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Sep 6, 2009 10:21 PM

La Jolla mid-price range?

My wife and I will be in La Jolla next weekend for one night and would love something interesting but not too pricey. Anything available in the mid-range $15-20 pp that might end up $60 or so with a drink and maybe a dessert? Open to most cuisines; would like something reflective of the locale if possible.

I know this is kind of vague but any replies might give me a good starting point.


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  1. La Jolla and the term mid-range are 180 degrees from each other. Maybe head south a bit to Turqouise street in Pacific Beach. I believe there are a few moderately priced cafes in that area.

    1. Dagney has it right. For that price range you need entrees under $15, and to be satisfied with that single dish - that is a tough find in La Jolla for a sit-down restaurant of quality or interest. There are places like Porkyland and Burger Lounge where a $40/2 person meal is very doable, but not particularly of La Jolla. Other than that, really tough.
      You could try George's at the Cove - Bar, which has entrees roughly in that range and is, without question a unique to La Jolla view.

      But the reality is you'll probably end up at more than $60 and the food is good not great, but you pay for the view.

      For actually fitting that budget, the only suggestion I can make is PrepKitchen. It is essentially a high-end take-out place. For $40 you could easily make a substantial dinner for two (focaccia, chicken or tuna salad, half chicken w/side, porchetta sandwich, brownie) - but there is no ambiance whatsoever (you can eat outside the place, essentially in a little strip mall). But, for a La Jolla experience at that budget I would say get a couple things to go, take a short drive to La Jolla Shores beach grassy area and enjoy a sunset picnic. You will not be disappointed. You could do the same at the Cheese Shop (good stuff, but just sandwiches) which is a block from Shores, well within walking distance of whatever parking spot you can find.

      Good luck.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rotochicken

        They have a new, really nice outdoor seating area at PrepKitchen. I was in last week and noticed it, not sure how long it has been there.

      2. Piatti, Barbarella, Osteria Romantica in the La Jolla Shores area. Roppongi and Vigalucci during happy hour 7 days a week. Weekday specials at Zenbu and 1/2 price in the bar at Tapenade Sun-Thur.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodiechick

          I'd also add Clay's for a good HH deal.

        2. Try Sammy's Woodfired Pizza ( Great food including Ahi Burgers, Duck taco's and Cocunut Curry Soup. Amazing Salads and better Pizza (not a S, M, L type pizza joint by any means). Personal Pizza's run about $10-12 ( my recommendation is the Brie and Truffle oil Flatbread Pizza). I'd Recommend splitting a pizza and a Salad (I love the Thai Chicken Pizza). It's a nice upscale restaurant, but the prices are not. I strongly suggest you try it. There's one in La Jolla...but also in Del Mar, Carlsbad etc.

          1 Reply
          1. re: csils

            Sammy's or Roppongi's happy hour are your best bests for good mid-priced food. Piatti's is also very good, but may run you higher towards the end of your price range.

          2. Thanks for all the replies.

            Seeing our hotel was adjacent to Fleming's, we ended up trying their new Prime Burger Bar available in the bar as an affordable way to have a decent meal. It worked:

            I had done some research outside of this thread, so today we went to El Pescador for lunch. I had a local halibut sandwich and my wife had the swordfish sandwich. Both were very good. We then split a bowl of cioppino, which was decent but not anything phenomenal. The total came to a hard-to-beat $30.

            I'd recommend both the burger special at Fleming's and El Pescador.