Whisknladle is the ultimate destination when in need of some culinary comfort. Boasting eclectic ingredients and bold flavors, patrons will be hard pressed to try only one dish. With California comfort food that eases your mind and uplifts your spirit, Whisknladle is the place to recuperate and excite your taste buds. With inventive dishes like Charred Bone Marrow and Crispy Sweetbreads, there is plenty of variety to challenge and delight the palate. Cooking dishes that are satisfying to the core, it is no surprise that the chefs at Whisknladle take their ingredients very seriously. The executive chef even visits local farms daily to ensure that his kitchen has the freshest produce available. Located in gorgeous La Jolla, the rustic décor and laid back atmosphere makes Whisknladle stand apart from the mundane dining experience. Quality ingredients, friendly service, and great atmosphere- who could ask for more!Read More ...
Whisknladle rests in picturesque La Jolla Village, which offers some of San Diego’s most beautiful ocean views and overlooks the famous La Jolla Cove. Although beautiful, La Jolla Village does not have ample amounts of parking, and I am relieved to find a spot near the restaurant. Located amongst other fine dining and shopping establishments, Whisknladle stands apart with its unpretentious and cozy vibe.
Upon approaching the hostess podium my guest and I are greeted with a friendly smile and guided by our server to our table at the front of the restaurant overlooking the bustling street. A wave of relaxation flows over me as my attention is diverted from the street to the rustic urban décor. The warm, casual, and laid-back atmosphere is intoxicating. The main dining room is located in an outdoor patio setting with the interior housing a bar, lounge, and private dining room. The outdoor patio is made up of oak tables and wrought-iron patio chairs carefully laid out, with large potted plants lining the exterior, creating a refreshing display of earthy tones set to soft lighting. The outdoor patio setting evolves from rustic to sophisticated as you enter the lounge with an intimate bar and private room enabling lounge-goers to enjoy drinks in a swanky setting. The entrance to the bar is distinguished by a beautiful floor- to- ceiling wine tower. The bar is marked by trendy white bar stools and an elegant stone countertop, which separates the lounge from the rest of the restaurant. Towards the back of the patios and to the left of the bar, large glass windows reveal the kitchen, where diners can observe the culinary magic of the chefs at Whisknladle.
Our attentive server describes the soup of the day and inquires if we want to start the meal with a cocktail. I and my guest are more than happy to oblige given the eclectic mix of cocktails listed on the menu and order the house recommendations: the Pomegranate Mojito and the Julian. As we wait for our cocktails, the restaurant begins to fill up, but the atmosphere never changes; it is continuously serene and calm, with an assorted mix of jazz and rock music playing quietly in the background. The interior is akin to an outdoor Southern patio or barn-- rustic with an urban chic twist.
I awake from my relaxed and comfortable state when the cocktails arrive. The drinks taste as delicious as they look. The Pomegranate Mojito is a rosy red color that boasts a fruity flavor with the signature mint bite of a Mojito. The Julian is a sophisticated and very adult version of apple cider. The rich cinnamon bourbon combined with the tang of the cider and earthiness of the rosemary create a complex but satisfying cocktail that is fitting for the fall season.
Our first appetizer is the Fig and Persimmon Salad. The salad is presented on a simple white plate, with a pop of color from the figs and persimmons. Made with balsamic roasted onions, frisee, and pistachio the salad is light with a rich nutty and peppery bite balanced by the sweet figs and persimmons. The balsamic roasted onions add a tangy sweetness and an unexpected but pleasant texture. The salad strikes a nice balance of sweet and savory – a theme present in all of the dishes to come. The figs and persimmons taste fresh from the farm, which is exactly where they came from. Executive Chef Barclay Dodge goes to the farm every day to pick fresh ingredients for his menu. Everything on the menu is organic and locally grown. The quality of the ingredients is apparent in their taste and texture. This is an ideal starter for the rich and homey foods that are about to arrive.
