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Nearby points of interest

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About Cafe la Rue - La Valencia Hotel

Fresh vintage returns to the dining scene at La Valencia Hotel with the exciting opening of Café la Rue. Experience modern European cuisine, hand crafted cocktails and premium libations in a cozy casual village atmosphere in the heart of La Jolla. Inspired by the art of hotel legend Wing Howard, this people watching cafe with terrazzo floors, Venetian plaster ceilings, glass enclosed wine vault and large bar graced by paintings of Parisian life done in 1947, the year of the restaurant’s original inception.

1132 Prospect Street
San Diego, CA 92037
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary European, Contemporary American, Café

Hours of Operation:
Sunday - Thursday: 10:30am - 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 10:30am - 11:00pm

Happy Hour Daily: 3pm - 7pm

Food Service from 11 am - Close

Cross Street:
Herschel

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(858) 454-0771

Website:
http://www.cafelaruelav.com/

Entertainment:
Entertainment in La Sala Lounge: Wednesday - Sunday 6pm - 10pm

Parking Details:
2 hour street parking is available throughout the La Jolla Village.
Valet is located on Prospect Street in front of the Hotel.

Public Transit:
Silverado St & Herschel Ave

Executive Chef:
Alex Emery

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Happy Hour everyday 3pm - 7pm. $5 drinks and $3-$8 food specials nightly

Cafe la Rue - La Valencia Hotel Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.0

service

3.8

ambience

4.7

value

3.8

Noise

Quiet

60% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
People Watching (2)
See All
Fit for Foodies (1)
Fun (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Scenic View (1)
Tapas (1)
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43 reviews
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 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Enjoyable meal on Black Friday. A good escape from shopping just to people watch and have a wonderful lunch. Beet salad was great!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, People Watching, Fun, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Miami)·Dined on November 6, 2017

We enjoyed the food, service and atmosphere at Cafe le Rue.
Limited menu but we liked all the choices. Our server was great
and the food was delicious.

Tags: Happy Hour, Quick Bite, Tapas, People Watching, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 1, 2017

The service was very poor. Our food did not come out for over 1/2 hour. Our salad came first, then the entree and then the appetizer. The waiter never asked us if we wanted more wine. There only maybe 2 other tables with costumers. So it wasn’t because they were busy. Very disappointed.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2017

My friend’s Mother was here visiting from out of town. I only see her every 2 years, so I wanted her to experience the La Valencia.

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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Wonderful and delicious. Service was great.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 6, 2017

They claimed they did not have a reservation for me even after I showed them my email confirmation. There were plenty of empty tables but that's not the point. Service was slow - waitrress disappeared for long periods of time. Disappointed in food. Too bad as the ambiance is very nice.

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food1
ambience5
service1
value1

 
·Dined on August 17, 2017

Disappointed. Chicken wrap was awful, service was slow and not friendly.

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food2
ambience5
service2
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 23, 2017

The live band was fantastic and a very unexpected pleasure! The happy hour drinks weren't anything special.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 12, 2017

Great for a casual meal with excellent service and pleasing ambience.

Tags: Quick Bite, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, People Watching, Disabled Access, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 28, 2017

Drinks had to be returned twice, bartender not familiar with classic old fashioned, food steak was over cooked but risotto was solid. Other options in area with better food and service

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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on June 3, 2017

