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The Palette

7650 Mission Valley Rd. (Friars Rd.) Send to Phone
858-598-1405 | Menu
This student-run dining room showcases a new cuisine each quarter and the talents of the aspiring chefs at The Art Institute of California.


Lunch & Dinner Wed.-Thurs.

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Operations may be disrupted due to COVID-19. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its current status and offerings.

The Palette Restaurant Review

: At The Palette, students helm the kitchen and the menu reflects their coursework, so you never know what to expect --- apart, that is, from innovative seasonal specials and some good food. Executive chef Michael Zonfrilli oversees the kitchen, dining room and students. We enjoy such starting efforts as a Masala-spiced tomato soup with seared paneer cheese; sweet corn risotto; and spinach salad with strawberries. For lunch, vegetarians will appreciate the chimichurri tofu torta with avocado tempura. It’s a delight to see what the aspiring chefs create --- like spicy fennel sausage with tagliatelle. And while sometimes dishes can be hit or miss, success triumphs failures. Desserts such as green tea mocha ice cream or a chocolate malted crème brûlée deliver a sweet finish. In the end, a meal here leaves us feeling as if we could be eating food from a future Thomas Keller, and the speculative risk involved is well worth the reasonable prices.

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