Donovan's - La Jolla
Donovan's - La Jolla

Donovan's - La Jolla

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.donovanssteakhouse.com/
  • Phone: 8584506666x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Cocktail lounge opens at 4 pm Monday through Saturday.

    Happy Hour 4-6pm Monday though Saturday

    Complimentary steak sandwiches and $8.00 martinis during Happy Hour



    Dinner Service starts at 5 pm. Monday-Thursday: 5pm - 10pm. Friday 5pm - 11pm.

    Saturday 4:30pm-11pm



    Closed Sunday except in the month of December.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Sal Reynoso
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Featuring classic American music, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.
  • Special Events: Slow-roasted Prime Rib with Yorkshire pudding every Friday.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: La Jolla Village Drive at Genesee
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Complimentary valet or private lot for self-parking
A word from Donovan's - La Jolla
Donovan's rich and intimate ambience is enhanced by world-class unobtrusive service. The Chef serves 100% USDA Prime beef 100% of the time. Donovan's wine list of over 700 wines features the best the world has to offer. Wine tasting dinners available.



6 private dining rooms to choose from.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Donovan's - La Jolla reviews from OpenTable diners
357 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.7
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (305)romantic (230)notable wine list (164)fit for foodies (117)good for groups (73)vibrant bar scene (61)neighborhood gem (55)hot spot (40)late-night find (30)kid-friendly (11)great for brunch (10)great for lunch (9)scenic view (3)great for outdoor dining (2)Show More
  • Great Steak
    urodoc
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We had a very good meal. The salad was excellent, as was the rib eye. The 16 oz portion was perfect for sharing. The veggies and baked potato were cooked fine. The red wine we chose was excellent. The only negative was the fact that the servers overlooked fulfilling a minor commitment a couple of times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My favorite place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The food and service is always excellent! Never a disappointing meal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Doesn't know gluten free
    Yogamomx2
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    At an expensive restaurant such as this one, a person might have an expectation that food ordered off the special "gluten free" menu would in fact be gluten free. Alas, it was not. My chicken breast came out with a crusty coating on it, and when I asked the waiter, who checked with the chef, and came back and told me there was no wheat...just a panko crust. Are you for real??? What chef doesn't know that panko is made out of wheat??? Then they offered to fix it again, but by the time it came out everyone else was done eating and I had lost both my appetite and my confidence. Be VERY careful if you order something gluten free!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Excellent dinner. Excellent service. Great place to go for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great
    michelle
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    we had great service. all of our waiters were very nice and friendly. when our things were empty they came right away to refills it for us. once we got there the restaurant started to get busy. I'd bought a living social deal for Donovan's i had to use it soon and so i made reservation that morning thru you guys which made it more easier for me instead of calling them.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First Donovans's Evperience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We went to Donovan's to celebrate our 25th anniversary and we were not disppointed. Nick was our server and outstanding!!!! Food was excellent..not rushed, paced well and cooked to perfection. Really appreciated the creme brulee which was complementary.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Always top notch service & food
    Steves64
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Donavan's has never disappointed in it's quality of food and service. Each and everytime we walk through the door they treat us like family. We are predictable patrons each time we dine ( bone in ribeye ). We changed it up this time and tried their seafood specialties. I never thought I would eat fish in a steakhouse. I'm pleased to say, the fish dishes are as equal to the taste and quality of the steaks. Thanks again for another great dinning experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jam
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    First time at Donovan's for dinner. The entire meal experience was fantastic! Friendly greetings from all the staff. The staff was very friendly and attentive. From soup, to salads, to steaks, our entire meal was perfection. We will return soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Happy patron
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    I have been to this restaurant several times and it never disappoints me. The food and service are excellent, reason why I keep coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I'm a regular at Donovan's La Jolla
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I have been in San Diego for over 26 years Nd have frequented virtually every high end restaurant offered here. By far, Donovan's experience form the the door man to Victor (who is outstanding as a "manager") to the service to the exquisite food, to the valet is a 10 star. I not only have taken high end business associates there but also my family on a regular basis. Dating for the first time?....it's a win win for you! The menu and specials are outstanding. I can not count how many times I have been to Donovan's but honestly have never had one complaint! A comment on the noise leve: perfect for meetings!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wife B Day
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Returned to Donovan's la Jolla for wife's Birthday dinner. Overall an outstanding evening hi lighted by stellar wait staff. With regard to the meal the Filet Mignon perfect medium well and while maybe not my absolute favorite steak in town it is certainly a top quality cut of meat. Scallops and Shrimp Scampi 5 star items. And the lobster was succulent, cooked to perfection. Hopefully we can make it 3 years In a row in 2015. Thank you Donovan's for an enjoyable evening!!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ribeye Night
