Cafe La Rue at La Valencia Hotel
Sundays are our lazy sleep-in days. By 1pm, the hunger inside was roaring for us to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! San Diego Restaurant Week had just started and Cafe La Rue won out as our destination based on distance and menu potential. I was also drawn to the thought of visiting La Valencia Hotel since I've seen tons of buzz on my instagram feed.
The main bar and dining area was spacious and not busy in the early afternoon. For this photo view, Dennis tested out a new 14mm Ultra-Wide angle lens which gave approximately a 110 degree view on his camera.
I love cozy booths like this so we plopped down happily into the cushions. There are three booths inside with the rest using regular, single person chairs.
The SDRW menu was $20 and gave several choices for the main course and the dessert course. Each main course had three components per the description "Main Course - Menage a Trois." Full menu is attached at the end of the post.
Muffuleta Sandwich, Soup du Jour & Truffle Fries
I don't know what a muffeleta is so we had to check it out. This sandwich was cut interestingly, super skinny! The tapenade layer reminded Dennis of one he tried at Costco and I think the middle was ham. I tasted more mustard bite and a saltier bottom due to the olives. The toasted foccacia bread was thick and firm enough to hold shape but the insides slid around with each bite. It was a fun sandwich to try but I could do without olives. We both were fans of the french fries though, soft crispy and flavored with fresh grated cheese, herbs and the right amount of salt.
The soup of the day was Lobster Bisque and it turned out to be very salty. We couldn't eat it and unfortunately had to send it back.
The waiter offered to switch it out to the French Onion Soup. This looked amazing in its honeypot-like bowl. The melted cheese layer was slightly browned and the very richly flavored soup underneath was simmering hot. I still felt it was more oily and brothier than I liked.
Crepes du Jour, Salad & Fresh Fruit
The other main course popped with a little more color. It totally felt like the healthy option with the thin slices of carrots and yellow squash in addition to the salad and tomato halves. I was delighted to find FIGS as part of the meal. The other fruits included apple, grapes, and blueberries, a favorable selection of fresh produce.
Here's a closeup of the Crepes du Jour. The crepe wrapper wasn't anything special though, sort of plain, and was NOT stuffed enough. I wanted more onions and mushrooms inside but at least there was enough artichokes topping it. Dennis liked that it was savory rather than sweet. As a meal altogether, it's super light.
Desserts took more time to come out than entrees.
The Lavender Creme Brulee had fresh berries, a fried caramel crisp, and a decorative lavendar sprig. The creme layer was a sort of lumpier texture and wasn't the best we've had though still decent. Berries made my day here.
We also ordered the Fresh Berries Beignets. They were sort of like a donut but seemed too plain, even with the powdered sugar and chocolate sauce espresso .
Here's our MODIFIED improvement... beignets stuffed with creme brulee and drizzled in chocolate! BOMB.
The menus had thoughtful combinations showcasing fresh local items though some were executed better than others. The prices were decent due to SDRW. It did take a little bit of time to get our food even though it wasn't that busy. I'm a bit curious about the main restaurant, also run by Chef James Montejano, who seems to be all over social media. Perhaps we need a fancy date night occasion excuse to come back...
Have you visited La Valencia Hotel or its restaurants before?
Cafe La Rue [La Valencia Hotel]
1132 Prospect St
La Jolla CA 92037