Dining Changes Afoot at La Jolla’s Special Place ~ La Valencia Hotel

Dorothy and the Filet Mignon

I’m really mad at Chef Daniel Barron. He runs the kitchens at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California. I’m mad because he won’t share.

Maybe that’s a bit harsh. Actually, Chef Daniel is extremely generous, both with his time and his food. He was over-the-top charming as he enlightened our table of three drooling food bloggers (myself, Dorothy of Shockingly Delicious and Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen on our recent Girlfriend Getaway).  We heard his philosophies about cuisine, his attention to detail, his devotion to supporting local farms.

 Chef Daniel

What he WOULDN’T share was a recipe. Totally understandable, now that we know him and his cuisine. I’m guessing, based on his creative menu, that he really doesn’t follow technical recipes. He dreams, concocts, does scientific wizardry with the local ingredients and seasonal items produced very short distances away. He is breathing freshness into one of La Jolla’s precious gems – dining at La V.

Sitting in the dining room of The Med, La V’s signature restaurant overlooking La Jolla cliffs and the Pacific Ocean, you feel legacy. Generations of San Diegans have held special dining experiences here. Birthdays, anniversaries, Easter dinner or Christmas Eve.  But that isn’t enough to keep a place vibrant. Enter, Chef Daniel Barron.  He has ideas.  Some of which may shake up the status quo of La V traditional patrons, while attracting what La Jolla itself seems to be drawing – hip, cool, culinary savvy diners.


We got the sense talking with Chef that there is a very fine line when it comes to changing up the dining experiences at a historical destination.  Known as one of the enclave’s most precious experiences, you only have so many of those birthdays and holidays in a year to entice diners. The remaining days and nights, it will be the simplicity of a delicious meal and great surroundings that will get you back, if you are local.

Chef  has a vision. Every fresh eatery these days seems to promote “farm to table” dining. But perhaps it will be due to his RELATIONSHIPS with very local farms that will bring La V a great deal of new attention.

Oh, and definitely his food — FAN-TABULOUS. Blogger Dorothy swooned – yes, SWOONED – over the Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan-balsamic-cashew-pancetta. The menu in its entirety can be seen here.

 The Med

By the time this is published, the dining room will be getting ready for its cosmetic refresh.  Simultaneously, the newly refurbished Café la Rue bistro will be polished and swept to reopen as one of La Jolla’s exciting new places to wine and dine.

So, I lied.  I’m not really mad at Chef Daniel.  I’m probably mad I don’t live closer to La Jolla so I can savor his special cuisine more often.  On your next visit here, DO make your way to La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel and dine at The Med or Café La Rue.  Well worth it.


La Valencia Hotel
1132 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037

The Mediterranean Room: 858.551.3765

Reservations: info@lavalencia.com
Sales and Catering: sales_catering@lavalencia.com

Main : 858.454.0771
Toll-Free Room Reservations: 800.451.0772
Concierge: 858.551.3773
Sales & Catering: 858.551.3715

Breathe Deep

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Rachael (Fuji Mama) November 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Now I’m dying to make a visit!! Sounds delicious. Perhaps I’ll be planning a trip to La Jolla during our Christmas visit!

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