La Jolla Journals

New Year's in La Jolla

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A December 2005 trip to La Jolla by Idler

Torrey Pines State Reserve and Beach Photo, San Diego, California More Photos
Quote: Billing itself as an 'escape from the norm,' the upscale seaside community of La Jolla exudes California chic.

Sommerset Suites Hotel

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Hotel

Sommerset Suites Hotel Photo, La Jolla, California
Quote:
There’s only one problem, really, with staying at Sommerset Suites Hotel: it’s too tempting to spend evenings lolling about the suite drinking wine rather than going out to some chichi bistro to loll about drinking wine. We were so comfortable staying here that we found it difficult to bestir ourselves. Happily, we didn’t have to venture far to find those chichi bistros (or a decent bottle to take back to the room), as the hotel is smack in the center of the Hillcrest District, one of San Diego’s liveliest neighborhoods. The friendly, efficient staff manning the front desk made an immediate positive impression. We soon had our swipe c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

Sommerset Suites Hotel
606 Washington Street
San Diego, California 92103
(619) 692-5200

Celadon Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Celadon"

Celadon Restaurant Photo, San Diego, California
Quote:
I was delighted to find this highly regarded Thai restaurant only a few blocks from our hotel. On a busy Friday night, we stopped by and made a reservation for later that evening, deciding to walk around Hillcrest and work up an appetite rather than join the throng waiting for a table. Upon our return some 45 minutes later, we still had to wait a few minutes, the time spent perusing the many dining awards and reviews on display in the foyer. Celadon is obviously popular for dates, as there were a number of young couples seated in the romantically lit dining room. The decor is a fusion of modern and traditional Thai, with suitabl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

Celadon Restaurant
3671 5th Ave.
San Diego, California 92103
(619) 297-8424

Ortega's A Mexican Bistro

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Restaurant | "Ortega's: A Mexican Bistro"

Ortega's A Mexican Bistro Photo, San Diego, California
Quote:
It was pouring rain on New Year’s Eve, putting a damper on our plans to participate in festivities downtown. The idea of scouting around town for a nice restaurant for dinner wasn’t particularly appealing, either. Luckily we remembered an attractive bistro just a few blocks away that we’d spotted the previous evening. Our luck and timing were both good when we arrived at Ortega’s, as the restaurant was gearing up for a private party later that evening but was still serving customers. Soon we were seated in the nicely decorated main room featuring large wicker lanterns in the high-beamed ceiling and wrought iron and leather furniture. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

Ortega's A Mexican Bistro
141 University Ave.
San Diego, California 92103
(619) 692-4200

Museum Cafe

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Restaurant | "The Museum Cafe at the Museum of Contemporary Art"

Museum Cafe Photo, La Jolla, California
Quote:
I’d read that the Museum Cafe at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla was worth checking out, and as we arrived at the museum near lunchtime and hadn’t eaten, we decided to give it a try. I’d say this was one of our trip’s "finds"--I just wish this place could be cloned and transplanted to our hometown.The café is in an airy atrium-like setting with suitably modern minimalist touches. There are outdoor tables that can be set up under the museum’s trademark palm trees, but on a chilly, gray day, dining indoors seemed a better bet. On the other hand, with the nasty weather, there were relatively few patrons on hand a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

Museum Cafe
Museum of Contemporary Art
La Jolla, California 92037
(858) 456-6427

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

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Attraction | "Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institute"

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Photo, La Jolla, California
Quote:
We’re what you might call aquarium connoisseurs. We live within striking distance of the immense National Aquarium in Baltimore, plus wherever we travel, we seek out aquariums, such as the splendid ones in Boston, Chattanooga, Chicago, and Monterrey. We’re avid snorkelers, too, so we’ve got a lot of first-hand reef experience and are keen observers of aquatic life. Needless to say, we expected great things of the Birch Aquarium, associated with the world-famous Scripps Institute. Alas, while the aquarium is perfectly adequate, it didn’t really live up to our expectations.This is not to say that it’s not worth going to. For starters, the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, California 92093
(858) 534-3474

Museum of Contemporary Art

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Attraction

Museum of Contemporary Art Photo, La Jolla, California
Quote:
There’s a lot to like about the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, but there’s not too much, if you catch my drift. Rather than overwhelm the visitor with crammed exhibits and diffuse sensibilities, the museum lets select pieces and tightly focused exhibits showcase California art and themes. This is not to say that the museum confines itself to local artists--non-Californian contemporary art is well represented with pieces by such major figures as Rauschenberg, Warhol, and Lichtenstein, and work by Latin American artists are featured as well. It’s not just the art that’s thought-provoking here, but the building and its ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

Museum of Contemporary Art
700 Prospect St.
La Jolla, California 92037
(858) 454-3541

Torrey Pines State Reserve and Beach

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Attraction | "Torrey Pines State Reserve"

Torrey Pines State Reserve and Beach Photo, San Diego, California
Quote:
Torrey Pines State Reserve has multiple appeal. The reserve is popular with birdwatchers, beachcombers, fitness buffs, surfers, photographers, whale watchers, wildflower enthusiasts, naturists, and all manner of folks who simply want a peaceful break. Since this lovely piece of wilderness occupies prime coastal real estate in a densely populated area, however, you’re not liable to be enjoying its much-vaunted splendors in solitude. We came fairly early on New Year’s day, around 8am, and already found the parking lot beginning to fill. Fitness walkers and joggers were busy fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions by ascending the long winding road u...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

Torrey Pines State Reserve and Beach
North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, San Diego 92121
(858) 755-2063

About the Writer

Idler

Idler
Poolesville, Maryland