First there was darkness, now light. La Valencia Hotel’s beloved martini cave, the Whaling Bar, is dead, reincarnated as Café La Rue—a wide-open French bistro, sunny as one of Monet’s dot-paintings of flowers. This is phase one of La V’s dining overhaul (Med Room next, then Terrace) under talented chef Daniel Barron. His menu is inspired by the original La Rue, first opened here in the ’40s. A pile of housemade bacon comes next to a yellow, custard-like dip. What is it? Oh, yes—an emulsion of butter and maple syrup, with chiles. For assured happiness, also try his pork belly poutine (with Wisconsin curds), fried Brussels (in Parmesan crème), or duck pasta with black truffle. Arterially friendly food also served. 1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla.
Café La Rue at La Valencia Hotel