Stella Italian Fare
Stella Italian Fare

Stella Italian Fare

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.stellalajolla.com/
  • Phone: (858) 551-3242
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 3:30pm
    Dinner: Daily: 3:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Vincenzo Mauri
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: For private dining we offer 3 separate levels. Our patio will seat up to 70, main dining room will seat up to 50 and our sky room will seat 40.
  • Private Party Contact: Gary Duplaisir 8585513242
  • Entertainment: Live music from jazz, lite rock and flamenco.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Prospect
  • Public Transit: Plenty of taxis and public transportation available near.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking with plenty of paying lots near. After 4 is all evening parking in front of the restaurant.
A word from Stella Italian Fare
Welcome to Stella and thank you for choosing to dine with us. We are glad to have you experience our authentic central and northern Italian cuisine in the jewel of San Diego, La Jolla cove. We offer a view with indoor and outdoor seating, full bar and live entertainment.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Stella Italian Fare reviews from OpenTable diners
40 reviews since July 28, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (32)scenic view (30)romantic (17)special occasion (16)fit for foodies (14)neighborhood gem (13)good for groups (6)kid-friendly (5)great for lunch (4)hot spot (3)late-night find (3)notable wine list (3)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • A Wonderful Find
    Yearrounder
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    We cannot wait to return. The "spreads" are absolutely the best we ever had. We had lamb shank that was brilliant. A very fun place, very Italian - our waiter was a delight. Wine, a spread or two and a salad would make a great night anytime.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unexpected great find
    mikey
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    I was looking for a special place for dinner for my anniversary. Wanting Italian, I came across Stella Italian Fare. It is located above a Himalayan restaurant, so you might overlook it-- but don't. The pasta is all homemade and the food outstanding. Not much of a wine list, but found a great Barbera (and surprise, I was there on 1/2 price bottle night!) We were told that the food changes nightly so you may be surprised with what ever the freshest ingredients the chef find that day. From the fresh bread, olive oil and burrata to the pasta then cannoli for dessert, I will return and make this a new favorite place to eat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed!
    KempVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    We had read very good reviews about the restaurant and since it is under new ownership since last year, we wanted to give it a try. We were seated on the enclosed terrace with a great view of the ocean. The food was very good but the service was very slow. They only had one server for six tables and since everyone had arrived for lunch about the same time, it was overwhelming for the server.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastico
    Cindy
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Service at Stella was very attentive from the moment we arrived and landed an outdoor balcony table - what a view! Our waiter Francesco, straight from a-Roma, was a hoot and full of great suggestions. We started with the burrata and fig crostini (a very ample portion as a starter shared by 4 of us.) He let us taste 2 wines to chose our bottle. We went with the Napa cab, though I preferred the Italian, so he was kind enough to leave me a nice size taste of the Italian as a special treat. We went with his advice on several of the specials and they were all great: seafood soup entree, lasagna with sausage, and lobster ravioli. Portions are on the manageable side, leaving room for chocolate volcano cake - delish!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A bit of Italy, in La Jolla
    Moster
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Very friendly staff greeted us and sat us with an amazing view of the ocean. The food was amazing and everyone at the table was impressed with their dish. Service was a bit slow, but friendly. Chairs are a bit uncomfortable. My husband had a pesto dish that was amazing! The chefs are from Italy and know how to do it right.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Find
    Dinersoar
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    I checked a travel site for 'best restaurant in La Jolla' and this was rated number 1. The four of us had different pasta dishes and they were outstanding. The wait staff and owner were attentive, fun, but unobtrusive. We were able to have a leisurely meal without feeling pressure. As for Ambiance, nothing can top the sunset view of the pacific we had from our patio table.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good service, good food
    BotGirl
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The server was great- friendly, talkative, sincere. I would go back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceptional food & service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Checked on TripAdvisor & found this restaurant was ranked very high up the list so we booked. Despite turning up a little early for our booking, the guys accommodated us fine & we were sat outside overlooking La Jolla beach. Our waiter was very passionate & descriptive about the menu & the food on offer so we went with one of the 'spreads' for an appetiser. It was amazing. My wife wanted to order a second to take home with us. We then had our mains & these were as good as the first course. Really couldn't rate the food any higher. Truly authentic Italian restaurant (all the waiting staff were Italian) who were very friendly & passionate about food. Only gripe was that it took nearly 25 mins from ordering to getting first course.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Italian for everyone
    Linda
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    A great menu and outdoor seating are why we chose Stella. Booked on open table, arrived on bikes so plenty of parking, wink. A bit warm when we arrived, the drawback to the glass balcony, no breeze except over it. Wine ordered promptly. Specials explained and orders taken. A little bit of everything on the menu and specials. We ordered the special crostini with fig, burrata and prosciutto. It was gorgeous and amazing. Pastas were huge, plenty for two. Salmon was a huge portion with fresh green beans. Again eaten the next day. Order less or plan on taking halves home for the next meal. Francesco was great. Funny, efficient and honest about what to order.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice
    Bananna858
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Sat outdoors to have lunch with a friend. My Pasta Alla Norma was good but not exactly for me. The plating was lovely and food was a good portion. Francesco our server was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great location - but - -
    Veggielover
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    When we reached there, the staff wanted to seat us at a nice location - but - they ended up quarreling with each other and how to handle the seating. Finally we suggested where we wanted to sit! The server was very kind but kindness does make the restaurant any better. Food at best was mediocre. Everything was very slow, and the place felt very dirty. The tables were sticky to touch, the chairs were very uncomfortable. No, I do not think this is a place to go in La Jolla. Needs a major overhaul.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, not great
    Patron
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Partial, somewhat distant view of the ocean from the patio (very few places in La Jolla are right on the ocean). Service was very good, portions are large, food was good but not great. You can do better in La Jolla, but you can also do worse.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth it.
