Cliff Hanger Cafe (+ Happy July 4th weekend) – La Jolla, CA

It’s been a while since something has taken this blogger’s breath away. You know those take your breath away moments. It’s similar to the way kids gasp when they’re so taken aback by an event or getting a new candy/toy or something. I think adults deserve the same lose your effin’ mind moments. Cliff Hanger Cafe (and Torrey Pines Gliderport) in La Jolla recently gave me that moment. These lose your effin’ minds don’t come often in life so RELISH it when you stumble upon it because that’s what I absolutely did. I’m not usually at a loss of words but the views and gliders made me BE STILL for the first time in a very long time. Which makes me ponder : Can you lose your effin’ mind AND be still at the same time. Yes. Yes, you can.  

Soo suggested meeting at Cliff Hanger Cafe for lunch as he works close by.  I had done extensive research on the menu but read (mostly) that it’s a simple cafe serving mediocre food over fantastic views. So that didn’t exactly light the fire under my a** to drive there on a humid muggy San Diego afternoon. Parking is in a dirt lot (free though thank goodness) and I rolled my eyes even more when I saw portapotties in the dirt parking lot.

But then.

I saw this.


Then this…


I couldn’t believe HOW CLOSE you get to see the gliders’ in action






It was truly such a sight for me. I could not believe how I’ve never been here all these years I’ve lived in San Diego.  You can read about Cathy’s visit here and CC’s visit here. I took so many photos of the gliders jumping off the cliff (well, it LOOKED like they were jumping off the cliff) but this is a post about Cliff Hanger Cafe so let’s proceed to that (for now)…



“For once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return” – Leonardo da Vinci


You order from the cashier and wait for your name to be called when your food is ready.


This was Soo’s pick (minus the red onions).


We both thought it was a decent portion for $8.95. Soo liked the sandwich and that’s all I can say about that because…


Dude. Some guy is about ready to go (tandem) off the cliff !


My heart was racing as I *SERIOUSLY* could feel his fear (well, probably more so MY own fear of flying and heights). Sis and I were joking later how if that was me (in pic), the entire place would hear me screaming ‘Nooooo noooo no no no I CHANGE MY MIND I CHANGE MY MIND I CHANGE MY MIND ‘ and my feet would be DRAGGING on the grass the entire way to the edge of cliff…

Ok back to food – sorry – I about upchucked my current lunch re thinking about that tandem flight as if it were me strapped in…

I was taking more pictures while waiting for my name to be called (for the food, not for a tandem gliding lesson).

Turkey Club $8.95

turkey, avocado, mayo, mustard, cheddar, lettuce, tomato (add bacon for extra $1.00)

I was going to add ham for another $1 but the nice cashier said she could do 1/2 turkey and 1/2 ham for me (I think there are 4 slices of meat so she was going to do 2 and 2 of ham & turkey).


I’m more caught up with how fantastic this picture looks with the view of the background.


Here’s a better picture of The Club. The toasted sourdough bread, the plentiful meats (including crispy bacon), and the veggies (crisp lettuce and ripe tomatoes) made this sandwich a winner for me that day.

It needed just ONE more thing that I noticed The Club didn’t quite have enough of. So, like a sly puppy (think Lifu), I opened my purse under the table and whispered to Soo :

me: “Soo”
Soo: ‘yeah’
me: “you wanna see something’
Soo: ‘ok’

I glanced around to make sure no one was looking and then busted these babies out from my purse:


Yeah. That’s right.

me: ” you ever see someone with these in their purse”
Soo: ” No. That’s weird. Why do you have those”
me: “Because I’m a mayo freak and they don’t carry this brand here

Total Seinfeld moment.


I never eat chicken dumpling soup as consuming just-flour dumplings is something I didn’t grow up eating. Cliff Hanger Cafe usually offers two soups. I really enjoyed this hearty chicken soup and even liked the soft doughy dumplings as the dumplings absorbed quite a bit of the thick chicken broth.

