HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
What are you cooking today? Get great advice

old restaurants

franchesco Aug 17, 2013 01:19 PM

What was the name of the steakhouse restaurant in La Jolla where Alfonso's started about 35+ years ago?

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. e
    eatemup Aug 17, 2013 01:59 PM

    Hmmmmmm......Chuck's Steakhouse was across the street from Alfonso's.

    4 Replies
    1. re: eatemup
      DoctorChow Aug 17, 2013 05:12 PM

      Is Chuck's the place that was down the short flight of stairs and back a bit?

      1. re: DoctorChow
        DiningDiva Aug 17, 2013 05:15 PM

        I think that was the Chart House, but that was a l-o-n-g time ago and I'm probably wrong

        1. re: DiningDiva
          DoctorChow Aug 17, 2013 05:22 PM

          No, I wasn't thinking of the Chart House. That was down further. What I'm recalling was near George's. You walked down about six steps or so off Prospect and then waked maybe 25 ft to get to their entrance, which was on the right. They used to have a decent bar, too. Yeah, that's sure a long time back!!

        2. re: DoctorChow
          foodiechick Aug 17, 2013 05:19 PM

          Yes, down the little flight of stairs across Prospect from where Alfonso's is now. Chuck's was were Azul is now.

      2. b
        Beach Chick Aug 17, 2013 05:26 PM

        Chuck's was across the street from Alfonso's and down a small flight of stairs to the right.
        Bratskellar is where George's Modern restaurant is located and George Hauer(George's) and Paul Dobson (Dobson's) were a couple of the bartenders/GM.
        Chart House is where Eddie V's is at now.

        The good ol' days. .

        20 Replies
        1. re: Beach Chick
          DoctorChow Aug 17, 2013 05:32 PM

          In their day, the Bratskeller and Chart House were two of my favorite (albeit very different) places in LJ.

          Bratskeller for cheap beer and good eats, and Chart House for pretty good food and a romantic atmosphere.


          1. re: Beach Chick
            deckape Aug 17, 2013 07:14 PM

            I was one of the bartenders at The Bratskellar, BC - probably got you drunk once or twice. Paul worked there, but George Hauer was a CRS management guy - Monterrey Whaling Co., Tortilla Flats et al and never worked at the Brat.

            The OP was asking about Chuck's, I'm sure.

            1. re: deckape
              Beach Chick Aug 17, 2013 07:31 PM

              LOL..you probably served me a Mateus..
              Oops, guess I remembered it differently...it was the 70's though.
              ; D
              Bartenders always bought us drinks..thank you!

              1. re: Beach Chick
                deckape Aug 17, 2013 10:48 PM

                Well, at least it wasn't a Lancers. And, it was always rewarding to buy drinks for women. One of the perks of tending bar.

                I still have a Brat menu in one of my chests and one of these days I'll shoot it and post it just for grins. I also still have a Brat apron.

                1. re: deckape
                  DoctorChow Aug 18, 2013 12:43 AM

                  Ahhh. Herr nasty womanizer! ;) Please do post the menu. And a photo of the apron!

                  Memory lane....

                  1. re: deckape
                    Beach Chick Aug 18, 2013 06:28 AM

                    Would love to see the menu..apron too!
                    Looking back, never paid for meals or drinks...good ol' days of being young and hot..

                    1. re: Beach Chick
                      cstr Aug 18, 2013 11:25 AM

                      Can't believe you're not still........

                      1. re: Beach Chick
                        deckape Aug 21, 2013 11:52 AM

                        Here you go, BC, a genuine piece of the past. Can't find the apron but I found one of my old work shirts so I posted that. The menu was one that I used to train with so it's ugly with resto shorthand and pretty stained up. Surprised I kept this stuff all these years - but maybe not, it was a whole lot of fun! This menu is circa 1979ish probably earlier. If you remember Bill Walker (Willie Wonka), Gary Fisher, Danny Myers then you know my era. The Brat belonged to a resto group out of LA and they had three other Brats and another one of long forgotten name. The space had a brief life as LJ's Bar & Grill under Paul Dobson before it was sold to George and became a quality restaurant. Paul went on to open Andalucia with photograper Vivre (?sp) and after that failed he went into the space that became Dobson's - worked for him there as well in the heyday. Bertrand also had a space right next door to the Brat - the name escapes me now. Enjoy.