    21Cyns
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Service was great. Both the Cajun Ribeye and the Ribeye steak was amazing, juicy and tender. Mac & Cheese lovers, so always have to order a side. Top off the evening with a slice of cheesecake, which is so light and delicious.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dining Experience
    1siktkt
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    This is a great place but prices aren't for the faint of heart. Well worth the money for the quality of everything from the ambiance to the food to the service. Great for a special occasion or romantic evening. Add the blue cheese to your steak it is to die for, unless you don't like blue cheese.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Overpriced and not worth the value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Eat in the lounge area, not the dining room. The lounge is good when they offer happy hour specials, otherwise cocktails and food are also extremely overpriced. Service in the lounge area was great. Service in the dining room was non-existent. The steak that I ordered was WAAAAY overpriced and everything else was ala carte and also not worth the price. For a restaurant that is supposedly known for their steaks, this was a huge disappointment. I had eaten at their location in the Gaslamp several months ago and had the same experience, so it does not vary by location. You receive the same overpriced product and poor service consistently at both locations. There are much better locations to pay for overpriced food and poor service.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Excellent dining as always, Service trio were very attentive and informed. Always a highlight to visit Donovan's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Suprior Restaurant and Service
    Bernie
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    It was nice to be able to go to a First Class restaurant and not have to pay for parking. Christopher and team were the best. Food was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb Special Occasion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We dined at Donovans Steak House for the first time on Aug. 23rd to celebrate our 45th anniversary. In past years, we had always gone to nearby Flemings ... and always had excellent steaks and service. However, Flemings was always so loud we had to shout to hear each other at even a small table. Donovans provides a much quieter, more romantic atmosphere where you can talk in a normal voice ... plus comfortable plush booths and steaks and service equal to Donovans. We will return regularly.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Had Better Steaks
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Went out for an anniversary dinner. It was our first visit to Donovan's - La Jolla. The restaurant was very nice. The decor and ambiance were both excellent. I heard many times of their amazing service and it was every bit as good as advertised. Truly impressive. We had an amazing crab cake appetizer and ordered New York Strip Steaks. I was anticipating a delicious steak and I was disappointed. It was cooked well (mine was medium rare, the wife's medium) but it seriously lacked flavor and ended up a bit chewy. I have had much better steaks for far less money. Although the overall experience was very good, the steaks just kind of took the edge off the whole experience.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great as always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We always pick Donovan's for our go to restaurant to celebrate a special occasion and it never disappoints. Great food and excellent service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • ChrissieVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    This is a great place to dine for special occasions simply because the food is very good, the service is top notch, but the prices are top dollar. On special occasions you don't mind paying the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place
    MRreview
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    I went with my wife and a couple friends service was excellent food was awesome I ordered the filet mignon 16oz and it was cook perfectly it also came with mashed potatoes and vegetables also very good I didn't have dessert I was to full great place I would definitely go again in the near future.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good
    Jmak
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We haven't been to Donovan's in a while and again they did not miss. The filet and ribeye was so good.
    Special Features:
    romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary dinner
    Snuz
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We celebrated our 40th anniversary here. Every person who waited on us wished us happy anniversary. The service was wonderful and we felt very special. We even used a Living Social voucher and we were still treated like royalty. Try the filet mignon, you won't be sorry. By the way they have wonderful bleu cheese stuffed olives and a great martini and we received creme brûlée as a complimentary dessert for our anniversary. We highly recommend and will go back for full price for sure. Thanks Donovan's!!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The best.
    Frank
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    This restaurant is spectacular. The food is consistently remarkable. The service is wonderful. And the management pays great attention to detail. Seeing your name on a brass plaque at the head of the table reminds you that they think you're special. It will always be a place we will celebrate special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb
    StevoskiVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Donovan's never fails to exceed expectations and the food was so good as usual. Service was impeccable made more so by Jeb's story about the Gallo brothers! Thank you Donovan's for another awesome evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We wanted somewhere special to go to celebrate and I thought of trying Donovan's for the first time. The ambience was gorgeous, the staff could not have been nicer and the food was amazing. We have decided to make this a regular date.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A tradition
