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Dinner at La Valencia

July 25, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s dinner with friends on the Ocean View Terrace at La Valencia in La Jolla.

It’s no easy task keeping up with the renovations at La Valencia, La Jolla’s landmark Spanish Colonial hotel. In a previous article, I mentioned some of the exciting changes happening to the building, but last night I experienced another wow factor.

Chef Daniel Barron has taken over the kitchen at La Valencia and introduced new and exciting flavors. During dinner with friends on the Ocean Terrace, I enjoyed the chilled pea bisque – stone crab – truffle – tomato starter. The freshness of the pea puree worked beautifully with the crab, truffle, tomato parcel in the center of the soup plate.

The taste of super fresh peas made this dish a winner.

I also enjoyed a serving of positively divine Brussels sprouts infused with melted parmesan and covered with a dusting of candied salted cashews. These veggies preceded the daily feature – local grouper – which led to an introduction to a legendary San Diego fishmonger, who happened to be seated nearby.

Chance meetings like this happen at La Valencia, where interesting people tend to gather and enjoy the timeless atmosphere and authentic surroundings. In fact, it would have been easy to forget that I was dining at the hotel’s Mediterranean Room and Ocean Terrace – and not in the actual Mediterranean. Sommelier Tami Wong walked us through the extensive La Valencia wine list and introduced us to new vintners and vintages.

At some point during the meal, I looked out over the water and had a momentary spell of deja vu to dinners in the South of France. La Valencia occupies a prime spot on the La Jolla coast, overlooking Scripps Park, palm trees, and the Pacific.

The taste of this dessert reminded me of my junior high fling
with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups – but it was so much better.

I thought I didn’t have room for dessert until I spotted “Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Bar” on the menu.

“OK, I’ll just have a bite,” I assured fellow diners. That was before I tasted this amazing combination of milk chocolate fudge cake, peanut butter crunch, and peanut butter mousse accompanied by banana gelato crreated by pastry chef Mary Katherine Woods.

Seriously – I will never again say that “only dark chocolate is worth the calories.” This La Valencia special may just be the very best dessert I’ve ever eaten – and I intend to return soon to taste it again just to be sure.

The Ocean View Terrace at La Valencia overlooks the iconic swimming pool.

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Category: Hotels, Restaurants

Elizabeth Hansen

About the Author ()

I live in La Jolla and I'm a travel writer, so in addition to enjoying my home town's great weather, beautiful surroundings, and range of cultural and recreational options, I also see La Jolla - and the rest of San Diego - as a travel destination. And what I see sometimes drives me batty. People vacation in La Jolla, but don't take advantage of everything our community offers, so I decided to start this blog and provide insider advice for out-of-towners. Hey. I figure if I can write insider tips about exotic destinations on Authentic Luxury Travel, I ought to be able to lead readers off the beaten path that starts just outside my front door. In the process, I'm having fun revisiting my favorite places and discovering some new ones. Travel writers are naturally snoopy, and this blog is my excuse to have a good ol' sticky beak around my home town. I hope you find it helpful. If you are coming to La Jolla or another area of San Diego and would like my help in planning your trip, please read "Need Help Planning Your Trip" and then email me at ehansen298@aol.com. Elizabeth Hansen

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  1. Monika Shukla says:

    would love to win a gateway for my husband.. wanna have a break with him

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