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  • KITCHEN 1540

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KITCHEN 1540 Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.kitchen1540.com
  • Phone: (858) 793-6460
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: 6:30 AM - 11 AM
    Lunch: 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
    Dinner: 6 PM - 10 PM
    Weekend Brunch: 6:30 AM - 2:30 PM

    A private dining room is available for parties up to 10.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Executive Chef Brandon Fortune | Chef de Cuisine Jeff Hubbard
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Breathtaking, Coastal, Elegant. To accommodate meetings and social events, the resort offers over 16,000 square feet of distinctive indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, ideal for corporate retreats, banquets and other special occasions. Breathtaking sunsets over an ocean vista play backdrop to gatherings on the Pacific Terrace. And for those with more than business, relaxation and dining in mind, there's even a dedicated 'romance director' to orchestrate the perfect wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway for couples. Be seduced by surf, sand and sunsets.
  • Private Party Facilities: The private, wine encased dining room is available for parties of up to 10 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Gyneth Gonzalez (858) 793-6456
  • Special Events & Promotions: L’Auberge Del Mar creates a divine ocean backdrop that is at once tranquil and inspiring. Blue skies and pleasant shores reflect the exceptional setting of our romantic resort, where our undivided attention is centered around you.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 15th Street
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Complimentary valet parking. Street parking and public spaces are also available.
A word from KITCHEN 1540
Modern and comfortable, KITCHEN 1540 blends energy and intrigue with an innovative, seasonally-driven menu of California cuisine and classic French and southern influences. To further the experience, the restaurant offers an extensive wine list, full bar and specialty cocktails. The spacious outdoor patio allows guests to enjoy the ocean breezes and features private cabanas for intimate dining. The setting is punctuated with a waterfall and hanging lanterns to set just the right mood. Whether you are sharing small plates and drinks amongst friends or enjoying a romantic lantern-lit dinner, KITCHEN 1540 is where the perfect day becomes the perfect beach night.

KITCHEN 1540 has garnered numerous awards including such prestigious honors as Wine Spectator Magazine: Award of Excellence; CA Restaurant Association: Gold Medallion - Best Hotel Restaurant, Fine Dining; San Diego Magazine: Best Hotel Restaurant; and Ranch & Coast Magazine: Editor's Pick for Best Restaurant.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "After trying to book a lunch and being told there was an 8 week wait, we arrived 8 weeks later to find that we were one of two tables in the entire restaurant. Our server said there had been days with no reservations. Is this a disconnect with Open Table? Service was slow and inattentive. Tacos were small and bland, steak with fries and wedge was mediocre. Coffee was poor quality and not hot. Best was dessert - a "chocolate candy bar" with carmel, nuts, banana and ice cream."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Ambiance in the patio was nice. Food was good...wish they had a bigger menu."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "This is the type of restaurant that give hotels a bad name, basically boring, minute amounts, and overpriced."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Sad to see the previous brussel sprouts dish not on the menu."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We had an outdoor booth under a canopy, we had a great romantic dinner"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Don't know what Zagat was thinking but the quality is not great. The ingredients were Ok but based on this restaurant's Zagat rating, "Ok" shouldn't be the standard. Very disappointing flavors and quality."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "A great dining experience, great interesting food, very good service!"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Amazing food under the direction of their new chef Brandon Fortune. Innovative blend of southern flavors with a modern twist. Would highly recommend for foodies. Beautiful atomsphere on the outdoor patio with excellent service."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "The new chef is awesome! We have eaten at Kitchen 1540 on two previous visits to L'Auberge Del Mar. We were disappointed on both occasions. Not this time! The food is amazing, many wines are excellent and at a good price, the staff anticipates your every request, and the outside dinning is cozy. One of the best places in Del Mar!"
