Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Food Field Trip SoCal: Sunsets, Cocktails, and CA Cuisine

Georges at the Cove, a La Jolla landmark eatery, is a destination in and of itself, where bar snacks, patio fare, and fine cuisine are all available in these respective three stories, all of which have tremendous sunset views over the Pacific.  And while the food is reliably good -- even though the selection is a bit limited on the patio -- the cocktails keep us coming back when we are in San Diego. I cannot imagine a better way to end a day and begin the evening than by enjoying a fresh-made cocktail at sundown with the sea lions frolicking below.

Our cocktail choices were a blood orange margarita, whose color matches the sunset, and a classic, oaky, Napa chardonnay. Cocktails and wine hover in the $10 - $12 range. I recommend an early evening reservation to take it all in.

George's California Modern on Urbanspoon

Until this most recent trip, I would also have recommended dinner at Georges if you only had once night to spend in La Jolla, but thanks to a more than memorable dining experience, that recommendation has moved further down the boulevard to Nine Ten.  Here a rising star chef, Jason Knibb, is creating some of what I have found to be the best fine dining in San Diego, and while the street-side dining room lacks the storied views elsewhere on the strip, the food and warm decor will garner no complaints from me.

Standouts from the well executed restaurant week menu (fortunate timing) included a textbook poached egg over crispy brussel sprouts, an outstanding harpoon-caught swordfish fillet (whose seared exterior yielded to a moist, flaky center), and a richly enjoyable half-baked chocolate cake accented with what tasted like a just-made caramel sauce.

Wine pairings were thoughtful, bringing out the flavors of each course.  I was impressed that the server was able to find an as requested red pairing for my fish--a pinot noir, that complimented instead of overwhelmed the delicate preparation.

The kitchen here is on to something, and if you are in the area, and appreciate fresh, locally sourced and inventive food creations, do give this a try.  The restaurant week menu was a steal at $40 for three courses with wine pairings for $15.  Entrees regularly run in the mid-$20s. 

Nine Ten on Urbanspoon


  1. So what brings you to La Jolla, business as well? I'm familiar with some of the restaurants off Prospect since my sister goes to UCSD the family usually goes out for some nice dinners when we visit. I'll have to recommend Nine Ten for our next dinner. Were you only in La Jolla for the evening or were you able to try some of the amazing brunches they have to offer? I'm personally a fan of The Cottage and when we don't want to wait too long, Cody's.

  2. That is great! I have not been to San Diego in four years, yet you picked two of my favorite spots to feature. I loved the smoked chicken, black bean, and broccoli soup at Georges, and Nine Ten's restaurant week was fabulous. I also liked Roppongi's (also on Prospect) happy hour.