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
78 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (52)fit for foodies (46)neighborhood gem (39)romantic (35)notable wine list (19)good for groups (14)great for lunch (13)great for outdoor dining (11)great for brunch (4)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Birthday Dinner
    Barb
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    1st time either one of us had been there. A local person gave the restaurant an excellent recommendation. We were pleased. Our waiter gave us good advice on dishes to choose. We ordered several starters and sides and then desert (even tho it was restaurant week) and it was all delicious. We both love mussels so that was the impetus to try other things. The service was very good and we will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An experience we will never forget.
    Skipper
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    We went to Tapenade because of San Diego restaurant week and we were celebrating our 14th anniversary. The restaurant was within walking distance from our hotel. We were warmly greeted and seated right away. The waiter was very friendly and knowledgeable. The food was beautifully plated and the portions were perfect for us. They even wrote "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate across our desert plates! We are looking forward to returning on our next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Taste of France , No jet lag !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 1/21/2014
    Authentic, excellent, best food, service decor, French elegance, Best French restaurant in San Diego, no question aboput it !!! " LA VIE EN ROSE !!!!"
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food! The best in La Jolla!
    picky
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    Will always remember the special ravioli--never tried something so tasty. The four of us were completely happy with our choices
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As a foodie, I have been to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    As a foodie, I have been to most of the upscale and trendy restaurants, and Tapenade is my favorite restaurant in San Diego, . The food is perfectly prepared, and always delicious. The staff is courteous and responsive. Normally it is very quiet and relaxing. Tapenade is our first pick for anniversaries and other special occasions. During restaurant week, it was very busy and somewhat hectic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Average French food. Certainly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    Average French food. Certainly nothing to complain about. But far from anything to get excited about either.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • La Jolla Highlight
    SnowbirdVIP
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    The food, service, ambience are always lovely here. A spot we choose when we have guests in town or a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • New Years Eve at Tapenade
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    I went to Tapenade with 6 friends for a special New Year's Eve dinner. I was very pleased with the food and service. Very often on special holidays restaurants disappoint but Tapenade came through with great food and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My view
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    Great for special occasions and for meeting w/ friends
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    slider1578
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    We came here during out honeymoon. We arrived early and they sat us immediately. The service was impecable, and the food was mouth watering. Watching all the different plates go by to other tables made me want what they had too. The experience was truly amazing and I will be going back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as it was
    Grumpy
    Dined on 12/14/2013
    I have been to this restaurant many times over many years. I feel that it has dwindled in food quality. On our most recent visit, nothing was that distinctive or flavorful, it was just ok.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Epicurean Delice
    Jacotte
    Dined on 12/11/2013
    When my daughters visit we always plan lunch at the Tapenade. The Carte allows me to recapture the wonders of French cuisine, its delicate flavors and unique preparations. Although accustomed to family French traditional cooking, my daughters appreciate the refinement, the different and always delicate scrumptious sauces, their flavors, the freshness, the impeccable service and presentations. . The chef's expertise is very much appreciated as well as the original and personal care of his dishes. I wish my daughters could visit more frequently to experience a wonderful moment at your table. I plan to share a mea at The Tapenade with my grand daughter when she visits, usually once a year as she much appreciates French cuisine. J.. . J,.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice food; excellent service;
    DebfromSanDiego
    Dined on 12/10/2013
    Our dinners were innovative and ranged from okay to very good - but there were a lot of "just okay"s. Service was excellent, and our wine was excellent as well. The restaurant is pricey, as expected, but we thought the food should have been better for the price. The lobster bisque was very thin, and not very voluptuous. Fish was cooked properly; but still not very exciting. Scallops were served with a very heavy sauce that did not complement it. All in all it was a nice dinner, but maybe a little too costly for what we had.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We had an excellent dinner
    eurowinophileVIP
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    We had an excellent dinner on a quiet Saturday night on Thanksgiving weekend. The food, wine, and service fairly can be described as superb. If you are looking for classic French cuisine, this is the place. We are from out of town and plan to return upon our next visit to the San Diego area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • French Thanksgiving
    gardengirl
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    Their Thanksgiving Prix Fixe menu was limited, but good. The turkey definitely had a French flavor. This is a cozy, elegant and carefully managed restaurant. High quality consistently. Very comfortable and attractive seating. Will come again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice
    cooper
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    This place was wonderful. Gave it an overall four star because we requested to sit in a booth and behind the wall were the swinging kitchen doors. The doors were loud. I haven't noticed that at other places I have dined at. The food was fabulous and the service was wonderful. Don't believe the bad reviews about service. Our service was great.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • French Food in San Diego?
    nikistooshortasanickname
    Dined on 11/25/2013
    Yes. Tapenade delivered an exquisite French meal with excellent wine suggestions at a proper pace.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummmy
    Kikigogofoodie
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    The food was good from appetizer to dessert. Service was also very good. Lovely space inside. Would definitely recommend going on a Saturday for the duck. It was the best. And we celebrated the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still the best in La Jolla
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    For food, French wine, and service. I love this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tapenade is the best French
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    Tapenade is the best French restaurant in San Diego. The menu is excellent and the service is excellent as well. The Lobster bisque is the best we have ever had. Everything on the menu is wonderful.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful tasting menu
    Carolyn
    Dined on 11/10/2013
    We were celebrating an anniversary and picked Tapenade's wine tasting menu. The meal and wines were excellent, from start to finish, as was the service. It was a wonderful experience.
    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.
