Isabel's Cantina
Isabel's Cantina

Isabel's Cantina

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.isabelscantina.com/
  • Phone: 8582728400
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast

    Daily: 8:00am - 3:00pm

    Lunch
    Daily: 8:00am - 3:00pm

    Dinner

    Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian, Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Isabel Cruz
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Cafe, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, High Tea, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cass
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: 4 private parking spots in front of the restaurant. Easy to find non-metered street parking beyond that.
A word from Isabel's Cantina
At Isabel's Cantina, Chef Isabel Cruz fuses Latin and Asian cuisine

into sensual and creative concoctions that are both remarkably addictive and surprisingly healthy. By incorporating ingredients from spicy pork carnitas to tofu, Chef Cruz creates a vegetarian's haven as well as a meat-lover's paradise. The exotic dining space is at once dramatic and hip, with accents such as an enormous 15-foot Buddha statue staring down at the dining room. Casual booths, stark lines, and warm colors create an atmosphere not found elsewhere in Pacific Beach, attracting crowds for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Continued
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Isabel's Cantina reviews from OpenTable diners
17 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
77% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (11)fit for foodies (6)great for brunch (4)good for groups (4)special occasion (3)great for lunch (3)romantic (3)vibrant bar scene (1)hot spot (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Latin & Asian Fusion = Yummy
    luv2dineVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We enjoyed our experience from the time we arrived to when we left. The server, Nick, was excellent. We had a nice bottle of wine (the new malbec) along with an appetizer and two main course dinners. We shared everything and had a nice taste of what Isabel's has to offer. We look forward to returning and trying more of the menu! And hopefully Nick, or someone just as excellent, will be there to serve us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nicky
    desia902
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    This was not my first nor last visit to the Cantina. The food, as always, was delicious. The ambiance was perfect for the evening. Last, but not least, the service was phenomenal. Nicky was great, not only with the service he provided, but also with his friendly demeanor. He felt like he was part of the group and as if we had known him for years. We never felt rushed, and he was patient with all our questions about the menu. I will most definitely dine there again and share my experience with others.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • pup1VIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Three other tables seated after we were seated got their chips and quac (which you had to order) before us. Waiter seemed overworked and not all the tables in the place were filled. Food was OK, not outstanding. We did like the mix of Asian and Mexican food and flavors. Noise level was very high. Prices seemed reasonable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, good service
    Alex
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    This neighborhood gem has a good selection and wide variety of tasty food. We received excellent, friendly service for a birthday dinner party recently. There is an issue with parking, but this is typical for Pacific Beach.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • just ok
    FirstTimer
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Been here multiple times for breakfast decided to give dinner a shot for the first time. We got the tofu lettuce wraps for an app. I was pretty surprised at amount of tofu given. There were 7 one inch cubes of tofu for 5-6 large leaves of lettuce. I think you just give 3 leaves of lettuce or increase the number of tofu cubes. It also came with a 2 inch ramekin of sliced cucumber. It's not lot any of these ingredients raise the food costs, nor do they involve any laborious prep time. This app as a whole was very disappointing. We both liked our entrees but never received an explanation or apology for the 47 minute wait in between courses. 2 apps and 2 entrees later, we were both still hungry when we got home. Will stick to breakfast here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love this place!
    courtneyy88
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    I love this place! It is a very different style food than you find anywhere else, and everything we have had is delicious! I really enjoyed the chicken diablo Isabel style. Last time my mom had the deevorsay (not sure how to spell that) and it was on the special menu, but she loved it!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood treat!
    rubyslippers66
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    My first time at Isabel's Cantina was amongst a group of seven---three teens and four adults. We all had a great experience there. I loved my dish (the Buddha bowl) and the others in my party raved about their own, as well. The ambiance is warm and lively (a bit too loud, I noticed, a few times) and the server staff is attentive, friendly, and helpful. I will definitely be going back to this charming spot! So happy to find it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious and Healthy
    SirBillions
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    My girlfriend and I are on a health food kick. There aren't many options in PB where you can get great tasting food that is super healthy. We are definitely going back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic find
    lovesgoodfood
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    We found this place browsing through the list of merchants who accept the restaurant.com coupons. It was a bit of a drive for my wife and I but we decided to try something different and made our dinner reservation online. I rang on the day to confirm they honor the coupon and found the response to be very enthusiastically positive. We got to the restaurant and was served by Tony. I cannot say enough about the service we received from him. His knowledge of the menu and recommendations were spot on. It was such a positive experience for us that it is now one of our favorite dining places and definitely worth the drive. We plan to return soon to try their breakfast.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • disappointing
    pooooooor
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    we are regulars at Isabel,unfortunately our last visit was disappointing,our server was unprofessional,forgetting our drinks,food was slow and when we got it the guaq was old and the chips were stale,soup wasn't hot as well. Long wait for a check as well. we are used to the acoustics of Isabel's,that night was over the top.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Isabel's
    ch12345
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    I go here for brunch all the time and it's always amazing. I finally tried their dinner menu and it didn't disappoint. I had one of their nightly specials... Carnitas. It was delicious, and so were the drinks. Great place.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 6 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.7
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service3.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 59 reviews are from the Isabel's Cantina reviews archive.
  • Great find!
    Tyvelasquez
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    I found this gem online and our group loved their food! We loved our server. He was great! The ambiance was divine. When we come to San Diego we will definitely be coming back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food Took 1.5 Hours to be sserved
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Waiter was great@ They may have has a staffing issue. The food was cold and dry. Looks like it could have been good. I don't know what was going on that night. There were 14 of us at the table, and everyone was very frustrated. We were there for 3 hours.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good family get together
    PMCNW
