Category archives for: Restaurants

Café Merlot pours out the charm with ‘medicinal’ menu in Rancho Bernardo

a “boutique” cheese platter is accompanied by Bernardo Winery white zinfandel and sangria. Photos By Kelley Carlson

For Café Merlot owners Toni and Rick Kraft, using culinary medicine in their restaurant’s recipes makes perfect “scents.” Toni Kraft said food is key to health and wellness, and that smells trigger people’s emotions. She appeals to guests’ senses by incorporating edible flowers, herbs and produce grown in the restaurant’s onsite micro-farm into the fare, along with culinary grade essential oils.

For lighter fare in La Jolla, make it a Shore Thing

A pour-over is performed with Amaro Gayo Ethiopian coffee, which draws out coffee’s best qualities.  PHOTOS By Kelley Carlson

For relatively quick, healthy, fresh and organic fare, Shore Thing Café seems to be a sure thing. Located just around the corner from the shops and restaurants in La Jolla Shores, this neighborhood eatery and coffee house with a casual beach vibe accommodates customers on the go and those who want to enjoy their surroundings.

Opa! Athens Market Café says go Greek, it’s good!

OnTheMenu-Athens-Market-DSC_0523

After growing up learning the family business, Vickie Anastasopoulos stayed true to her roots and branched out with her own restaurant in San Diego. She and her husband, Nick, opened Athens Market Café in Carmel Mountain Ranch — a sister restaurant to her sister Mary’s downtown San Diego location.

UPDATE: First La Plaza La Jolla tenant revealed: Whisknladle’s ‘Catania’

Catania restaurant is the first tenant to announce plans to open in the new La Plaza La Jolla luxury shopping complex being developed at the corner of Wall Street and Girard Avenue. Courtesy

Restauranteurs to open Italian coastal cuisine concept in boutique mall at Wall Street and Girard Avenue.

Nature’s goodness ala Azerbaijan at new Café 21

rabbit Brine in a sweet chili sauce. Photos by Kelley Carlson

“Nature’s Kitchen” has found a second home, in the middle of the city. Formally known as Café 21, the restaurant’s newest location has taken over the space formerly occupied by Croce’s in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Life’s a ‘Breeze’ chillin’ at Del Mar café

Duck Egg Rolls consist of wonton wrappers stuffed with duck confit, beer-braised onions and herb cream cheese, which can be dunked in sweet chili and peanut sauces.  PHOTOS By Kelley Carlson

At Del Mar’s Breeze Café, guests just go with the flow. The eatery is quintessential California: Patrons congregate on a sun-kissed patio and chat over chai teas, while gazing out over the Pacific Ocean just a couple of blocks away. It’s a stopping point for Del Mar Plaza shoppers to power up, and for guests who want to leave their cares behind.

If you Snooze, you’ll never lose

The Pancake Flight includes three flavors: Peanut Butter Cup Pancake, Caramel apple Pancake and OMG! French Toast.

When Snooze opened in Del Mar last fall, it didn’t take long for locals to wake up and take notice. On a typical day, this mainly breakfast- oriented eatery is buzzing with activity, as people relax over steaming cups of organic java and a hearty meal. Some bring their dogs and soak up the sun on the patio; others find comfort in the “retro-future” dining room’s crescent-shaped booths.

No duds with the suds at La Jolla Brewing Co.

Mussels are steamed in a broth of LJBC’s Pale Ale, caramelized onions, garlic, tomatoes and chorizo.

The new La Jolla Brewing Co. has been generating buzz since opening at the start of the year. Recently noted by Zagat on its “8 Hottest New Restaurants” list, LJBC fills a void in the La Jolla dining scene: craft beers and bites in a relaxed setting that includes fire pits and communal tables. “We’re looking to be a neighborhood bar,” said Leigh Gibson, a partner in the restaurant.

‘Top Chef’ Richard Blais scores another win with Juniper & Ivy in San Diego

San Diego Chicken is served with asparagus, pickled pearl onions, morel mushrooms and a chocolate-hazelnut sauce. Photos by Kelley Carlson

Just two months after opening, Juniper & Ivy is flourishing. Located in the hot culinary scene of Little Italy, this much-buzzed-about restaurant is serving up “refined American food with Left Coast edge” with many positive reviews.

Café La Rue brings a new charm to La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla

Smoked Cheddar Bratwurst is topped with peppers, onions and jalapeños.

By Kelley Carlson On New Year’s Eve 2013, La Valencia Hotel celebrated more than the start of a new year. The date marked the opening of its renovated Café La Rue, once a part of the iconic Whaling Bar & Grill. There are no longer black-cushioned booths, brick-red walls and mahogany paneling — that look [...]

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