Tapenade
Tapenade

Tapenade

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.tapenaderestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 8585517500x1
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Tuesday through Friday: 11:30pm -2:30pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, French, Contemporary French
  • Executive Chef: Jean Michel Diot
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Tapenade can accommodate any size event at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, Darlington House or other places in San Diego and around, to small dinner parties at private homes For private functions at the restaurant and Buy out, Private rooms available from 6 to 130 guests. Additional large outdoor patio for receptions, lunch or dinner. Rehearsal dinner, birthday, anniversary and many other life's celebrations. Inquire with Tapenade. Please contact us with any inquiries.
  • Private Party Facilities: Tapenade Private Dining program features various room size possibilities. The Dining-Room (75),Bistro (45),Rotonde (18), Table 10 (6) are perfect for coporate or private lunch or dinner. The classic and creative upscale French Mediterranean fare menus are created by Chef proprietor Jean-Michel Diot.
  • Private Party Contact: Sylvie Diot 8585517500x101
  • Special Events: Special Event menus are available. Multi selection-menus, including gourmet vegetarian selections. Contact us for menus and budgets.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Pearl Street and Kline Street
  • Public Transit: Torrey Pines Road at Virginia Way
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Parking in the back of the restaurant and street parking.
A word from Tapenade
Located in the heart of scenic La Jolla on Fay Avenue, Tapenade Restaurant is the classic bistro atmosphere with enjoyable and savory food. Tapenade recalls traditional French Provençal gastronomy and fuses it with contemporary American cuisine to create quality dishes. Award-winning chef Jean Michel Diot uses only the finest and freshest ingredients in order to create exemplary and novel seasonal dishes. Chef-owner Jean Michel Diot has had success with previous restaurants, rightfully earning the nickname “the Baron of Bistros.” The atmosphere of Tapenade immerses the guest by paying tribute to the elegant Parisian bistro ambiance. Awarded by San Diego Magazine as Best French, Best of the Best, and Best Chef, Tapenade is the restaurant that will create a memorable experience. Tapenade is also highly acclaimed by critics who say “Diot’s cooking is lusty, satisfying and the precise opposite of cerebral” Christopher Petkanas. Tapenade has been named “Top ten great place USA Today.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
Tapenade reviews from OpenTable diners
73 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (48)fit for foodies (46)neighborhood gem (38)romantic (34)notable wine list (19)good for groups (14)great for lunch (11)great for outdoor dining (10)great for brunch (3)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Always a pleasure
    Bingo
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Tapenade never let's you down. Great menu, great food, and genuine European style service. I love the room. One of my favorites for a long time.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • LOVE IT !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    BEST FOOD, SERVICE, IF YOU ARE NOSTALGIC, MISSING PARIS BRASSERIE, BISTRO AMBIANCE, LOVE IT !
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Scenic View, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • another lovely lunch at Tapenade...
    SDDiner
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Historically I think of going to a good French restaurant for dinner to celebrate or for an indulgent treat. Tapenade is such a lovely place to meet a friend for lunch and a good value when you consider the quality of the ingredients, the service and ambiance. You would spend the same amount at popular lunch places that are noisy, providing indifferent service and food cooked without love. Have a civilized, lovely lunch at Tapenade and you will be relaxed and very pleased.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapenade still the gem of La Jolla
    leendawoman
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    I haven't been to Tapenade in many years even though we live here in La Jolla. I guess other "trendy" places distracted us. Tapenade has gotten even better. We had a spectacular experience with the tasting menu on Thursday. The food was an inventive twist on traditional French dishes with outstanding results on par with dinners I have had at the finest restaurants in Europe. They started us off with a crab mango salad in a coconut foam. Then monkfish Ballantine rolled in a wafer thin eggplant. The main course was the venison medallions huckleberry sauce; delicious.Great service.Highly recommended.We will definitely be coming back more often for innovative dishes expertly prepared by an experienced chef right here in our neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    Romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OUTSTANDING..
    Sophia
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    LUCKY LA JOLLA to have such a gem in your community. My experience at Tapenade is always the best in town. ALWAYS. As soon as we step in I can feel a positive energy, the service, not stressed but focused, they know what they are doing whether it is a busy evening or quieter, between a Monday and a Saturday experience, there is definitely a difference in the scene, however the food is one of the essences of success. The puff cheese Gougeres slowly melting in your mouth washed by a sip of Champagne, followed by lamb sliders and golden crispy French fries with a perfect Vacqueyras. I am already craving for more real Bistro food experiences or other Chef Diot's seasonal food creations.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Love it !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    "We decided to try Tapenade for my wife's birthday. It was perfect for a special occasion. The food was exceptional; delicious, sophisticated, and unique. We particularly enjoyed the duck special ,scallops, and profiterolles. Want to check the bar menu, the place was packed ! A rigth bank Parisian bistro
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a pleasure.
