We Love La Jolla
Posted April 27, 2017
A picturesque seashore, breathtaking sunsets, historic buildings, fabulous merchants, and cultural institutions all draw visitors from around the world to La Jolla. But it certainly didn’t become an idyllic destination all on its own. Countless visionaries throughout the years have contributed to its evolution. We sat down with a handful of individuals who live and breathe La Jolla for an insider’s perspective on what makes this jeweled treasure what it is today.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Since his first job in the La Jolla area more than 20 years ago, Bill Gross has stayed nearby. Now at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Gross is thrilled with the resort’s redesigned North Course and the honor of hosting the 2008 (and the future 2021) US Open Championships, along with the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open. When not at the resort, you’ll likely find Gross out bicycling. “We have some great hills right here to keep it from getting boring. My favorite route is up Hillside Drive and Via Capri to Soledad Park. The views from the top are incredible,” he says. After building up an appetite from surfing, Gross has a few food favorites. He is, of course, partial to The Lodge’s A.R. Valentien, but also favors the sustainably-sourced and organic concept at Caroline’s on the UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography Campus, and the Florida stone crab at Truluck’s at the Aventine.
When not supporting innumerable charitable causes, you might find Kristi Pieper sharing a meal with friends at her local favorites: Manhattan of La Jolla and Piatti. Memories abound for Pieper, who is La Jolla-born-and-raised. “I remember when La Jolla had five elementary schools; you shopped on Girard for clothing with the likes of Walker Scott and shoes from Universal Boot Shop. Grocery shopping included A&P, Mayfair, Safeway, and for special parties — Jergenson’s. Adults went to the Court Room or the Whaling Bar for happy hour, and every year, someone in your family participated in the La Jolla Christmas Parade. I can honestly say we logged an easy 15 years on the parade route down Girard in my own family growing up,” she recalls. When Pieper is in the mood for fashion, she heads to Capricorn for clothing or Cos Bar for cosmetics.
Brockton Villa & Beaumont’s Neighborhood Eatery
As a native La Jollan, Megan Heine has built up a lot of memories. “My kids have gone to the same public schools as I did (as well as about 30 other members of my family), so I have regular flashbacks,” Heine says. One of her restaurants, Brockton Villa, is located in a very historic building on Coast Boulevard overlooking the ocean. “I love the historical aspects of La Jolla — the houses and buildings that have survived decades of demolition, remodeling, and building. I really value the look, feel, and purpose of these structures, whether they’re businesses, like Warwick’s, or residences,” she says. When she’s not tucking in at one of her own restaurants, Heine’s go-to favorites are Cantana, Isola, and Ingrid’s Cantina. As for the future of La Jolla? “I’ll go on record that I think SeaWorld should help resolve the wildlife issues at the Cove,” she adds.
Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine
You can’t keep Allan Farwell away from La Jolla. Farwell first came to town back in 1998. After six years at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, he was on to another post within his corporate family. But at his request, he returned to The Jewel by the Sea this past December. “During my absence, La Jolla became more appealing. Of all the places I have lived, I made more friends here, and they are still a big part of my life,” Farwell says. When hungry, he is very specific. “Who can resist Café Japengo? But I can’t think of a more relaxing place with great food and an unsurpassed view than George’s at the Cove,” he says. Along with a pet companion, you could see him at Muttropolis La Jolla. “It’s a classy shop all about dogs, and so am I,” he says. Favorite pastimes are making the long walk from La Jolla Shores to the Museum of Contemporary Art, or a quiet paddle board ride in the cove.
The owner of a gallery that features major contemporary artists, Lorna York has had La Jolla on her mind for a long time. “The first time I visited La Jolla I was 28 years old and still living in Boston. I fell in love and promised myself that I would return to live here,” says York. She finally made the move in 2004 and opened Madison Gallery in the village in 2006. York loves hiking the coastline and strolling the city streets with a cappuccino from Brick and Bell, always looking for something different. “I would like to see the Village thriving with new, unique boutiques with self-made entrepreneurs,” she says. Her favorite spots include Laura Gambucci’s boutique and a meal at Piatti. But it’s the art collectors, neighbors, climate, coastline, and natural beauty that keep York rooted here. “I feel very blessed and full of gratitude to call La Jolla home,” she says.
Lorna York: Photo Courtesy of Tim Hardy Photography All other photography by Vincent Knakal