Iron Chef Jason Knibb and celebrated Pastry Chef Rachel King are the talent behind La Jolla’s award-winning NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar. The fine dining restaurant is located on Prospect Street in the historic Grande Colonial Hotel. Recognized as “extraordinary to perfection” by ZAGAT, both restaurant and chef have received numerous awards and accolades in the culinary world. Chef Knibb has been named Chef of the Year, and NINE-TEN has received the Gold Medallion Award for Best Hotel Restaurant/Fine Dining from the California Restaurant Association.
Expect casual elegance when you dine at NINE-TEN. An understated palette of earth tones – grey, chocolate brown, tan, white and rust – is expressed in light grey walls and shimmery seat backs; tan tile flooring, seat cushions, and chandelier shades; and chocolate brown ceiling beams, chair frames, and a floor-to-ceiling wine display. A rust accent wall and whimsical rust, yellow, brown and powder blue artwork pull it all together. Fully dressed tables, including fresh-cut flowers and white table cloths, complete the contemporary chic décor. The simple design elements that pack a punch set the backdrop for a culinary experience that reflects the same.
The diverse menu at NINE-TEN puts an emphasis on farm-to-table creations utilizing artisan cheeses; market-fresh seasonal produce; herbs, greens, and vegetables from their own hydroponic vertical garden; and fresh seafood selections that arrive daily from the North Pacific, Atlantic, and Hawaii. They source ingredients from daily excursions to local produce providers such as Chino Farms and Crow’s Pass. These delicious and fresh ingredients are transformed into amazing entrees that are perfectly complemented by wines from their Wine Spectator award-winning cellar.
NINE-TEN serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers a brunch menu on the weekends. The breakfast and brunch menus provide traditional items with a gourmet twist. You can enjoy fruit and granola, pastries, oatmeal, benedicts, omelets, pancakes, French toast, and more. Try the Short Rib Hash – tender shredded short ribs, roasted onions, and poached eggs with red wine sauce for a unique display of flavors.
At lunch, guests can choose from light and entrée sized greens, such as the Cobb Salad, or from a selection of sandwiches, like the Rueben and BBQ Pork. For a twist on a solid oldie, try the Salmon “BLT” – salmon, bacon, bib lettuce, tomatoes, whipped cream cheese, and red pickled onion. Have a bigger appetite? The Canadian King Salmon or Hanger Steak will be just right.
Dinner at NINE-TEN is simultaneously simple and extraordinary. Starters include Beef Tartare, Baby Beet Salad, and Hamachi-Sashimi, three favorites among diners. For the main event, try the Northern Halibut, Canadian King Salmon, Maine Sea Scallops, or Prime New York Steak. The Colorado Lamb Lion – cauliflower; torpedo onions; roasted grapes; vadouvan; onion, raisin, and tamarind puree; and lamb reduction is a great choice. Select one of six gourmet desserts that are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Aside from the main menu, guests can also choose to order from the prix fixe dining menus with wine pairings. Ask about the “Mercy of the Chef” tasting menu.
Join Happy Hours at NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar Monday through Friday. They have constantly changing menus and specials, like ½ off Wine Wednesdays. Reservations are recommended at NINE-TEN. Dressy attire is required. There is a full bar with an extensive wine list, specialty drinks, and craft beers. They offer valet service, but street parking is also available. The restaurant is ADA accessible. NINE-TEN is not recommended for families with children. They do not offer catering or take-out, nor do they have Wi-Fi or televisions.
La Jolla, known locally as the jewel of San Diego County, sits on seaside cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Prospect Street, which is the retail heart of the La Jolla Village neighborhood, is where you’ll find upscale boutique hotels, trendy clothing shops, art galleries, and antique and jewelry stores. The Museum of Contemporary Art at 700 Prospect Street is two blocks from the restaurant and a must-see attraction. Come for the art; stay for the panoramic views from the outdoor sculpture garden.
If you follow Jenner Street from NINE-TEN down to Coast Boulevard and La Jolla Cove, you can explore the La Jolla caves through Sunny Jim’s Cave Store at 1325 Coast Boulevard. If you prefer action to observation, take a short trip over to La Jolla Shores Bike and Kayak Tours and kayak back to the cove to explore the seven sea caves. Watch the seals and sea lions lounging on the beach at the Children’s Pool, explore La Jolla’s tide pools, or watch the surfers at Windansea Beach made famous by the book The Pump House Gang.
The Grand Colonial Hotel, home to NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar, is a historic luxury hotel that offers guests all the opulence of a grand European hotel. La Valencia, which is known to locals as The Pink Lady of La Jolla, because of its pink exterior. The hotel has been providing guests with classic luxury and million dollar views since 1926. La Jolla Cove Suites is the only oceanfront hotel in La Jolla Village. Pantai Inn is a traditional Balinese-inspired hotel along Coast Boulevard with gracious hospitality. All four hotels are great choices.