  • Great La Jolla Restaurant
    DelMarGourmetVIP
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    Whether you are looking for a very French bistro meal or elegant continental cuisine, this friendly restaurant never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • France in La Jolla
    Jerr
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    As we've occasionally eaten in France on numerous trips, it's indeed a pleasure to dine at Tapenade for it's authentic modern French food, service, and taste of French casual dining without the 12-hour flight time. We brought a wine from our last trip to Beaune and combined it with the 'tasting menu' at Tapenade and good friends for 3 hours of bliss. As we left, we noticed the big clock on the wall said that it was 12:25, undoubtedly Parisien time, but time stood still...as the French would surely enjoy...and we surely enjoyed Tapenade.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wonderful find
    spacyKVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2013
    We had one of the best meals we've had in ages. We will most certainly go back again. Next time we plan to go on a Thursday to try the rabbit with mustard sauce.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • French favorite
    pepperonies
    Dined on 10/28/2013
    We went with friends while visiting the area and loved the food, service and decor. Cocktails were tasty and creative. Their specials were truly special. No downside to the experience. Would go again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • outstanding food
    brownie
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    Two of us had the duck with peppercorns and red wine sauce. We agreed that it was the best duck preparation we had experienced. Spouse had the sea bass and said it was excellent. The mushroom soup was delicious even though I am not a truffle oil fan. The service was impeccable as always. The food compares very well with the two and three star restaurants in Napa.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a Favorite
    Vince
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    Tapenade is always one of our favorite restaurants to visit whether for a special occasion or just for a great meal. As usually the menu reflects the season and the food is very very good!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always great
    cmarie
    Dined on 10/21/2013
    Be sure to try the mushroom ravioli starter - it's over the top.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My husband and I went with
    Hei4Ser
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    My husband and I went with another couple for the mussel special this October. We each tried a different version, so all tasted all four. Each was delicious, but each of us had definitely picked our preference. From the timing of food to the knowledgeable servers to the efficient table service to the excellent food, the whole experience was wonderful. We had a very good time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Night Out
    Peri
    Dined on 10/17/2013
    Tapenade provided my wife and me with a quiet and most pleasant dining experience. While there were several tables of diners near us, none were excessively loud and all were obviously there to enjoy the food and the company rather than just to talk and drink. The service was excellent and the food was correctly prepared for the most part. We do not drink alcohol and on the reservation I requested sparkling cider be available. I was pleased that it was not only available, but also served as though it were champagne. Only the dessert was disappointing. The tarte tartin was tough and the Meyer lemon custard had not set and was runny, but presented in a pastry box that was too tough to cut with a fork! Good visit overall. We will go back.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best French restaurant in town!
    nfranc1
    Dined on 10/16/2013
    La Tapenade is by far the best French restaurant in the San Diego area. How do I know? I am French and I have been there many many many times and the food is consistently delicious, well portioned, just like in French restaurant in France... If you want to stuff yourself with greasy food, definitely not the place to go, but if you like gourmet food and like to try different things and have a three course diner or more, La Tapenade is your place! I love eating there whether with a group of friends in the evening, with colleagues for a business meeting at lunch or simply on my own at the bar... I love this restaurant and the staff is great! Superb service! I will be back time and time again when I miss French food...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Long time favorite pleases again
    CyclistVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2013
    We've been many times and are always pleased. We went with another couple to enjoy the featured moules and frites. A bargain at only $11, they come in tour preparations. Three of us had mouliniere and one had curry. Yum!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful.
    Larisa
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    Our Waiter Was Fantastic . Helpful , polite , classy . ( forgot his name, but he is from Belgium). I took my friend out for her Birthday, She was impressed with your restaurant, but the service will make her come back 100 percent. Thank you. Excellent experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • VERY disappointing
    rosarioclan
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    This was our third trip to Tapenade. Two or three years ago we thought the restaurant served good French food at elevated prices. This time the SERVICE WAS VERY POOR - we had to wait long times to even see our waiter to gesture him over. Our party of four shared two appetizers - the pacific oysters on the half-shell were good but expensive at $3 each. The pate was mediocre. The veal entrée was very good. The leg of lamb and king-salmon entrees were fair. The bouillabaisse was very meager and not flavorful. We asked for more bread and never got it (couldn't ask again because the waiter was nowhere to be seen). VERY DISAPPOINTING!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious Food
    GRTF
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    I loved the food it was delicious and the wine went perfect with my meal. Everything we ordered was mouth watering. I would recommend this restaurant to everyone.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Real Excellence
    plantandyet1
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    The most outstanding meal I've ever had in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Lunch
    SDDiner
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    What a wonderful lunch. I had the basil linguini and it was the best plate of pasta I have been served in San Diego. My colleague ordered the mussels with fries and they were also delicious. We both loved the house salad, too. Great wines by the glass which went very well with our choices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ate with 2 suppliers, plates
    StRemy71
    Dined on 9/30/2013
    Ate with 2 suppliers, plates are impeccably and artistically presented but on the small side (although not bite size like is the case in some restaurants) table was outside, taking advantage of La Jolla weather.Mix of French classics and Italian influenced creations. Food was really really good, but note quite "outstanding" good and fast service, but not very"personal"
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A very special evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/26/2013
    Everything about our meal was impeccable. The choices on the Restaurant Week menu were interesting and generous. The food was outstanding and the service was superb without being pretentious. Both the waiter and the busboy were knowledgeable and available without being obtrusive. What a wonderful experience to be in a restaurant where everything is done well. I can't wait to go back. The fish I had was excellent and probably the finest, most delicate sauce I've had in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great French Dining
    Foodie
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    As always, food excellent, great display, portions just right, service excellent on a busy evening and good pace.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.