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
82 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (53)fit for foodies (51)neighborhood gem (45)romantic (40)notable wine list (21)good for groups (14)great for lunch (12)great for outdoor dining (11)vibrant bar scene (3)late-night find (2)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • Food was delicious (lamb,
    Stephen
    Dined on 6/9/2008
    Food was delicious (lamb, lobster, gnocchi, cheese). I'm in the restaurant business, a chef as well, few restaurants impress me. Service was attentive and well informed, great suggestion for wine (Gigondas). Will certainly return another time.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The restaurant was almost
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 5/29/2008
    The restaurant was almost empty when we arrived. This created a bad atmosphere because the place seemed dead. The food was very good, though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Highly over-rated. Mediocre
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/24/2008
    Highly over-rated. Mediocre food, average presentation. Extremely poor impression, upon arrival, when, although I had made a reservation thru your site, days in advance, I was initially seated in teh bar area....very tacky! I had to specifically ask to be seated in the dining room. I am disinclined to use your service again, as this is the only time I have ever made a reservation, in any nice restaurant, and been directed to the bar for dinner. The service was also mediaocre, with the waiter extremely reluctant to accomodate any request, such a a substitution of vegetables, or simply asking the chef if they had something. Additionally, the server forgot to bring the wine, until very late, and was not seemingly the least bit concerned.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • We liked it so much we went
    FrequentEater
    Dined on 5/24/2008
    We liked it so much we went back a few nights later.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The cooking was excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/23/2008
    The cooking was excellent yet we didn't have to wait long between courses. An incredible dining experience!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food and service here
    Michele
    Dined on 5/20/2008
    The food and service here are excellent on the whole. I found a few leaves of greens past their prime in my otherwise perfect organic salad dressed with what appeared to be lashes of aged balsamic vinegar along with a mild, pleasant Dijon vinaigrette. The selection of wines by the glass is excellent. House-made tapenade is served with the Bread and Cie baguette and pain de campagne. There is little salt used in the food and the flavors are harmonious. Attention to detail is evident, and one gets higher quality for the same amount of money than in most other area restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best meal we have had
    RobMVIP
    Dined on 5/19/2008
    The best meal we have had there yet. The new spring/summer menu is great. The Green Apple/Clelery Root soup sounds strange but was surprisingly wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Every one of us thought it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/14/2008
    Every one of us thought it was one of the top meals we've ever eaten. The salad, escargot, faux filet au poivre, and lobster were particularly good. And the creme brulee was the best any of us had ever tasted. We will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was great all around,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/11/2008
    The food was great all around, especially the salmon and spinach dish which was excellent. It has bee hard to find a great French restaurant in San Diego that prepares its food and tastes as great as the resturants I have been to in Paris. This one is one of my new favorites!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very nice restaurant in a
    Jba31857
    Dined on 5/10/2008
    Very nice restaurant in a very nice little town with a lot of ambiance. Food was very nicely presented and the service was very good. I would go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Some of the food was a little
    katherooVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2008
    Some of the food was a little oversalted. Overall the food was good but not necessarily worth the sky high prices.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was outstanding,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/3/2008
    The food was outstanding, especially the keylime cheese cake, so light yet creamy. Staff were very well trained.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wine list was mostly French,
    FoodieJaxVIP
    Dined on 5/1/2008
    Wine list was mostly French, which wasn't surprising as it is a french restaurant. Waiter recommended a wine which turned out not so good, but he tasted it, and immediately replaced it with another wine. Service was excellent. The food was good, but I wouldn't say that it was the best I have ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was excellent to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/26/2008
    The food was excellent to very good. My gnocchi with morrels appetizer was outstanding. Same with my wife's wild mushroom ravioli. Service was excellent. However, the dining room was cramped, hot, and noisy. My wife and I were sitting at a table for two. There was a another table for two almost attached to ours. Very little privacy to have a conversation and with the noise level, forget it. They can do better by taking away a table or two.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tapenade was delightful -
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 4/25/2008
    Tapenade was delightful - starting with the way we were seated. After being seated in one section, the host asked if we'd prefer a table by the window that had just opened up, and moved us. The waiters were quick to fill your glass, fold your napkin, make recommendations and offered wonderful service. The food was wonderful - we had the potato leek soup, the house made gnocci, and for our entree's - the sirloin with peppercorn/cognac sauce and the lobster!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Overall, good service. The
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/13/2008
