In spite of an early weekday arrival, there were already guests in the dining room. A good sign, I thought to myself. Still I was unprepared for the light and playful culinary touches the young chef and his team served that night.
The tasting menu was satisfying and much more. Each course was beautifully presented, fresh tasting and with a novel twist. European, Eastern, and California influences were evident. Service was polite and professional. The Dining Room at Jack’s was noteworthy for its innovative, appetizing and well served meal. It’s was must for gourmet food lovers visiting La Jolla.
Executive Chef Tony DiSalvo
Handicapped Access The restaurant welcomed handicapped guests. Access was via elevators and stairs.
Head Sommelier Myres McDougal
Location In a shopping center in La Jolla
Managed Deanna Pluma
Opened-Renovated The restaurant opened August 2005
Owned Bill Berkley
Pastry Chef Trish Sisneros
Size Jack’s with overall capacity for 500 guests, occupied 30,000 square feet of space and had 120 employees. It had capacity for 70 seats in the gourmet dining room.
Type Of Restaurant Contemporary American Cuisine
Upon graduation in 1995, DiSalvo took a position at La Goulue in New York under the tutelage of Philippe Schmidt. This one year stint exposed the young chef to French-Mediterranean cuisine. From there DiSalvo moved on to Gramercy Tavern, where he worked with Tom Colicchio.
In 1998, after working his way through all the positions in the Gramercy Tavern kitchen, DiSalvo decided to return to Jeans-Georges Vongerichten and his flagship restaurant, Jeans-Georges in New York’s Trump Tower. He became sous chef in 2000 and executive chef in 2001. In 2004, he moved to La Jolla, California to open Jack’s La Jolla as executive chef and partner. DiSalvo resides in San Diego with his wife, Andrea and daughter Isabella.
Meal The Chilled Sweet Corn Soup made with Alaskan king crab, tomatoes and basil was refreshing and delicious. Next were Cubes of Bluefin Tuna with aromatic vegetable vinaigrette and grilled mushroom broth. There was also Sautéed Sonoma Foie Gras with pickled plums, shiso and litsea cubeba; Line Caught Maine Halibut with sweet peppers, chorizo, clams and parsley; and Roasted Prime Beef Tenderloins with carrot confit , cilantro, celery root and pickled short rib. The meal ended on an elegant note with a plate of florid lavender infused figs with olive oil ice cream.
Special Menus Jack’s offered a reasonably priced five course tasting menu (limited to the entire table) for $65 or $89 with wine pairings. There were also seven ($85) and nine ($110) course tasting menus. Sundays there was a Prix Fixe four-course $44 menu which changed weekly.
ReviewersArticle and photos by Elena del Valle
Service Staff were friendly, helpful, alert and efficient.
Would You Dine There Again-Recommend It? Yes