Lost © Robert Sommers 2023

Monday, October 26, 2015

La Valencia

I'm not going to be around for my actual birthday so I asked a couple friends to join me for lunch yesterday. I decided to go to the La Valencia because it has been so long since I had their paella and it had some good reviews on Yelp.

La Jolla's La Valencia is one of the places of my youth, we didn't go often but we certainly did on special occasions and they had the best brunch around, or right there with La Costa. Such a beautiful Andalusian setting.

The accent mark (who went to Bishop's School nearby) said "That old warhorse, lets go somewhere else. like Rancho Valencia." But I love the building and treasure the memory of many fine meals there with my late father and Buzz.

So we went. Wore a shirt that reminds me of my dad, too. Going old school San Diego. Lubach's, Grant Grill, Torrey Club, Belgian Lion. Old Trieste. La Valencia. Classy places.

I had made reservations over a week ago. They lost them. No record. So they decided to seat us in the bar across from a couple drunks. Never told us that we weren't even in the La Valencia Restaurant but in the stand alone cafe next door. And no paella on the menu now. Disappointing.

A view of people's ankles through the window and the twentysomethings slouched on the bar getting their hair of the dog.

I asked our really great server Kyle what to get. I listened to him and went elsewhere, ordered lobster crepes and they weren't great. Should have listened. Cold and funny smell. Barely decent. Leslie had a boring blue crab omelette and she says that is hard to do.

Watermelon and greens salad also didn't work too well. Live and learn. We toasted our late mothers and fathers and happily ate our meals, enjoying each other's company immensely. Can't overestimate the value of friends, especially when the cuisine is lacking something.

The quiche that the accent had was good. Most of my guests thought the food was alright. I had a word with the new manager and she took total responsibility for the shortcomings. Will give the place another try when she finishes putting her imprimatur on it.

But it was a little disappointing. Thank god the company was great. Walked down to the cove after brunch.

Afterwards we topped off at Jasmine express with sesame balls, honey roast pork and a peking duck. Saved! A good day, thanks friends!


island guy said...

Thanks for the memories of being there with my Father and my very distinguished Great Aunt Edith that arose upon reading the opening lines.

Anonymous said...

I instantly recognized the gnarled tree trunks as being from the park overlooking La Jolla Cove.

A friend and I got thrown out of the Valencia once, 30 years ago. My grad school roommate from the University of Maryland, he was visiting me and I was showing him around La Jolla. He got it into his head to try to open a hallway window and climb out onto the roof. This is the same fellow who nearly got me thrown out of the National Gallery in DC the year before when he tried to rub his fingers on one of Monet's cathedral paintings. I blocked his hand, but it looked like I was the one threatening the painting. I've lost touch with him, but I imagine he has calmed down by now, and he was a pretty decent guy, just a bit nuts.