                        1. re: deckape
                          littlestevie Aug 21, 2013 12:14 PM

                          Thanks Deckape for the photos, it brings back lots of memories. I used to go to the one by UCLA in the early '70's. It was in an old Ralphs building. It was quite the hangout for students back then

                          1. re: littlestevie
                            deckape Aug 21, 2013 07:03 PM

                            Happy to help you indulge in some nostalgia.

                            1. re: deckape
                              Fake Name Aug 21, 2013 07:12 PM

                              Went there on my 21st birthday. I was dating a much older woman at the time (she was 27 IIRC) and they carded her, but not me...

                              1. re: Fake Name
                                DoctorChow Aug 21, 2013 07:58 PM

                                Hmmmm....were you a young gold digger? I mean, she was freaking 27 and you were a child of 21! Disgusting.

                                Really. People at her age use walkers and have dentures and all.

                                Gratuitous restaurant-related remark to keep the mods away:

                                The food was good there.

                          2. re: deckape
                            DoctorChow Aug 21, 2013 07:09 PM

                            Love the photos and info! Thanks!

                            1. re: deckape
                              Beach Chick Aug 22, 2013 05:17 PM

                              This is awesome deckape!

                              So, the Brat was owned by the resto group out of LA that included Danny Myers...did not know that..the one that is all that in NYC with Union Square Hospitality Group?

                              I bet you have lots of great stories..

                              1. re: Beach Chick
                                deckape Aug 23, 2013 09:56 AM

                                No, BC, different Danny Myers (Danny was one of the bartenders) - now a math teacher, probably retired. Willie Wonka is owner of Latitude 32 in PB.

                                My memory has returned and Bertrand's place next to the Brat was named Cote D'Azur. Bertrand's next effort was La Mediterranee.

                                Also, I made a mistake regarding Paul's partner at Andalucia. It was photographer Robert Vavra.

                                What is now the bar area of George's was our liquor room. Served by a dumbwaiter, it was an awesome after-hours hangout-with-a-view that was well used by the bartenders.

                                1. re: deckape
                                  Beach Chick Aug 23, 2013 05:31 PM

                                  I forgot all about Willie..known him forever with Cass Street and Lat. 32 but never knew his last name was 'Wonka'. :)

                                  Cote D'Azur..didn't know that Bertrand owned it..both great guys.

                                  San Diego is a big small town and love hearing your stories deckape!

                                  1. re: Beach Chick
                                    deckape Aug 23, 2013 06:15 PM

                                    Pet name is Willie Wonka. Real name is Bill Walker. One reason why Paul and Bertrand are so successful, they seldom forget a customer.

                              2. re: deckape
                                sordftr Aug 22, 2013 05:41 PM

                                Great memories, indeed! I attended UCSD from '73 to '77 and since I had a car I'd help ferry a crowd of students to the Bratskellar far more times than I could afford. Always had the King Henry's Feast, and we'd argue great issues of literature, philosophy and economics. Thanks for sharing that and re-warming some heart's cockles.

                                1. re: sordftr
                                  deckape Aug 23, 2013 09:57 AM

                                  Third College, eh?

                                  1. re: deckape
                                    sordftr Aug 23, 2013 10:52 PM

                                    Nope: started out at Revelle and ended up graduating the first class out of Fourth. But the topics of conversation were much the same...

                    2. f
                      franchesco Aug 18, 2013 11:44 AM

                      What i am referring to is the steakhouse, on a side street in La Jolla, that provided Alfonso some tables in the back to start his restaurant. Eventually, they all moved to Prospect and were located west of the current Alfonso's.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: franchesco
                        DoctorChow Aug 18, 2013 12:32 PM

                        I think I remeber one on Roslyn, just off Prospect, but never went and can't recall the name.

                        1. re: DoctorChow
                          foodiechick Aug 18, 2013 01:19 PM

                          Roslyn is my back alley, and I doubt it was back there. With the exception of 2 small salons and a tailor, zoning only permited/permits residential and back of business delivery for the businesses that front Prospect. Maybe on Ivanhoe or in Manchester Financial building (but doubtful about that one).

                          1. re: foodiechick
                            foodiechick Aug 18, 2013 01:23 PM

                            Husband seems to remember that the location that is now Hennessey's, prior to that Sante's on Herschel was a steakhouse. We have heard the legend of a similar story of Alfonso's beginnings but it was on La Jolla Blvd.

                            1. re: foodiechick
                              DoctorChow Aug 18, 2013 01:34 PM

                              Maybe on Cave then? I do remember what I think was a steakhouse in an odd location just off Prospect.

                        2. foodiechick Aug 18, 2013 05:58 PM

                          I got the definitive answer from Alfonso himself. The name of the (in his words) "famous old steakhouse" was The Courtyard (not to be confused with Jose's courtyard. It was on Herschel and is now the parking lot that is next to the Citibank building.

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: foodiechick
                            DoctorChow Aug 18, 2013 06:16 PM

                            Pretty good sleuthing! Now that's the way to get to the facts!

                            1. re: foodiechick
                              franchesco Aug 19, 2013 08:40 AM

                              But, now that you mentioned the "Courtyard", I remember that the restaurant was called the "Court Room". It was also called Court Room after they moved to Prospect. Eventually, Alfonso took over the whole restaurant, and then moved up the street to current location. The original Court Room on Herschel was a great place---very narrow, but long. The rear tables were the original site of Alfonso's. Quite a success for Alfonso.

                              1. re: franchesco
                                foodiechick Aug 19, 2013 12:25 PM

                                You're absolutely right..."Court Room".

                                1. re: foodiechick
                                  eatemup Aug 19, 2013 02:02 PM

                                  Did this then become Jose's Court Room (which is now just Jose's)???

                                  1. re: eatemup
                                    foodiechick Aug 19, 2013 02:13 PM

                                    No, altogether different.

                                    1. re: eatemup
                                      franchesco Aug 20, 2013 11:54 AM

                                      I think when Alfonso moved, it did become Jose's and the Court Room was carried over for awhile.

                                2. re: foodiechick
                                  Beach Chick Aug 19, 2013 08:47 AM

                                  I almost called Alfonso's too..
                                  I was also thinking it might of been Botsford's, where Amaya is now.

                                  1. re: Beach Chick
                                    deckape Aug 19, 2013 11:57 AM

                                    Botsfords was up the stairs not down the stairs. And, yes, the Court Room would be correct. Been a long time since I've thought about this stuff.

                                    I'll get that menu and apron shot and post 'em for the fun of it all. Prices are a revelation.

                                    1. re: deckape
                                      Fake Name Aug 19, 2013 12:22 PM

                                      I'll have The Feast, please.

                                      1. re: Fake Name
                                        deckape Aug 19, 2013 03:35 PM

                                        That's $9.25 per person...you have the dough to cover that? Items will be subject to the imaginative whims of our eccentric chef.

                                        1. re: deckape
                                          Fake Name Aug 19, 2013 03:44 PM

                                          I remember it included corn on the cob, and I forget what else. I was very young at the time.

                                          1. re: Fake Name
                                            franchesco Aug 20, 2013 11:55 AM

                                            I remember steak and lobster on a wooden plank.

                                            1. re: franchesco
                                              DoctorChow Aug 20, 2013 02:27 PM

                                              @franchesco. Do you mind if I ask why you were wondering about the Court Room in the first place? Nostalgia? Sentimental reasons?

                                              Whatever the reason, it sure got people exercising their memories!

                                              1. re: DoctorChow
                                                franchesco Aug 20, 2013 08:47 PM

                                                Mostly nostalgia- as I've become older, I like to think about the past, when living in San Diego was more provincial and predictable. My wife and I would go to the Court Room often and continued after it became more of Alfonso's than a steak place. The original restaurant on Herschel was quaint. Many from the old AFL Charger team went there. There was a 50 cent pasta night once a week. As Prospect became more commercial, the quaintness and charm faded.

                                                I have another two for you----do you remember Joe Hunt's and Jamar Restaurants on La Jolla Blvd, close to PB??

                                                1. re: franchesco
                                                  DiningDiva Aug 22, 2013 05:23 PM

                                                  Jamar's also had a La Mesa location which is no the Riviera Supper Club. Went frequently with my grandparents, aunt and uncle.

                                Show Hidden Posts