La Jolla News Nuggets

La Jolla Village Merchants Association executive director Jodi Rudick, left, and treasurer Kelli Metcalf pose at Duke’s La Jolla, the final stop on Rudick’s 2019 New Year’s resolution list, on New Year’s Eve.

La Jollan dines at 52 local restaurants within 52 weeks

La Jolla Village Merchants Association executive director Jodi Rudick celebrated completing her 2019 New Year’s Resolution — eating at 52 La Jolla restaurants in 52 weeks — with lunch at Duke’s La Jolla on New Year’s Eve.

“With over 100 restaurants and eateries in La Jolla, the hardest part of the project was making a choice each week,” Rudick said. “I am continually amazed at the diversity and quality of the restaurants in the Village. The whole globe is represented in our food. “

Rudick’s yearlong eating journey — which began Jan. 3, 2019 at Yogi Topi — is documented at under the “blog” tab.

7 seats open on La Jolla planning board

The La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) — which makes land-use recommendations to the City — will hold annual elections for trustees on March 5. There are openings for seven seats: six three-year terms and one two-year term.

To be eligible as a candidate, a member must have attended three meetings in the period between March 2019 and February 2020. To be eligible to vote, one must be a LJCPA member (having attended one meeting and submitted a valid membership application at least 28 days before the elections).

If you wish to be considered as a candidate, send an e-mail to The next two meetings will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 9 and Feb. 6 at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

More information and membership status can be found at or by e-mailing

McIlroy commits to 2020 Farmers Open

No. 2-ranked golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy, will compete for the second straight year in the Farmers Insurance Open, set for January 22-26 at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

McIlroy, whose 18 PGA Tour wins include four major championships, tied for fifth, seven strokes behind winner Justin Rose, when he made his Farmers debut in 2019.

McIlroy joins a commitment list that includes former 2017 Farmers champ and No. 3 Jon Rahm, No. 8 Xander Schauffele, No. 9 Rose, No. 14 Gary Woodland, No. 18 Francesco Molinari, No. 21 Rickie Fowler, No. 73 and San Diego native Phil Mickelson, and former Farmers winners Jason Day, Brandt Snedeker and Bubba Watson.

So far, there is no official commitment from Tiger Woods, seven-time winner of San Diego’s PGA Tour event. He has until Jan. 17 to commit.

For tickets and information about the tournament, visit

Donovan’s steak out

It was an unhappy New Year for regulars of Donovan’s Steak & Chop House, 1250 Prospect St., which abruptly shut its doors on the last Sunday of 2019. The steakhouse operated across from the Westfield UTC mall for 15 years, and then in The Village for the past five.

The ownership cited “the rising cost of doing business in California” as the reason, although its sister restaurant in the Gaslamp District remains open for business.

“Donovan’s business model has always been driven by the dining experience we provide to our guests,” co-owner Dan Shea said in a statement. “Providing that level of experience has become unsustainable.”

Shea’s move from UTC to La Jolla — into the 7,800 square-foot space formerly occupied by The Steakhouse at Azul La Jolla — came after a lease dispute.

San Diego restaurant broker Mike Spilky told the San Diego Union-Tribune he wasn’t that surprised by the La Jolla closure.

“Downtown La Jolla has been pretty tough the last couple of years, and a high-end steakhouse isn’t really right for that area because you have a lot of tourists down there, so something more casual might be a better fit,” he said. “You also have competition from Eddy V’s.”

She’s former landlord, Terry Considine, told the U-T he’s got interest “from a number of users and we will be selective when looking for an operator with a more contemporary format, where tastes are today.”

Kindergarten info meetings

set at La Jolla Elementary

La Jolla Elementary School Kindergarten Informational Meetings for 2020/2021 have been scheduled for 11 a.m. or 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, or 11 a.m. or 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 1111 Marine St. TK/Kindergarten parents may attend to learn about the school and meet the principal and parent group reps.

RSVP by calling the office at (858) 454-7196. These meetings are for parents only. No children should be at the event. Registration packets will be available for neighborhood families in April.

FDA just blowing vape smoke?

In an attempt to curb teenage vaping, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned, starting Feb. 1 the fruit, mint and dessert-flavored tobacco vaping cartridges most popular with young people.

“The enforcement policy we’re issuing today confirms our commitment to dramatically limit children’s access to certain flavored e-cigarette products we know are so appealing to them,” said FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn in a press release.

This action is intended to strike a balance between protecting youth from the health risks of vaping — including nicotine addiction — and allowing adult smokers to use e-cigarettes as a way to quit traditional cigarettes. It comes on the heels of the FDA’s increase in the minimum age required to purchase tobacco, from 18 to 21, on Dec. 20.

Critics believe the new law doesn’t go far enough, however, since tobacco and menthol-flavored cartridges can still be sold. So can a range of flavored e-cigarette liquids for use in refillable-tank vaping systems, and the THC-containing vape cartridges tied to at least 55 deaths since last September.

Blood Bank O-mergency

The San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) has issued an urgent call for blood donations from donors with Type O blood. Supplies of O positive and O negative blood are at critically low levels. Type O positive is the most common blood type, and therefore needed by many hospital patients, while type O negative is the universal blood type and can be given to any patient. (It is often used in emergency rooms when there is no time to determine the blood type of the patient.)

Eligible donors must be age 17 or older, at least 114 pounds and in general good health. SDBB advises that donors eat a hearty meal and stay hydrated before donating. Picture IDs are also required of all donors. The closest donor center to La Jolla is in Carmel Valley at 3880 Valley Centre Drive. Residents are advised to schedule an appointment to donate blood, but it is not required. To make an appointment, visit or call (800) 469-7322.

No Jan. Town Council meeting

Due to La Jolla Town Council’s semi-annual trustees retreat, the Town Council meeting that would have been held on Thursday, Jan. 9 has been canceled.

That ’70s La Jolla show

Former “That ‘70s Show” star Wilmer Valderrama was in La Jolla on New Year’s Day to propose to his girlfriend, model Amanda Pacheco. He got down on one knee in what appears to be the La Jolla Tide Pools, according to a photo he shared with his 1.7 million Instagram followers. “It’s just us now. 01-01-20,” the actor captioned the photo. According to E! News, the couple spent New Year’s Eve in Mexico.