Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Sophisticated dining at The Lodge at Torrey Pines with views of the famous golf course.


Dinner Wed.-Sun.

* Click here for rating key

A.R. Valentien, La Jolla, CA

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

A.R. Valentien Restaurant Review

: Dining at A.R. Valentien transports us back to a more genteel, turn-of-the-century time. From the moment we arrive at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, an homage to the craftsman movement, we are mesmerized by the architecture, the stained glass, the ambient lighting and handcrafted furniture. Start with a drink in one of the two small alcoves of the lounge, perhaps by the copper-hooded fireplace, then wander into the cozy restaurant. (It's named after artist Albert R. Valentien, who was commissioned to paint the local flora of San Diego in the early 1900s.) In the timbered, sophisticated space, you'll find tables and semi-circular booths along the wall. Parties of up to 12 can reserve the wood-paneled private dining room. There's also a pleasant deck overlooking the pool, golf course and the ocean beyond in the distance. The restaurant knows how to cater to the tastes of hotel guests and La Jolla professionals, starting with bread service that might bring squid ink bread, speck, house-cured salmon and mostarda. Longtime executive chef Jeff Jackson and chef de cuisine Kelli Crosson's farm-fresh fare evolves based on what is in season. At dinner, order à la carte or opt for the four-course tasting menu ($75, $115 with wines). The three-course "Local Lunch" menu ($32) might feature roasted asparagus with a sunny-side up egg; roasted white sea bass with wilted bloomsdale spinach, shallots, pine nuts and lemon; and strawberry rhubarb galette. The mainstay chicken "under a brick" is sure to appear on the menu alongside offerings like butter poached Maine lobster salad or braised beef short rib with polenta. Complement your meal with California cheeses and selections from the mostly American wine list. Classic and original handcrafted cocktails are also available. As expected, breakfast is a gourmet affair, with lemon ricotta pancakes or frittata "Lorraine" with bacon, onions and Gruyère. Don't miss the Thursday night "Artisan's Table," where diners are seated with other epicureans and served family-style.

Belgian chocolates

Coffee and chocolate make a delicious combination. ENJOY 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER with GAYOT's exclusive promo code.

Stay in a romantic mood with this Rosé Champagne.

Read GAYOT's review.