Although management aplolgized and did its best to address our concerns, the following occurred: despite having a reservation we were invited to seat ourselves (red flag, as this was supposed to be a nice restaurant in the hotel Valencia); we asked for bread and were told it comes out slow, we had to insist on her bringing it; then we were told after 40 mins the ticket hadn't printed and our meals were just being made; the steak frites came out cold anyway, the meat was small and the pieces tough; the meal was served in what looked like a picnic basket.
This is not what I think of when I think of dining in the casual yet formal restaurant of a classic hotel. It's an embarrassment to the fine history of the establishment and a tragic loss of the original Whaling Bar.
A few people were gathered around the bar but the dining areas were mostly empty. I thought it was because we came early to our 7:30 reservation. Apparently, word has got out that every aspect of this hotel restaurant is a disaster.
The manager came, apologized, offered us some free drinks. As I don't drink, it didn't do me much good. Then offered us more drinks at the inside bar. Again, this made me wonder if the people here think their patrons only want to get hammered. We wanted to eat. We were finally brought some bruschetta by an exhausted looking young chef. Why she was so tired considering there was no one in the restaurant is a mystery.
It seemed to me most of the staff was very young.

Breakfast the next day via room service from the hotel (don't know what kitchen it came from) was top notch, however.

I hope the establishement considers this and the other reviews. Diners do need more than great pancakes. As this was a special occasion it was a big diassapointment.

Tags: Bar Seating
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food2
ambience2
service2
value1

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on May 22, 2017

We were looking for something different from the usual Italian, seafood, or Asian restaurant, and Cafe La Rue seemed to fit the bill. We were there for lunch: food was good classic "French Bistro", prices were reasonable, and room was OK (but only street view in La Jolla, no ocean view).
However.....place was completely empty, except for us. We were not sure it was even open (at 12 noon) when we arrived. Service was adequate, but not much of a challenge for the one server. Unfortunately, I fear La Rue will not be open for long. Too bad, it deserves better I think.

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience2
service3
value3

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on May 13, 2017

I had been to La Med a few years ago and it was a wonderful meal. This time the meal was just bad. The food was either odd tasting or inedible. The tuna tartar was like no other tuna tartar I had ever had with virtually no flavor but the sesame toast on top. The meza plate tasted like something from Trader Joe's. And the cost was simply outrageous for the quality. This was a real disappointment on Mother's Day and we will not be back.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on May 12, 2017

Good Resturant would come back

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Love bring there- always friendly staff - great people watching- exceptional happy hour deal
Thanks!

Tags: Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, People Watching, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on April 9, 2017

Regardless I had a reservation which requested a high chair, the waitress told me to seat myself but nobody served me anything in 25 mins until a manager looking guy happened to come by and kindly asked if I was helped. Happy hour food tasted like leftovers, but entrees were well cooked. Doesn't worth going back again.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on April 9, 2017

We had brunch at Café la Rue for our daughter's 17th birthday. It took over 15 minutes to get seated or even recognized. Once seated, we didn't get any service for another 30 minutes. One of our guests ordered something that arrived 30 minutes after the rest of our food arrived. Overall, the restaurant did not seem to value our patronage or offer any service whatsoever - it was the worst service we've had at a La Jolla restaurant in years. We will definitely not return.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service1
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on March 24, 2017

This is now our fav for a happy hour place. The La Va (La Valencia)is an honored tradition in La Jolla....La Rue a promising new child to carry on the reputation of the Whaling Bar there.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Comfort Food
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on March 17, 2017

We came for the St. Patrick's Day celebration, big fan of the Jackstraws. I had made a reservation and they had even called me the day before to confirm. When we got there, no one was available to help with seating and I finally got someone who didn't even get my name and said it was open seating. Strange. They moved a little side table over so we could see the band. Drinks were good, our appetizer was good. Then we kind of lost our server. Only two for the patio that was super busy, not so great. Took a really long time to get our dinner, had to ask about it 3 times. Not sure if the kitchen was backed up or what was happening. Once we got our food, it was really good, but everything just seemed a little unorganized. But hey, it was St. Patrick's Day, still had a good time. (oh and the bar doesn't really know how to make a real Irish Coffee)

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Horrible service - the waiter chatted for 5 minutes with the table next to us while we waited to have an undercooked burger sent back to the kitchen. They can't even cook a burger! When the food was finally ready the second time, it sat around another 5 minutes before it was brought to the table. Guess why? The waiter was chatting again...

