In 2008, friends and partners Arturo Kassel and Chef Ryan Johnston established this little neighborhood eatery on the map in La Jolla. The concept was perfect for La Jolla: quaint, cute, modern, and comfortable—you name it! The food is simple, humble, and straightforward with some esoteric choices thrown in. This approach has won acclaim in a number of national and local publications, adding to their positive reputation throughout the culinary community. From flatbread to burgers to charred bone marrow or fried sweetbreads, this made-from-scratch food is fresh, local, and seasonal. One of my favorite starters is the Cutting Board, an assortment of house-cured meats, artisan cheeses, mustards, spreads, and pickles. Another very popular dinner item is the fork-tender braised beef cheek with balsamic cipollini onions, potato puree, and pecorino. Additional locations now include shorter-order items and take-out at the PrepKitchen in La Jolla, Del Mar, and Little Italy. Whisknladle, 1044 Wall St., La Jolla, CA 92039; (858) 551-7575; whisknladle.com; American; $$.