The Best Coffee Spots in La Jolla

To be a successful coffee shop, you need strong coffee, good pastries and treats, and a great ambiance. If you’re looking for a place to sit down this Autumn and enjoy a cup of coffee and a great book, catch up with an old friend, or if you’re a student get some studying done, it is important to know which coffee shops are great to try in the La Jolla area.
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For a great place to catch up with friends and enjoy a quick coffee and a treat, Brick & Bell is a favorite amongst La Jolla residents. Brick & Bell’s caring staff bakes delicious scones, cookies, pastries, and everything else you can imagine. It has homemade soups and sandwiches that you can pick up for a quick bite to go and it also makes a killer chocolate mocha.
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Pannikin Coffee & Tea is not only good for breakfast as mentioned here, it is a great place to get a large coffee and knock out some studying. For the students out there, the quiet and cozy atmosphere, perfect during the winter, keeps you toasty and comfortable while providing enough space in the back tables for you to stretch out and lay out all the books you need. Post up in the corner with yours books and order a nice Chai tea. Enjoy.
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The Living Room Café has great options if you’re looking for a heartier coffee snack. Both a place for studying and catching up, the Living Room is always crowded with a variety of people. You can enjoy foods from chocolate nutella croissants to delicious sandwiches like the California and Baba Ghanooj with toasted pita. Top it all off with a cool frappe or freeze in the summer heat.
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If you want to venture down to Bird Rock, visit Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. It recently won 2012’s Roaster of the Year award for its’ awesome coffee. It has been said to be the perfect hipster hangout and spot for those who really care about the quality of the coffee they’re drinking. Bird Rock Coffee Roasters takes pride in its’ roasts, just what you want from your coffee house. If you’re a coffee connoisseur, then Bird Rock Coffee is a must.
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Although you wouldn’t expect this restaurant to be considered one of the top coffee shops, Girard Gourmet has amazing pastries making it one of the best places to pick up your morning pastry and a coffee. It has a comfortable atmosphere and the ability to sit outside, so it’s definitely a fun place to go and take your time enjoying your morning coffee outdoors. Not to mention, Girard Gourmet just won best catering! Congratulations, all!

Which coffee shop is your favorite to go to? Are there any others that we’ve missed? Tell us below in a comment.

An Interview with Dennis Wills of D.G. Wills Books

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A veritable one-of-a-kind, it’s easy to see why D.G. Wills Books is a true charm in La Jolla. What is more, in our contemporary, progressively and increasingly impersonal, digital society, the attention paid to personalization and the sheer aesthetics of text is simply inspirational and stimulating.

Dennis began advertising with the La Jolla Blue Book back in 1979 when La Jolla was yet the budding seaside beauty of a community it has grown into. Wills has a complete understanding of what it means to construct a business from the ground up, which is precisely what he set out to do and achieve on La Jolla Boulevard the same year he began advertising. Moreover, his community roots in La Jolla complement the little store’s enduring allure and charisma

The diminutive edifice began on a shoestring budget and with an idea born of love. With a couple of borrowed hammers, a rusty old saw, a few friends that believed in his vision, and a smattering of lumber, work began in 1979. Wills began to craft bookshelves from scratch with painstaking dedication and attention to detail. And with his visualization entrenched in his mind for the La Jolla community, he began to stock the store with various books he located and or stumbled upon at area garage, yard and estate sales.

The dream grew quickly and the bookstore came to be a serene haven for lovers of books, intelligentsias and academics, and rankly, right down to the local who was merely seeking an unobtrusive place to sit and peruse a tome or novel away from the noise pollution life often brings.

Dennis’ undying devotion and commitment to knowledge has drawn various scholars, literary critics, myriad students, and professors from universities from around the contiguous United States. With authors such as Plato, Shakespeare, Darwin, and the Bronte sisters, Wills’ rests assured that he stocks a most inimitable selection of books in the literary world. Indeed, the old, antique and difficult to locate books one may find in his store are certainly not carried by the impersonal chain and corporate stores that pander to frivolity. Perhaps best of all is the place he maintains in the hearts of his clientele, those thousands upon thousands who have found this La Jolla niche and veritable treasure trove, and who have had occasion to interact with him on a personal and intellectual level.

We had the pleasure of speaking to Mr. Wills about his remarkable bookshop.

The genesis of D.G. Wills Books is really interesting. Did you ever imagine it would become what it is today?

Well, one is never sure when opening a business how long or to what extent it might last; but that said, I chose La Jolla specifically to be near UCSD and the Salk Institute on the premise that the educated community’s interest in scholarly books would make it more likely that we would survive for thirty-six years now;  and that good libraries from retired professors would emerge. We were lucky and honored, for example, to have acquired Nobel Laureate Francis Crick’s library.

Out of all of the literary celebrities who have spoken at D.G. Wills Books, do you have any personal favorites?

Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer and Christopher Hitchens were clearly the most entertaining and witty. Francis Crick and Freeman Dyson were the most brilliant scientists here. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins was the most entertaining poet, although Allen Ginsberg drew the largest and most chaotic crowd, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the funniest. Playwright Edward Albee’s appearance was like attending a graduate seminar on theater. Pulitzer Prize journalist Maureen Dowd and Jill Abramson, then Managing Editor of the “New York Times,” were a brilliant team when they appeared here together.

Some may argue that the printed word is dying due to all of these technology advancements. What keeps your passion alive for what you do?

While Kindle and other e-book options have their use, many also continue to prefer to handle the printed page. The passion ever remains as we continue to discover the wonders of knowledge and mystery contained within books.

For people who have never been to your store, what should people know before going to D.G. Wills Books?

We carry new, used and antiquarian books, mainly within academic categories, and “backlist titles” that have passed the test of time, like Shakespeare, Darwin or Isaac Newton.

Is there anything special coming up at D.G. Wills Books that you’d like to mention?

Our Thirty-Eighth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Open Reading of Irish Poetry and Prose is coming up, on 17 March 2017, from 7 P.M. until it ends.

What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers today?

My advice to aspiring writers is to read, read, and read; then practice, practice and practice with your revisions, constantly fine tuning.

D.G. Wills is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to drop in at D.G. Wills, give Dennis a whispered holler, and see for yourself why indeed you’ll want to come back time and again seeking those hard to find gems, as well as enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

For more information on D.G. Wills Books, Click HERE

Community Spotlight Feature: La Jolla Kayak

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 2.07.17 PMMichael Luscomb, owner of La Jolla Kayak is a true La Jolla native. In fact, he was one of the last to be born at the old Scripps Hospital. The San Diego area is certainly no stranger to the Luscombs, either. If you’ve ever heard of Luscomb Point (the surf break), it’s named after Michael’s father, a surfer and lifeguard from Point Loma. So, you could say (in a very Ron Burgundy-esque way) they’re kind of a big deal.
So, what was the Genesis of La Jolla Kayak you ask? Well, it was a trip to Napoli that gave Michel the idea. After exploring Italy’s kayaking adventures, Michael came back to the states, bought six kayaks, and started piecing together the plans for his business out of his garage. With paper flyers and a pager in hand, Michael started marketing. In 1996, he opened the space that he’s still at today. Cut to 2018, we’re La Jolla Kayak and Hike Bike Kayak are moving about 50,000 tourists annually through their shops alone.
If you haven’t been yet, you should know that La Jolla Kayak is known as San Diego’s premier ocean kayaking and snorkeling destination. Located just a few blocks from the world famous La Jolla Shores beach, it’s no wonder why La Jolla Kayak is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Operating from the Shores since 1996, La Jolla Kayak provides tours of breathtaking cliffs, caves, and natural landscapes. Guests have the opportunity to venture out into La Jolla‘s 6,000 acre underwater reserve. This protected ecological site is renowned for its deep trenches, expansive marine life, and stunning reefs. “It’s like SeaWorld in the raw. You get to have an interactive experience with these animals, and you’re not in a confined place. You’re in the water, you’re with the water, and you’re with nature” says Luscomb.
Michael runs the business with his wife Sharon, who handles all of the background work and event coordination. He has over 90 employees, all of whom are like family. “The gratifying thing to me is to see the kids who I’ve hired grow up. They’ve gone on to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, some are in nuclear submarines. I have 6 marriages that people have met through my company. 4 out of those 6 couples have children. I’m like a dating service” Michael jokes.
There are two convenient ways of exploring this local gem. Guests can either rent individual or double kayaks and explore the sea caves on their own, or join a guided tour with a certified instructor. “It’s amazing to have people come up to me who are 60 years old and say ‘you know, that was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.’ It’s just a very rewarding experience” says Luscomb. You can also rent snorkeling gear and observe the marine life and reefs native to Southern California. “The conditions are epic right now. The leopard sharks that have not been seen yet this summer are now starting to come back.”
So what are you waiting for? Take adventure a step further in the beautiful city of La Jolla. La Jolla Kayak gives tourists and locals the opportunity for an experience of a lifetime. All kayaks are waiting for guests at the only public kayak launch on the beach. The only thing you need to worry about is getting yourself there. Experience some of the finest scenery in La Jolla with a company that is the premiere kayak and snorkeling exploration outfit in San Diego. Make a reservation to rent a kayak or snorkeling gear and get out on or in the water. Locals come in for a local rate. Give them a call at (858) 459-1114 or visit Lajollakayak.com to make a reservation.

