Newly landed at the gateway to La Jolla Shores and located just three blocks from its mile-long beachfront is Sandpiper, a reimagined neighborhood restaurant from the George’s at the Cove team who shuttered Galaxy Taco, their casual Mexican establishment, last fall after six and half years in the space.
Conceived by executive chef/partner Trey Foshee, the kitchen is still led by Eater Young Guns winner Christine Rivera with George’s at the Cove pastry chef Aly Lyng on dessert duty and advanced sommelier Evan Vallée (Huntress, Vino Carta) serving as general manager.
Open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, Sandpiper has a newly-installed custom wood-fired grill and a menu that centers around sharable steakhouse-style plates like a maple-brined double-cut pork chop, 16-ounce ribeye, and California squab with porcini butter; slow-grilled prime rib will be available on weekends. Other dishes include salads, starters like steamed mussels and grilled bone marrow, and a few composed entrees.
This will also be one of the rare spots in the area to find raw oysters on the regular; drop in during its 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. happy hour and get a free dozen oysters with the purchase of a bottle of Champagne.
A couple of favorites from Galaxy Taco have transferred over, including grilled octopus and adobo-rubbed trout, and Rivera is still featuring heirloom blue corn — the focus of her artisanal masa program at Galaxy — in Sandpiper’s happy hour fish tacos and a hoe cake (cornbread) sweetened with matcha honey.