Cormorant La Jolla


After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.

She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.

Cormorant La Jolla


There is a new gem in La Jolla Village, The Cormorant La Jolla. It’s named after the area’s famed black Cormorant birds that soar in the sky and perch on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Oceanic Enterprises acquired the former hotel in 2016, and did a top to bottom renovation led by designer Rebecca Kenny of Greenwood & Black. The contemporary design is influenced by the beauty of the seaside town. Coastal colored guest rooms with private balconies have ocean and palm tree views, as well as village shops, galleries and culinary venues.

I was invited to the grand opening reception of the hotel to meet the hotel group executives and designer. While taking a tour of the hotel with Kenny, she shared how she infused vibrant new energy and sophisticated design to the lobby and 26 guest rooms. Each room is unique with 16 different designs to maximize the sunset-facing views. The hotel’s hip bright white and black exterior has dimension with architectural Parasoleil balcony railings that filter and sculpt light inside and out.

Kenny also reconfigured the top floor guest rooms, just steps from the rooftop Birdseye restaurant, bar and lounge. We stepped out to take in the 280-degree views, as guests gathered at tables drinking sparkling wine and a Cormorant Teal cocktail made with coconut cream, rum and tropical fruit juices served in a festive pineapple glass.

Chef Luciano Scagliarini prepared modern coastal dishes with flavors from Argentina and Baja California. Signature items included beef and corn empanadas served with his family’s green chimichurri sauce. The tempura-battered shrimp tacos, flat breads, quesadillas, and salads were delicious.

After the party we walked to our room on the top floor and appreciated the classic mid-century modern design. There were tasteful art deco-style touches, and the carpet was inspired by abstracted barnacles. The color scheme throughout the room was influenced by the nearby sand, sea, and stunning blue sky. Cormorant-inspired art specially created to pay homage to these magnificent birds is featured in each guest room.

One feels as if they are sailing on a luxury cruise liner, especially snuggled into the cloud-like bed fitted with luxury sheets and a long decorative Cormorant throw pillow. Inside the closet are plush robes and each room offers a Nespresso machine, digital room service, and keyless entry.

The next morning we explored the La Jolla Caves and walked down 143 steps in a man-made tunnel built in the 1900s at Sunny Jim’s Cave and Store. It’s the only cave in La Jolla you can visit without being in a kayak. Afterward we walked along the cliffs to see the cormorant birds nesting nearby, and the seals lounging in the sand under the warm sun.

Back at the hotel, we enjoyed a savory and sweet brunch before driving home. The chef makes carnitas Eggs Benedict topped with avocado hollandaise and cilantro, and sweet Birdseye pancakes topped with fresh fruit, house-made coconut butter and shaved coconut powdered sugar.

The bartenders make sparkling mimosa, icy margaritas and minty mojito flights, plus a Berries & Creme cocktail that is made with Kettle One Vanilla Vodka, Chambord Liqueur, club soda and fresh berries. Their enhanced iced coffee is the  Birdseye Cold Brew made with vanilla vodka, DeKuyper Creme de Cocoa, simple syrup and fresh cold brew coffee.

Upon checking out we noticed right next to the hotel lobby, is Prospect Market, a full-service marketplace selling snacks, bottles of wine, grab-and-go lunches, and local gifts.

For a beach getaway, the Cormorant La Jolla is located in one of the best spots in the village. Brunch is on Fridays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner and sunset cocktails are offered nightly.

For reservations go to 1110 Prospect St., (858)203-3565.

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