You stroll out of Exit 1 from Hiroo station, turn right, and then turn a corner to reach the Hiroo shopping street. Walking down that street, you stomach growls. Looking left and right you can see many food options. Multiple pasta restaurants, noodle restaurants, and of course, a Starbucks too. However, if you want something a little more unusual for Japan, keep walking with your head tilted up and you will see a signboard with a sombrero on it. Welcome to La Jolla.
Walking up the stairs to get to the restaurant on the second floor, it’s hard to imagine how quaint the interior is. From sharpied signatures on the wall that read, “lots of love, from Turkey”, and “I’m from America!” to the soft lighting and friendly faces – its effortless appeal can make you feel very at home.
Around 1 in the afternoon, the place is bustling with people. Perhaps it’s the “authentic” (as quoted from their website) atmosphere that packs this place, or maybe it’s just their very reasonable lunch menu.
There are three choices with your mains. The “economy” selection, which contains a soup or salad, and a drink of your choice for 1,000 yen. The business selection, which contains a soup and salad, and one drink or dessert, all for 1,200 yen. And then the most expensive option – for 1,500 yen you will get a soup, salad, drink, and dessert.
With all of these lunch sets, you can choose any main course option from the photo above.
First comes the drink and the appetiser. With ingredients of cheese, tomato and chips, the soup is like liquid tacos with a hint of minestrone … surprisingly delicious.
Next come the enchiladas. As I am writing this review, looking at this photo, my mouth is watering. That’s how good they are. This portion of the meal is very filling thanks to the generous amount of cheese in it. The rice is nicely seasoned, and the bean paste smooth in texture.
The restaurant’s lunch hour is from 11:30 to 14:00 on Mondays to Fridays (11:30 to 15:00 on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays). La Jolla is closed every Tuesday. Be warned: having that much cheese during lunch will give you a bit of a food coma.