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George's California Modern

George's at the Cove
1250 Prospect St. (Ivanhoe Ave.)
La Jolla, CA 92037
Executive chef Trey Foshee creates imaginative, ingredient-driven California cuisine in an elevated setting with an ocean view.
Openings: Dinner nightly


George's California Modern, La Jolla, CA

George's California Modern Restaurant Review:

A La Jolla fixture for more than three decades, George's at the Cove encompasses George's California Modern on the main level, George's Bar on the second floor and the rooftop Ocean Terrace. This restaurant embodies good taste on myriad levels. We believe the secret to its success is the culinary triumvirate of affable owner George Hauer, executive chef/partner Trey Foshee, and partner/general manager April Johnson, who has a talent for training her ultra-professional staff in the art of service. The décor is on the minimalist side, letting the ocean view speak for itself. (From the window you can also glimpse John Baldessari's "Brain/Cloud (with Seascape and Palm Tree)," part of the Murals of La Jolla public art project.) For additional romantic flair, request the purple couches at tables six and nine. There's also a bar and private dining area. Chef Foshee has been instrumental in defining San Diego's regional cuisine, as his dishes are paeans to the finest products and coastal treasures. Through his farm-to-table approach, Foshee focuses on coaxing the true essence from his seasonal ingredients. Guests select a four-course prix-fixe menu or multi-course tasting. The ever-evolving menu captivates with dishes like albacore crudo with kumquat, apple, kohlrabi and fermented Serrano; soft egg with maitake mushrooms, leek congee, onion, squash blossom and lemon thyme; and roasted sardine with white bean cassoulet, prosciutto, aori ika (bigfin reef squid), turnips and chimichurri. The signature "fish tacos," comprising yellowfin tuna, fried avocado and crushed corn nuts, can always be counted on. Overall, the dishes are well-constructed. At times, there may be too many flavors at play as we found in the pork tenderloin with pancetta Milanese, salsify, quince mustard, sauce gribiche and mustard greens. The well-educated wine list makes for an evening of notable pairings. Coravin, a specialized wine access system, allows premium selections like Opus One to be ordered by the glass. The distinctive drinks menu employs house-made bitters. Desserts push creative boundaries with burnt honey and vanilla bean panna cotta with tangerine, cardamom cream, dates, honey cake, dark chocolate honeycomb, fermented honey and local orange blossom mead sorbet. Parties of two to six may call ahead to reserve TBL3, a single chef's table for which Foshee prepares an exclusive 14-course meal based on his whims.