Several restaurants across La Jolla are on the brink of closing. But new businesses both of the culinary variety and otherwise are coming in.
After 12 years at 8990 University Center Lane (just off La Jolla Village Drive), Truluck’s La Jolla will serve its last meal Saturday, Dec. 24. Though operating partner Todd Perry declined to comment, an email to patrons shared with the La Jolla Light indicates the lease was purchased so the property can be redeveloped into a science complex.
Truluck’s, known for its steaks and seafood, is developing locations in Florida and Texas rather than exploring a new home in San Diego.
“I speak on behalf of myself and our fantastic team when I say it has been an honor of a lifetime to serve you and yours these past 12 years,” Perry wrote in the email. “We would have loved to do it for another 12, but the life of this location is coming to an end.”
Reservations are being accepted through Dec. 24 at (858) 453-2583 or trulucks.com/reserve.
Great Maple, which became popular since first opening in Hillcrest nearly a decade ago, has decided to shutter its 4-year-old location on Genesee Avenue on the edge of the Westfield UTC mall because of nearby construction that has dogged the restaurant since it opened.
The 5,000-square-foot location is scheduled to close Thursday, Dec. 22. The 61 employees have been informed, and any openings at Great Maple’s three other Southern California locations will be available to them, said co-owner Amanda Ho.
“Our focus now is on the safe harbor of our employees and giving our employees a 60-day notice,” Ho said. “We are proud to have hung on as long as we could with the pandemic.” — The San Diego Union-Tribune
Closure — and opening
Herringbone and Le Coq
Herringbone, the high-profile La Jolla restaurant that San Diego celebrity chef Brian Malarkey created — and later sold four years ago — is returning to his ownership and will reopen next year as a “French-inspired” steakhouse.
Teaming with his longtime partner Christopher Puffer, Malarkey said the new fine-dining venue — to be named Le Coq (think coq au vin) — will be the duo’s last restaurant project.
Herringbone, most recently owned by Tao Group Hospitality, a global restaurant and nightlife company, is set to close by early January, according to a formal layoff notice the company sent early this month to the California Employment Development Department.
Malarkey said he hopes that he and Puffer can reopen the location at 7837 Herschel Ave. by the end of July.
“I’ve always loved that building,” Malarkey said of the 7,500-square-foot space known for the six live olive trees that grace the interior. “At this point in my life, we’re fully focused on San Diego, so if we could have one more dream spot, we thought what could it be and we agreed it was Herringbone. It’s very Herb and Wood-ish, and La Jolla is such a fun community to be a part of.”
Le Coq will be “caviar and truffles and lobster, and it’s going to be fun,” he added. “The world is a little timid right now, but we want butter and flavor and big steaks and large glasses of wine and martinis — an incredible party up in La Jolla.” — The San Diego Union-Tribune
Though its tasting room is in the final stages of design, Ambrogio Enoteca opened Nov. 15 at 510 Pearl St. to offer a place for wine and small plates, as well as an Italian market. It is owned by Milano Five, the restaurant group that runs Ambrogio15 in Pacific Beach and Ambrogio by Acquerello on Fay Avenue in La Jolla.
“In Italy, ‘enoteca’ is a small little bar and restaurant,” said Ambrogio15 spokesman Fabio Bascon. “The idea came during COVID because we had to think outside the box as to how we could stay afloat. We decided to sell everything we offer in the restaurant: meats, cheese, wines, pizza dough, sauces, pasta, everything.
“Ambrogio Enoteca is like a gourmet grocery and wine experience. People can buy the wines we sell in the restaurants and other rare wines. We work with small production wineries in Italy, so you can’t find them anywhere else.”
In the tasting room, patrons can order wine flights and wines by the glass, plus charcuterie boards, some with rare meats and cheeses that rotate with the season.
There also is a grocery option with fresh and dried pastas and specialty items such as honey and truffle products.
“It’s a unique experience for La Jolla, so I think the community will really enjoy it,” Bascon said.
Learn more at ambrogio15enotecasd.com.
Ambrogio by Acquerello
Ambrogio by Acquerello, also owned by Milano Five, opened in November at 7556 Fay Ave.
The restaurant’s seven-course tasting menus and chef’s table dinners combine Italian cuisine with Korean, Japanese and Chinese influences. Further, California produce and local seafood and meats have been stirred into the mix.
Ambrogio by Acquerello replaces Milano Five’s Semola, which opened in May 2021. Learn more at ambrogiobyacquerello.com. — The San Diego Union-Tribune
Life is Good
Apparel company Life is Good, touted as the “original positive lifestyle brand,” opened its first California store at 7927 Girard Ave. on Nov. 12. Known for its positivity-inspired and nature-centered designs, the store sells shirts, sweatshirts, hats and accessories for men, women and children.
“When looking at locations for the new storefront, the team at Life is Good explored a range of neighborhoods before deciding on La Jolla,” according to a news release. “Thinking of the Life is Good customer, the team wanted to find a region that would fully embrace the positive, optimistic nature of the messaging behind the brand offerings. In addition, the beachfront community of La Jolla felt like a natural fit for the brand and even inspired some custom La Jolla apparel.”
Learn more at lifeisgood.com.
A new app created by La Jolla resident and La Jolla High School graduate Kilma Lattin launched Nov. 22 to provide interactive and site-specific views of Native American culture.
The app, called OurWorlds, is available to download for free. It was created to bring Indigenous history and culture to life through “mobile-based, geolocated immersive reality.” Through the app, users standing in a location of Native American significance can use the augmented-reality feature to view holograms of historical events; “interact with” objects such as baskets, canoes, or shelters in 3D augmented reality; hear interviews recorded with tribal leaders; and more.
“What we have created is an incredible tool for culture sharing, and it belongs to everyone,” said Lattin (Pala tribe, Kuupangaxwichem). “Everyone has culture to share. What started as a project dedicated to my community, the Native Americans, has quickly become something that is relevant to every community.”
Learn more at ourworlds.io.
Other business news
The Cottage restaurant at 7702 Fay Ave. will celebrate its 30th anniversary by offering its original 1992 menu (and prices) on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Through Thursday, Dec. 22, it also is partnering with legendary surfboard shaper Rusty Preisendorfer, professional big-wave surfer Jojo Roper
and artist Seth Bishop to raffle off a custom ‘90s-style surfboard in hopes of raising at least $10,000 for the nonprofit Windansea Surf Club’s annual “Day at the Beach” events, which provide children with disabilities and children of homeless families with watersports experiences.
A portion of proceeds from dine-in sales during the Dec. 6 event also will benefit the nonprofit.
For more information about The Cottage’s 30th-anniversary celebration, including the menu, visit cottagelajolla.com. A direct link to the surfboard raffle is at bit.ly/3GPOjbg. ◆
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