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La Jolla/Del Mar weekend eats

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We're going down to La Jolla (staying in Torrey Pines) at the end of the month to celebrate our anniversary/last getaway before Baby #2 is born (and only getaway since Baby #1 was born over 4 years ago, frankly). Plan to celebrate a special anniversary dinner at A.R. Valentien (the allure of walking back to our hotel room is enticing, plus the food sounds pretty excellent) but I'd love some suggestions of more casual places for lunch and dinner. We really do eat anything, but neither of us is drinking right now so the allure of an excellent wine, beer or cocktail list is sadly, only academic. Is WhisknLadle a good option? We've enjoyed George's Ocean Terrace when we've eaten in La Jolla before, but it might be less pleasant in February than it was when we were there in August.

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  1. El Pescador, on Pearl, has excellent grilled fish sammies. Also, Don Bravo, up the road on LJ Bvld in Bird Rock, has some pretty good .99 fish tacos. The Cottage, on Fay, has good breakfast and lunch on their patio.

    1. Eddie V's in La Jolla
      Kitchen 1540 at L' Auberge Del Mar
      Flavor Del Mar
      Marine Room for virgin drinks and app's
      La Valencia Hotel for breakfast on the back patio overlooking the ocean

      And what cstr said!

      1. Iris Food and Spirits on Carmel Valley Rd. near the ocean is laid-back, pleasant, inexpensive, run by a couple of brothers. They serve local veggies, tasty appetizers, salads, and heartier fare (their meatloaf is great). It's just 5 minutes from your hotel. Outside seating available with view of estuary (bird watching). George's Ocean Terrace has changed its menu since I was last there, but the view, as you know, is terrific on a clear day. Ditto on the other recommendations so far.

        2 Replies
        1. re: millerowski

          At least based on several company lunches I would recommend not visiting Iris. Disappointing food with clueless service

          1. re: honkman

            I have to agree w/ Honkman. Iris is average to below average, at best.

            PrepKitchen in La Jolla is very good for brunch, lunch and dinner.
            Coffee Cup Cafe on Wall St has really good breakfasts and lunches (Asian-Latino style food).
            Nine Ten has good breakfast/brunch as well. Haven't been there for dinner lately, so can't comment on that.

        2. I think George's would be just as good in Feb as it is in August.

          Kitchen 1540, PrepKitchen in La Jolla or the new one in Little Italy rather than Whisknladle, even though they are the same company, I like PK better, but I have nothing bad to say about Whisknladle.

          Also look at Tapenade in La Jolla, Nine-Ten, maybe the La Valencia for Sunday Brunch, Harry's for a throwback, 1960's diner experience, Brockton Villa for the ambiance (not so much the food, but the same caveat applies to the Cottage) and Barbarella Restaurant at the La Jolla Shore for breakfast or lunch.

          1. Piatti for lunch (and even dinner) is not bad. I would also look into Georges downstairs even though it is more upscale than the Terrace (where we had very mixed results with the food quality) it is not stuffy. Kitchen 1540 is another great option in Del Mar.

            1. Just wanted to follow up. We ended up eating dinner at WhisknLadle in La Jolla and AR Valentien, both of which were great and had fantastic service. I recommend the house made charcuterie at both places. We ate breakfast in the hotel since we had a credit with our reservation. The corned beef hash is house made and delicious - nothing else really stood out. For lunch we drove up to Encinitas and had great pizza at Blue Ribbon. Thanks for all the suggestions!