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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
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
400 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (339)romantic (248)notable wine list (179)fit for foodies (124)vibrant bar scene (79)good for groups (78)neighborhood gem (64)hot spot (41)late-night find (32)kid-friendly (10)great for brunch (6)great for lunch (6)scenic view (4)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Awesome
    Bobggggggg
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Awesommmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Meat and Potatoes Restaurant
    DONE
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    We have now dined twice at Donovan's La Jolla and found the food good but not outstanding. We tried the Filet Mignon which was dry. Normally when you cut into a nice piece of medium rare beef there is juice on your plate, the juice was not there and the flavor was not as it should have been, although it was tender. Chop salad was good but not the best we have had and the smashed garlic potatoes were very nice. Veges are coated with oils which takes away from natural flavor. White bread is served with meal, prefer more earthy breads. Chilean Sea Bass nice, Bok Choy tough. Calamari good, Crab Cake average. If you like exotic intriguing flavors, you may find Donovan's food a bit bland for your palate. Would love to see menu expanded.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fave steak joint
    AmandaT
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    We love coming here! The food is amazing and the service is always on point!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old school
    JoemamaVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Go to Donovans, La Jolla if you are in to steaks and old schoool dinning. The steaks are perfectly prepared. The service is xlnt. But, you should also be prepared to pat $45-60 for those steaks. My wife and I ate at Donovans for the second time and had a different experience. We had fillet medallions with scampi, and with scallops. Both at $42, and a better value than $60 for the porterhouse which we had the first time.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best steak EVER!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Truly a dining experience ... great service, only surmounted by the food!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Went the extra mile...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I reserved a table for a retirement party. When we got to Donovan's, they put us in a special room secluded from the rest of the restaurant. The atmosphere was outstanding and the service even better. While I already knew that Donovan's in La Jolla was exceptional, this took it to another level.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    We have eaten here many times for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food and great service
    JackLinda
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    The best steak, cooked exactly as we ordered it,medium rare with a nice seared outside. This was served with a perfectly baked potato and above average veggies. The potato is them topped worth your choice of toppings... butter, sour cream, bacon bits, and real chives(not green onion tops) They are also generous with the bread and butter, which has a nice crust and sweet yeasty flavor. The meals are large enough to share and they gladly split the plate for you.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and service
    808Local
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    If you enjoy a good steak coupled with excellent service, this is the restaurant! Prime cuts of steak are cooked perfectly to order. Plenty of delicious side dishes to choose from along with a vast list of wine, cocktail and beer list. The service is friendly and outstanding!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • You know what to expect
    iheartpasta1VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Consistency is good! The meat is always cooked perfectly. Victor is always friendly and welcoming.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistently excellent- but moving!
    CarlaRNVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Always a special treat. Wonderfully attentive service. Very sad to hear Donovan's is moving from their primo UTC location to the inconvenient downtown La Jolla (in the Azul location) due to their lease holder discouraging their continued contract. This will occur after the first of the year. What a loss for UTC medical and corporate patrons. Supposedly, a more lunch-friendly moderately-priced, modern trendy (I.e., small "healthy" portions), eatery will replace them, but the Donovan's experience is irreplaceable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Somewhat disappointed
    NewDiner
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    I thought that the staff was friendly and somewhat attentive. The restaurant was dimly lit, but pleasant. I did not like care for the music playing. I would have liked something more relaxing playing in the background. People that I know have had very positive things to say about Donovan's, but I was not very impressed. The food was good, but not for the price.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Donovan's
    disappointed
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great wine list with good options for half bottles. We were able to have a good chardonnay and pinot for dinner. The appetizers came quickly and were pretty good. The surf and turf lobster and medallions was mediocre. Very dry and tough. The filet was decent. The chocolate cake was all chocolate, very sweet and rich. No options for a lava style cake. The creme brulee was good. Service was good, nothing exceptional. It was an okay evening out but for a $400 dinner, we were expecting better. This was our second time here. The first time was worse, so we decided to give it a second chance. We won't be coming back.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sophisticated
    silentheroes
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great food, amazing service. Really high quality stuff! :)
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Mixed Experience
    Stuarts2VIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Well-prepared if somewhat uninspired food, pleasant and fairly sedate ambiance, excellent sound level (I could hear my table companion), but inattentive service (we saw our waiter at order-taking and never saw him again).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The "Special" Disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We were offered the "Friday Night Special" of Prime Rib only to find out after we ordered it that they had run out. It was only 6:30 PM. Chef should plan better for busy Friday nights.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If you want PrIme Rib Fri night...
    Radiojules
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    ...Then call first. I had my heart set on prime rib because the last time we were there earlier in the summer, our waiter told us that Friday night, the special is prime rib. Imagine my surprise Friday night when our waiter told us at 6.30pm that they were out of it!!! Don't get me wrong, the peppercorn filet mignon was very good! Still, my yearning for prime rib goes on....
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unforgettable
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Wonderful as always! My husband got the clam chowder instead of the seafood tower and LOVED IT!!! This visit was even more memorable than the last... Can't wait for the next one!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful!
    43rdAnniversary
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Everything about our dinner was great. The lobster was cooked perfectly & my husband's rib steak chop was huge & also cooked perfectly. I don't know how they do it. The service was awesome. A real class act. Will definitely return for another great dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome food, great service.
    DaveH
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Too bad they are moving from this location... I wish them luck in Del Mar!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service and quality declining
    marknez
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Sorry to say the service and food preparations at Donovan's La Jolla have been on a steady decline since we first started dining there 14 years ago. it's just not the same. we weren't even there on a busy week-end.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great spot!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    amazing food and service at this La Jolla's Donovans. both were impecable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not The Best Service
    DORIS
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Donovan's is as one would expect it to be if you've been to a high end steak house. However, the service was not good. We ordered a salad and 2 entrees. The waiter said bread would be coming. We didn't get our bread and after waiting for some time, we asked the bus boy to bring us bread. After a minute of receiving our bread, our entree showed up. We were so hungry we didn't notice we didn't get our salad. We decided to forget about the salad and finish our main course. We haven't seen our waiter since ordering our food. Nobody came to our table to ask if our food was good. The waiter's assistant give us the bill. We told him what happened. The head waiter came out and apologized. He gave us dessert and drinks complimentary. That was nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous Food. Fabulous service.
    StephVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    You cannot go wrong at Donovans. The food and service were absolutely superb!!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gramma
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Wish it weren't so expensive. If it wasn't for Living Social.........I wouldn't be writing this review. Tank you
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Steak was cold...
    Southern
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The quality of Donnavons food has significantly declined. My steak was warm at best and dry. Not what you expect for $50 steak! Service was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellant Dinner
    A1Customer
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We have dined at Donovan's several time & have been greatly satisfied with the entire package.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great anniversary dinner
    Anonymous
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    From the staff to the food everything was 5 stars. This is one of our new favorite restaurants.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • best beef in San Deigo
    mtbike36
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Donovans has the finest staff, a great location and the best beef and seafood you could ask for, everything about this restaurant is first rate, from the timing of the drinks and food being brought to the table, to the excellent food and wait staff. You won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Donovan's is wonderful!
    sherbrewer1
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We had dinner at Donovan's last week with friends. We were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary and there was no other restaurant that we felt would compare. The food was fabulous (including the wonderful crème brule they brought us as an anniversary gift). The restaurant is always sparkling clean, the servers are ALL good, and our server, Jeff, was absolutely outstanding. We had a lively ongoing conversation about old movies and their stars, which really pleased the four of us, movie buffs all. I wouldn't hesitate t recommend Donovan's for any occasion.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good steakhouse fare
    Nancyv
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    The food was not as good as we have had at other steakhouses. Still a nice experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    This has always been my favorite steak restaurant (since you opened!) and the last two visits have been lacking. Something is slipping...service and attention to detail for sure, quality..maybe a little. It is still very good but I have to tell you that Fleming's a few blocks down is giving you a run for the money. I thought I would try it again after being away for some time and I was again a bit disappointed overall. There were 5 of us and we all agreed.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Eat'n at the Bar
    Indifferent
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    One of the best bar-dining locations in San Diego marries Donovan's classic bar experience with a great happy hour and dining off the full menu. Great food, great service, great evening!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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!
    SDfoodlover
    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.
  • Poor execution, rude service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Let's begin with positives: food quality was high, and wine list had familiar labels and some interesting selections from less common vintners and regions. Flaws: we asked for more detail about a wine from Irpinia - response after the server checked with the sommelier was some nonsense about a region south of Rome and north of Tuscany. Later, when my medium rare ribeye was served rare and returned overcooked - when asked about temperature, I said it was fine and the maitre d' or captain explained that I really wanted medium rare plus, when in truth I had just accepted medium for convenience. It was insulting - it is not the first time I've ordered a steak, but it will probably be the last at Donovan's.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First Donovans's Evperience
    JuesandFrank
    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