Cheese Shop in the Shores
Alfonso's for nachos and marg's
El Pescador for fish sandwiches
Marine Room for drinks
Harry's Coffee Shop or the Cottage
Zenbu for sushi
Bahia's in Bird Rock for fish tacos
Crab Catcher for happy hour
La Valencia Hotel for brunch on the back patio overlooking the Pacific
George's Modern eating on the terrace for lunch
If you are there on a Sunday, try the farmer's market at the playground at La Jolla Elementary. I second Bristol Farms for fancy cheeses and meats. They also have my favorite coffee...Peets, and they even have ahi poke.
Brockton Villa on Coast Blvd is a great place for breakfast. They also serve lunch and dinner, but I've only done breakfast
Also good for breakfast, Harry's on Girard
Blue Coral has a good happy hour in the UTC area off La Jolla Village Drive by the Hyatt.
For more upscale dinnig try Azul or Trattoria Acqua on Prospect.
What about downtown, PB (Pacific Beach) or OB (Ocean Beach)? These areas are lots of fun and have great places to eat. My favorite is South Beach Bar & Grill on Neport in OB for fish tacos. I have lots more is you'd like.
two more great breakfast options in downtown la jolla- mission coffee cup cafe on wall street, and the cottage on prospect.
over by the hyatt in the UTC area [next to blue coral] you've also got cafe japengo for good sushi...or if you're in a carnivorous mood, fleming's.
second the rec for trattoria acqua [excellent italian], and zenbu for sushi.
i also like george's california modern, but although the view is great upstairs, the food is much better downstairs in the dining room.
oh, and as for groceries, there's also a TJs in the shopping center across the street from whole foods.
I would go to Nine Ten for dinner. Do not go to Brockton Villa for breakfast. That place is awful. Great view but that's it. The cottage is great. I also like Cody's on girard. I would do George's for drinks at sunset. There is a great cheese shop in the flower hill shopping center. It's called Aniata's. Great selection. I would also do Zenbu for sushi.
I don't think Brockton Villa is awful, you just have to know what to order. The Coast Toast is generally very good. Souffled french toast made with orange and grand marnier. They use Bread and Cie bread and pastries and have good coffee drinks made with Pannikin coffee (Pannikin used to run the place) I think some people don't like their eggs because they steam with the espresso machine steamer - a hold over from the Pannikin days.
I had a really good lunch the other day at George's Ocean Terrace, the first time I'd been there in a while and much better than my last visit. I would also recommend most of the places Beach Chick suggests - the food is not the draw at Harry's Coffee Shop though, it's one of those places everyone goes because they've always gone there. Piatti at the Shores is also pretty good, and is great for brunch - starting at 11 AM. The patio with the giant tree is a lovely place to sit in the spring/summertime.
re: Alice Q
beware of the birds in that tree at Piatti. We have had out of town guests "gifted" by the feathered friends while dining beneath it on two seperate occasions. i would also offer Barbarella's at the shores. Nice little bistro in a lovely garden setting...be sure to end with the fresh berry dessert crepe with vanilla marscapone cream.
Great bargain buster happy hours:
Azul - 1/2 price tapas in the bar area, several nice tables
Roppongi - 1/2 price sushi
Jacks - 1/2 price appetizers
Crab Catcher - not extraordinary food (hey, it's only happy hour), but the best views of the coast line and great food and drink happy hour prices.
Vigalucci's - New. Daily happy hour (I believe 4-7pm). Extensive appetizer list. The patio seems to be the new "place to be" in La Jolla on sunny Sunday afternoons.