El Agave - Del Mar

El Agave - Del Mar

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://elagave.com/
  • Phone: (858) 793-0758
  • Hours of Operation:
    Daily: 11:00am - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Latin / Spanish
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from El Agave - Del Mar
The best place in San Diego to enjoy authentic Mexican Cuisine is El Agave Restaurant and Tequileria, located within our Tequila Museum where you can try over 2000 different tequilas. It is the perfect setting to experience the true flavor of Mexico. If you are looking for a great place for a business lunch, romantic dinner or just to enjoy a fine Tequila with friends or someone special, we are ready to serve you. Do not just go out to an ordinary restaurant, join us for a unique experience
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
El Agave - Del Mar reviews from OpenTable diners
43 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
75% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (32)fit for foodies (23)romantic (18)special occasion (14)neighborhood gem (11)great for outdoor dining (10)vibrant bar scene (10)great for lunch (8)good for groups (8)hot spot (7)great for brunch (4)kid-friendly (2)notable wine list (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Amazing Authentic Mexican Cuisine
    luv2eatVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    If you are looking for refried beans and Mexican rice, do not come here. If you want delicious, authentic mexican food than this is the place. My husband and I were a little hesitant to come here as previous restaurants in this location, for whatever reason, have not been consistent with the quality of their food. We went for dinner and ended up ordering several appetizers instead of an entree because they all looked so good and we wanted to try a little of everything. The Taquitos de Cochinita were YUM, Ceviche de Callo was fresh, Tamalitos Surtidos provided a great variety, as did the Sopecitos Surtidos. I've never liked mole sauce before, but apparently it was never made properly. El Agave has many different sauces and all the ones we tasted were so good, I wanted to lick the plate. Even the black bean sauce and salsa they bring with chips was delicious. I also ordered the Crema de Flor de Calabaza soup and wow, I was tempted to place another order. Service was great. Nothing to complain about. More tequila bottles than I thought existed. The prices here are not cheap, but the food is worth it. The rent at this location is extremely high and any restaurant that is here needs to charge $20+ for a dinner entree. Our bill came to $120, that included 4 drinks. The quality of the food, the service and restaurant decor is worth it. Don't get me wrong - I like refried beans and rice every now and then but this is where you want to go if you're looking for something more upscale...and delicious. My husband is pretty picky about his food, and this place is his new favorite. We are actually going back this next week.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice
    AnonymousVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    This El Agave is not like the Old Town version in many ways. However, it is better in some minor ways & just as good in the really important ones. It is spacious, beautiful & comfortable so somewhat different than its cousin. However, the food is terrific & the service probably better. Perhaps because they have more room, you actually get seated on time. It is in now way funky, this is Del Mar. I love the original but this one is splendid as well. We will be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner
    SueBVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I cannot understand the occasional poor review of this new place. Our evening was total perfection! From the hostess that sat us to the server, the fabulous food, the lovely ambiance... we just loved our evening and will definitely return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    The same positiveness as their "old town" location
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Got Mole?
    dth74
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I was so glad to see an El Agave open up in Del Mar, as I've been to the one in Old Town many times. Same delicious menu, and I can't get enough of their spectacular Moles! (Fair warning: the only mole that is available at lunch is the mole poblano enchiladas - but they are delicious!). Their Tequila selection is phenomenal, too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as last time
    LizThomps
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    This was my second time to El Agave for dinner. I am sad to say that I was extremely disappointed by the overall experience this time. First, the service was subpar. After we ordered drinks, our waiter returned to inform us that the restauarant was out of its signature El Agave tequila, but suggested an alternative which he stated was similar in price. When the bill arrived, we were surprised to learn that the tequila he suggested was actually double in price (and he had not applied any discount). Second, our food was lukewarm when served as though it had been sitting under a heat lamp for quite some time. Finally, our orders were not correct - we received a chicken entree instead of pork. I am not sure if I will be back.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, late-night find, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • repeat customer
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Our server was terrific personable gracious and informative the food was a little less exciting than the first 4 times
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tragic
    Daisy
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The view was lovely from the top of the Del Mar Plaza. Sadly, this is the only positive for this restaurant. The service was awful and the food was barely fair, for $20 a plate. My mole sauce was over cooked and had a bitter burnt taste. "They do not offer tequila tastings at this location". Really! The name is El Agave TEQUILARY! The restaurant was dead on a Friday night, the surrounding restaurants were packed. My advice - don't waste your time and $$
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food
    luvfood
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    I really enjoyed the atmosphere at El Agave in Del Mar. That location is snake bit though (it's been a number of restaurants over the years) so I'll wish them luck. I think once diners understand that it's more than your standard Mexican food, they'll keep coming back. Appetizers were fantastic. I had the Chicken Mole. Sauce was wonderful. The chicken was a little dry. That was the only flaw in the whole dining experience. The sea bass was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • PGregoryVIP