An Interview with Design Studio West

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Established in 1982, Design Studio West creates impeccable settings for every room in your home, including award-winning designs for kitchens and baths. With a seamlessly-integrated, comprehensive suite of services at your disposal, Design Studio West is proud to serve as Southern California’s “one-stop-shop” for the finest in cabinetry, flooring, countertops and world-class appliance brands.

Staffed by a highly-respected and accomplished corps of long-time industry professionals, Design Studio West’s entire team collectively possesses a rare and remarkable talent: to unite their inner artist with their inner pragmatist, resulting in kitchens, baths and outdoor settings that are as exhilarating to look at as they are to live in.

We had the pleasure of talking with owner Karl Utzman about this wonderful business.

Can you tell us a little about the background and history of Design Studio West?

Design Studio West has been around for over 35 years as a kitchen and bath design showroom. In 2001 as a result of a merger between two complementary businesses – a highly-respected construction firm and an award-winning design studio – Design Studio West began offering a full suite of integrated services that run the construction and design industries’ gamut, from initial concept to ultimate completion.

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How would you describe your clientele?

We have projects as far south as Coronado to as far north as Carlsbad. Our clientele ranges from empty-nesters, young families, part time residents, long term homeowners to  new home buyers. We offer a diverse line of cabinetry product that can accommodate various project budgets. We also work directly with interior designers and contractors to provide quality design and cabinetry product to their customers.

Is there an area in design and remodeling that Design Studio West specializes in?

We are dealers of custom build to order cabinetry product so are projects typically revolve around area of the home that would call for use of those items: kitchens, bathrooms, office spaces, laundry rooms, mudrooms, entertainment centers, fireplaces, master bedroom suites etc. In addition, we can  help with general design detailing, space planning, furnishings, accessories as well as  complete home additions.

Could you describe a little bit of your design process for our readers? If I’m a new client, what should I expect?

Our design process is very fluid and we break each project down into 4 steps.

Step 1 – Research and information gathering: To start the process, we will ask the client detailed questions to understand their needs, desires, style and priorities. The answers to this initial interview provide us with direction and guidance. We will talk about options, timeframes, costs and take “before” measurements and photos.

Step 2 – Concepts and layouts: We create new layout/floorplan concepts to review with our client ranging from minimal changes to more creative options along with projected costs for each option. Once the  client has chosen  a specific layout or combination of layouts, then we proceed with design detailing and refinement, creating elevation drawings for the space or 3D Renderings.

Step 3 – Design Refinement & Material Selections: The materials options we assemble to review with a client may include: Cabinetry, countertops, fixtures, tile, flooring, appliances, etc. During this step we review budget considerations for materials and products selected and see how these items fit with the overall scope and budget for the project.

Step 4 – Contracts and Remodel Agreement: Upon your approval of the designs, materials & pricing, we will present a client with Design Studio West’s  Home & Lifestyle Remodeling Agreement package. Upon acceptance of these agreements, materials will be ordered and a start and completion dates will be scheduled.

What do you love the most about your new location?

After being located on Girard Avenue for 35 years, Design Studio West relocated to the Upper Morena Design District in 2018. Our new design showroom/studio is located at 4250 Morena Blvd. Suite C. We are just south of the Costco Wholesale Club on Morena Blvd and love our new location. We have been visited by many of our La Jolla clients and colleagues on their way to a shopping trip to Costco. The ease of parking makes our new location much more accessible. We love  the fact that we are so close to La Jolla and can access our clients easily. We still shop for product in La Jolla and work with many  homeowners, design firms and showrooms in the village. We are excited to continue to provide La Jolla with our design and construction services and are happy that we can showcase our products and services in a showroom that is convenient to the community.

0-6Tell us a little about this new showroom – that sounds exciting!

Our new showroom is about 2400 Square feet  and is located in the Upper Morena Design District just south of the Costco. The new space was a blank slate when we moved here so we had free range to design and create what we wanted. Our new space is light and airy and very open. We showcase 4 different cabinetry product lines  and show them in  various kitchen vignette installations. We have hundreds of cabinet finish samples and countertop materials that are available. We also show  appliance products, cabinet hardware, faucets and fixtures as well as a vast array of interior cabinetry accessories. We view our showroom as a working studio. Our vignettes and installations allow us to illustrate design details and installation applications to our clients and homeowners giving them clear illustrations of how their new cabinetry product will look and function.

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Aside from the new showroom, is there anything else new and exciting about Design Studio West that you’d like to share? 

We recently became a dealer of an amazing outdoor cabinetry product line called Naturekast. They manufacture a weather proof cabinet that can stand up to the elements.  We are excited to be carrying their product because it allows us to be more creative when designing and working on outdoor spaces. Gone are the days where our outdoor patios and BBQ’s would have to have stainless steel doors or masonry kitchens. We can now create custom wood look kitchen and cabinetry storage spaces that feel more integrated to the home. The product is well suited for the indoor/outdoor lifestyle we all enjoy in southern California.

To learn more about Design Studio West, click HERE

Where To Get Your Juice Fix in La Jolla

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If you’re looking for a healthy cold drink this summer, stop in for an ice-cold green juice from one or more of these insanely-awesome juice bars in La Jolla.

Juice Kaboose
7556 Fay Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037

What we recommend: The Green Lemonade. For over 20 awesome years, Juice Kaboose has been offering La Jolla residents and visitors alike with a healthy abundance of lip-smacking green juices, and their Green Lemonade is certainly no exception. Created with fresh apple juice, fresh lemon juice, ginger, spinach, cucumber, celery, and honey, Green Lemonade is an energizing choice for any La Jolla day when you’re seeking a refreshing juice to chill with. And hey, as an added bonus, the blend of honey and ginger fuels the body’s immune system and fights off any of those nasty toxins that may be coursing through your body.

Lean and Green Cafe
7825 Fay Ave, Suite 180
La Jolla, CA 92037

What we recommend: The Ultimate Green. Lean and Green Cafe’s Ultimate Green juice is prepared with all organic ingredients, including apple, celery, cucumber, and spinach. Spinach is bursting with wall-to-wall antioxidants and vitamins A, C and K. Oh, too high-cal you say? Not. The Ultimate Green remains a low-calorie, healthy green! This particular drink is perfect right after surfing or after an intensive yoga session, so ask for one for your “ultimate” cool-down.

Nekter Juice Bar
834 Kline Street
La Jolla, CA 92037

What we recommend: The Greenie. This is Nekter’s signature green juice. Made fresh to order, this juice is an invigorating assortment of parsley, spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, lemon and apple for a hint of sweetness. Parsley is a particularly favorable ingredient, because it acts as a cleansing agent by promoting optimal kidney function. The Greenie’s ingredients are rich and contain appetite suppressant veggies.

Juice Crafters
935 Silverado St
La Jolla, CA 92037

What we recommend: Green #2. Juice Crafters takes pride in their cold-pressed juices and on-the-spot made-to-order smoothies and bowls – and for excellent reason! Greener #2 is a cold-pressed concoction of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber celery, apple and lemon. Rife with vitamins A, C, E and K, this juice has the perfect purifying properties that make it a fantastic and satisfying post-work out drink.

So drink up! Here’s to good health not just in the summertime, but all year around too! 


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

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Where to Get Dad the Perfect Gift this Father’s Day

Shopping for dad this Father’s Day? Think outside the tie box, and get him something he’ll be totally stoked on. Here’s a few La Jolla Shops we recommend!

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Mitch’s Surf Shop has been offering hand shaped surf boards with the most style and innovation since 1967. Their La Jolla shop is located on Pearl Street, minutes away from the Windansea surf break. Here, customers can find long or short boards in all desired name brands as well as clothing and fins. Daily wetsuit and board rentals are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Stand up paddle boarding supplies and spear fishing gear are also in stock. Come see the water sports specialists at Mitch’s Surf Shop when it comes to all your water adventure needs. They also have a location in Solana Beach at 363 Highway 101 N, Solana Beach, CA 92075
 
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2014 Winner – 1st Place Best Bike Shop San Diego A List

California Bicycle is located on La Jolla Blvd. right off of Pearl Street. The family owned company has been serving La Jolla since 1977. The last three decades have been spent not only providing great customer service, but filling every customer’s bike-related needs. Whether you are looking for a beach cruiser to explore gorgeous beach areas in La Jolla, road bikes to amp up fitness routines, Mountain bikes for some off roading in the mountains or hiking trails, or beginners bikes for children and adults, California Bicycle has everything in stock. They also have a large amount of bike parts and accessories as well as provide in store service and maintenance on bike items. Visit California Bicycle Tuesday through Saturday and get yourself on out on two wheels.

