Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Aug. 29
Barbarella in La Jolla is an area that’s popular with tourists, but it has the feel of a neighborhood place. That’s not an easy atmosphere to cultivate.
It’s warm, cozy, and a little quirky. In the bar area, you can see a beautiful pizza oven and a good bit of the kitchen, a sight I always enjoy.
There’s a bright, pretty patio in front; it looks date-night romantic after sunset. The dining room is white-tablecloth dressed up, but not stuffy.
I’m there with John for breakfast, and I can’t resist ordering a Bloody Mary ($8.00). It’s strong and spicy, with a good shot of horseradish and just enough pickley, sour garnish.
My Croque Madame ($12.95) was delicious. Each element was nicely done, lightly browned prosciutto layered with Swiss cheese and sturdy, buttered white bread, grilled golden brown. A softly poached egg, just the right amount of savory Mornay sauce, and a finish of fresh chopped chives. Heaven. The grilled bread soaked up the sauce and eggy yolk, but still kept its crunch integrity.
The frites were pretty stellar too, screaming hot, salty and crispy.
John’s Strapazette ($10.95) was a fluffy scramble filled with mild Italian sausage, Parmigiano-Reggiano and julienned basil. It tasted light and fresh.
On the side were well-roasted house potatoes, with just a touch of rosemary, and crusty whole grain toast.
Barbarella Restaurant and Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are pet friendly and have an exclusive “doggie menu”.
2171 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037
Monday – Thursday – 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday – 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday – 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday – 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
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