Fresh, festive, fabulous Mexican flavors at Su Casa in WindanSea in La Jolla


By Kelley Carlson

At Su Casa, guests might feel as if they’re kicking back in a hacienda. It is spacious yet cozy, relaxed, and welcomes people of all ages. “Su Casa is an authentic, friendly, family-oriented restaurant that has been a pioneer in gourmet Mexican and seafood specialties for 45 years,” said Moishe Chernovetzky, owner for the last 26 years.

The restaurant has tiled archways, stained-glass windows, lanterns, chili peppers strung along the walls, and foliage draped over hanging baskets. Original black-and-white prints from a collection titled “Glances of Mexico” by the owner’s son, Alejandro Chernovetzky, depict people at work, rest and play in various locations around the country. Spanish music contributes to the festive atmosphere. The centerpiece of the main dining room is a large aquarium illuminated by a beam of light from above; a fireplace crackles a short distance away, near a second fish tank. The seats in this area are among the best in the house, according to Moishe Chernovetzky.

The booths and tables in the dining room accommodate smaller groups; the adjacent back room allows for parties of up to 50 people. On the other side of the restaurant is the bar, with a half-dozen stools and various other seating options. Customers can catch the latest sports events on several TVs, while sitting near the other fireplace. Up a short flight of stairs is the colorful, outdoor patio with succulents hanging over tables of green, blue, yellow and orange. The shade provides respite from the sun, and the area is heated when the temperatures are cool. Water trickles from a fountain, while nearby palm trees sway in the ocean breeze.

Once settled in their seats, patrons can pore over a menu that has received eight gold-medal awards for food excellence.

“Every dish is prepared with fresh ingredients to create the rich flavors of authentic and healthy regional Mexican cuisine,” Chernovetzky said. “We are consistently concerned about our guests’ health.”

Su Casa’s specialities revolve around seafood, although chicken, beef and carnitas items are available, as well. Among the lauded entrees is the Verde Crab Enchilada, two flour tortillas filled with sweet snow crabmeat and covered with tomatillo salsa verde.

Another popular item is La Jolla Sueños (Dreams), consisting of jumbo shrimp, sautéed with mushrooms, wrapped in a flour tortilla and smothered with ranchero sauce.

The Succulent Seafood Tamal is a signature dish, too. It’s a homemade corn tamal stuffed with jumbo shrimp and crabmeat, and covered with green tomatillo sauce.

In addition, there is a large selection of vegetarian dishes, including a Vegetable Enchilada in a light chipotle sauce; and Vegetarian Fajitas with broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes.

Chernovetzky noted that Su Casa is also well-known for its table-side guacamole, prepared from scratch in front of customers. Desserts range from Deep Fried Ice Cream to Kahlua Flan. A menu is available for children. The restaurant has its own park-for-free lot. 
 “Su Casa Restaurant is a landmark; it’s a favorite hangout place for locals as well as for tourists around the word,” Chernovetzky said.

Su Casa

Address: 6738 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla


(858) 454-0369


The Vibe: Casual, relaxed, festive, romantic

Signature Dishes: Verde Crab Enchilada, La Jolla Sueños (Dreams), Succulent Seafood Tamal

Open Since: 1967

Reservations: Yes

Patio Seating: Yes

Take Out: Yes

Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday

Hours: 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

On The Menu Recipe


ach week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story.

This week

: Su Casa’s Chicken al Chipotle.