Walking distance from Windansea Beach, on the stretch of La Jolla Boulevard that connects downtown La Jolla to Bird Rock, is the just-opened Nautilus Tavern. Named after Nautilus Street, another main thoroughfare, it replaces La Jolla Tap & Grill and is a new restaurant from the team behind another coastal neighborhood eatery, Pillbox Tavern in Solana Beach.
The recently-remodeled 2,500-square-foot space has a nautical design and an airy modern layout which includes two spacious outdoor patios. Open daily, from Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., the eatery offers cocktails and 30 taps of mostly local craft beer. Nautilus Tavern’s menu includes popular carryovers from Pillbox Tavern, ranging from the soy and garlic marinated beef tips to the blackened chicken club sandwich, smoked trip-tip plate and chicken wings seasoned with everything from Old Bay to bacon and bourbon-infused maple syrup. There’s also a weekend brunch, featuring biscuits and gravy and cinnamon roll French toast and a 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekday happy hour that offers deals on tacos, nachos, drinks and more.