NC hound needs LaJolla recs
Staying on LaJolla Shores Drive and looking for something reasonably close (15 minutes or so). Looking to spend no more than $25 per entree (cheaper is better). Not a drinker, so wine list not impportant. Will be dining alone if that matters. Any cuisine is fine, the more exotic the better, (Pac Rim maybe?). Not interested in Italian unless spectacular. Thanks in advance.
Also any late night (11 pm -ish) since I am arriving late the first night.
La Jolla can be tough in terms of easily finding lower-cost dining. However, there are a number of places where you can eat on the cheap and still have something good.
Near where you are staying, at La Jolla Shores, there is a popular burger joint called Jeff's Burgers. (Obviously, not exotic.)
If you have a car and can easily get to downtown La Jolla, you'll have a lot of lower-cost options. Harry's Coffee Shop is popular for breakfast and lunch (again, not exotic). There's a small shopping center on Torrey Pines Rd. where it ends at Girard Ave. on the right side of Torrey Pines. In there you will find Marketplace Grille (Persian), Rimel's Rotisserie, and Porkyland. All three are bargain-priced and have good food.
On Girard Ave., closer to Prospect St., you can find Girard Gourmet. This is a small Belgian/French cafe. Great sandwiches on their house-made breads. They also have good lamb stew, beef burgundy, and excellent soups.
On Pearl St., there's a cool little fish store called El Pescador. They make great fish sandwiches and other seafood plates. Pretty spartan atmosphere - you're literally eating next to the display cases - but the food is good.
Another good, reasonably priced spot can be found on Prospect St. across from the Contemporary Museum of Art. Forgot the name, but they serve Mediterranean dishes. The filet kebab is very good. Prices are under $20 a plate.
If you want something a little fancier, George's at the Cove has an upstairs bar that serves a decent-sized menu of dishes under $20. The braised lamb penne is great, and the burgers are tops. They also serve some of San Diego's better local brews, from Stone and Ballast Point.
Finally, there is a Karl Strauss in downtown La Jolla. Another place you can eat for under $20. Their beer sucks, but the food is decent.
may want to do a search on the board b/c this is a frequent request. that said, for late night dining, Jack's Grill "might" be open b/c they have a bar on that level (Jack's has 3 different restaurants under the same roof). Food will run around the $25 range. Cafe Japengo in UTC (about 5-10 min up the hill from LJ Shores) is Asian fusion, has a bar and is a "scene." might be open late as well.
We just had dinner last night at Nine-Ten in The Colonial Hotel--EXCELLENT food and the half-baked chocolate cake is to die for! Not sure about entree price b/c we were there for SD Restaurant Week, but I think entrees should run around your price point.
In general, La Jolla is pretty quiet late at night. Just south in Pacific Beach is where all the bars and college aged people go (ie: late eats).
If you're really feeling like driving around on your first night, Tajima on Convoy Ave is open late. Izakura style Japanese food (ie: not a sushi or teppanyaki place). Ramen, udon and lots of other dishes. Convoy is about 15-20 minutes east of La Jolla.