
Rimel's Rotisserie (tiny hole in the wall with good seafood near Come on In)
Sandwiches from the Cheese Shop in LJ Shores or Girard Gourmet
Brunch at Piatti, Brockton Villa or Mission Coffee Cup.
For coffee and pastries I like the Pannikin on Girard - it's kind of an institution.
You might also want to to travel south on La Jolla Blvd to Bully's or a place called Beaumont's - I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I've heard good things. Maybe someone else can weigh in.
I've also heard good things about La Taverna, a tiny place just off Girard that might fit the bill for moderate priced Italian. There's also another place over on Herschel that is pricey but very good called Sante.
Whatever you do, avoid the little cafe across from La Taverna - it has a name that has something to do with a bell, and it is AWFUL.
I'm assuming your asking about coatal LJ (w. of I5). For breakfast try Harry's coffee shop, huge menu, good food, friendly service, and moderate prices. Italian I would choose Manhattans, some items are a little $$$, but you can get the best cannaloni in town for $14-$15, and the house wine is good (Farneze Sangiovese @ $6 a glass/ 20 a bottle), ambiance is fantastic with tuxed out waiters, comfy booths, and beautiful saltwater fish tanks, retro clasic. Bully's in LJ has prime rib for 2 for around $35 bucks, also Ravenswood Jack London Zin for $28 a bottle. El Pescador in La Jolla would fit you bill for seafood, fresh, good prices, counter service (great for lunch or very casual dinner). I can't think of a good rec for Chinese in LJ, does one exist?
In La Jolla, Mission Cup Cafe and The Cottage have excellent breakfast/brunch menus for good prices. Mission Cup is also open for lunch and has a great lunch menu. Their style is Latino-Asian. Damage will run about $10-15/person.
Piatti's in La Jolla Shores is a good, moderately priced Italian trattoria. Trattoria Aqua is pretty decent as well.
A really great deal in La Jolla is Roppongi's happy hour from 4-6 pm everyday. All their tapas/appetizers are 50% off. Order 2-3 of them/person and you have a filling meal. Do skip their sushi b/c it's overpriced and mediocre.
Come On In! also has good breakfast, baked goods and I think casual lunches.
Barbarella (across from Piatti's) and El Pescador are supposed to be good, although I have not had a chance to try either yet.
Jack's Grille is probably going to run you more than any of the places above, save Piatti's or Trattoria Aqua.