Find Mexican fare with Old World flare at Alfonso’s of La Jolla

The Appetizer Tray includes beef-and-cheese quesadillas, carne asada flautas, grilled steak and vegetables, and shrimp upon request. Photos by Kelley Carlson

By Kelley Carlson

After spending years working in the restaurant industry, Alfonso Fierro had a desire to put some new ideas on the table. Not getting the response he wanted from his employers, he set out to introduce the San Diego area to his own creations.

Forty-two years later, his restaurant, Alfonso’s of La Jolla, still carries on its traditions of homemade cuisine with much of the offerings unchanged over the years. Fierro, who is often at the restaurant, does his best to ensure that guests are welcomed warmly.

“Mi casa es tu casa (my house is your house),” he said with a smile.

Alfonso’s most popular dish is the Carne Asada and Camaron Combo served wtih rice and beans.

Those who want to absorb the sights of bustling Prospect Street sit on the covered patios, which are accented with red, white and green pennant flags that flap in the ocean breeze. People chat with friends while nursing icy Coronas, and as the autumn nights turn chilly, the heaters kick on to keep everyone comfortable. Around 6 p.m. on weekends, the artist in residence (currently guitarist Miguel Zuniga) begins to softly play music.

Beyond the patios and up several stairs are two indoor dining rooms, which reflect the rustic elegance of old world Mexico. There are tiled tables and brick arches, fireplaces, gilded mirrors, colorful artwork and tapestries. Sombreros are everywhere.

Typically mellow by day, Alfonso’s tends to become more lively starting at around 7 p.m. Regardless of the time, people are drawn to the fare, and many begin by sharing the Appetizer Tray, which includes samples of beef-and-cheese quesadillas and carne asada flautas that can be dipped in the accompanying guacamole, sour cream and cheese; grilled steak; vegetables; and shrimp if requested.

Fierro encourages the use of “Mexican chopsticks” — aka fingers — which he says enhances the flavor of the food.

Soups are another popular choice, including the homemade Tortilla Soup with a zesty tomato base, thin strips of tortilla, chunks of avocado, swirls of sour cream and melted cheese. Among other options are the spicy Shrimp Soup or the Albondigas with meatballs, potatoes, carrots and zucchini.

Signature entrees include the Carne Asada Burrito Fantastico, consisting of a large flour tortilla stuffed with meat, covered with ranchero sauce and cheese, and garnished with slices of avocado and sour cream.

Tortilla Soup consists of a zesty tomato base, tortilla strips, avocado, sour cream and cheese.

The most popular dish is the Carne Asada and Camaron Combo: meat marinated in herbs and spices and garnished with Ortega chiles; shrimp sautéed in garlic butter that bursts with flavor once lemon is squeezed over it; and rice and beans.

Additional choices include the Pescado Veracruzano, featuring fish sauteed with onions, tomato, cilantro and olives; the spicy Shrimp Burrito; the Puerto Nuevo Lobster Tail; and the Quesadilla Mercedes (named for Fierro’s wife) topped with shrimp cooked in a ranchero sauce with bell peppers, tomato and onions.

Alfonso’s of La Jolla
• 1251 Prospect St., La Jolla
• (858) 454-2232
• The Vibe: Casual, relaxed, lively
• Signature Dishes: Carne Asada Burrito Fantastico, Carne Asada and Camaron Combo, Camarones ‘al Mojo de Ajo’
• Open Since: 1971
• Reservations: Yes
• Patio Seating: Yes
• Take Out: Yes
• Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
• Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

• On The Menu Recipe
Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at — just click on the “Get The Recipe” graphic below.
This week: Alfonso’s Carne Asada and Camaron Combo

The main dining room at Alfonso’s of La Jolla has a rustic elegance feel.

Related posts:

  1. On the Menu Recipe: Alfonso’s of La Jolla’s Carne Asada & Camaron Combo
  2. Taste of La Jolla raises $19,000 for La Jolla High School
  3. Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad serves Mexican favorites as a feast for the senses
  4. Fresh, festive, fabulous Mexican flavors at Su Casa in WindanSea in La Jolla
  5. Piquant flavors of Mexico City come to La Jolla at Puesto

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Posted by Staff on Oct 16, 2013. Filed under Food, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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