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    What a gem this is! The wait staff couldn't be friendlier and the food is so unique with a full page of Mole entrees.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • DolciVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    wonderful assortment of menu items and great assortment of margaritas.With a outstanding view.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Strike two.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    This was my second visit to the restaurant. The first time, they had only been open a week or two so paying high prices for poor service and cold food was understandable. This time however, the restaurant was empty and they had plenty of staff. Unfortunately the service, food and experience fell well short again. I won't be back. Too many other great spots to choose from.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely
    PGregoryVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    This is the most beautiful restaurant I have been to in a very long time! Fabulous job on the interior and the food was absolutely delightful!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lunch & Dinner have different menus
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    This restaurant is excellent. Absolutely great quality and great tasting food. Interestingly, lunch is typical Mexican-American fare with enchiladas and burritos, with chips and salsa to start. Dinner is entirely different, and what is probably, more true to authentic Mexican food, with many different mole dishes to choose from. Both were excellent, but if you have a craving for enchiladas, chips and salsa, go for lunch.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Waiting to go out of business
    uneven
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Food quality varied greatly. My wife thought hers was good. My mole with chicken must have been pre-made as it was so dry almost inedible. Watery drinks, service good at the beginning and then couldn't find the server. Very expensive and not worth it. If they survive I will be surprised.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mole Heaven
    oldtimers
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    El Agave in Old Town has been a favorite for years so the sibling in our home town of Del Mar drew us right in. While the two menus are the same, the ambiance in Del Mar is more date-night classy with an surpassed view while Old Town has a unique personality with a Mexican soul. The waiters in Old Town are so special that they make an unfair comparison. But the Margaritas and moles are the heart of this pair of jewels and they are every bit as good in both. Time will tell if the new temptress can win over our hearts from Old Town but either way El Agave's food makes our hearts sing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • poor service. ok food
    DelmargirlVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    was really expecting to like this place. extremely poor service from the start, and we were the only ones in the restaurant at 11:00 sunday for brunch. never asked us for drinks. water served by someone else only. had to interrupt his refreshment that he was busy making for himself while changing channels on the TV. food was good, a little cold considering we were the only ones there. disappointed to say the least. great location, unfortunately doesn't have a good track record. i don't think it will be there long.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Terrible Service
    LRDub
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We had really slow service, food was ok but overpriced and no vegetarian options which is strange for a Mexican restaurant. We will not be going back.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • el Agave
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    we enjoyed our dinner very much. Every thing was wonderful. It was a special occasion for our grinds who are moving to Thailand and wanted some traditional Mexico food. We had only been to the old town location. this was amazing as always. Our waiter was outstanding and the manager shown us the tequila display. Thankyou for a memorable evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new addition to Del Mar
    LizThomps
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We had an 8:00 reservation for dinner at El Agave on Saturday night. We arrived about ten minutes early and were seated immediately in the room closer to the water near the bar. We had a great time and enjoyed everything we tried - margaritas, tequila shots, wine, salads, mole and dessert. This is a welcome new addition to downtown Del Mar where the other Mexican restuarants are much more casual. Although El Agave is a much pricier option, it is well worth it for a special night out. Our server was very attentive and knowledgeable with respect to the tequila and menu selections. We tried the El Agave house-made tequila shots and loved them. We will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • El agave review
    Jben06
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Waiter was kinda rude and too pushy which made our experience way less enjoyable vs last time. We go to the restaurant to relax and last thing we want is a waiter behind our behind every single 5 minutes to push something more on us. Our table of 4 felt rushed and frankly were very annoyed with our waiter who did not get it.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food outshone by the view
    SimonB28
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    This restaurant has taken up the high position overlooking Del Mar within the shopping complex that affords it one of the great romantic sunset dining experiences within the US. To sit in the bar lounge sipping exciting modern Margarita mixes with nouvelle-Mexican appetizers and watch the sun set over the pacific has to be on your wish list. The food is not the standard fare and the presentation and combination is more in-line with boutique restaurants than the local Taco shop. It was delicious. My only request is that the salsas offered with the chips be less runny. I can imagine many a guest has had to clean splashes off their best and impressive clothes that this place and crowd demands.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food interesting/good -service slow
    FoodieFVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Was glad to see something try yet again in the cursed Del Mar Plaza spot. I've been to El Agave in Old Town before so knew a bit about the menu etc.. Service was exceptionally slow (although our waiter was pretty cool) We had a pretty good Sea Bass dish (albeit overcooked slightly), an amazing Lobster appetizer, mediocre ceviche and very tasty Chicken Mole dish. Not your standard Mexican fair - more Mexico City style. Tequila menu very good but CRAZY PRICEY! A shot (large) Don Julio Silver I think was $24 (almost the bottle price) - nuts! The waiter did suggest an alternative that was good. Overall B- with hopes up improving if they can get service level up.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 20 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.6
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 36 reviews are from the El Agave - Del Mar reviews archive.
  • outstanding mexican restaurant
    drd1
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    not the usual mexican fare. Excellent variety of high quality dishes, especially the moles, and different, creative dishes. adding this location to their old town spot (where they have been for many years) is a real bonus for north county/Del Mar. Margaritas are the best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food, presentation & view!
    Delmarfoodie
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    I was a big fan on Epazote, a similar restaurant that used to be in the same space yrs ago but El Agave tops it with more beautiful decor, better outside dining and food that was delicious. All of us loved our meals. Chips are served with 2 kinds of dipping salsas and a bean dip..view of course is spectacular. I will come back and try the bar scene next as we were here for lunch.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Tex-Mex
    DesertPeopleVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    We went for lunch on 7/20/14 and sat in their interior patio view room looking off into the pacific ocean. Had Chicken enchiladas mole and they were superb. They even had a kids menu for our twin 4yo's. Prices were reasonable around $12-14 per item and portions were plenty to feed us comfortably. There are a lot of tourist trap restaurants in this Del Mar beach frontage area so this one was definitely very good and I would go back without hesitation.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not ready for primetime
    meltyVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    My family was excited to try out the new El Agave Restaurant in the Del Mar Plaza & we booked it to celebrate our son's 27th birthday. We arrived about 15 minutes early and were told that our table would not be ready for 30 minutes but we were offered an interior table immediately. The restaurant is beautiful and we didn't have any complaints about our seating other than it didn't have a view. Our waiter was very professional but on that evening he seemed to be covering an exceptionally large amount of tables and our service was extremely slow. We all loved our drinks, appetizers & main courses but the extreme slowness was a major downer. We will go back but not in the near future - hopefully by then all of the kinks will be ironed out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    LMO1VIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Our cactus salad was very good but the main course was just average. The service was horrible, waited 25 minutes for the salad. We were hoping for a new place to go in the neighborhood but we won't be back.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gourmet Mexican
    DansqrfromSanDiegoVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Enjoyed the food. Offers a different twist on a familiar fare. Excellent for diners that are fed up with fajitas tacos and burritos.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    The decor of the restaurant, the view of the ocean, and the unique menu are just some of the reasons we would return to El Agave everytime we are in the area. The view of the sunset was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Good location in Del Mar. Old town restaurant is awesome ambience!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not "Mexican" food...
    CeehVIP
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    I booked a table here for a group. The menu isn't listed on OpenTable, but the description was Mexican cuisine, so I figured it would be perfect for TacoTues with a scenic view. Started in the bar, but missed happy hour (4-6:30). When we were seated, we looked at the menu and almost laughed out loud. The server said food was all "southern Mexican"...clearly not what we expected, and also WAY too gourmet in comparison to the southern Mexican we've had! A whole page of Mole (which I am not a fan of), and ridiculously expensive! Even for Del Mar!!! We shared a few appetizers, which were great, then went for some Mexican food at En Fuego! Will not return...prices & food options weren't appealing, service poor. View, however, is spectacular!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Flavorful Lunch
    justvisiting
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    A great spot to grab a flavorful lunch while enjoying Del Mar. They have a delightful menu with delicious options such as duck tacos and mini tamales with exceptional sauces. The service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Nice setup but the quality of the food was really bad , had no taste none of the foods and service was really really bad .. Sad cause it is a pretty place
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • poor service, strange food
    hotlovemonkey
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    not for vegetarians. the beans taste like bacon. we were really ignored and had to beg for water and service. the food was strange but I am sure some foodies will find it interesting. great ambience and view.
    Special Features:
    romantic, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love El Agave
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    We have been a lot since they opened and we keep going back. Great service and ambience interesting and tasty food terrific energy. Love the bar on the Patio. We got there early so partook in Happy Hour which is a fabulous deal and were very happy and sated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Alwayshopeful
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The ambiance and service were first rate. The food, not so much. It was heavy and frankly, uninspired. I expected a newer approach and sadly, didn't experience it. We might try it again but with a number of other good choices in restaurants around, it may not happen. I am sorry because again, the service was perfect and the ambiance matched it. Candidly, there are so many Mexican restaurants around with better food. I am happy to pay higher prices- no problem there- but perhaps a lighter, more creative fare would be so much more tantalizing and would set this establishment apart.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bad Experience
    77a775VIP
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    The food was terrible and the vibe in the place was terrible. The person that seemed to be the manager had a poor attitude, seriously.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awful
    BobbieqVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Aside from the margaritas, which were good, there was nothing acceptable about this experience. The water glasses were water spotted, two of the dishes were dirty, the appetizer plate was disappointing, the mole was ok but the chicken breast it covered was dry and tough. I don't know in what world that dessert was called flan but not in any Mexican home or restaurant I've ever been to. Don't bother. Not worth the money or the evening.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great new find!
    LizN
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    This is the offshoot of the original El Agave in Old Town San Diego. While the Old Town one is kitschy and quirky (albeit with great food and drink), the Del Mar restaurant is sleek, modern and elegant. The view of the ocean is spectacular, especially at sunset. And the food and drink are equal to the Old Town location. Don't expect Tex-Mex laden with cheese and beans. This is southern Mexican food, with a focus on seafood and the range of Mexican mole sauces. And if you're a tequila drinker, the El Agave house brand is as good or better than some of the best top shelf tequilas out there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate