Community in the kitchen: Blue Whale La Jolla now open in The Village

Blue Whale La Jolla opened Oct 6 at 834 Kline St. in La Jolla, and its owners are hoping the community will migrate in for a full menu of coastal favorites.

Setting up shop as a beach cafe that offers “a little bit of everything,” co-owner Mike Harrison said Blue Whale, open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, serves more than just the “coffee shop vibes” found inside.

From build-your-own açai bowls, French toast and chicken & waffle dishes to farro bowls, lobster rolls, a smash burger and octopus tacos, “we’re a full restaurant,” Harrison said, adding the seafood is caught fresh off the San Diego coast.

Blue Whale also features plenty of espresso drinks, though, along with fresh smoothies and juices.

Naming Blue Whale for the large animal that migrates annually through La Jolla’s waters, Harrison and co-owner Dillon Berkabile are inspired “to be the biggest and the best that we can be,” Harrison said.

“We want to be better than we were yesterday: better food, better restaurant, better for the community.”-Michael Harrison, Co-owner.

That community involvement runs from outside the restaurant’s doors – Harrison and his family live in The Village – all the way through the kitchen, where chef Taylor Preus and the owners work in concert on menu offerings. 

Harrison and Berkabile each have a decade or more of experience in the food service industry; Harrison is a chef by trade and education who has also had years working as a consultant and other roles in restaurant operations, while Berkabile has opened many eateries himself.

“We all have the same taste expectations, flavor profiles,” Harrison said, adding the recipes are crafted by Preus “but the menu is a collaboration of ideas and … what we want to serve the community.”

“I love the creative aspect of restaurants and culinary … but also I want to let others have that creative ingenuity too,” he said

Blue Whale also has a market space featuring cafe merchandise and wares from local artisans, such as a ceramist from Tijuana.

“We’re open to having other community artists have items for sale,” Harrison said.

On the menu:

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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