The Dining Room at Jack’s

The Dining Room at Jack’s

Most people don’t ordinarily think of a shopping arcade as a location for a gourmet dinner. And yet, one of the better gourmet meals I have enjoyed in California was at The Dining Room at Jack’s in a shopping arcade in tony La Jolla. Once inside, I forgot I was in a mall and focused on the menu, modern décor, and lively ambiance with subdued light. Although there was a constant flow of happy hour guests at the bar adjacent to the dining area where I was seated, the noise level was loud enough to be interesting without being bothersome.

Azul La Jolla

Azul La Jolla

Azul offered fine dining with a magnificent ocean view. Because I arrived extra early I was able to take my pick of seats next to the floor to ceiling windows that draw the eyes of everyone in the dining room. I chose a front row seat to the Pacific Ocean. From there I could see the dark ocean waters and the beautiful landscapes of the La Jolla Cove to the south and La Jolla Shores to the north. Although the sun had been brilliant a few hours earlier, by the time I arrived at Azul mounds of clouds had rolled in and the colors were gray and muted. Even so the vista was inspiring.

Navio

Navio

We arrived at Navio, named for the Portuguese ships that first sailed to Half Moon Bay in the 1800s, ready for a hearty meal. After a day of traveling and nothing to eat since breakfast we sacrificed a late lunch for a 45-minute massage at the Ritz spa. From the moment we arrived, we felt welcome and anticipated a pleasant dinner. We spent a delightful evening sampling the chef’s specialties, well paired by Michael, a perceptive and patient wine steward, at this beautiful restaurant by the sea. We relaxed watching an artistic sunset from our window facing table which had a memorable view of the hotel ’s golf course and Pacific Ocean .