The next appetizer served is something that I am excited to see on the menu because I have never tasted it before. As the Charred Bone Marrow is placed on our table, the rustic presentation of the bones split in half brings my senses to a carnal level. Seasoned in parsley, lemon, and capers, and spread on buttery toast, the Bone Marrow is unctuous with a lovely buttery and salty flavor. The Fatty and tender texture is complemented by the crunch of the toast. A signature of Whisknladle is the fact that their menu boasts a variety of unusual ingredients that are combined in ways that are delicious and satisfying; this is embodied in our last appetizer.
The Crispy Sweetbreads, made from the thymus of a calf, are served on a delicious bed of honey crisp apples, celery, and hazelnuts. This dish is a delightful schmorgasboard of textures, taking your taste buds on a wild ride. The sweet breads are crusted in toasted rice, giving the tender sweetbreads a satisfying crunch as you take a bite. Drizzled in a sauce with a hint of mustard flavor, the honey crisp apples, celery, and hazelnuts add another dimension of texture. The dish as a whole is invigorating and rich, fulfilling every dimension of taste and texture.
Next is the Ricotta Gnocchi served with red wine braised oxtail, carrots, and shaved matsutakes. The ricotta gnocchi are rich with a hint of sweetness that blends well with the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the oxtail that falls off the bone the moment your fork touches it. The sweet undertone of the carrots enhances the delicate blend of savory and sweet components of the dish. This is the ultimate comfort food-- a dish that takes a bad day and makes it instantly better.
The last entrée departs from the richness of the previous dishes. The Poached Halibut with artichoke barigoule, “pil pil,” and arugula is a beautiful and colorful display of fresh ingredients. The artichokes are prepared in a tangy white wine and vegetable broth. The arugula is prepared with the “pil pil,” which is a sauce made from the oil that the Halibut is cooked in, along with garlic among other ingredients. It is a light, simple dish that focuses on bringing out the flavors of the vegetables, with the fish as a tasty backdrop. The halibut, moist and buttery, is complemented by the earthy matsutake mushrooms scattered on top.
For dessert, we order the Pumpkin Bread Pudding with butter rum ice cream and pecan streusel. This dessert embodies the best flavors of the fall season. The sugary crunch of the streusel adds a layer of sweetness to the bread pudding, which is infused with subtle rum and nutmeg flavors. Like the previous dishes, there is a note of richness that is never heavy, or overbearing, but acts as a backdrop to the variety of flavors in the dish.
My guest and I leave very content after experiencing a level of comfort that only food therapy can provide. Whisknladle offers a harvest of goodies that are of the utmost quality presented in a simple manner. Their rustic food, friendly staff, and a relaxing setting set the stage for a pleasant evening filled with great food. No frills, just good food made with quality ingredients and of course, lots of tender love and care.
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First time to this restaurant and we were not disappointed. We went on a Sunday, at 5:30, so not much of a crowd. Our waiter, Sunny, was fantastic and very helpful with the menu. He really went above and beyond. We tried the chorizo stuffed dates = delicious, the homemade pasta = delicious and the escolar fish = delicious. We had a great experience and will definitely be back. Thank you Whisknladle!
I love Whisknladle. Wish it wasn't so expensive.
My sister came to town and I wanted to take her to a place that was unique and offered some different food. Whisknladle certainly fit the bill! What a terrific menu. Try the bone marrow - you won't be sorry! It is delicious. We shared some artichoke soup that I'm still trying to figure out how to duplicate - was so tasty! We then shared a homemade gnocchi dish that was absolutely great! Certainly a place to try and actually, was quite easy to park for La Jolla - we pulled right into a place on the street with no problem. While Whisknladle is a bit pricey, the food is well worth it!
The food was fantastic, but even better was the service. These waiters and waitresses are not your average bunch. They treat every customer like you are royalty. We never had to wait to find our server and she was always one step ahead. The food was fantastic! This was our first experience, but will definitely not be our last.
