Local dining legacy celebrates 20 years overlooking La Jolla Cove
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 08/10/11 - 04:28 PM | 5867 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Though renovated, the current restaurant retained much of the original historic appearance.
Brockton Villa Restaurant, an icon along La Jolla’s idyllic beachfront with breathtaking views of La Jolla Cove, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.

The California bungalow-style beach cottage was first built in 1894 along the once-barren hillside overlooking La Jolla’s world-renowned cove. In the late 1920s, the historic cottage was enhanced with a unique giant abalone shell-inlaid fireplace — a mainstay centerpiece in the restaurant today.

The charming beach cottage was adapted for use as a restaurant in the early 1990s by the local, family-owned Pannikin Coffee and Tea. Despite the renovation, the Pannikin family preserved the cottage’s quaint appearance throughout the years, earning the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s prestigious Orchid Award for dedication to preserving the community’s architectural heritage.

Since 1994, Megan Heine took ownership of her family’s restaurant and has continued to enhance the restaurant’s ambience and dining experience.

She and husband Dave added wine and beer to the menu of the formerly breakfast- and lunch-only restaurant, which led to year-round dinner service as well. The site has grown to become a staple go-to for special occasions and private parties in La Jolla.

“It is an honor to be well-respected and popular among the locals, as well as our visitors,” Heine said. “Twenty years is a long time, and we celebrate that milestone with our guests.”

Heine attributes much of her success — and the restaurant’s — to her stepfather, Bob Sinclair. Heine (in New Mexico tending to Sinclair after a recent motorcycle accident) wrote in an email of his contributions to the community and the legacy that her stepfather continues to leave at the restaurant.

“His photos and presence in Brockton Villa still represent the major role he’s played in La Jolla’s recent history, in my life and career,” she said.

Heine continues to follow her stepfather’s path by incorporating simple ideas, such as maintaining fresh favorites on the menu, hiring a friendly staff and accentuating the historicity of the venue in its stunning cliff-top location.

Brockton Villa’s coastal cuisine focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients that are simply executed and presented under the leadership of executive chef Mareyja Sisbarro.

Delectable menu items such as the famed “coast toast” and best-selling grilled organic salmon BLT with homemade dill aioli and applewood-smoked bacon have won the restaurant local dining awards including best breakfast, best outdoor dining and best of La Jolla.

In addition to its delicious dishes, Brockton Villa’s vista of the cove from the light and airy indoor seating to the raw oceanfront views from the patio or wrap-around veranda create the perfect setting to watch the tide roll in or the sun set over the Pacific.

Even after 20 years of success, Heine continues to freshen up the restaurant.

“We have recently renovated our décor, keeping our quaint beach bungalow style, but bringing in a little more sophistication and comfort. I’m very happy with our new look and feel really good about the next 20 years,” she said.

Brockton Villa Restaurant is the sister restaurant of Beaumont’s Neighborhood Eatery, a local Bird Rock favorite featuring a full bar and live music, opened by the duo in 2005.

For more information about Brockton Villa or to make a reservation, visit www.brocktonvilla.com or call (858) 454-7393.
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