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‘Back with a vengeance’: Taste of La Jolla returns to raise money for La Jolla High School

Tom, Syd and Laura Cummings visit Teuscher Chocolates San Diego as part of Taste of La Jolla in 2019.
Tom, Syd and Laura Cummings visit Teuscher Chocolates San Diego as part of Taste of La Jolla in 2019. Teuscher will participate in the 2022 event on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
(Leslie Sauer)

Seventeen participating restaurants will offer samples on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

After a two-year hiatus, Taste of La Jolla returns to The Village next week to raise money for the Foundation of La Jolla High School.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, with check-in for ticket holders at The Lot La Jolla, 7611 Fay Ave. Tasting of samples at various restaurants will begin at 5 p.m. Guests will be given a map at check-in.

An after-party will start at 7 p.m. at The Lot, with live music from jazz band Stage 4. The Lot also will offer happy hour pricing all evening to Taste of La Jolla participants and will auction a gift certificate for a private movie screening.

Catania on Girard Avenue is among the 17 restaurants participating in Taste of La Jolla 2022.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Taste of La Jolla has been held for 20 years but was canceled in 2020-21 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re back with a vengeance,” said co-organizer Kirsten Peay.

The 17 restaurants participating this year are Beeside Balcony, Catania, Birdseye, George’s at the Cove, Haagen-Dazs, Isola, Jose’s Courtroom, Lobster West, Piazza 1909, Marisi, Mermaids & Cowboys, Puesto, Shiku Sushi Bar, Spiro’s Mediterranean Cuisine, Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland, Thai Gulf and We Olive and Wine Bar.

Tickets are $60 until Saturday, Oct. 15, when they will increase to $75. They can be purchased at foundationofljhs.com/taste-of-la-jolla.html.

Only 300 tickets will be sold.

Since costs to arrange Taste of La Jolla are low, with restaurants donating the food, Peay and co-organizer Leslie Sauer, both parents of La Jolla High seniors, said about 95 percent of the event proceeds benefit programs at the school.

“So many of the programs are underfunded at the high school,” Peay said. “Every dollar we raise goes straight to providing extra counselors, athletic trainers, tutoring after school, security officers [and more]. It’s really important stuff … things that need to be covered.”

As the Foundation of La Jolla High School is celebrating the campus’s centennial this year, “we’re hoping to encourage families, alumni and community members to attend an LJHS event this year and take part in the celebration,” Peay said.

Thai Gulf on Prospect Street will be among local restaurants offering samples as part of Taste of La Jolla on Oct. 18.
Thai Gulf on Prospect Street will be among local restaurants offering samples as part of Taste of La Jolla on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

She said Taste of La Jolla is “one of these traditions that I don’t think even we appreciated how much people look forward to it until it was gone.”

The restaurants, she said, are “very welcoming and actually very excited to welcome local families. … It really is a way for people to reconnect with each other [and] reconnect with restaurants.”

“We’re feeling new energy this year for sure,” she said.

Sauer said the event “feels like a win-win. It’s a win for the restaurants to get the community out and supporting them. … They’re getting traffic to the door on a Tuesday night when they might not get it, and they’re getting the marketing to these families.”

Community members also benefit, Sauer said, especially those who aren’t directly connected to LJHS and don’t typically attend other school fundraisers.

“This kind of event you don’t have to know anyone. Just walk and enjoy,” she said.

Peay and Sauer said the event is expected to sell out, as it has in past years. ◆

Updates

6:21 p.m. Oct. 12, 2022: This article was updated to add Isola to the list of participating restaurants.