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "Celebrate a birthday if you wish to be anonymous and private."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "My family and I went to kitchen 1540 to celebrate Father's Day. The service and location were great! The mimosas and coffee were wonderful. The staff was very attentive and the noise level was to a minimum, just normal amounts of talking and chatter. We sat outside and had a personal umbrella, it was nice. I recommend this place to anyone and everyone!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I love this place. Great coffee, always friendly service. Not crowded. Love it will be back soon."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Chef Brandon's Menu doesn't disappoint. My family and I ordered and shared several dishes. Chicken and dumplings, shrimp and grits, Mary's chicken, just to name a few. We finished the night with Grandma's bread pudding. Wow!!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "The setting is nice but I thought that being at this hotel it would have an ocean view and we could only see walls. The background music was not pleasant to listen. The service was good. We definitely did not like the food, trying to experiment with different flavors just did not work, we try four different plates and none had an enjoyable taste. It is possible that other people think as we do since the place was empty, we were the only customers."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "I have been dining at Kitchen 1540 for a few years. It's a great restaurant. I think my wife was calling it her favorite restaurant last year. But the new menu is a dud. I am not a huge fan of "southern" food, but they could easily have offered some southern dishes while maintaining its core awesomeness. I hope not to be back until the menu is transformed back into something appealing. Very disappointing."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Great find! Very tasting food w/a great presentation style."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "We had a cocktail and walked to the pool area to watch the sunset over the ocean. It was a bit chilly in San Diego that evening but the patio dining was too pretty to ignore. We were seated in our own white tent with cushioned seats, pillows, and a heat lamp. There was a waterfall and trees and flowers...very romantic. Our server, Todd, was a gentleman and we were well served. My husband was in dream land after choosing the filet with bernaise. It was large and so tender it melted in your mouth. I had the lamb and loved the mint and cilantro topping and couscous. We shared a dessert of bread pudding with bourbon Carmel sauce and orange cream siècle ice cream. Yum doesn't even cover it...so delicious."
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "A new head chef has taken over. Hit and miss. For example, the brusell sprouts are now undercooked and without flavor. Bread is gone. If you want bread, they offer an $18 loaf of bread with various spreads. Wine list has Prisoner mislabeled as a Zin...it's actually a blend. Lamb entree is good, if not a bit sparse. Cheese Duo is great. Good selection of after dinner liquors. Question will be whether the nouvelle American southern influenced menu will take hold here ? "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "If you like creamy grits, deep fried polenta, boring decor and slow service, then this restaurant is the one for you. This was my 4th visit and last visit especially with the new menu and so many unhealthy choices. The new chef is from the south and that may explain why. Even the dessert menu lacked good choices. I hope things improve soon. The hotel lobby and patio is so beautiful but the restaurant needs help now. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Professional wait staff (Jeremy was an absolute treat) The decor is really nice and comfortable. Outside patios are adorable, great fire pit creates ambiance inside the restaurant too, and private dining cabanas on the outdoor patio. Indoor noise level was a bit high, the restaurant was nearly full on a Tuesday night so it was energetic! The food presentation was unique and we loved it. The starter and entrees were fantastic. Especially noteworthy was the Tenderloin steak and Peanut Butter / Chocolate desert. The "new" menu is not posted on their website yet or maybe it as a special of the night however the dessert certainly was in the personal Top 5 desserts EVER! We really to get back here to eat more often!"
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "Must try the shrimp & grits, chicken & dumplings, and bread pudding. Great outdoor seating in the cabanas. Chef Brandon came out to introduce himself and gave some recommendations for new menu items. Great night with my friends from out of town. "
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "The best Chilean Sea Bass ever!!!! The food was awesome and we definitely will be returning. Downside was our server was very friendly, but didn't seem quite knowledgable about wines (we had asked her for a recommendation and she threw it back in our court, making us pick.... hmm.....) and for the scrumptious food that is really is fine dining, the ambience was a little casual."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "High quality ingredients…good preparation.. Great all around dining experience."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Food was fantastic. Very friendly staff, great wine selection, cute outside garden. Modern."
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "I took my wife there for her birthday. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner. The sea bass was the best I have ever had. My wife had the cornish game hen was extraordinary. Wine list was excellent. A great evening highlighted by a fantastic dinner."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "This restaurant is great for a night out with your loved one, very romantic outdoor patio with fireplace and intimate cabanas. Jeremy was our waiter and he was very nice and knowledable of the menu and wine."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "We were married at the hotel 5 years ago and come almost every year for dinner. The service is wonderful. Our food was just bland. We want to love it, but it usually hits below the mark. Maybe we ordered wrong?"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Exceptional menu options with a focus on fresh seafood. Loved the scallops with the bacon snow as an appetizer. Service was exceptional with great recommendations for entrees and wine. Quiet setting allowed for a romantic dinner with my wife as we were visiting from Chicago. Top notch restaurant at top notch hotel. Can't wait to return for our annual trip."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Everything from the food, the wine and the service was absolutely exquisite. This is my second time coming to the restaurant, and while it is a bit of a drive for me, it is well worth it. The food is inventive and modern, but yet still retains its essence and flavor profiles. I always look forward to the changing menu so when I return I am trying something new."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "yes it is a great place with great food but the best part was our waiter!!! asked for something special and he gave us a very tasty martini and very delicious apple cinnamon rolls. catered to our anniversary very well."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We had the burger - it was outstanding! The service was incredibly attentive and friendly. The atmosphere was warm and relaxing. Highly recommend this place - just be sure to make reservations days in advance - it's always booked."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Most of the food was quite good, including the beet salad, duck main course, and wine. The staff is well trained and very knowledgeable about the food. It all went well until a table of 16 young women were seated next to us and the waiter and his assistant were distracted, busy taking photos of the young women. The waiter proceeded to ignore us for at least 15 minutes, when we actually wished to order a cheese course. Although there were approximately double the number of staff to customers in the restaurant, no one stepped in or responded to my waving to attract someone's attention. Finally we went to the front of the house to pay the check and left. We are not planning to return."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Was expecting more after reading several top shelf reviews. Food was ok, not memorable. Service and ambience are fine. You are in a hotel attached restaurant which was not mentioned in several reviews. Your are paying top shelf price for a meal that is good but not better then that. Much more value for money in the neighborhood. Oh and after I left I had an e-mail from open table saying I had not honored my reservation which of course was false."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Absolutely the best meal I've had in ages in all aspects - service, food and ambiance. I highly recommend it! My boyfriend and I came in from Washington, DC and visited at the suggestion of a friend. We couldn't be happier that we did. I look forward to my next trip to San Diego just so that we can visit Kitchen 1540 again."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "Went during restaurant week which usually spells disaster. Not here. Food was delicious. Service was very attentive. I had the kale Caesar, monkfish, and cinnamon bun. Loved it all. Space is nice, crowd was older. Unrelated, but the hotel bar was pretty busy, full of the typical smug Del Mar folk."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Food as usual was excellent. Different twist on greek calad--lots of chicken and less "greek". Service which is usually excellent, was unfortuantely exceptionally SLOW."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Kitchen 1540 did not disappoint. It was our first time here and the food was delicious."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "Food was very good and service was perfect! They offered an ice bucket for our Chardonnay which I appreciated because a lot of restaurants don't do that any more. I had a steak which was cooked perfectly and very tender. Service was attentive and not overly friendly - which I hate. ( you know what I mean - those servers who want to chat and you want to interact with your friend/date etc. not with the waiter!) I dined there during restaurant week as the fixed 3 course menu was $45 and with a bottle of $54 wine and two coffees it was almost $200! (after tax and tip) so this place is good for a special occasion but too expensive for me to dine there very often."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "We visit this restaurant during restaurant week - thought we'd give it a try after reading all the great reviews. We were completely surprised (and pleased!) at the entire experience - it far surpassed our plans for a "great" evening out. We were greeted by two very friendly and competent hostesses and taken to our outside table which was (much to our delight and surprise) in a little cabana-style tent. The restaurant interior is beautiful and the patio where we were seated was Sunset Magazine-worthy. Todd was our waiter and couldn't have done a finer job. We started with the pork belly appetizer which was all it should be. The beef tenderloin and monk fish entrees sublime - the duck perhaps the best any of us had ever had! Bravo!"
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "My wife decided to spend a weekend in Del Mar at L'Auberge. 1540 is "their" restaurant. I guess my only not so hot comment would go to the ambience. It seemed to give off the impression of a middle grade restaurant setup, only with darker lighting. Bare tables, no linen. 2-person tables were a bit small. The menu was really good; eclectic, in fact. Our waiter was knowledgable, friendly (he laughed at my jokes), and there pretty much when he was needed (took a while to get the tab at the end). All in all, a good, and expensive, experience. For the money and for more ambience, I'd go with the Amaya in La Jolla."
    Dined on 1/11/2014