    CynHunt
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We always celebrate my daughter's birthday at Donovan's. But sometimes when we feel like some very good beef, we will dine there. The meat is always cooked perfectly to order and it's the best steak in San Diego. Service has always been great. I recommend it highly.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • stuck in a corner
    outcast
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Food was good not great we were stuck in a small room in the back felt like pesants i would never eat here again .Don't treat out of town guests like red headed step children.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Parents' Rare Night Out
    Oside760
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    My dad finally used a Donovan's gift card that he received as a retirement gift to have a nice dinner with my mom (they've been married for 42 years). It was dad's birthday and unfortunately my brother and I were unable to celebrate in the middle of the work week. Between the service and the quality of the food, my parents could do nothing but rave about their Donovan's experience. Thank you for making them feel welcomed.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food once again
    HappyCustomer
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    This place never gets it wrong. Love the food here. My wife and I went again this past weekend and the food was just great. I ordered the Cajun Rib Eye. 16 oz. Lightly Cajun seasoned which was just so rich in spices and taste. I ordered the My wife ordered the Prime Filet. 10 oz. and she loved it. Everyone gets the same vegetables with their entry but the side of potato options was great. My wife ordered the stuffed potato which was normal but good nonetheless, and I ordered the skillet potato which was great.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Reservation
    Irateyou
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We had a 6:45 reservation and called them while on the road to say we were running about 10mins. late but we actually got there around 6:50. Definitely did NOT appreciate the long wait and people bumping into us left and right. For such a pricey restaurant, they did not offer a decent lobby space to wait at. We're amateur wine drinker so we expected our server to know what to reccommend based on our taste, but he did asks which was took a while for him to get back just as it took a while for our orders which was not cooked the way we liked. I wanted to experience the place for our anniversary, but for the $$$$ is not what was expected. The ambiance was nice, the outdoor surrounding was even better and our second server was attentive.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service and food
    SDLocal
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Awesome service and food, Bobby is fantastic!!! The steak is the best as are the lamb chops, ask for them to extra spicy!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Coconutgirl1
    Coconutgirl1
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Absolutely fantabulous restaurant! Michael and I had such great service! The staff was so welcoming when we walked into the restaurant. Such a pleasure to have dine there!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • always a treat to eat at Donovan's.
    girlluvsfood
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This is our go-to place for special occasions. We were however disappointed that there was no acknowledgement that this was a birthday celebration as was noted on the reservation.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous birthday celebration
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    My nephew and I had a wonderful experience at Donovan's. It was the first time I have eaten here and the service was remarkable. The food mouth watering. I can't say enough about the experience. I have already recommended it to a friend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service
    Gr8Service
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Donovan's had wonderful service. We were greeted by two-three servers that worked as a team to make sure we received everything we could even need. They were very friendly and accommodating through out our meal.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • golfflop
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    My wife and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary at Donovan's and had a great time. The staff knew of our celebration and greeted us with a "Happy Anniversary" as we entered the restaurant. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. It was my first time at Donovan's (not my wife's), and it was truly a treat.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • dlu25
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    My wife and I dine here at least 4-5 times a year, the service is always great and the food is always terrific. Coming in for 25 wedding anniversary the staff was energetic but rushed this night, usually not like that but its ok we enjoy the food and atmosphere. We were taken care to the fullest and given a special anniversary crème Brule, most enjoyable. Thanks always for great food, great service and atmosphere, always feel welcomed especially when our name is always at our table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OK
    dine81214
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    My daughter recommended us to check out Donovan for out 18th anniversary. I've been to several restaurants similar to Donovan and my final experience that it is nothing spectacular. The area we got seated was loud and waiter was talking too loud to other tables. The service was great and food was good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great food as usual
    Sue92024
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The restaurant was busy. First they sat us at a table in a back room with about 6 tables. Very secluded from the rest of the restaurant. There was a light right above my head. It felt light a spotlight. So we were moved to another table in that room. The room just did not have a Donovan's vibe. So we found a table in the bar area and at there. Once there, all was good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic