Hennessey’s Tavern offers a wee bit o’ Irish spirit each day of the week
By Will Parson
With a little luck of the Irish, La Jollans will find a suitable tavern for their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations much more easily this year. Visitors to the newer Hennessey’s location on Herschel Avenue will find a swath of differences from the one in Pacific Beach — and any other restaurant in the chain.
For one, a higher-end wine selection awaits La Jolla visitors. And the former home of Santé Ristorante offers a unique patchwork of seating options, with the feel of a much nicer restaurant. The large fire pit is popular for enjoying said wine with an appetizer like the Margherita Flatbread. Awnings connect completely separate buildings (with more fireplaces), so the private dining room always remains much quieter than the bar. Barrels and lamps in the corridor recall an Irish village, and lead you to the back patio, well hidden from the street. A cozy area adjacent to the bar is nicknamed the “nook,” and it catches a lot of golden light in the evenings.
If you’re looking for your corned beef fix, obviously the Reuben sandwich offers the good stuff, which is cooked fresh every day. And the Corned Beef Hash and Eggs is the signature breakfast.
Often overlooked for breakfast, Hennessey’s also offers a California Benedict and a Cap’N Crunch French Toast, which is just what it sounds like — French toast crusted with the popular cereal. You can order Mimosas to boot. For lunch or dinner, the Gourmet Burger is deliciously crispy (thanks to the bun and the applewood smoked bacon). Should the health-conscious be wary of heavier items on the menu, the Seared Ahi Salad is also a popular choice.
For St. Patrick’s Day itself, there are, of course, specials on Guinness and other brews, and corned beef and cabbage will be served for lunch and dinner. Corned beef sandwiches, Reuben sandwiches and Irish music will also be all-day attractions, along with special prizes, drawings and shooter specials.
Hennessey’s has yet to become the community hub in La Jolla that it is in other towns. One of the ways it’s drawing in new crowds is with VIP cards offering discounts to members of various local groups. Among others, one group is perhaps surprising to see paired with an Irish tavern — 24 Hour Fitness. Then again, maybe a fitness regime offers the best balance for Irish-American cuisine!
Address: 7811 Herschel Ave.
The Vibe: Folksy, Warm
Signature Dish: Reuben Sandwich
Open Since: 2010
Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Daily
Phone: (858) 551-8772
Reservations: Yes Patio Seating: Yes
Take Out: Yes
Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
On The Menu Recipe
Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at lajollalight.com. Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story. This week: Hennessey’s Corned Beef Hash
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