    kms80
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    Dined with friends (who had never been before) for my husband's birthday. Dinner at Tapenade is always a treat we look forward to...probably our favorite and most consistently fine dining experience in San Diego. All enjoyed all courses of their dinners. Two of us had the lamb and we both felt the texture was quite "chewy" (hate to say tough), although the flavor was excellent. Service is always impeccable. Decor is comfortable, but could be warmed up a bit. Would be nice if main dining area had a more intimate feel. Would highly recommend to anyone who appreciates fine dining.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Drinks were excellent as well
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Drinks were excellent as well as the appetizers (smoked salmon & beef carpaccio) . I had the boar (good) and could have sworn it was prepared differently when I had the same entree 2 weeks earlier. Service was great at the beginning but was extremely poor at the end. Waited forever for our desserts and when they finally arrived (with melted ice cream on the cold apple tart), our coffees were equally cold. I have mixed thoughts about returning to The Tapenade.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fallen From Grace
    Bubbles
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Tapenade has been one of my favorite restaurants for about 20 years - it is therefore painful for me to feel that I need to tell you how poor my last experience was. My escargot were cold as were the ravioli - I chose to do nothing because of numerous good experiences in the past. The service was condescending and due to the noise difficult to hear. It will be a VERY long time before I return
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We chose to sit at a bistro
    adie
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    We chose to sit at a bistro table in the bar as we were in the mood for a more casual atmosphere. Service was friendly and charming. The room was a little cold (temperature) and we all commented on it. Food was excellent - mussels and frites, bouillabaisse, salmon, and their famous wild mushroom ravioli. This is one of our favorite restaurants.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service Pales Next To Food
    PaulVIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Same problem as last visit ... the food's so good it seems an extra shame that the staff isn't trained to give service that's on a par with it. If you offer (and are actually known for) a tasting menu, DON'T make the customers have to ask specially to see what it is!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • no fun
    trigny
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    We had the cassoulet and the wild boar main dishes. The cassoulet was OK, but nothing special and very bland. the boar was dry as a bone and tasted like overcooked beef sirloin tips. We started with a non-menu salad, which was pleasant, but simple, composed of mixed greens and light vinaigrette dressing. At $9 per salad, it was overpriced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent cuisine, original,
    greateats
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Excellent cuisine, original, creative, and delicate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Restaurant
    finediner
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    This was the first time that my wife and I had dined here in the evening. We did have lunch here once before and found both occasions fantastic. The food here is outstanding and well worth the price. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone who enjoys great French food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My family and I like to lunch
    Jacotte
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    My family and I like to lunch at the Tapenade , The meals are well prepared with a special French touch we appreciate very much. The service is impeccable. The atmosphere is quiet. Whenever my children come to San Diego we like to enjoy a succulent meal in a simple but pleasant décor and ambiance. Their visit is an occasion for me to treat them at the Tapenade, a little bit of France where I was born and lived( in Reims Champagne Province.) Jacqueline Mongeot
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a pleasure to dine
    Foodie
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Always a pleasure to dine at Tapenade -- delicious courses beautifully presented with first-rate service. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapenade always delivers
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    We can always depend on Tapenade for it's authenticity and care in preparation. Lamb special was delicious, as were the scallops.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Food is mediocre Service is good Overpriced San Diego has better restaurants much more reasonably priced. This one attempts to be a class A dining experience but the food remains at the level of a C grade.Very disappointing.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • french touch!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    great night, great food, great service "à la française" : they bring you free "petits fours" before and after the meal, they won't constantly come to ask you how is your diner, and they won't bring you the check unless you ask for it
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Classy, but trendy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    I took my girlfriend out to dinner at Tapenade to try something interesting in La Jolla. The food is spectacular and the service was outstanding. My only complaint is that they brought out an amuse-bouche with ham in it after my girlfriend told our waiter that she is a pescetarian. All and all through Tapenade is a lovely, high-end restaurant that I would recommend. I will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This is, and has remained
    ZioMarco
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    This is, and has remained my favorite restaurant for nearly half a decade. The food is beyond compare, as are the cocktails. I've never had a dining experience here that was anything less than exquisite. The food is so expertly balanced, so beautifully prepared that you are taken aback by the pure artistry of each bite. The staff has the perfect mix of friendly and professional. Their smiles and conversation are genuine, and they will not constantly affront you during the meal with that dreaded "...and how's everything going here?". The ambiance is sophisticated, modern and elegant, a perfect place to entertain friends, family, or just enjoy a table for one.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tried and True Tapenade
    BuntzVIP
    Dined on 3/5/2014
    We spend part of each winter in La Jolla and Tapenade is always a "must" for us. This time, we began with Escargot, traditionally and wonderfully prepared, and moved on to the Monkfish special and the Veal Osso Buco Plat de Jour. Both were enjoyable, especially the Osso Buco, which was prepared in a flavorful Milanese sauce. We accompanied the meal with a bottle of Crozes-Hermitage from the nice selection of wines. Our waiter, Karim, has served us before, and is always professional and friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Details are handled
    DineoutfrequentlyVIP
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    The food was exceptional. I had a lobster bisque followed by the pasta of the day - both were beautifully done. My wife had a monk fish that she raved about. Our wait staff was excellent. The kitchen was unusually slow, but the wait staff was attentive enough that it didn't cause an issue. One would think the restaurant would be noisy because of its high ceilings and open room, but the sounds were effectively muffled by ceiling draping. We are from out of town and feel fortunate to have discovered this gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for an intimate dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    Tapenade never disappoints. Very good food to enjoy with your loved ones in a quiet setting. I always go there either with my wife or another couple and they have great service. I highly recommend this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Updated French
    Jeanie
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    The scallops were to die for! I heard very positive comments about the salmon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Stroke of luck!