I had gotten up to get more napkins when the sandwich man asked how the food was. I admit he was a bit curt (when I first picked up sandwich) but I didn’t care (if someone being curt to you ruins your day then you must be having a super crappy day). So maybe talking about his food lightened up the mood or maybe my ‘my life is so wonderful here’ was infectious.


Commerical: He approves of this post and this picture. Just kidding. He doesn’t know me or this blog but he did approve of this ham-it-up pic. I asked if the chicken dumpling soup was made in house and he said no. But, he said the clam chowder is homemade and that he was serving that chowder this Saturday.


Ahhhh. A carbolicious meal. I don’t remember how much I paid for the Pellegrino.




Don’t forget there’s a second balcony that has two tables where you can eat and enjoy the views as well.


Here’s the view you get from the 2nd balcony.

This meal, without a doubt, was one of the coolest lunches I’ve ever had. It wasn’t just about the food but it was about the combination of everything. I’m not going to get all kumbaya on you but the hour that I had here was something that I needed, right then and there, when I didn’t think it would happen ‘right then and there’. If that makes any sense. Hopefully you’ll have a similar lose your effin’ mind while being still moment this long 4th of July weekend 🙂

2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 452-9858


SO. Big news.

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I’m getting married.

Just kidding. That’s my cousin who’s getting married this weekend.  She let us choose our own bridesmaid dresses as long as the dress was blush (pink), long, and chiffon.

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This is bride’s sister (my closest cousin). We both found our dresses on the same day (hers is the one with the flower sash).

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I like my dress and think the last few months of fasting has paid off (kidding, kinda).

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This is sis’ bridesmaid dress which is super pretty despite dark pic.

This week is filled with so many wedding activities.


Sis is hosting a catered taco bar and beer pre-wedding party at her house today so she’s freaking out about the 60+ guests that are coming. That’s sis, bride to be, and bride’s little brother unloading bride’s Costco run purchase to sis’ house for the party. Sis and I secretly rolled our eyes to one another as Coors Light and Corona Light (with a wedge of Mean Girls lime) were such the ‘cool’ beer to drink when we were her age.

The rehearsal lunch is also this Saturday 4th of July at a super fancy restaurant in downtown La Jolla  (I’m excited for the food is that wrong). Then the wedding is this Sunday. Not sure how this is all going to play out with the 4th of July weekend but should be interesting.

And the park had a party last night. My church friends and their 4 kids were there so we celebrated together.


There were hot dogs, burgers, chips, watermelon and dessert.


These are two of my favorite kids in the entire world. I teach one of them at Sunday school so it’s funny to still hear them call me Miss Faye outside of church. The one on the left participated in the pie eating contest and was the youngest contestant ever.


And the fireworks.  Do you see that white dot to the right of it – THAT was the moon! The moon was cheetos orange and HUGE. It was a magical way to end a memorable night with everyone.

Happy July 4th this 2015 year – have fun and be safe!

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11 thoughts on “Cliff Hanger Cafe (+ Happy July 4th weekend) – La Jolla, CA

  1. Wow Miss Faye! That would have been awesome if it really was your wedding! It would be so like you to keep the big event hush hush till the very end! You looked great in that dress!

    That was really mind blowing watching you produce your own mayo for lunch! I admit I bring my own bottled water when I go to really cheap taco shops that don’t filter their water… I get scared when I see them fill cups of water from “the pitcher”.

    That’s cool you enjoyed lunch and real cool hang gliding pictures! I gotta work on my post. Still so many Hawaii pictures I haven’t worked on…

    1. Hi Soo!

      Yeah that would have been a funny surprise if that was me in the wedding dress. I do like my bridesmaid pick so thank you.

      I swear Heinz makes the best mayo and their mayo packs really taste pretty authentic (for any mayo freaks reading this). I like how you coined ‘the pitcher’ at the Mexican restaurants because it’s totally true! I’m picky about water too so that’s a great idea about bringing your own bottled water when you eat at taco shops.

      I did love Cliff Hanger Cafe and the gliderport. Thank you for suggesting this place !

  2. I was like whattttt shotgun wedding?! Haha JOKING.

    The bringing your own mayo thing is so funny. The bf is weird about mayo too he insists on the Best Foods one at home. Also he was intensely particular about what kind of tuna brand I bought and when I got the Trader Joe’s kind he instantly saw it and was like ‘that’s not the kind my mom buys’……OK guy. In the end he agreed to make his standard tuna sandwich with the TJ’s tuna and it passed his test so we can buy that type os TJ’s canned tuna and the Chicken of the Sea one. I was thinking of getting him one of those keychain sriracha things too since he eats it with everything. Too bad they don’t make keychain mayo?

    That view is amazing + I love the back of your dress! So pretty.

    And we didn’t even see the fireworks you know. We had friends visiting and we went out Thursday and Friday until pretty late so when the 4th rolled around we were soo tired. We tried to go to PB but after 2 hours we just quit and went to Little Italy and ate pasta and had a glass of red wine and ignored that it was the 4th. Hope you had a great wedding/4th of July!!!

    1. I don’t know if my family would be happy or have my head if I had a shotgun wedding.

      I think I stand corrected after reading your mayo comment about your bf. I prefer Best Food so not sure why I thought the Heinz packet was Best Food. I seriously just walked to my cubbard to check the latest bottle of mayo I bought (still unopened) and it’s Best Foods. BUT, that’s not to say Heinz isn’t good but now you got me all confused about which brand is best. I am totally weird about my canned tuna as well. But now I’m too scared and confused to write which one I prefer now (it’s not the Trader Joe’s brand that’s for sure so I totally sympathize w/ your bf’s pickiness!). I think the brand I like has like the talking tuna wearing glasses on it with a blue lable. Or is that from a movie?

      OMG. I’m SO googling sriracha keychain right now!! They should make a keychain that has both a sriracha AND mayo itty bitty bottle so you can create the spicy mayo sauce to squirt all over everything! Dude. That would be OUR food truck. Serious. Like the naan burrito. And then we give out, like, free promo keychains with the itty bitty mayo and sriracha sauce.

      I so liked my bridesmaid dress and the wedding went very well. Thanks for asking 🙂

      This holiday was weird b/c I swear there were 4th of July fireworks starting 7/2 thru 7/5. Not just Sea World. But like all over SD. Gosh did you try to find parking for 2 hours at PB – was it that crowded? Eeks. Well Little Italy sounds way better to spend the 4th of July evening than standard ol’ fireworks!

  3. I love going to the gliderport! I always take people from out of town over there just to check out the gorgeous view. Jake and I were thinking of going there to see if we could see the fireworks for the 4th but we ended up not going there. I’ve never been to the cafe though, but it looks like a cute spot. Bella Vista Social Club is closeup and is really good if you ever feel like checking that place out. The view isn’t the same though, but you could always just get it to go and then go sit for the view, haha.

    Pretty dresses! I’m going to my cousin’s wedding soon! But I don’t have to wear a fancy dress, just a regular dress, haha.

    1. I need to make the gliderport a regular place to visit. Have you ever considered doing the tandem hang glide? I’ve been to Bella Vista but thought the food was just meh. I think they have a/c so that trumps Cliff Hanger Cafe in that department.

      The bridesmaid dresses turned out great for all of us. Have fun at your cousin’s wedding!

      1. No. No no no no no no no NO never. I’m way too scared of falling/heights to ever consider that. I got the heebee jeebees just thinking about that. UGH! I can’t even go in a ferris wheel, man. I need a thick layer of glass to protect me or fences or something to be in a tall building.

        Oh, I get this killer brie & fig jam sandwich at Bella Vista that I would run away with if I could.

        Thanks! Don’t expect photos of me in that dress but maybe I’ll do the wedding food… it’s on the east coast, too, so YAY VACATION.

        1. I HATE ferris wheels too!! I don’t know – maybe we could both try the tandem glide thing one day. I’m pretty sure the video of us both trying to take off the cliff would go viral.

          Brie & Fig sounds soooo good right now. I might just revisit Bella soon.

          East Coast wedding sounds beautiful! I might post the wedding rehearsal food if you do.

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