Earlier last month, DH and I had delicious meal at Finch’s, a fairly new bistro in downtown La Jolla.
DH and I have a soft spot for downtown La Jolla. It’s where we had our first date and many subsequent dates. During those early dating years, before yelp or food blogs were really big, we used to visit the cove and then walk around downtown, stopping into random small restaurants hidden inside the many alleyways.
While we didn’t find Finch’s on our own, we’re happy that we got invited to check out the place. The cozy restaurant, tucked into one of those many alleys in La Jolla, is supposed to evoke a European feel, which we thought it did quite successfully. It’s owned by a mother and daughter-in-law team, which usually would be a recipe for disaster, but it’s worked for them and we got to meet them both on our visit.
sauteed calamari, diced tomatoes, shallots, white wine, feta, pita bread
Unlike the more common breaded and fried calamari found on a lot of appetizer menus, Finch offers a lighter sauteed version. I liked the concept, but found this a little bland and the calamari pieces were a little on the thin side.
country bread, chives, basalmic reduction, truffle oil
I really enjoyed this appetizer. I’m a big mushroom lover and this pate really pays tribute to mushrooms. It’s very rich, full of mushroom flavor, and it’s quite hard to believe there’s no meat product in there. I couldn’t stop eating slathering generous amounts of pate on my toast and I will definitely order this again next time.
organic chicken, bacon, mushrooms, balsamic honey jus, yukon gold potatoes, spinach
We don’t usually order a lot of chicken at restaurants, but this is one of their most popular dishes, so we wanted to try it out. I’m glad we did. It’s not the prettiest dish, but the chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender. It was topped with a piece of fried crispy chicken skin which was a delightful bonus. It was our favorite of the two entrees. My one complaint was that it veered on the sweet side, a little too sweet for me.
Lamb Shank with risotto
This was one of their specials of the night. The lamb was tender and the portion serving size quite big, but nothing really stood out in terms of the flavors or preparation. I preferred the chicken dish DH ordered.
Chocolate Stuffed French Toast
This is their most famous dessert and I was eagerly anticipating it’s arrival. The French toast is indeed stuffed chock full of chocolate and I can see why it would be so popular. I have to confess though, I didn’t really enjoy it. My biggest problem was their choice of bread. They used the end pieces of bread loaves, which are the pieces I don’t care for to begin with because they tend to be harder and rougher. I thought it was strange to use end pieces in french toast and chocolate sauce and batter did not mask the rough texture of the bread.
Perhaps we just got unlucky with the pieces of bread that were used in our dessert. I can see this being much better if another bread or section of bread had been used.
Overall, we had a good experience here. We loved the quaint space, the decor, the courtyard and musician playing outside. There were quite a few dishes that caught our attention and we definitely want to come back to explore some more of the menu
Disclaimer: As noted above, we were invited to try out this restaurant and our food was complimentary. My opinions, as always, remain my own.
7644 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037