Fresh, diverse produce with impeccable attention to small details.
The inventive seafood restaurant chain started with its original location in La Jolla and throughout the years expanded to multiple locations which now include Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Cabo and Hawaii. Recent developments paved the way for bright newcomer, Chef Jesse Glessner, to take over the kitchen in La Jolla. With an extensive background in seafood and Asian cuisine from working at Roy’s in San Diego, she’s the genius behind Herringbone La Jolla’s fresh, creative menu today.
The seafood-centric menu is always exciting as it changes seasonally throughout the year. The executive chef behind each Herringbone location has creative control over which dishes they want to change and add to the menu as different seafood and produce come into season. All of the produce is organic, fresh off the truck from the Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica. The seafood items change as certain products such as halibut, salmon and crab become available throughout the year.
Glessner exclusively tells Jetset Times,
“Everything’s from the Farmers Market that comes off that truck and I’d say that’s a huge chunk of our inspiration. As things come into season we get to try them and know rather than blindly ordering and most chefs have to do that. It’s really cool. All from local farmers.
I keep scallops on all year. I feel like that’s a huge seller and that’s not really anything seasonal so it’s easy. Our branzino is the same. Those two things have stayed, everything else we change out. There’s a few items that I haven’t changed that aren’t mine per say on the menu. The whole fish ceviche, that’s been on ever since the restaurant opened. So it’s something that I don’t ever want to take off. It’s something that we’re known for. Everything else I have full control over.”
The cuisine at Herringbone is California coastal with Mediterranean influences. Every dish emphasizes fresh, diverse produce with impeccable attention to small details, especially garnishes. This is most evident in this season’s Seared Sea Scallops: perfectly soft, juicy scallops are surrounded by flavors you never knew would go so well together, including bacon vinaigrette, hazelnuts, pancetta, apples and squash. The texture of the food is also on point with crispy black lentils that actually have crunch and thick, chewy noodles which add flavor and substance to the Lobster Linguine.
Sauces are an important focus for Chef Jesse, as she says she likes to build many of her dishes around the sauce. The Curried Mussels are a perfect example. They feature a flawless yellow curry sauce with chili oil and mint which is light, incredibly flavorful and balanced. The Ahi Poke is also a must try, as Chef Jesse was born and raised in Kauai. And as a local Hawaii girl, she knows what good Hawaiian poke is supposed to taste like. Her version comes with crispy nori crackers, Maui onion and spicy mayo; a dish her staff can’t help but rave about whenever diners ask for suggestions.
Of course, the menu wouldn’t be complete without a fantastic wine list. Herringbone boasts a range of international and California wines, not just from Napa but also Paso Robles and Santa Ynez, to choose from (my personal favorite was a glass of Albariño white wine with each of my entrees). Oyster Hour is every day, including the weekend, from 4-6PM featuring $1 premium oysters and discounted cocktails, drinks and starters.
The interior design of Herringbone is as effortlessly unique and creative as the cuisine. The restaurant is housed in a former warehouse with high steel ceilings while the décor is bohemian and whimsical. Lush green olive trees grow amongst the tables and glow with twinkling fairy lights. Colorful cushions accent the rustic wooden tables and monochromatic chairs. But the design doesn’t leave out the nautical ocean theme of Herringbone. Lovely light fixtures hang individually off fishing rope wound around canoes and lobster traps. Light bulbs shine on the many paintings of fish by Thomas Schoos, which are all original, modern and whimsical. And then there’s the striking chandelier above the back bar, comprised of a whale skeleton cased in wrought iron circles. All of these elements create a spectacular, one-of-a-kind space which inherently adds to the pleasure of dining at Herringbone.
Herringbone strives to offer guests a social dining experience. Everyone on staff is incredibly friendly and helpful with recommendations without being overly attentive. Chef Jesse wants to create a space where everyone feels comfortable and can simply enjoy excellent service and food. She explains,
“I want people to have fun. I want you to come into Herringbone and bring your family here and I also want you to come with your girlfriends and have brunch and I also want you to want to go on a date. It should be able to fill all markers.”
With exquisite design, welcoming service and fresh, creative cuisine, it’s safe to say that Herringbone easily fills all markers and expectations for an unforgettable restaurant.
Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features and online via JST's social media platforms. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.