Mike Madriaga 3:29 p.m., Sept. 16
Brunch at CUSP in the Hotel La Jolla
The Kimpton Hotel company from San Francisco recently opened a renovated Hotel La Jolla. This hotel was built in 1972 but when you walk in the lobby, you'd never know that it wasn't brand new. The art work is large and showy, sitting around the pool looks relaxing and Hiatus, the new poolside lounge, is a gathering spot for hotel guests and local La Jollaites.
But it was CUSP, the newly renovated coastal Mediterranean restaurant on the 11th floor that interested me. Upon arriving by elevator you walk into the handsome bar area. The colorful display of iced teas quickly got my attention.
Sunday brunch found us soaking up the "to die for" panoramic ocean views. Now what was Executive Chef Donald Lockhart's food going to actually take like? The bottom line is…he doesn't disappoint. But what did disappoint was the uneven service. I can credit this to the fact the hotel and CUSP have only been open about 5 weeks and brunch has only been served for a few weeks. At first the four of us were given different brunch menus. We gave them back to our server only to be brought, once again, different menus. I had looked at their online menu before arriving and had my heart set on several items, none of which are on the current brunch menu. So I know the chef is ironing things out, as they say. But coffee came with no milk or cream, as requested. We had to ask twice for the wobbly table to be fixed. Service was slow and we had to ask for things twice. Our check was brought with no offer of dessert, even though desserts are listed on the brunch menu. You get the picture.
But let's get back to that food. We were all pleased with what we ordered. The Huevos Rancheros offered 2 sunny side up eggs atop chorizo sausage, and corn tortillas with black beans ($12).
The Custom Omelet ($12) eater had a choice of 3 items from a long list; rosemary potatoes and toast accompany this satisfying item.
One of us desired a sweet brunch and ordered the Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes ($11) served with caramelized bananas and real maple syrup.
I enjoyed the Burrata flat bread ($12) that had a mixture of red and yellow heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil atop a thin crust bread.
We ordered a Basket of Baked Goods ($7), which contained croissants and blueberry and banana muffins.
As I said, the views are wonderful, even the one from the ladies restroom!
HOTEL LA JOLLA 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 459-0261 http://www.hotellajolla.com
Related Article: Brandon Hernández, May 17, 2012