    HBfromMB
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    So we booked a reservation for 5. We were meeting friend we hadn't seen for awhile. We got there and were pleasantly greeted and ushered to a section off to the side where there was a large round table . The area could be sectioned off with a drape so it was like a private room. We could hear each other speak! That is so rare in today's restaurants, We each ordered an appetizer, main course and dessert. Excellent. The house pate was delicious with a touch of sweet. The duck roll unbelievable! The special for the night was duck, the fish was Monk fish. No one was disappointed. And then there was the dessert! Too good! The service, the ambience, the food! Wonderful. I would definetly go again and have a,ready recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious french food with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Delicious french food with a wonderful atmosphere for a date night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Visited on Valentine's evening.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Visited on Valentine's evening. The food and service was great. The seating was very tight as it seemed they squeezed extra tables in the main dinning room so the people on either side were literally right next to you making it hard to have a private conversation. I have been here on other nights and the seating was not as tight or close together.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a treat
    MichelleR
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    This was our 8th year spending Valentine's Day at Tapenade and it most certainly won't be our last. The food is always superb and the staff is friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Good French Resturant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/13/2014
    Extremely attentive wait staff. Very good meal preparation. Had the casserole, the Thursday entre, very good. Wife had monk fish, also very good. Appetizers of mussels and pate, very good. Great service. All of which is a bit pricey. Will be back, for that special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A restaurant we enjoy coming
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/13/2014
    A restaurant we enjoy coming back to when in La Jolla. Fantastic service and good French food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    luv2dineVIP
    Dined on 2/11/2014
    We like our duck roll so much that we asked for a second helping.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We couldn't have had it better!
    Arianna
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    My husband and I went to Tapenade on a date before going to a play. We could not have picked a better place to start our night. Everyone was wonderful. We never wanted for anything. The food was spectacular! My husband and I both tried specials, I apologize I know very little about French food and cannot recall the names of our dishes. Everything is cooked to perfection. I have been here for lunch, and I've tried quite a few items on the menu; No matter what you choose - you will be thoroughly impressed and enjoy your meal immensely . The desserts are excellent as well - my husband and I treated ourselves. He had superb espresso with his dessert! We can't wait until our next date night at Tapenade!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Go to
    Bingo
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    Tapenade is alway a go to place for a special occasion. For that matter it is great on any occasion. Food is wonderful with European style service. I love the room- sleek and very French.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Won't be back
    kiefmo
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Not nearly as good as it used to be. My steak was way overcooked. The apps were fine but nothing special. Prices demand better execution since there are so many great options in San Diego these days.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • tapenade
    kaise
    Dined on 1/29/2014
    Been wanting to try this restaurant since it's always on San Diego Magazine's best and yelpers rate it high as well. We came during restaurant week two. Had to ask the waiter for the restaurant week menu because they gave us their regular menu when we were seated. Started with the cheese gougeres which were great. the amuse bouche was delicious. I must not be a pate fan because I didn't enjoy my app but the bf's mussels were fantastic. we were both satisfied with his coq au vin and my wild boar dinner. His profiteroles and my meyer lemon tartlette were a perfect ending to our meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The only problem we encountered
    jac75VIP
    Dined on 1/29/2014
    The only problem we encountered was the waiters English was limited. Gave miss information about some of the menu items.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Badd Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 1/29/2014
    Steak like shoe leather, pasta like cardboard. Creme Bruleee was good but overall now I understand why restaurant was empty.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Elegant without being stuffy
    Sammmom
    Dined on 1/26/2014
    What a lovely spot. The food is always the best, the service perfect, and the entire experience memorable. One of the "finds" in La Jolla.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best French Food in La Jolla/US
    TGK3
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    I love French food and have eaten at many French restaurants around the US and in Europe - honeymooned in France multiple decades ago. Tapenade is one of the best I have been to anywhere, let alone in La Jolla, where we literally just moved from north county San Diego. Tapenade is our special occasion place, great food, not massive portions, good service, great French photos and ambiance and a bit of French spoken, un petite peu. The raviolis are outstanding, the steak frites or moule frites take me back to the Rive Gauche. The dining room is elegant, but can be a bit noisy since it's open. The bar is intimate and for a quick casual meal with a glass of wine a real find. Bon appetit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic