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Romantic La Jolla Dinner- Are these places on the right track?

Hi!

The hubby and I will be visiting La Jolla this weekend for a much needed break away for the kiddo. We have friends in the area, however Sunday we are looking to have a nice romantic dinner for two. I did a search and this is what I came up with

Georges Ocean Terrace- Probably out since open table says no reservation available on Sunday 4/27

Tapenade

Nine-Ten

I know this list is short, so if there is a stand out place that we are missing please chime in.

Here are some basic's about us and requirements for our dinner. We are from Phoenix, Arizona so please no Mexican themed.

I am pregnant with our second but really a non issue I can work with most menu's.

We love seafood, asian, new american classics, french bistro and FRESH, FRESH, FRESH ingredients.

Would love ocean view, however if the food is first rate and no view, we'll take the food.

Our price point is roughly 45 per person not inlcuding drinks.

Staying at the Grand Hyatt La Jolla, have car will travel.

Thanks in advance.

Leanne

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  1. Those are all great places. Nine Ten is one of my favorite restaurants, but if you want the view is what you want, I would recommend Azuls.

    1. Georges Ocean Terrace is pretty casual and the food isn't all that great. Georges Modern downstairs is the better choice. Nine-Ten and Tapenade are both lovely. Nine-Ten can get a little noisy, but perhaps not so much on a Sunday night. Azul is also a good suggestion.

      For one of the other nights you're in town, you might consider the happy hour at Roppongi. The entire appetizer menu (and it's a decent one) is half price as has been the alcohol (which I know you're probably not drinking). The caveat is that you have to sit on the patio for the deal, which isn't bad considering the weather for next weekend is supposed to be good. The food is generally pretty good here and it's possible to eat well for a reasonable price.

      1. Marine Room isn't on your list, but that's what I'd suggest if you're looking for a romantic setting. I don't think Nine-Ten or Tapenade really fit the bill in that respect. Marine Room is right on the water, and the food is quite good.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Josh

          I will second the marine room beautiful view, and the food really is good. Another possibility is AR Valentine up in Lodge at Torrey Pines. Really pretty grounds and a good use of seasonal ingredients.

          1. re: Josh

            I agree with Marine Room for the most romantic setting. Sunday-Thursday they have a $40 3-course menu but it might be hard to eat there under $45 when going a la carte.

            1. re: DougOLis

              That is a good bargain - however I've generally found that their prix-fixe is substantially less good than the a la carte. My prix-fixe experiences there have always left me wondering what the fuss is about. A la carte, while pricey, is a much better food experience. YMMV.

              1. re: Josh

                Josh, I'm pretty sure the Marine Room is running their Restaurant Week menu for the remainder of the year. Restaruant traffic in general is slowing a bit due to the uncertainty in the economy. I know several restaurants decided to keep on offering their RW menus as a way to keep people coming back in. I'm 99% sure the Marine Room was one of them. The year I went to the Marine Room the meal was quite nice and a very good value for what we got.

                But, in general, I agree with you about Prix Fixe vs. A La Carte. I perfer a la carte too because I what I want to order usually isn't offered prix fixe <sigh>

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  My first Marine Room meal was during a RW three years ago, and it was good. It's just not as good as a la carte. Some of the a la carte stuff I've had there has been really amazing.

          2. Great job, you've done your homework. Of your recommendations, George's Modern does Cal-Cuisine really well and has a great view. It's be my first choice. My second choice would be Tapenade. Nine Ten is pretty good, but I wasn't blown away when I last dined there, however, it does have a loyal following on the board.

            1. Definitely try calling George's Ocean Terrace. I had to call to get a lunch reservation a few weeks ago - I don't think they put up all of their available tables on Opentable.

              Tapenade and Nine Ten are both good (but no view) you might also want to try Whisknladle. It's new, and they specialize in fresh housemade everything, which sounds like it might be up your alley. AR Valentien is also a good recommendation for fresh simple cooking, but it's a few miles up the road. I am not a huge fan of the Marine Room - and it would probably be out of your price range.

              1. Everyone has great advice for you and if you go to the Marine Room, I would do off the menu vs. prix fixe..I actually like it better for drinks and app's then dinner..
                Some other restaurants not mentioned in LJ that can be quite good with great ocean views is the Crab Catcher..
                Next to Hyatt LJ is one of my fav's for Asian/Sushi is Cafe Japengo..maybe not for your big romantic dinner but its a great place to eat.
                La Valencia has the Sky Room and friends dined there on NYE and loved it..pricey
                Jack's La Jolla is another option too..
                All the best Leanne!

                6 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  I have from time to time business related dinners at Cafe Japengo and so it's nice to get the food for free but if I would have to pay for it I would say that Tapenade, 9-10, George (but only the upscale restaurant, the Terrace has quite disappointing food) are much better choices for a similar price.

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Drinks and apps at Marine Room aren't as good as they used to be - the area for sitting and having cocktails by the windows is gone, replaced with tables for diners. Very lame.

                    1. re: Josh

                      WTF!!
                      Very lame indeed..
                      Where is the bar area now?
                      Changes the whole dynamics of the Marine Room.
                      Nothing like being stared at from the staircase while your trying to have a romantic dinner..
                      Thanks Josh for letting me know and other Chowhounds too!

                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        It's now set kind of back. Hard to explain, other than to say it sucks.

                        1. re: Josh

                          I bet it's where the dance floor and piano used to be..

                  2. Wow, Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. We look forward to some great dining. I will report back!

                    Leanne

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Leanne

                      I respectfully disagree with those who cite the Marine Room as a romantic restaurant. Sure the view is great, being right on the beach and all, but the space feels dated (kind of like 1950's country club WASP, which most of its crowd seems to be), and the food is only okay, especially for the price. My vote would be for Trattoria Acqua in downtown La Jolla (there's an open thread on this board right now). While not right on the beach, they have beautiful views (be sure to ask for a window seat), the food is seriously delicious northern Italian (and ten times better than the Marine Room), plus they are in the heart of La Jolla and a stone's throw from the Cove (the Marine Room is in the middle of a residential neighborhood). Go to La Valencia for pre-dinner drinks (sit in the gorgeous room which overlooks the ocean -- we almost got married there), then wander over to Trattoria Acqua for dinner. Muy romantico! http://www.trattoriaacqua.com/