lifestyle, travel & reviews

Dukes La Jolla {Restaurant Review}


Dukes recently opened it’s doors in the heart of La Jolla, California. If you are a visitor to the beautiful town of La Jolla, or perhaps a San Diego resident, you cannot pass up this little slice of “Hula Pie Heaven!” Bring the family, bring the kids- all are welcome at Dukes La Jolla!

Dukes, a favorite restaurant among Hawaiian locals and visitors, is named after the famed Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. Duke was a surfing pioneer and helped popularize the sport beyond the shores of Hawaii, bringing wave riding to California and beyond! Find out more about Duke Paoa Kahanamoku here.

My husband and I were thrilled… THRILLED to be invited to Dukes La Jolla for a complimentary meal. I have been wanting to go back to Hawaii for some time, and this my friends is a close second to visiting the Islands. Dukes La Jolla is a wonderful combination of the Hawaiian and Southern California beach lifestyles. The spirit of “aloha” is found throughout the restaurant; in the overall laid back feel and vibe, and the delicious, creative food. Unfortunately we had a less than desirable rainy day, so sitting outside on the patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean was a no-go, but the ambiance inside the restaurant is just as fun!

I would say that the cuisine is a modern twist of authentic Hawaiian foods found throughout the Islands. From Poke Tacos to Banana Leaf Steamed Fish and Shrimp; Hawaiian flavors and ingredients, with modern flare.

The wines, beer on tap and cocktail list were beyond extensive– so many fun options to try! I went with the Duke’s Mai Tai made with fresh squeezed passion-orange-guava juices with not one, but two types of rum. It was so tropical– the perfect touch to our rainy SoCal day!

We started off with the Tahitian Octopus. Octopus is a very hard seafood to make as it tends to be tough and sometimes rubbery. Not so with Dukes Tahitian Octopus. The flavors were out of this world! Fresh, grilled lightly, savory, and sweet. The citrus was the perfect touch!

Next up, the entrees! We chose two of the “swimmers” and they did not disappoint! I went with the Seafood HotPot. It was warm, flavorful and had such a nice selection of different seafood. Wonderful Thai flavors of coconut and cilantro– it was perfect and I would not have changed a thing about the dish.

My husband went with the Banana Leaf Steamed Fish and Shrimp. It was a winner. So simple, yet so delicious!

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The dessert was a touch decision, but we went with the famed Hula Pie. Macadamia Nut ice cream, piled high on top of a dark chocolate cookie crust, followed with a rich chocolate fudge, more macadamia nut, then a hefty amount of whipped cream. You can’t go wrong– it’s a definite crowd-pleaser. Next time I am going with the Malasadas, Portuguese pastry with a guava jam! Yum!

Now I didn’t have the kiddos for this dining experience, but there is no doubt in my mind that children are more than welcome at Dukes La Jolla. They have a wonderful kids, or Keiki menu with fun games and puzzles.  It included a nice choice of jasmine rice, fries or sliced seasonal fresh fruit or veggies. The upstairs portion of the restaurant displays beautiful surf boards, vintage pictures of Duke and even some local San Diego/La Jolla vintage photography that the kids would love to discover.


Contact & Social Media information for Duke’s La Jolla

Website –

Overlooking La Jolla on Prospect Street
1216 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-5888

Lunch: Mon-Sun 11:30am- 3:00 pm
Aloha Hour: Mon-Sun 3:00pm – 5:00 pm
Dinner: Mon- Sun 9:00pm- 9:00 pm


Here’s a handy Pinterest image to save this review to your travel boards!

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A BIG THANK YOU to Dukes La Jolla for hosting us for a complimentary meal! All honest opinions expressed are 100% my own.