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What may appear from the outside to be a relaxed neighborhood bistro is actually an ambitious and acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant where the kitchen labors to create everything from scratch—butchering and curing meats, baking bread, cranking out pasta, pickling vegetables, even churning butter and ice cream. Taking cues from locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and sustainable proteins, the ever-evolving menu offers dishes such as pan-seared scallops with corn, chanterelles, and sage brown butter; pumpkin tortellini with reggiano cheese and hazelnuts; and crispy pig ears topped with egg. Perennial favorites include charred bone marrow with brioche, daily sweetbreads and charcuterie boards—all perfect for sharing. Happy hour offers cocktails with freshly muddled herbs and fruit, pitchers of sangria, and small plates such as Point Reyes blue cheese and quince crostini. Dine in the sleek and intimate cocktail lounge with high, white leather chairs and polished concrete counters, or on the handsome enclosed patio with heaters and low-hanging bulbs. The eatery's success encouraged Whisknladle's partners to translate the concept into a casual, counter-service offshoot called Prepkitchen (now available in three locations: La Jolla, Del Mar and Little Italy); after overseeing the expansion, Chef Ryan Johnston is back in the kitchen on a regular basis.