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Need a bar in La Jolla Colony/UTC- San Diego

  • c

I've lived in La Jolla Colony for over a year now and am disappointed that as far as i've seen there are no bars. From what I've found, I am left with El Torito/TGIFridays/Rock Bottom restaurant bars, or I can go to the Marriot/hotel bars, or go to Donovans/the wine bar.

Any one know of anything in the area (nobel or LV drive between 805 and 5) that's a decent bar, not way over priced and isn't necessarily a restaurant? Or anything that is a restaurant, but isn't a chain like the ones listed above. I've been to Miami Grill which is cool in theory, but not much for a scene.

I may be SOL on this one, but figure who better to ask....

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  1. SOL

    Definitely. SOL.

    Lived in that area for over a decade, way back when the Elephant Bar sat in the Rock Bottom location. Sadly, the defunct Sports Bar by Trader Joe's/Petsmart and Rock Bottom were/are the only remotely reasonable places.

    There is Japengo, the bar at Roys (in the restaurant, but an area of its own - but not great), but I guess we're into overpriced. PF Changs? I kid, I kid.

    Define your 'scene' and you might get some better responses. O'Brien's and Jack's would fit some (polar opposite) 'scenes'. The Hungry Stick others.

    1. As rotochicken says, define what you want in a bar. It sounds like you are not into the pricy, pretty people type of bars. It also sounds like you've pretty much run through all the UTC options, though I don't see Trophy's listed [I'M KIDDING].

      I like Rock Bottom's beers (they allow for some locality in their individual locations, and the LJ often has some decent offerings IMHO), but as a bar it is sorely lacking. Probably the best of a non-existent lot, though that is not saying much.

      For the most part, however, your closest options for more traditional bars are in Clairemont / Kearny Mesa and in PB (hah!).

      1. Second the SOL. If you want to live in an area with bars nearby UTC is certainly not the place. Since you have to drive anyways you might as well hit up PB or the Gaslamp district.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mliew

          Or if you want to get sloshed and don't have a designated driver, take that long ride on MTS Route 30, and take a cab back.

        2. Kind of a random suggestion, but how about Porter's Pub at UCSD? They've got a pretty decent selection of beer and sometimes good bands playing. Kind of a fun crowd for a change of pace.

          2 Replies
          1. re: camilles

            Porter's Pub! I went there once and loved it. UCSD's best kept secret. How do I get there? Park etc? Maybe I can googlemap it?

            1. re: pickypicky

              The Porter's Pub website (http://www.porterspub.com) hasn't been updated in a while, but they've got pretty good directions:

              Directions From Highway 5

              **Exit La Jolla Village Dr -West
              **Right turn on Gilman Dr (Main entrance for UCSD
              )**Left turn at second stop sign (Stop signs on Gilman are numbered)
              **Parking lot for Student Center is immediately on your right
              **From parking lot, we are building on the right (Lots side delivery road comes to our back door)

          2. We like WIRED for breakfast and notice when we go that they have wine-tasting nights, but they're always on husband's work nights. It's owned by a French couple,and in spite of its location in a strip mall, feels tres frenchy to me. They may have a "scene" there. I know the patrons are very loyal. . .

            Renaissance Towne Center (what a name!)
            8935 Towne Centre Dr
            Ste 110
            (at Excalibur Way)

            1 Reply
            1. re: pickypicky

              Venice Ristorante and Wine Bar on Executive is probably the best option. Full bar, decent wine list, and cheap so so Italian tapas for happy hour, used to work in the area and it was the go-to spot.

            2. Thank you all...Mostly what I figured. When i need a night fix for a beer yet don't feel up to the drive elsewhere, i'll usually hit up Rock Bottom or Friday's....however was hoping for a Bar Bar. I do love wine bars and have passed both Venice and Wired and have been intereted in checking them out. One question...how are they price wise. I Love 3rd corner in OB, as they charge you normal prices for a bottle (plus corkage) versus your standard restaurant (300%) pricing.

              I was not aware UCSD had a campus pub...I would assume it is similar to SDSU's in which it closes early (7 or 8 ish?)

              I am unfamilair with the Hungry Stick...anyone care to elaborate (what and where)?

              4 Replies
              1. re: csils

                Venice is very reasonable for happy hour, I have not been in a year or so since I no longer work in the area, but it was HH from 2-9pm, 5$ wine and all Tapas were no more than that. Wired also reasonable, I have only been for lunch, good bistro fare. Hungry Stick is on Clairmont Mesa before Dianne (heading east) out of your range, and not really worth a special trip.

                1. re: csils

                  the Hungry Stick is a pool hall. Mostly bikers. Used to be reputed to have one of SD's best burgers. I can't remember if that's true, because going there felt like the Twilight Zone to me (that reference dates me) and I was only there three times. The first time there, the hostess asked me and my girlfriends if we were in the right place, suggesting that we clearly werent. It's a dive but if you play pool, give it a whirl.

                  1. re: csils

                    I think Porter's Pub stays open at least as long as the sun stays up, and many evenings they have "music" on their back patio. You should call ahead, because during the summer they will shut down a week or two for cleaning, vacation, etc.

                    There is a very small parking lot adjacent to Porter's with metered parking. They use a ticket dispenser (ala your typical Ace lot) instead of coin meters, though. Alternatively, you can park in one of the public spaces at a garage and take a 10-minute walk. Or, even better, you can take the bus (MTS 30) from LJ Colony to the old Student Center - it's closest to the third stop after the Veteran's Hospital.

                    I'm a bit weary of Porter's in the summer, though - the throughput on the beers can be a bit slow, so you never are quite sure what you are going to get.

                    1. re: RB Hound

                      My husband and I were just at Porter's Pub this past Sunday evening after grabbing a surprisingly decent meal at Jai (we had gift certificates to check it out). Campus was QUIET, but there were still a few people in and out of the Pub while we enjoyed our beer. It was probably about 8pm when we finished up. I wish I had checked on the hours...but did notice a sign that said that they are now open in the mornings for breakfast.

                      I've been to several shows there over the years, and they were open well into the post 8pm hours. Definitely worth giving them a call to check on the schedule...