After a long day working yesterday we headed up the coast to La Jolla to make the most of what was left of a beautiful sunny day. We walked along the cove, saw the seals and some pretty cute ground squirrels and then decided to head up to Georges on the Cove for a drink with a view. On our way we passed 'Top of the Cove' a similar (although less fancy) restaurant which was offering happy hour drinks and appetizers in it's 'Ocean View bar'. The prices were very cheap and it sounded like fun so we headed on up there. Big mistake...
We were greeted first by a man in a tuxedo asking us if we had reservations for dinner (why we would have needed them for the almost empty downstairs restaurant I can't tell you. We replied that we just wanted drinks and appetizers and he looked down his nose at us and sent us upstairs, in a manner suggesting that we should have know automatically this was the place to go. We headed up the stairs and were met by an even snootier looking man with ginger hair. He was courteous at first but once he realized we were only there for drinks and appetizers his manner changed abruptly becoming almost rude in his tone. He informed us we could sit, well basically that we could sit anywhere that didn't have a view. Perhaps I am being a little extreme, we did manage a vantage point from which the ocean could be seen, but the view was certainly not an uninterrupted man. At this point the snooty ginger haired man returned, and if we didn't already feel like second class citizens he made sure we knew our place by positively throwing the menus at us across the table.
After some time we were greeted by a waitress who took our orders- I chose a chocolate martini and my wife a mandarin one whilst my sister in law had an apple juice. We chose three of the $3 appetizers- onion rings with aioli, chicken drumsticks and some sort of ceviche item.
After an inexplicably long wait- whilst the staff attended to the 'real guests'- our drinks and food arrived. The chocolate martini was actually pretty good- leaving a taste of Hershey’s syrup as an after taste, the mandarin martini was passable, nothing special. The appetizers were not great, the ceviche turned out to be 3 single tortilla chips made soggy by a few bits of tomato and roughly chopped shrimp. For a dollar a pop these were really quite dreadful. The onion rings were okay- too thin for my personal liking (i like to have some onion in my onion ring), and the aioli was not at all of the quality i expect from an allegedly first class establishment like Top of the Cove. The drumsticks were veyr tasty but extremely difficult to eat with no finger bowl being offered to us of course. We ended up getting extremely messy and looking just like the low class down and outs they had taken us for.
So to sum up- not the most pleasant experience, it’s never nice to be treated with distaste, and especially not when you are paying someone to do so. What makes me really annoyed is that they advertise the Happy hour out there on the street, drawing people in, but then seem intensely disappointed that that is all people have come for.