Cody’s expands services with weekend dinners

For about nine years, Cody’s has been a favorite with the lunch and breakfast crowd in the La Jolla Cove area. It wasn’t until recently that the restaurant started opening for dinner, but since Cody’s added dinner to the culinary mix, the restaurant’s cozy informality and outstanding cuisine have made it a popular dinner destination.

This time of year, Cody’s doesn’t serve dinner every day. You’ll have to wait until Thursday through Saturday for this special menu. However, Executive Chef Joseph Barraco’s exciting menu of dinner items is a welcome addition to the local dining scene.

The appetizer list gets your taste buds off to a great start, with wonderful starters the likes of pan-roasted Penn Cove mussels with bacon, garlic and sherry wine ($8) and crab cakes with whole grain mustard aioli ($11).

That’s just the beginning of the appetizer assortment. We loved the crispy brie with pear-jalapeno jam, fig compote and crostini ($8). The combination of flavors and textures made this as memorable a brie preparation as any we’ve ever tasted.

Don’t miss the salad course, because Chef Barraco has perfected four unique salad offerings on the current menu. These days, the salad section features a zesty arugula salad with Coachella Valley dates, Sonoma chevre and toasted fennel vinaigrette ($7.50). This is the chef’s signature salad, and it’s a classic you’ll want to savor again and again.

Another excellent salad is the roasted beets with baby watercress and Sonoma chevre ($8). This salad is dressed with champagne vinaigrette, and it’s another unforgettable salad.

There are several outstanding entrees on the menu. Crispy free-range half-chicken with lemon-thyme mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach ($18) is a perfect choice.

Seafood lovers can opt for seared king salmon with celery root puree and baby watercress ($22). The dish gets extra flavor from a currant reduction. Pan-roasted filet of Pacific cod is another favorite from the sea ($19). It is accompanied by sweet potato hash, and that adds up to quite a flavor sensation.

The double cut pork chops with potato puree, apple compote and creamed corn ($21) are hearty enough for those chilly nights, and if you need some old-fashioned comfort food, dig into the meatloaf and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy ($16). Take your pick. It’s all good.

Among the delicious home-made desserts are carrot cake and flourless chocolate cake, so save room for at least one dessert to share with your dinner companion.

The large lunch menu at Cody’s is chock full of salads, sandwiches and entrees. You’ll be surprised to see items like roasted seafood bouillabaisse, chilled udon noodles with house-smoked chicken and spicy peanut sauce, and oven-baked rigatoni pasta sharing the lunch menu. The entrees range from $11.95 to $15.95.

Expect interesting breakfast selections as well - and the late breakfast menu is served until 1 p.m. Included on the ample breakfast menu are blue crab eggs benedict ($13.95), “millionaire” buttermilk pancakes with blueberries ($9.95), French toast made with Bread & Cie challah and served with fresh berry compote and warm maple syrup ($10.95), and house-made rosemary biscuits with pepper gravy, sage sausage and scrambled eggs ($10.95).

The interior is warm and inviting, and there’s plenty of room on the attractive outdoor patio for alfresco dining with a fabulous view of the Cove.

Cody’s is at 8030 Girard Avenue. Call (858) 459-0040.