HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Dec 28, 2011 02:42 PM

Need help for 4 nights of fabulous eating in LaJolla area

hubby and I coming in February for 15th anniversary. Staying in LaJolla and looking for the best restaurants and fine dining the area has to offer, price no concern.
As extensively researching, I have come up with:
Marine Room
Kitchen 1540
George's California Modern
1500 Ocean
Nine Ten

Looks like Addison's has gone downhill over the years according to reviewer's here. Saw TBL3 mentioned on chow hound but not anywhere else. Is it part of George's group?
Have not seen anything about Tapenade either. Has it been around a while?
What 4 restaurants will "wow" my husband?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Looks like a solid list to me, and I'd put Addison at or near the top. Rumors of it's death are exaggerated.

    Had a great meal at Georges Modern a few weeks ago. Best hangar steak I've had ever, anywhere.

    1. TBL3 isn't a separate place, but is the name for a relatively new 12-14 course chef's tasting menu at George's Modern (see link below). You can also create an ad hoc tasting menu at George's of 5 or more courses from their regular menu (and they'll do wine pairings for you).


      I like Tapenade but it's classically French cuisine and maybe not the most hip environment. Good restaurant but not what I think of in terms of wow factor.

      1. Also check out Nine-Ten and A.R. Valentein, both in La Jolla. Since Kitchen 1540 is in Del Mar, then also consider Market and Flavor Del Mar. But if you are looking for a complete "scene", then head over to Burlap. The only prerequisite is that your other half must be at least 20 years your senior or junior..... The don't call it a Cougar Den for nothing.

        1. AR Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines is technically not in La Jolla (of course neither is Addison or 1540), but so close and so good that you should strongly consider it. Also, the Skyroom of the La Valencia for its intimacy, ambiance, service and food should be a good fit for your celebration visit. Both restaurants will make you feel you've time-traveled to a different era, especially when you get on the Skyroom's elevator.

          2 Replies
          1. re: 2fat

            Thanks for all the feedback. Sky Room looked great but I read somewhere that it was closed for 4 months for renovation. Not sure if it will be open February 1st. Know anything?
            Thanks for the AR Valentein at Torrey Pines rec. Looks like a great place to try. As far as Burlap, my hubby and I are only 5 years apart.. Don't know if we can "stomach" dinner watching the cougars!

            1. re: Gatorandredraidr

              Sky Room is closed for an overhaul. Don't think it will be reopened by Feb 1. 1500 Ocean is an excellent choice with a fresh new menu and new chef. Just be advised that it is quite a ways from La Jolla, at the Hotel Del Coronado. That said, I think it is worth the trip for both food and ambiance.

          2. First you should decide if you're limited to La Jolla only. If you are, you're pretty much limited to: George's, Nine Ten, Whisknladle, Sky Room @ La Valencia, Eddie V's, (and I guess Tapenade). Since you said La Jolla, I'd definitely add Whisknladle to the list of places actually in La Jolla

            If you want pure wow factor and price is no object (and are willing to drive a little more), then either do TBL3 @ George's or Addison. Of the two, I feel that the food itself is better at George's while the service and overall experience is better at Addison. George's isn't really used to doing elaborate tasting menus so the front of house needs to do a little work to catch up to the back of house, while Addison pretty much exclusively does tastings.

            Kitchen 1540 changed chefs recently, so I'm not sure that is a great option.

            If you're willing to drive further, I'd also definitely add Flavor Del Mar as they got a new chef. We've been waiting for him to come up with a tasting menu, which I think will be ready to debut sometime in January, but I am excited based on some of the food I've had so far.