    Overall, good service. The waiter was unfamiliar with the French names of entrées, which we thought was very odd and disappointing. We had to point at the names in English to make our desires understood. When serving two bowls of soup, the waiter artlessly set down the second bowl in such a way that the soup splashed up the side of the bowl and on to the table, nearly into the lap of my friend. The waiter appropriately went and got a clean napkin but oddly used it to wipe the sides of the bowl, leaving my friend with a dirty napkin. Better would have been to promptly serve him a second bowl, without trying to be overly gracious and serve it with one hand behind his back. The waitstaff seemed very young for a gourmet res
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tapenade consistently serves
    Lizzie
    Dined on 4/11/2008
    Tapenade consistently serves great food, and "consistently" is the key word. Their menu changes with the seasons, but also offers the tried and true items. Service is always excellent. The wine list is not over the top in pricing and has a good selection of French and California wines. It is small so if you have some large loud groups surrounding you, it will get noisy. Tapenade is our favorite San Diego restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • very good food. was empty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/6/2008
    very good food. was empty when we were there which made it a little strange
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • we went there for the first
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/5/2008
    we went there for the first time for a special occasion, and it was a very good experience. I was curious about their lobster with cepes and vanilla sauce, and it was a very very good surprise. Some friends had the scalops, which turned out to be excellent (I found it hard to have scalops cooked right lately)... and here it was delicious. It's pricy, but worthwhile. We did not regret.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I can't imagine better food
    YamaMamaVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2008
    I can't imagine better food anywhere, but I have two problems here: 1. deciding between items that I know are wonderful and trying something new; and 2. keeping my sneaky companion's stealth fork out of my plate! Tapenade is my favorite restaurant in La Jolla.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent restaurant. Food
    Diningnana
    Dined on 4/4/2008
    Excellent restaurant. Food was well-presented as well as delicious. Our server was very polite and attentive but not over-bearing. One of my dinner guests is an expert on French wines. He was very impressed with the wine list. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place. Everything on
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 3/30/2008
    Great place. Everything on the menu was excellent and the service was great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was incredible, beyond
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/21/2008
    The food was incredible, beyond my expectations, the Chefs sauces were classic French of the highest quality. It was our 14th Anniversary and our seven year old daughter was well treated as well which is a rarity for resturants of this caliber. I rarely give such I praise on food, because too often I am disappointed. I have studied culinary arts in France and it is a serious hobbly of mine, every dish we had was favorful and a joy from bite to bite.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The asparagus soup was excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 3/21/2008
    The asparagus soup was excellent. Of the three main dishes we ordered, the mushroom ravioli was truly outstanding. The other two dishes were fine, but not memorable (salmon and shrimp, which was too salty). The chef seems very fond of foam, which was on at least three of the dishes we ordered, and there was quite a bit of cream in the dishes. The service was excellent, very friendly and helpful. We had told the restaurant that we were celebrating a birthday but they ignored that occasion completely. On the other hand, the staff was incredibly friendly and understanding of a five year old's needs which we greatly appreciated.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing vegetables and sauces-
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/15/2008
    Amazing vegetables and sauces- just outstanding. A little crowded, and noisy- though not as bad as many places. Service was warm, friendly, and a little slow.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This place had excellent French
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/14/2008
    This place had excellent French food and the service is wonderful. I've been there three times and each time left feeling full, and happy. I love it there!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The servicee was a little
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/11/2008
    The servicee was a little disappointing. We brought a fine bottle of wine and had to ask several times to get it opened to allow it to breathe and ultimateely the amount of time for it to breathe was insufficient. We wanted to have it decanted but that did not happen at all. The food was excellent (expected given the price of the restaurant and from my own experience there), the atmosphere was fine. The wine service, however needs work.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food and service were outstanding,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/8/2008
    Food and service were outstanding, but the dining room was uncomfortabley warm. (I had to ask that the door be opened for fresh air.) The dining room was stylistically very tired and generally not memorable. This didn't dissuade customers, though, as the restaurant was busy....undoubtedly due to the fabulous food and staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently superb cuisine.
    InfluencerVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2008
    Consistently superb cuisine. Our favorite French restaurant - best in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Went during resturant week.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 1/28/2008
    Went during resturant week. Food was wonderful, atmosphere was classic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food to price ratio not worth
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 1/27/2008
    Food to price ratio not worth it, but otherwise good food all around.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good wine list and appropriate
    Foodie4qualityVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2007
    Good wine list and appropriate seasonal menu. Great service. Loved it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate