I was pretty ecstatic when I heard Duke’s was coming to La Jolla. Duke’s is a popular restaurant in Hawaii and I just love the thought of bringing more Hawaiian food and culture into San Diego. Don’t get me wrong, I love the vibe of San Diego but Hawaii just has this added mellowness (is that a word) that is just amazingly refreshing. Duke’s has that same feel and vibe. They are serving up Hawaiian style food with a So Cal spin. We were offered to stop by the recently opened spot for a taste of their food and drinks and we suggest you try it out too!
Their cocktails are spot on. Their famous Mai Tai is made with fresh passion, orange and guava juices that really make a Mai Tai have awesome flavor. Sipping on a Mai Tai totally brought me back to our honeymoon. It’s a must try if you want a taste of Hawaii. Their lavender colada is fantastic. A simple spin on a traditional pina colada with hints of lavender. They also offer beer and wine on tap.
The dinner menu is simple and to the point with well crafted dishes. My favorite dish of the night had to be the Mussels Adobo made with chili, soy, vinegar, coconut and pan de sal. Our very sweet and helpful server, Lucy, informed us that executive chef Anthony Sinsay got the recipe from his mom. It is a hearty dish with bold flavors. I would have never thought to cook mussels with those ingredients but it totally works.
We also loved the poke tacos. The tacos are filled with raw ahi, shoyu, maui onions, avocado and wasabi crème fraiche. The tahitian octopus is char grilled and served with smoked papaya, cucumber and lime in coconut milk. I have never had octopus so tender.
We really enjoyed the seafood hot pot as one of their seafood entrees. It is filled with lobster, shrimp, fish, mussels, coconut cilantro broth, peanuts, and jasmine rice. The 24 hour kalbi short ribs were another favorite dish. It’s made with house made kimchee stew, sweet potato and chunks of thick bacon. Another incredibly tender dish.
Let’s not forget about dessert! The Hula Pie is another famous dish of Duke’s and it is perfect for sharing. The hula pie is coconut ice cream on an oreo cookie crust with whipped cream and chocolate drizzled all over. The malasadas are like a thin donut covered in cinnamon sugar served with guava jam.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we really enjoyed Duke’s La Jolla. I’m so glad this fun Hawaiian style restaurant is here. I look forward to many meals and happy hour dates at Duke’s.
Duke’s La Jolla
1216 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
We received a meal for media consideration. All opinions are my own.