Girls' Day Out Around San Diego
Hello SD 'hounds!
My friends and I are driving down from Los Angeles next week. We are open to what exact part of SD we end up in, but maybe around La Jolla? My friend goes to UCSD and says the area is a barren wasteland of megachains, so I'd love some help finding food that's local and tasty.
Our tastes run toward light and fresh. We need a nice lunch suggestion and maybe an afternoon snack and dinner choice.
We are open to all kinds of cuisine, but want somewhere to hang out in the sun. The food can be simple (salads, sandwiches, burgers, burritos, deep fried fish tacos, whatever is considered SD's BEST) but needs to be exquisite.
Bonus points for ocean view.
George's in La Jolla is right on the ocean and the views are spectacular with great food. Another great spot is Del Mar Plaza (15th/Camino del Mar) where Il Fornaio (chain, but a good one) has a cool wine bar and across the plaza, another fun spot Epazote (tho I think I read the name and format changed recently). Down in Pacific Beach, a really cool spot is JRDN, also right on the coast and serving up some nice edibles.
In the Del Mar Plaza is Pacifica Breeze Cafe. All outdoor seating with ocean views above the buildings and treese below. Good salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc. Beach is 1.5 blocks away. good for brunch and lunch.
Trattoria Aqua in La Jolla has some seats w/ water views. Mediterranean-Italian food.
Piatti's in La Jolla Shores doesn't have ocean view BUT their inside decor is very charming (Mediterranean style) and they have a nice outdoor patio. Good for lunch and dinner. Walking distance to the beach.
Afternoon snack--Michele Coulon's bakery in La Jolla, next to the Vons shopping center. Or Frutti Yogurt in UTC.
I would second JDRN in Pacific Beach. Great location you can see the ocean and the fun scene on the boardwalk. The food is awesome, I am still thinking about a perfect lunch there about a month ago. I think it fits your requirements perfectly.
I always make the same suggestion to people in your shoes.
Firstly, your friend is right in a sense. The area around UCSD is mostly a barren wasteland of megachains.
What you guys need to do is get in the car and head to downtown La Jolla. Take Torrey Pines Rd. all the way until it ends at Girard, and turn right. Go 2.5 blocks and stop at Girard Gourmet. This is a Belgian-style deli owned by a family of Belgian expats.
They have excellent salads and sandwiches, on their own house-made bread. They make pretty much everything on the premises, with the exception of some of the meats. They also have great cookies and small fruit pastries. Since you specified light and fresh, I'd suggest one of their veggie sandwiches. They do their own roasted eggplant and red bell peppers, and have a nice selection of cheeses to pair with them.
Get this stuff to go, and head down the hill to La Jolla Cove park. If you luck out, you might even find one of the cliff side-mounted picnic tables unoccupied.
Your best bet is to get in the car and head north along the coast to the Solana Beach/Encinitas area. For a snack and location it is hard to beat sitting in the bar area at the Brigantine, nestled between the Del Mar Race track and the Beach the place is great for fish tacos and oyster shooters. Dinner, I think Calypso is a fun place with really good food, french carrib. (reservations recommended).
Lunch? hmm, exquisite.. how about Mille Fleur? in Rancho Santa Fe. Its on the pricy side (but more reasonable during the day) it is a great place to 'do' lunch
Not sure if I'd recommend Calypso Cafe for an out of towner for the food. Went there once and was sorely unimpressed. The coconut milk ceviche was too sweet and milky--not enough spices or other flavorings. Entrees were ok but nothing that was really that outstanding, even their whole grilled fish.