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Great place for Sunday night dinner. It was quiet with a hip atmosphere and interesting menu with fresh ingredients.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Hadn't been there in years. Now a rundown interior and only so-so food - a disappointment
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently good
    lynnski
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    I enjoy the food here. Reasonably priced Mexican/Asian fusion...good service... big open room but still not too noisy. Best lettuce wraps ever. They're a staple.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ehh
    morgino
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Didn't knock my my socks off, pretty average food for the price. I doubt I'd be back unless it was for some drinks
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Saturday Night Cantina
    OBMermaidVIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    The restaurant was at capacity, we waited 40 minutes for our dinner to be served. There were few staff doing multiple functions and handling the crowd as best they could. The food was great and the staff were pleasant. However, they needed more people on duty.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Large portions and friendly service
    riverdalesue
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    We ordered one entree and one salmon taco and it was very plentiful. Lots of rice and beans and guacamole on the sides. We also ordered chips, guac and salsa and it was way too much for the two of us. It would be perfect for a group of about 6 or more! The service was friendly and we tried a few beers they recommended. The wine list is minimal but has all the necessary chard and pinot grigio etc.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better than expected
    Wonderful
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    Menu was wonderfully full of want to try items, have to come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    Jimbo
    Dined on 2/4/2014
    In town for a conference and looked for a place to get a good meal and get away from the meeting place. Got both at Isabel's! Great food, warm, personal service. A perfect evening
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Isabella's - Great!
    Rambo
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    Food was fresh and tasty. Prices are very reasonable, and atmosphere (and waitress) friendly and informative.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy
    Yummy
    Dined on 1/20/2014
    Food is eclectic and the pairings are interesting. I really enjoyed my food. Appetizers spicy, except for the corn.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DELISH
    NeighborsVIP
    Dined on 1/14/2014
    Food always amazing and wonderful. Unusual ingredients with a wonderful outcome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • always great
    MelissaVIP
    Dined on 1/3/2014
    I usually hit this place for breakfast or brunch but every now and then will try a dinner and this one was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner at Isabel's
    LocalpatronVIP
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    We have eaten here many times, typically for breakfast, and like it very much. Lots of good choices for vegetarians, and the tofu is particularly delicious. Our out-of-town guest enjoyed his seafood tacos. Lovely atmosphere with the lit candles.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Scrumptious
    NeighborsVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2013
    The best restaurant food we have had in a long time. Everything is so fresh and delicious. Had the Pozole and the chopped Mexican salad. Must try if you've never been.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always fresh and flavorful!
    CsquaredVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    Staff was helpful and friendly as always. Good food, always really flavorful and fresh!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun Evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    Spent a fun evening with friends I hadn't seen in a long time. We all participated in their restaurant week menu. Everyone enjoyed their meal, especially the flourless chocolate cake. It was a bit too noisy to talk to the friends across the table.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice!
    Lover
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    A most pleasant and excellent dining experience , look forward to returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SD Restaurant Week Special
    Chapmangrad03
    Dined on 9/15/2013
    I enjoyed the San Diego Restaurant special for only $20. The food was very tasty and the service was even better.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I like the farm to table menu.
    JenSVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2013
    I like the farm to table menu. They try to grow most of their food organically. I assume that is why the entrees are a bit pricey.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unique Food Choices
    WineFineDineVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2013
    The food was interesting in that it mixed some different types of cultural food choices. The restaurant was quite, and somewhat slow, but we arrived fairly early and had children with us. I would definitely like to visit again at a later hour.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just Good Food!
    JohnVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    Out of the ordinary menu - this is our first time back in 3-4 years and nothing has changed! Menu is eclectic and delicious. Wine menu is good - and the wait staff quick and friendly. The only drawback is the noise level - which can be "energizing". We will definitely be returning soon..............
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of PBs best restaurants!
    SCLoriVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2013
    The food is amazing every time....whether it's breakfast or dinner. LOVE this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The dinner was aweful
    Valerie
    Dined on 8/21/2013
    I went there for my 23rd birthday and everyone I brought said they didnt like their food. From the shrimp tacos, to the Udon noodle soup nothing was good and the entire experience was very mediocure. One thing I did enjoy was the slice of cake I got for my birthday and the server was friendly. Food was not good though but your breakfast is very good. I will continue to come for breakfast but never again for dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This is very consistent and
    GrammyVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    This is very consistent and never disappoints: you always know you will get very good, reasonably priced food in pretty big orations and everything can be shared. Their brunches are great, though the dinner we had was exactly what we were looking for. It has been around a long time and for good reason. Go early to a ok'd. Roads!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • birthday dinner
    KET87
    Dined on 7/27/2013
    I made reservations for a group of 20+ for my birthday dinner and the staff at Isabel Catina's made it so easy to plan. As the numbers of attendants grew for my group dinner, Isabel Catina accommodated and made it possible. The staff was so great! Everyone was friendly and provided great service for all of us. I loved the laid back ambiance of the restaurant. The food was also delicious and healthy!!! I'd recommend this place to anyone interested in giving this hidden PB gem a try!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was great
    GavinVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2013
    Food as usual was great, but we were there for 3rd of july and the poor waitress was all on her own with it seemed like no support. We asked about some dishes once our entrees came and she had to tell us honestly that only 2 people in the kitchen and it would take a while for her, not sure where management was that night but someone needed to be there to help her
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Every Time!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/15/2013
    This has quickly become one of my favorite spots in Pacific Beach. The food is always amazing and service is impecable and cordial. The raspberry jalepeno margarita was sensational and the honey cucumber mimosas are to die for! I had the lettuce wraps which were cooked perfectly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic