Yesterday I got the chance to visit a fabulous new farm-to-table restaurant in La Jolla — Green Acre at Campus Pointe, run by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey.
Green Acre is located in the Alexandria Center for Life Science, a state-of-the-art building housing multiple science companies, and the building itself hosts weddings and other celebrations and conferences.
The center itself is pretty amazing, with lush gardens and a full outdoor dining, gathering and recreation area adjacent to the actual restaurant.
It’s pretty incredible. As you enter the parking lot, you pass the garden where many of Green Acre’s food is grown, and it’s open to visitors.
It’s definitely worth a stroll through the garden.
The kale plants have been adorably trimmed to look like palm trees, and they made excellent kale chips.
And I am glad they opted to let some of the artichokes bloom (even though they’re delicious), because the purple flowers are so beautiful.
The food itself is all fresh and organic, and we started off with a plate featuring a few of Green Acre’s special sides, including root fries topped with chilis and cotija cheese, a jar of pickled seasonal veggies, and a few bits of pickled pineapple and yellow beets, which were really delicious when sampled together.
In addition to the regular menu ….
… there are also daily specials. The special of the day when I visited with my food blogger friends, it was a light chicken Parmesan with zucchini noodles.
Although a stroll through the gardens mentally prepared me for the big lunch I was about to eat, I artfully dodged the waiter’s suggestion of a smoky and spicy tuna melt (it comes with jalapeno and smoked cheddar) or the “Havana Affair” panini, with slow-roasted pork shoulder, Oregon ham and Gruyère …
… yet still managed to get the least healthy salad option; the corn cobb salad. It was a fabulous (and huge!) arranged salad with egg, chicken, bleu cheese, avocado, bacon and greens, as well as a light-as-air roasted corn vinaigrette.
To me, the salad is a perfect example of seasonal California cuisine, right down to the summery corn flavor and accompanying pretzel roll.
Our table also got to split a couple of their specialty flatbread pizzas, prepared in the open-air restaurant’s brick oven. Above is the fig flatbread, which is also topped with bleu cheese and prosciutto, and below is the mushroom, with garlic, burrata and truffle oil. Both were excellent, with fresh cheeses and delicious greens.
Both Green Acre locations are open for breakfast and lunch only, but the Campus Pointe location also has Happy Hour Thursdays and Fridays, and is open for special occasions and events in the evenings and weekends. Check out http://www.greenacresd.com for more info.