La Casa Rosa, San Juan Bautista, CA – CLOSED

In the small historic town of San Juan Bautista, California, there is a charming, unique restaurant called La Casa Rosa (or The Pink House). Opened in 1935, it is famous for its luncheons featuring the Old California Casserole, from a Mexican recipe passed down from General Vallejo’s daughter and still offered on the menu, which only consists of two casseroles (the “old” and the “new”) plus one or two souffles (chicken and seafood when available). Another specialty is the house apéritif called “Ash Blonde”, made from a local winery. They also offer a condiment “bar” with a variety of jams and chutneys, all made in-house. It really takes you back to an older, simpler time to sit in the dining room filled with antiques and linger over a meal that is truly California cuisine, but one that existed before anyone used that term.

Delicious apéritif called Ash Blonde, which is a blend of local sweet and dry vermouth.

Piano bar of homemade jams and chutneys to enjoy with your meal.

Fresh crisp salad made with local lettuces with the house French vinaigrette dressing and locally made rolls.

Old California Casserole, baked in single-serving dishes and turned out table-side it’s a savory blend of cornbread with red meat sauce and cheddar cheese. The “new” version consists of cornbread, red meat sauce, jack cheese, and green chilis.

La Casa Rosa dining room

From the AAA Southwestern Tour Book 1959-60:

An inviting dining room serving luncheons only. Well-prepared dishes with own condiments a specialty.


La Casa Rosa
107 3rd St, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045
(831) 623-4563
Luncheon Wed-Mon 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM – closed Tuesdays
Gift shop open daily 10 AM – 5 PM.
La Casa Rosa website


4 thoughts on “La Casa Rosa, San Juan Bautista, CA – CLOSED

  1. From Holiday Magazine, April, 1961:
    “Before exploring the town [San Juan Bautista], lunch at La Casa Rosa, a small, simple, completely delightful restaurant in an old pink adobe. …Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Dirkson, the proprietors, who follow the revolutionary practice of specializing in one dish, have built a reputation on their California Casserole, akin to but far subtler than the traditional Western favorite known as tamale pie. With it Mrs. Dirksen serves a tossed salad, her own French dressing touched with herbs from her dooryard garden, homemade rolls, a tray of imaginative relishes – peach-and-ginger conserve, pear-and-almond chutney, sweet, pickled honeydew balls, spiced Bing cherries and champagne jelly. Dessert might be creme-de-menthe sherbet. The price of a meal, including fresh, strong, hot coffee, is $2.25.”

  2. This place is FANTASTIC – I have been coming back to La Casa Rosa for 37 years now, since I accidentally happened on it back in 1972. Homemade jams, jellies, and chutneys, are available for tasting at the jam bar — located on an antique square grand piano, on a large sheet of glass. The dining room is filled with antiques, and is just charming. The food is absolutely wonderful, filled with early California flavors — some say the recipes originated with General Vallejo back in the 1800s. The salad is crisp and cold and perfectly balanced with the homemade vinaigrette. The entree usually comes to you still bubbling from the oven, and is turned out onto the dish in front of you. The beverages are exquisite — be sure to ask for the Ash Blonde, a proprietary blend of wines. The dessert is simple, which is usually a welcome occurrence after the delicious and very filling entree. Charlie, the owner, always makes it a point to come out and say hi, specially if he recognizes you — so make it a point to say Hi. I simply love this place, and always will welcome the chance to get back there. I know of friends in Arizona who make the pilgrimage every year to make sure to visit, and last time I was there, an older couple from Germany were doing the same. It is simply that good and that memorable. Go, eat, and relax — you will find an oasis that you WILL return to again and again and again.

  3. Pingback: La Casa Rosa in San Juan Bautista may close soon – GO NOW | Le Continental

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