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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Where's the beef? The conversion of the venerable Whaling Bar into Café la Rue may have seemed like a good idea at the time. The new space has arched windows and soft, warm finishes including a very comfortable bench with throw pillows along the north wall. But I miss the cozy, old school feel of the Whaling Bar. The new cuisine is uneven at best, both in quality, serving size, and value. My wife had the steak frites. The fries were hard, maybe pre-cooked. The hanger steak was tasty but small. Presentation (on a wood cutting board) was nice but included a useless (dull) steak knife. I had the steelhead salmon. The pan-fried filet was crispy on the skin side, well-seasoned, and moist throughout. Again, very small, maybe 6 - 8 oz. It is served on a bed of generic spring mix covered in rock salt to the point of being inedible. No vegetable or other side dish. Basically, for $24, it's a salmon salad, and a plain one at that. Service was very attentive (there were only a handful of customers on a Friday at 9 PM). If you're staying at La Valencia, La Rue is a good option to the more formal and pricy "Med" restaurant. Otherwise, there are much better options nearby.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 14, 2016

The service is always terrible and the food should be much better for the price.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 13, 2016

Excellent place to eat and drink. Grew in LJ and it has always been a landmark. Just wish I had run into Steven Tyler!!

I was there for Lunch on the patio overlooking the Cove. One of my classmates from the LJ of 1977.

Easy to book the reservation and he and I had a wonderful afternoon at the beach afterwards.

Highly recommend.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Brunch, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic, Hot Spot, Scenic View, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Orange County)·Dined on June 26, 2016

Service was a bit off. The restaurant is seat yourself which was confusing considering we made an Opentable reservation. There also wasn't much help with the menu and recommendations (I'm looking for more guidance then "everything is good"). The ambiance is cafe casual mixed with central bar. There's a cute little patio too overlooking the main road if you want to people watch as tourists pass by. It wasn't busy at all at 1:30 on a Sunday. Maybe 5 or 6 other tables and a few people at the bar.

The food was a hit or miss: pork belly poutine was delicious! Rich but the perfect balance of fries, meat, cheese and gravy. Plus can't beat free with the free appetizer coupon on their website! I would have paid $14 for it though regardless. The burger was a juicy medium rare. Avocado was fresh and bacon perfectly crispy. The bun could have been better though. Didn't taste old but not as fresh or artisan as I would expect paying a pricey $18 for a burger and fries. Very disappointing was the artichoke flatbread. You can't usually go wrong with a flatbread right? Wrong! The flatbread was not fresh dough but rather a slightly thicker oval pita style base. There was too much pesto, not enough cheese and the roasted veggies were dried out and hard to chew. Big disappointing fail! I saw a few people ordering it at other tables so either I'm missing something and it's actually enjoyable or these people also got suckered into ordering something that sounded good on paper?! The beer pour was also only 3/4th of a glass full. Either change the glasses or fill that sucker up! Bartending 101.

All in all, not a bad restaurant especially if you're staying at the hotel and want something easy but with all the other great La Jolla restaurants nearby I'd recommend you see what else you can find.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 15, 2016

The wait staff is not attentive and the servers never know what table to bring the food to. They walk around asking each table if it is their food. So unprofessional!!!! Lovely place but the food isn't that great.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food2
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on March 13, 2016

Whether dining in Café La Rue or the other restaurants in La Valencia, food and services have always been great for the last 19 years I have been taking friends there for any special occasion.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 9, 2016

Every dish that came out the server had no idea where it went. They walked around aimlessly trying to find the table and talking over the food itself. Yuck!!!!! Though it would have been more fun. The music had nothing to do with the Tuesday Mardi Gras theme. He was terrible and monotone! Food was okay. Wouldn't necessarily brag about it. I usually eat at the other restaurant at La Valencia and it is much better!

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food3
ambience2
service1
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 9, 2015

Cafe La Rue is always a great place. Our last trip was really good. The new hostess has a great personality. Julia did a super job serving in spite of being slammed with multiple tables. The Muffletta sandwich was one of the best things I have had in years. Memorable evening for outside dining.
.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 27, 2015

I came here during Restaurant Week and had a great overall experience. Will definitely come again for more.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 29, 2015

Came with friends to catch up on our lives. For some reason it was a quiet night which was perfect for us to not have to yell at each other. We had the mussels with a fragrant butter sauce but gave us hard Melba toast the sop it up. Just doesn't work. The mussels could have used a few minutes more. We're open but barely. My smoked salmon flatbread was a perfect munch. Will be back.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 10, 2015

This is the Best place for dinner with your Best friends. No better place for an outstanding and delightful meal.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on June 19, 2015

We came here on a Friday night at 7:30PM. The restaurant was about half occupied and nice and quiet (just like I like it!) We were here on a double date - a rare night out without the kids and we had a perfectly pleasant time. The menu was great because there was something for everyone and the vegetarians were not disappointed! Our server recommended the brussel sprouts as an appetizer and they were the best I've ever had. I ordered the sea bass with a lemon drop martini and both were perfect. I will definitely come here again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined on May 23, 2015

Wonderful find. Amaing service. Enjoyed finding new wine.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on April 2, 2015

I still mourn the loss of the special ambience of the venerable Whaling Bar which was incredibly rich in memory for countless La Jollans, but decided to take a couple of friends for a recent happy hour to check out the totally reimagined space of Cafe La Rue. It proved to be a pleasant experience on its own, and serves the guests of the hotel with a more relaxed atmosphere, an interesting menu, wonderful service , the smart addition of a few sidewalk tables, and the incomparable location at the old Pink Lady in the heart of the Village.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on March 8, 2015

Happy hour everyday 4pm - 7pm:
Half Priced Appetizers, Beer and Wine
$5 House Poured Cocktails and $7 Martinis

Great price especially for the location. Food is average if you are a picky eater but you should go there for a drink.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 23, 2015

Lovely evening, no wait for our reservation. Waitress was attentive without being overbearing. Food was delicious, everyone was happy with their order. Cute/charming atmosphere, but not very big and bar dominates center of room. Loved the artwork. Fun evening, will return.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 26, 2014

Despite having high expectations for the restaurant the overall experience was not great. The server was generally not attentive, and brought the wrong food to the table. Instead of slowing down the entree as they prepared the starter, everything remained on their schedule with the entree arriving before the correct starter. As far as ambiance, i think it is inappropriate for restaurants to allow patrons dogs to sit in the chairs at the table.

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food4
ambience2
service2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 10, 2014

Not sure how you can mess up a hamburger but they did. I asked for it rare to medium rare and got it well done. Our waiter never came back to check. When it was pointed out to him he, check and assured me it wasn't his mistake.....really? I would go have a cocktail there but I will pass on the food. Too bad, it was such a great place!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food1
ambience3
service1

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 20, 2014

At a dinner for 3, we were all disappointed by the dining experience. The Cafe atmosphere really had none. The room was warm, with no open windows. It was stuffy and empty. Why eat at the Cafe inside, when the outdoor dining is so much nicer and better. We won't be back to this one, but will try the other hotel restaurants instead.

Tags: Notable Wine List
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food2
ambience1
service4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on May 11, 2014

If really casual dining with linen napkins is what you crave in La Jolla, then this may be a fit. The menu is most informal, with an emphasis on sandwiches and stylish appetizers. It is a constant food listing that does not vary from late morning to closing time. The ambience is created with lots of open space and stone flooring and tabletops, giving rise to the notion you could spill anything and not leave a permanent stain. The wine-by-the glass list is above average, and the mixed drinks were good. When next I have an urge for an upscale Burger Lounge, this restaurant will be considered. But it is not for those with a hankering for finer dining.

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food3
ambience2
service3

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