U.S. – LA JOLLA – SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
by Steve Kehela
As soon as I pulled up to The Lodge at Torrey Pines (a AAA Five Diamond luxury property), I was struck by its famous craftsman style and understated elegance. I was greeted with a warm welcome by the friendly staff, who were happy to answer any questions about the property.
Torrey Pines South Golf Course
I booked a tee time at the famous Torrey Pines South golf course, and the course did not let me down. It is challenging but fair, and the coastline views are truly breathtaking. It was a treat to test my game on the same fairways and greens that have hosted two U.S. Open championships.
After my round, I checked into my luxurious room, the Palisades King Suite. The room was quite spacious, with a large bathroom and a few different areas to relax or get some work done. After cleaning up, my friend and I went to the bar and had a cocktail on the patio.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines Dining
Soon it was time for dinner at The Grill, which had a lively atmosphere. We were shown to our table, which offered a beautiful view of the golf course and the ocean. Shrimp cocktail and calamari were first up for appetizers, both of which were excellent.
We had the hanger steak, shrimp, and chimney-smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf for our main courses. The steak was a perfect medium-rare, and the meatloaf was a delicious combination of beef, pork, and lamb. It was a great way to end a truly memorable day!
Saturday morning, I chose to have breakfast delivered to my room. I opted for the corned beef hash. The portion was quite generous, and I enjoyed every bite.
Torrey Pines Spa
I spent the morning exploring the property, which included the Torrey Pines State Reserve, right next to The Lodge. That afternoon, I visited the spa at Torrey Pines for a massage and a facial. The spa has a relaxing atmosphere and a wide range of services.
I chose the Torrey Pines Signature Massage, and it was amazing. My therapist did a fantastic job of relieving my shoulders and lower back soreness (from golfing the day prior). My 50-minute personalized facial was as relaxing as it was rejuvenating. Every 50-minute facial includes a face, hand, and décolleté massage as well.
That evening I dined at A.R. Valentien. The restaurant is cozy, with just a few tables and booths, enhanced with the same understated elegance found throughout The Lodge.
The menu had many choices that piqued my interest. Everything sounded delicious. So, I decided to ask my server for his recommendations. And everything he recommended was on point!
I ordered caramelized sea scallops with chanterelle mushrooms and truffle risotto for my first course. This dish was spectacular! It was my favorite dish of the weekend. It was perfectly cooked and beyond flavorful. My second course was the Brandt beef ribeye. The steak was served in a peppercorn sauce with fondant potatoes and grilled spigarello.
For dessert, I went with the ruby grapefruit Napoleon with grapefruit curd, vanilla poached rhubarb, pistachio, and Earl Grey crème Anglaise. It was so light, with a perfect blend of flavors. An incredible meal in a beautiful setting.
On Sunday morning, I had breakfast on my balcony. I ordered the buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, chicken cilantro sausage, and cold-pressed orange juice. The pancakes were some of the best I’ve ever had. The outside of the cakes was almost crunchy, and the middle was very light and airy.
The chicken cilantro sausage was cooked to perfection; not too well done, but cooked enough to keep it firm. Enjoying this meal on the balcony with the incredible view made it very hard for me to leave. What a memorable experience I had – I know I will be back soon.
Journey Beyond Aspen to The Lodge At Torrey Pines!