Check out our interview with Jason Millard HERE

Cutom Shirts of La Jolla:

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Custom Shirts of La Jolla has been serving La Jolla since 1977. The men’s and women’s shop is located on Girard Avenue and across from the Athenauem Music Arts and Library. Custom Shirts of La Jolla offers unique American and European customized clothing.
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Sports minded people need the best gear and sometimes that can be hard to find in one place. In 1983 Michael Gotfredson, or chief runner, started Road Runner Sports in a garage space in Del Mar, CA. Over the next 28 years the company grew to have distribution centers in San Diego, CA and Columbus, OH and many neighborhood retail stores throughout the country and are the world’s largest walking and running store. They are proud to be apart of your fitness and provide every item needed to enhance your fitness routine in one place. Whether you are shopping in stores or online, there are hundreds of running shoes and sneakers for men, women, and children. The latest fitness gear, trackers, nutrition bars, drinks, supplements, and men and women’s apparel can all be found here. Not to mention all in the best sporting brands including Nike, Adidas, Reebok, ASICS, and more. Get your fitness gear from the person who knows all there is to know about running and the fitness world and shop at Road Runner Sports.

Get Delicioso Bites in La Jolla

California is home to some pretty cool things. Disneyland, Hollywood, beautiful beaches, just to name a few. It’s also home to the best Mexican cuisine in the country- especially in San Diego. Whether it’s Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, or just

Puesto 

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Prior to Puesto, many San Diegans had departed home to pursue other desires in other places. So what’s in store? How about handmade maíz azul stone-ground tortillas, sustainable meats and seafood, slow-cooked guisados, and made from scratch, mouth-watering scratch salsas? Puesto is a merriment of fundamental Mexican flavors and an homage to the diverse palate of Mexico City.

Their bar features freshly made margaritas, house made aguas frescas, and wines from the burgeoning Valle de Guadalupe region of Baja.

The Puesto Party Philosophy still maintains that each and every celebration will be large, lively, booming and yet refined. At Puesto’s you’ll observe a bevy of fashionable people from all walks of life consuming great food and enjoying colorful conversations. But don’t fret! Your debutante grandmother is also there drinking her portion of the best tequila. Their parties are dedicated to her as well as anyone else that comes to Puesto for merriment.

Don Carlos Taco Shop

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 2.30.26 PMFor numerous decades Don Carlos Taco Shop has offered fine catering services to the greater San Diego community. Whether your group consists of 10 people or 200 individuals, Don Carlos has the capacity to prepare a delightful spread that will be sure to satisfy all sorts of tastes and cravings.

Verdes el Ranchero 

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Opened in 1945 by Buzzy Martinez and affectionately nicknamed “The Ranch” by La Jolla residents, Verdes El Ranchero is one of the few restaurants to have outlived La Jolla’s ever changing tide from an old-fashioned seaside community to one of international acclaim. Since 2009, it is has been owned and operated by the Green family who have called the Barber Tract home for three decades. Gloria and her daughter Megan tirelessly work to preserve the cordiality and warmth that keep “The Ranch” an establishment where it is not unusual to observe four generations of families enjoying the finest Mexican cuisine La Jolla has to offer.

Verdes El Ranchero offers a full bar featuring a wide array of Tequilas, handmade Margaritas, and, of course, Mexican beers. The menu offers a range of Mexican dishes from chile rellenos, carnitas, enchiladas, burritos, and scrumptious tamales. Of course, fresh salads, tostadas and soups are also available as well as much more!

Visitors to Verdes El Ranchero will find themselves bounded by the cheerful colors of Mexico that ever exude warmth and relaxation. Enjoy rich wood accents and hand painted murals, as well, some of which date back to the early 1960’s, and of course, local artwork for sale.

Enter For Our La Jolla Blue Book Giveaway!

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 2.01.34 PMWe are offering FREE $50 gift cards to @harryscoffeeshop Want to win?

Here’s HOW TO ENTER:

1. Follow @lajollabluebook

2. Tell us your favorite category in the Blue Book.

3. Tag a La Jolla local in your comment!

Winners will be chosen legally at random with auction and raffle software.