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 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (48)fit for foodies (45)neighborhood gem (38)romantic (34)notable wine list (18)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
  • Above the Rest
    SDReviewer
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    This restaurant is one of San Diego's best restaurants and has become one of our go to places when we want great food, properly proportioned, a very strong wine selection,and terrific service. There are not many restaurants in San Diego that meet the quality of flavors of this one.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great patio
    qfishyfaceq
    Dined on 9/18/2013
    I went to this restaurant for restaurant week. I arrived a few minutes before my scheduled reservation and a table was already set for me. The patio heater was on, too! It was a nice, quiet patio and the food was great. The hostess and servers were all very nice and very attentive, even though we were the only people outside on the patio!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 9/2013 Restaurant Week
    Tiff
    Dined on 9/15/2013
    The 3 of us tried most of the menu. If you like corn, the corn soup appetizer is amazing. The salad appetizer is good because of the cheese, so delicious. The figs were interesting but I wouldn't choose it again. The mushroom raviolis broth was amazing, you get 6 sizable raviolis. The duck was pretty good too, the sauce was yummy but I don't like the bed of lentils? underneath. The sea bass/mussels dish was horrible, way too fishy, especially the mussels. The profiterole dessert was ok, but I'm not a huge fan of orange flavors so I didn't like the Grand Marnier ice cream. The chocolate tart was super dark chocolately and the yummy pistachio ice cream went really well with it. I wished I had tried the roasted peach dessert but oh well. :P
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Can do better
    alohasdVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2013
    Somewhat disappointing compared to many prior visits. Waiter was pleasant but not very effective. Had to wait well into appetizer course to get my wine returned and poured. Same for water (bus boy was seldom seen.) Appeared to be understaffed for a Saturday evening, and restaurant was not overly crowded. Dinner menu displayed on website was not available. We will go back as Tapenade is one of our local favorites. They can do better; maybe just an off night.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner was very good and so
    2dinersVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2013
    Dinner was very good and so was the service. We have never been disappointed with the quality of the food or the service at Tapenade.
    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.
  • This restaurant is one of the best
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/6/2013
    We love the food,wine and wine advice, We adore the smooth, capable Ludo with his wonderful sense of humor. The delightful little sweets after dinner are lovely, yummy treats. Cest parfait, toujours. BZ
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We always go back to Tapenade
    Returninghappyfoodie
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    We always go back to Tapenade knowing the food will be fantastic. I like to cook and am hard to please. I am always impressed with their choices. Out of this world!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My brother was visiting from
    LynneF
    Dined on 8/28/2013
    My brother was visiting from London, where we know there are many wonderful restaurants. He had never been and he found it to be exceptional! I love this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/20/2013
    We had a delicious seabass with gnocchi... and profiteroles for the dessert. The Seabass was really amazing and the menu overall was looking great. Would suggest to re-visit the profiteroles as the "Chou" was too crunchy and the chocolate sauce was cold! Would come back again anytime :-)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An old favorite, but not this time
    Mike
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    We use to love this restaurant, but this evening was a total disappointment. It took forever to get service and then for the food to come.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Another wonderful meal!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    Impeccable service and delicious cuisine -- another wonderful meal at Tapenade! The fig and melted blue cheese starter was absolutely incredible, the bouillabaisse was delectable -- we wanted to lick up every drop of the savory broth -- and the Montagny Chardonnay was a perfect accompaniment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • For our recent Anniversary
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    For our recent Anniversary dinner we tried Tapenade. We started with a Burrata Cheese & Summer Vegetable Salad which was outstanding. For entrees I had the Fish of the Day which was a local California seabass served with spinach gnocchi and vegetables sitting over a very flavorful light emulsion (Meyer lemon, onion and herbs). My husband had the Bouilabaisse which was a nice mixture of seabass, shrimp, scallops, mussels and potatoes in a fantastic saffron broth - served with crostini and a saffron aioli. Portions are small but adequate (typical French). The service was wonderful -- our waiter, Hadrian, very personable and professional. We definitely plan to eat at Tapenade as often as we're in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A little disappointing
    gardenbee
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    Despite extremely good service and lovely appetizers, the rest of the meal a bit of a disappointment. My friend's crabcake starter was excellent and my crab and mango salad tasted as good as it looked. However, my friend's serving of bouillabaisse barely contained enough food for a young child, let alone a grown man. My beef tornadoe was tasty and perfectly cooked. However, the plate contained wa-a-y too many french fries (falling off the plate) and a pile of limp, over-dressed salad. Not a very professional presentation. The desserts where nothing special. Overall, I expected more considering the prices.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quiet midweek birthday dinner
    osunavy21
    Dined on 8/14/2013
    Restaurant was nice. Very quiet. We went midweek for my wife's birthday. Food was good and they had a solid wine menu. The restaurant wasn't very exciting though and I felt like most of the people there crawled out of their graves to go out to dinner.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolutely Wonderful!
    kiwidiner
    Dined on 8/8/2013
    We have eaten at Tapenade many times before, but not recently, and it was as good as I remember. We were greeted and our group (4) quickly seated. We brought a special bottle, and the waiter was quick to bring out a small table to decant it and put it on. Nice touch. We know Jean-Michel (chef & owner) and were quite surprised when the waiter told us he had prepared a food & wine pairing meal for us for the night. We were all thrilled, as the wonderful choices on the menu were going to make it difficult to choose! Each course was brought out and explained to us, and each wine as well. The food was sublime- perfectly prepared and seasoned. The wines were a bit spotty- I would have preferred all french, but they did pair well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The mushroom ravioli at lunch
    pumpkinVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2013
    The mushroom ravioli at lunch are outstanding!!!! Can't wait to get back to La Jolla to have them again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, notable wine list, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Old Favorite
    FoodieFreakVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    We eat here every time we are in La Jolla and it never disappoints. Great service and lovely food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • From the great food to the
    delish
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    From the great food to the impeccable service, the Tapenade was a very enjoyable experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Pleasing Dinner for Two
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 8/1/2013
    There are many good choices on the menu, all very tasty. Flavors are excellent, portions are sensible and presentation is attractive. Our waiter tactfully understood that we wanted to take our time. He was both attentive and accommodating. There's good space between tables. So, it was all very enjoyable for just the two of us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Outstanding Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 7/30/2013
    Continental cuisine that is always good, with interesting specials. Sauces make this restaurant really special. Great place for a special occasion. Noise level was moderate where we were in the bar area, which was expected. It's quieter in the main dining area, and they have two separate areas for groups.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stellar pretty much describes
    Bajasurf
    Dined on 7/29/2013
    Stellar pretty much describes Tapenade! In all of the years we have been eating here, we have never once been disappointed. The food is always amazing and if you really want a treat try the wild mushroom ravioli which is amazing. For a quite, enjoyable, amazing dinner try this restaurant, you will not be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, notable wine list, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Having dined at Tapenade several
    Tiger
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    Having dined at Tapenade several times over the past few years, I have found the food and service to be consistently impeccable. Saturday evening did not disappoint for my mother's 93rd birthday celebration. The dining area is spacious yet intimate, the noise level comfortable and the ambiance casual, yet with a touch of formality and elegance. Everything we ordered was carefully prepared with the best ingredients, beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. The service is attentive but not rushed. For a lovely adult evening of fine dining and good conversation, I highly recommend Tapenade and look forward to dining here again..and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Refined Dining in La Jolla
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/21/2013
    We love eating at Tapenade. The staff is always gracious and the ambience is lovely. Everyone is so attentive. The food is consistently good and beautifully plated. We especially like the experience of dining at Tapenade. We never feel rushed (like some restaurants want to turn the tables for numerous sittings.) The staff always asks before clearing plates "is everyone finished." That is a rarity in todays restaurant scene.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding French Cuisine
    Foodlover
    Dined on 7/12/2013
    Tapenade is a perfect place for a superb French dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The best we had in San Diego area
    RegularChicagoDinerVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2013
    This was the most perfect mix of amazing food , attentive but not intrusive service, elegant without pretension, and welcoming warm but mannered atmosphere. Lobster in foamed butter/saffron sauce and lamb that was melting in our mouths. Best vichyssoise we ever had (and we seek that out regularly). Martinis cold, dry, and right sized. Wine list is not large but good quality and finds at particularly reasonable prices. Had a 2005 Pomerol from a lesser Chateau but it opened up as the waiter promised it would to be one exceptional enough we will add to our home collection. We mentioned it was our anniversary and they surprised with a lovely petit cake plate with happy anniversary in chocolate. Will be on our priority for return
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome
    zjrhens
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    It was awesome. I had Veal Medallions. It was crazy good. I had the creme brule for desert which was good until i tried my wifes rasberry sorbet and lemon square which blew my mind.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food Great -- Service Lacking
    PaulVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    Our second time here, and the food -- which was quite wonderful last time -- was even *better* this time. I'd even say excellent. Every single item. The problem lay with our waitress ... a very nice, pleasant woman, who was nevertheless simply not very good at her job. (And she wrongly tried to lay some of the blame on the "new busboys"!) When she handed out the menus, she didn't include the separate Bar/Happy Hour menu ... or the cocktail menu. Nor did she *ever* mention (until we asked, since we'd ordered from it previously) the tasting menu, or the vegetarian menu (which was key, since one of our party was indeed vegetarian) ... or the night's special "frogs legs menu" (until it was too late). And the rest of her service was just so-so.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • the sauces are outstanding,
    larry
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    the sauces are outstanding, and the vegetables are cooked just right. they respond to clients' needs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was very good. The
    Chen
    Dined on 6/23/2013
    The food was very good. The service was excellent. The waitstaff was very friendly. Most of the other diners were older and it was pretty quiet so it's a good place for a nice quiet and relaxed meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent service and food.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/22/2013
    Excellent service and food. I had the lobster in vanilla creme sauce entree and it was delicious. On my "dine again" A-list.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • frequent Tapenade diner
    uniloverVIP
    Dined on 6/12/2013
    Tapenade has never let me down, until this time. It was my birthday celebration. They always do such a good job with fish. Not this time. Eveything else great. Will count on next time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • For great casual evening the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/12/2013
    For great casual evening the bar is great place to sit and enjoy either full dinner menu or the abbreviated bar menu. Bartender is soft spoken gentleman that provides superior service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best appetizer anywhere, anytime!
    AnnaVIP
    Dined on 6/10/2013
    The food here is wonderful, and when our server recommended the porcini "raviolis" we decided to split them as an appetizer. Pure heaven in a bowl!!! The "ravioli" was the thinnest possible pasta to just hold the exquisite mushroom filling. Hope this stays on the menu - cannot wait till the next time we're in La Jolla so we can get it again. Everything else was fresh and delicious, as expected, but these "raviolis" were just exceptional!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just what we have been looking for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/6/2013
    My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at Tampenade. It was romantic, quiet, and reminded me of Paris. The service was attentive but not disruptive. The food portions were small, but i really appreciate that, do not need a lot to eat. The dessert was amazing. I would recommend this restaurant and hope to return soon.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place. I'm a SD transplant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    Great place. I'm a SD transplant from New Orleans. Sometimes I don't think much of the higher end restaurant scene out here. Tapenade is an an exception. The crab salad was devine. I love it.
    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.
  • Birthday dinner!
    JImmyVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2013
    Took my wife here for her birthday. Very nice place with outstanding service. I had the Coq au Vin de Bourgogne. And it was ok, absolutely nothing special. Very, very small portion. Nothing stood out about this dish. My wife had the Duo de Veau de Lait and it was good. The desert was very good as well. Overall it was a nice dinner. But not sure if I will ever go back. For the price the food just wasn't anything special.
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/16/2013
    As always, Tapenade meets and exceeds our expectations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    This was our fourth time at Tapenade and what can say other then magnificent. From the corn fritters to the signature wild mushroom ravioli s and the pepper steak in cognac sauce was to die for. My only downside was I was expecting pomme frites, the little fries but what we had was very nice. I also wish that they would prepare French onion soup. I know the do a traditional lobster bisque hitch is fantastic but we always love a good French onion soup This by no means would prevent us from coming back as everything we had was fabulous. Warm regards, Tim & Dawn Felegt
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Time, as Always!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    My girlfriend and I have made this spot into our special date night restaurant. We love coming out here, every time the food is great, service is punctual, and atmosphere is romantic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We had a wonderful meal. The
    phylVIP
    Dined on 5/4/2013
    We had a wonderful meal. The food was outstanding! Service was excellent. We also could talk to each other. Many places are very loud. This was a welcome change!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet