French Art Deco Theme, Wine Charm Program, Happy Hour & Legacy Menu Items
The unveiling of the beautifully reimagined Café la Rue represents the first entirely new restaurant concept from La Valencia Hotel in almost a half century. This contemporary iteration of the restaurant and bar is a milestone in the colorful history of the café – which originally opened its doors in 1947.
Signature arched windows open to sunlight and the people watching on retail rich Prospect Street. The menu and the mood of the new restaurant is inspired by the three large paintings of 1920’s Parisian city life and the French art deco era by celebrated artist, Wing Howard, that hang throughout the space. Even the waiters’ ties showcase the original, circa 1940’s whimsical works of art.
Café la Rue’s art deco inspired design includes an open central bar with barrel dome glass canopy, high gloss, hand poured and polished Terrazzo floors in Parisian art deco designs and table and banquette seating. Natural stone and marble has been used for the bar, tabletops and baseboards and art deco chandeliers hang from the Venetian plaster ceilings. Finishes are done in walnut and oak and rich leathers are used for banquettes, chairs and barstools with color schemes in warm but refreshing hues of coral and brown. The space has been opened up to also include a new kitchen, plush powder rooms and a showpiece of a glass-enclosed wine vault with a signature wrought iron entry door.
La rue means “the street” in French and, as has been the case for almost a century, all streets in La Jolla lead to La V and its Café la Rue. Even its handcrafted specialty cocktails celebrate the city, since they are named for the streets in La Jolla – The Girard, Prospect, Wall Street, etc. And soon Cafe La Rue’s patrons can even enjoy more of “the street” since sidewalk and patio seating will be available in coming months.
A signature charm of Café la Rue emanates from specially minted wine charms – those who receive these will enjoy wine specials for life. Other wine programs include “Wine 1132” which showcase 11 featured wines monthly at $32 each – La V’s distinguished address on Prospect for almost 9 decades is 1132.
The all-day dining format will offer restaurant service from 11 am to 11 pm along with imported Illy barista coffees, specialty teas and pastry/breakfast items beginning at 6 am – so that locals and travelers alike have a gathering place to enjoy coffee and pastries. Afternoon and late night happy hours are aptly name “The Appointment” in homage to the venues first incarnation in 1926 as a quaint retail store known as La Cita (Spanish for “the appointment.”)
The varied menu offers sharing and entrée dishes showcasing artisanal foods, legacy dishes and seasonal specials and features items such as:
- Starters: Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic, Pancetta and Parmesan Cream; Pork Belly Poutine with Cheddar Curds, Gravy & Crispy Onions; Housemade Bacon with Toasted Bread & Maple Chili Sage Dip.
- Sandwiches: Grilled Albacore with Nicoise Tapenade & Oven Roasted Tomatoes on Ciabatta; Smoked Cheddar Bratwurst with Roasted Peppers & Onions & IPA Beer Cheese Chicharones.
- Entrees: Paella with Shrimp, Mussels, Clams and Arborio Chorizo; Lamb Shank Pot Pie with Root Vegetables & Butter Pastry; Duck Confit with Shell Beans & Smoked Ham Hock.
- Desserts: Espresso Pot de Crème with Vanilla Chantilly & Shortbread Crisp; Berry Cobbler & Honey Streusel with Honey Almond Ice Cream.
To honor the legacy of the hotel and restaurants origins, the menu also features a modern interpretation of some of the most popular dishes from its past menus including: Fish & Chips, Filet Mignon Flatbread, Paella and a return to the ever popular “Whaler” drink with Kahlua, Cream de Cacao, brandy & ice cream.
“Our goal with the new Café la Rue is to delight and surprise our patrons with both the space and the menu,” says Hotel Managing Director, Mark Dibella. “We’ve worked hard to create an intimate bistro and bar for today’s diners and travelers which embodies a decidedly more casual and sassy La Jolla social ambiance of easy comfort along with a graceful nod to the legacy of the hotel and its beloved gathering places”.
About the Art:
Wing Howard was commission by La V to create the murals while a resident of the hotel in the late 1940’s. He was commissioned again in 1977 to paint replacement paintings of the same scenes since the original paintings were deteriorating due to age, moisture and smoke. The Wing Howard murals hanging in the new La Rue are valued between $45,000 and $60,000 each and are titled: Paris Scene; Paris Street Scene and Picnic Scene in Amusement Park.
About La Valencia:
Owned and managed by Pacifica Host Hotels – a division of Pacifica Companies – La V features 112 completely renovated guest rooms and villas overlooking Ellen Browning Scripps Park and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Dining options include THE MED, a signature ocean facing restaurant and terrace featuring New American Cuisine with the adjoining La Sala Lounge and Café La Rue. Ocean view banquet rooms accommodate 10 to 175 guests and the property includes terraced gardens, heated pool & spa, fitness room and business center. La V is located in the center of the Village of La Jolla and steps away to premier retail and dining. Renowned leisure destinations are minutes away and include the La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines State Park, Scripps Ocean Institute, the Birch Aquarium as well as UCSD / La Jolla Playhouse and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.