My husband and I had absolutely delicious food here. The beef marrow with toast, brussel sprout salad, skirt steak with vegetable terrine and beef cheeks with creamy risotto were all worth repeating. We practically licked our plates clean.
Very much enjoyed our experience at Whisknladle, which was entirely positive. In interesting menu and well cooked food
The Cheese/meat plate at Whisknladle is awesome. The olives/pickels and nuts were amazing. Best I have had in San Diego. The London Burning was intense, takes 2 people to finish MN
We enjoyed the interesting variety of foods. While the main dishes were very good, we really enjoyed the appetizers and desserts!
I would say something about the place but my wife wont stop talking so I can't think. It was great though. We both had a wonderful time.
Whisknladle offers the best of both. High quality food vaious choices at reasonable prices in a friendly, vibrant environment.
Haven't been there for several months, so set it up to meet four dear friends. The presentation was beautiful, all the meals great and the waiter very attentive. All in all a delicious and happy dining experience.
You must try new restaurants, especially if you live within its vicinity. This restaurant did not disappoint. Good atmosphere, great cocktails.
The food was very creative and fun as well as great tasting. The atmosphere was a bit nerve wrecking with all the baby strollers and screaming kids the night we were there.
The great thing about Whisknladle is you can get things there that are unusual. However, when the preparation of them is less than great, you feel cheated out of what could be a terrific experience. $17 burger was over cooked and Bone Marrow came with overly buttered toast instead of plain. Marrow is the essence of the dish and you want to taste it, not taste butter. So, way over priced for the experience.
After the Conde Nast review, I expected something special. It was the opposite. The service was horrible and slow. The kitchen was out of the dishes we ordered, on the recommendation of the waiter. The food we eventually received was nothing special. The wine and beer selection was extremely limited. The entrees were brought within a minute of the salads being served. The dessert took over 20 minutes. Our waiter disappeared for 20-30 minutes at a time. I had invited two couples to join us. I was thoroughly embarassed.
We are La Jolla residents and decided to try this place for lunch on 1/22. We ordered mole fish tacos which were cold and had crumble fish. My wife had a salad. The amount of time to recieve these dish's was excessive. We do not recommmend this place. The location is nice and the atmoshere is also nice. There are much better options downtown.
I went to this location on 1/18/2010 for restaurant week. I chose it because i read great things online and thought, 'why not!' Well i was thrilled with the service and thought it was top notch, but utterly disappointed with the food. I didn't bring it up at the time of dining since i was with a close friend playing 'catch up' so i wrote to the email address provided on their website and let them know the following: 1. That Crows Pass Farm Greens Salad was absolutely amazing, kudos! Very delicious and satisfying. 2. The Maine Scallops were not very good unfortunately. As soon as it was delivered, I could smell the 'fishy smell' which shouldn't really happen if it's fresh. But I didn't judge it based on that... so as I sampled it, it was gritty almost like there was still some sand on it? to be honest, I'm not sure why it was gritty. But the thing that was really bad was the salt. It was SUPER SALTY. I mean, I'm a salt lover and usually salt whatever, but this was so salty that I couldn't eat more than one scallop. I didn't even bother taking it home for left overs. 3. As for the desert, wasn't too pleased with that either. I ordered the Banana Mousse (the exact name escapes me) but there was no mousse at all. The banana filling had the texture of flan. I ate maybe two bites and was over it. The chocolate on top was congealed and very unappetizing. One would naturally think that they would apologize and try to regain my business with the well known motto ' kill them with kindness' but alas, this the response i get basically started off nice, but then the Managing Partner, Arturo Kassel, quickly changed the tone of the email and stated "When you don't let us know, you are not giving us a fair chance" as if it was my fault for not bringing it up in person... Unfortunately, I would never recommend this restaurant. Which is regrettable since I had high hopes based on the reviews I had read...So lesson learned: NEVER GO TO WHISKNLADLE!