Barbarella Restaurant & Bar – La Jolla

In February, my monthly girls’ dinner group met at Barbarella Restaurant & Bar in La Jolla, California. As stated on their website, Barbarella’s is “a community place to break bread and enjoy life.” They serve homemade Italian fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Unlike most places in La Jolla, this restaurant was not located in the trendy downtown Prospect Avenue area. It’s located in a surprisingly cute, quaint little strip area of La Jolla Shores. Just steps from the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Barbarella is complete with an expansive outdoor patio and opulent holiday decorations that allow you to enjoy the utmost fun, whimsical dining experience.

My visit to Barbarella was with five girlfriends, and we sampled a plethora of dishes. First, was the Pizza Con Funghi made with wild mushrooms, Fontina, and truffle oil. Now, I personally do not eat mushrooms, but this appetizer did seem to be a crowd pleaser as every single slice was eaten. I was told it was divinely delicious with flavor.

The Impossible Burger, Grilled Lamb Rack Medallions, Pasta Al Forno, and the Barbarella Chop Salad were other entrees ordered by my friends. I ordered the Risotto of the Day.

The Impossible Burger was a vegan burger patty with all the traditional burger fixins. It was so authentically real and bursting with the juiciest of flavors that my girlfriend had the waiter confirm with the chef that she did, in fact, receive the vegan burger and not a beef burger. The grilled lamb medallions were highly cheered as well as being “tender and prepared to perfection.” The Pasta Al Forno was baked orecchiette pasta, gorgonzola, leek, Italian pancetta, in a light cream sauce. I tasted this one, and it was one of those mouth-watering dishes that make you stop, absorb the flavors on your tongue, and quietly groan a soft, throaty yummmm.

The Barbarella Chop Salad consisted of avocado, roasted beets, celery, feta, toasted almonds, cherry tomatoes, avocado lime dressing, and romaine lettuce and was most definitely “good and fresh” as reported by my girlfriend. My Risotto of the Day was absolutely superb, but then again, I truly love risotto. It was tangy, cheesy, and spiced up like none of I’ve ever had before. I was extremely pleased – another deep, throaty yummm dish.

As with any exceptional dining experience, there is naturally no shortage of raving reviews for Barbarella. Patrons reported “there is just something about the ambiance that is special,” “[we] were truly blown away,” “the food is fresh and delicious,” and “never disappointed.”

Service was top notch during our visit. Other patrons have also had high praise reviews about the service stating, “[our server] was friendly, knowledgeable, and really made the evening enjoyable” and “we were extremely happy with the service.”

I was quite pleasantly impressed with Barbarella.  It’s touted to be a fun, quirky place for romantic date nights, sun-drenched weekend mornings, or an enjoyable place to take in a cool cocktail. They are even known to be dog-friendly on the outdoor patio.


Janine Holman is a freelance writer, photographer, and travel blogger - founder of Life Beyond Awesome – a site of travel journeys for adventurers, foodies, and lovers of luxurious things.  Her stories cover both local and international travel and focus on diving into cultures and communities and the people who make them thrive.  She invests time in learning how to best travel on a dime – being money smart and maximizing travel dollars while still enjoying the luxurious side of life (spas, restaurants, quaint places to stay, etc.).  Janine covers all kinds of topics and is known for being adventurous, enjoying the outdoors, and embarking down the path less traveled.  Most of all Janine enjoys sharing her life’s adventures and showing others how they too can design a Life Beyond Awesome.