The Cove at La Jolla is certainly the place to be seen when in the area and George’s at the Cove is one place that warrants visiting.

The Cove in many respects is San Diego’s version of Rodeo Drive – I heard the reference used twice while we were there – so the expectations for the dining to be as high end as the shopping are there.

George’s at the Cove fits the expectations. George’s occupies a prime location, as well as three levels of dining options. We chose California Modern, located on the bottom level of George’s.  The atmosphere when you walk in is a very cool vibe, highlighted by an ocean view throughout the dining room.

George’s at the Cove

There are traditional tables and chairs, but there are also couches for seating. It was a relaxed setting but classy at the same time – a true San Diego vibe.

While you can order ala carte off the menu, chef Trey Foshee emphasizes the tasting menus offered at California.

On our visit, I opted for the 4-course Tasting Menu on the recommendation of our server Will and it turned out to be an excellent choice

For my first course, I went with the Fish Tacos, which here is yellowfin tuna, California avocado and corn nuts. The food was paired with a Garnier Chardonnay from Oregon. The pairing was excellent, as the Fish Taco was not made in the traditional way, with the avocado the star of the dish.

I was also able to have a special dish of the Chef’s take on French Onion Soup. There were a lot of herbs and seasonings in the soup and it was served in a special dish that intensifies the pallet and makes for a nice expression of onion soup.

For the second course I went way out of my comfort zone ordering the Grilled Octopus with a whole grain mustard vinaigrette, charred eggplant, fennel, and roasted garlic squid ink potatoes. The wine paired with the dish was a 2013 Pinot Noir from Du MOL winery in the Russian River area.

The octopus was good, but to me the star of the dish was the squid ink potatoes. The wine was an excellent selection, pairing nicely with the dish.

For course number three, I went back to a more conventional order, going with the Red Wine Braised Beef, with a potato-horseradish puree, pickled cabbage, puffed beef tendon, mustard seeds, carrot, spring onion, and fine herbs. A nice Napa Valley Cabernet was served with the meal and was an excellent complement to the beef.

The puree was sensational, as were the carrots and the beef was so smooth it cut like butter. Best dish of the night in my opinion.

For desert, I went with the Peanut Butter Semifreddo. The flavors came together nicely with the peanut butter adding a wonderful taste to the frozen desert. It was an excellent way to end a great dining experience.

California Modern screams relaxation from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave. It’s a taste of San Diego in a setting with a distinct Southern California feel to it. We were there for almost three hours, but never did time seem to drag, in fact, it felt more like an hour.

If you are in the Torrey Pines/La Jolla area, make a point to add California Modern to your dining schedule. You won’t be disappointed!

For more information go to http://www.georgesatthecove.com/california-modern

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