New La Jolla Restaurant Brings ‘Aloha Spirit’ To The Village

La Jolla Restaurants

Top of the Cove prior to closing in 2006

Since closing its’ doors in 2006, the Top of the Cove restaurant has remained vacant along Prospect street. The coveted ocean-view location has since undergone a massive renovation in hopes of attracting a high-end operator. The La Jolla Blue Book recently discovered that the restaurant space is in the final stages of its makeover and that a formal announcement is expected in the upcoming weeks. Although we don’t know the name of the new La Jolla restaurant, our sources disclosed that an upscale Hawaiian-based restaurant with multiple locations throughout the Hawaiian Islands is allegedly set to takeover the location. After doing some extensive research, we’ve put together a list of potential tenants. Here are our top predictions:

UPDATE (August 23, 2014): San Diego Magazine confirmed the new restaurant opening is Duke’s!!


Duke's in Maui
The TS Restaurant group is a likely contender for the Top of The Cove location. As the owner of Jake’s in Del Mar and world famous Duke’s in Waikiki, the company already has a local connection. The restaurant group has a strong portfolio of restaurants in Southern California and throughout the Hawaiian islands including Duke’s Malibu, Duke’s Hunington Beach, Kimo’s in Lahaina, Leilani’s in Ka’anapali, Hula Grill in Waikiki, and Keoki’s Paradise in Poipu. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Duke’s chose the beach community of La Jolla as their new home.

Alan Wong's Amasia at the Grand Wailea

Alan Wong’s Amasia at the Grand Wailea

SEE ALSO: 7 Must-Have Burgers in La Jolla.

Alan Wong
Celebrity chef Alan Wong is known for his bold flavors, dramatic presentations, and unique dishes. Bon Appetit magazine recognized Chef Wong as the ‘Master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine’. In addition, Alan Wong’s restaurant has been ranked twice as the only Honolulu restaurant rated in the top ten of America’s Best Fifty Restaurants. His exclusive restaurants in Hawaii are infamous for having to make reservations months in advance. Wong’s Honolulu location is also known for being one of President Barack Obamas’ favorite restaurants – his favorite dish being the soy braised shortribs. Wong’s restaurant portfolio includes Alan Wong’s Honolulu, The Pineapple Room in Ala Moana, & Amasia at the Grand Wailea Resort.

Merriman's in Kapalua, Maui

Merriman’s in Kapalua, Maui

Merriman’s multiple locations throughout Hawaii are famous for their first-rate ocean views, making it an ideal choice for the Top of the Cove site. World famous for their fresh line-caught fish, grass-fed meats and produce grown in the rich volcanic soil of Hawaii, Merriman’s has become a favorite for California visitors to the islands. With locations in Wailea, Kapalua, Poipu, Waikoloa, and Waimea, La Jolla would be a perfect spot for Merriman’s first mainland restaurant!

Mori-Moto Maui

Mori-Moto Maui

Masaharu Morimoto is best known as an Iron Chef on the popular Iron Chef America television program. Famous for his distinct and fine style of presenting food, Chef Morimoto has garnered a large cult following of foodies around the world. As the former head chef of the exclusive Japanese restaurant Nobu, Mori-Moto’s restaurants feature traditional Japanese cuisine and a large array of fresh fish. In addition to locations around the world, Mori-Moto features two restaurants in Hawaii – one in Waikiki and one in Wailea.

Roy's current La Jolla location in UTC

Roy’s current La Jolla location in UTC

Although it is highly unlikely, it is still a possibility that Roy’s could move its popular nearby UTC location into the heart of the village. Known for its’ Pacific Rim Cuisine, Roy’s was founded by Tokyo native Roy Yamaguchi. At the age of 19, Yamaguchi graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York as a master chef. After serving as executive chef at La Serene in Los Angeles, Yamaguchi opened the first Roy’s in Hawaii in 1988. Since then, he has grown an extensive collection of restaurants throughout the United States including two in San Diego.

We can’t wait for this highly anticipated restaurant to open. Check back with us for further updates about who the next La Jolla tenant will be. Have any other predictions? Share with us who you think will be opening!

[Images: Merriman’s Hawaii, Own Honuakai, Wailea Resort Dining, Travel Pulse,, & Global Writes]

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