    Sd4eva
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We wanted to try this place for a long time and after trying it I can say that it's not worth it. It's over priced and their food is not that great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Why Stella's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Although not a weekly visitor, I was greeted by name and seated at the best table in the house! Gary and his staff made you feel at home and very special. The Italian seafood was far from "cookie cutter." Each dish was "custom made" per our request.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food
    YummyVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Food was great, service was interesting. Made reservation for table with view, restaurant was mostly empty but had to state multiple times we requested a view table. It was our anniversary and we wanted. Romantic table away from young kids that had just been seated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • La Jolla Find
    pshaplaw
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Enzo Mauri has taken a great location and made it into a great restaurant. You are made to feel like family and there is a genuine attempt to let you know you are appreciated. The waiters and waitresses are always making sure you are comfortable and enjoying your meal.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasant surprise
    JoycdVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    we ate here by default- couldn't get another reservation and the food was wonderful and so was the service- would definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • many waiters walking around
    tanya
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Let me see start by saying that the food was good. The service was terrible. They did not provide bread initially and we had to ask for it. We easily waited over 20 min to order and besides one other family, we were the only ones there. View was great.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • tycharmad
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Food was fine. The only dissappointment was the size of the kids portion. They do not have a kids menu, but said they can serve a smaller size of pasta with sauce. It was a VERY small portion and cost $10! If I'm going to pay 1/2 the price of the adult portion, I expect 1/2 the serving. The other meals were fine, but I was shocked by the price for a few noodles in a little bowl.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Authentic Italian cuisine
    WendyT
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    If you love homemade pasta, this is the restaurant for you. The menu also features unique, delicious spreads with bread toasts. Much of the staff is Italian and they are happy to chat with the customers, making it a warm, friendly experience. I highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Italian Restaurant
    cking
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Food was great, wine was great, service was great. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice View
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Nice view of the the coast from my seat. Food was very good and very authentic. Service was good even when we got through the accent barrier. Wine list is nothing much, but with the view, I didn't care too much.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 18 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 28, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 17 reviews are from the Stella Italian Fare reviews archive.
  • Ambience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The staff bent over backwards for us. Outside there was music in a small area so we could not sit there. We wanted to be able to have a conversation. The bruschetta was fabulous. My kids were very content.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • LNreviewVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    The view and the attentive staff make this a place that we will want to return to. My husband had osso bucco which was prepared in the classic way and was perfect. I wanted something lighter and had the ahi tuna which came with a very tasty red pepper sauce. Only one negative is that although the restaurant serves wine they don't have a wine list which seems a bit odd for an Italian restaurant in La Jolla.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and entertainment
    FatBoy
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Stella is located in the downtown portion of La Jolla. The patio, on the 2nd floor, offers a wonderful view of the ocean. 2 guitarists sang and played their guitar as we dined. Food was awesome. Portion size was a little on the small side. Our party all agreed the dishes tasted great. The price was fair and actually an excellent deal if you factor in the live entertainment and an awesome view of the ocean.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic place for dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    What a find in La Jolla - this place has it all. The food was delicious, the ambience can't be beat, it's casual and friendly and the waiter was fantastic. Outdoor seating has an ocean view. There was live music on Friday night. Although we stayed for 4 hours until after they were closed, the staff never made us feel rushed. our waiter made great recommendations and even made the most awesome blueberry lemon drop martini for us, with his own blueberry infused Vodka. The fish was perfectly cooked, the pasta delicious. We are going back two nights later!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simple and Easy Does It
    JimAgainVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Stella's has a basic menu, and it does not offer the most exceptional food or a fine dining experience. It has a great view of La Jolla's coast, a strong selection of Italian fare, and a staff that is willing to work at making you feel welcome, comfortable, and glad you shared their hospitality. The dipping sauces are a nice innovation, and the wine list (a figment of our server's memory) does hold a few surprises. Go there if you want great eats w a casual atmosphere. The outdoor seating is superb and the Saturday night we were there, there was a nice band that rocked out without splitting any timbers or eardrums.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AMAZING Italian fare
    Eatgoodlivewellloveoften
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Stella Italianfare in LaJolla has fast become my favorite restaurant in San Diego. The ingredients are fresh, the combination of flavors inspiring, the drinks sophisticated and delicious. The food is, simply put, outstanding and by far surpasses other restaurant options. The spreads (appetizer) are to die for. This last Saturday night there was an excellent guitarist/vocalist who entertained on the outside patio. Everyone really enjoyed his style, song selection and the ambience he created.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, wine & music = fun night
    luv2dineVIP
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    We sat outside with a view. There are views from inside as well. The service was very good as well as the food. The gorgonzola, mango, papaya, beet dip was incredible. My husband loved the traditional lasagna and I loved the ensalta esotica. Add to that a nice bottle of Sangiovese, lava cake and a 3-person band playing flamenco sounds. We had a fabulous evening and will definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stellas
    Brittany619
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    We went to Stella's on Monday for our 2nd year wedding anniversary. The staff was very friendly and very knowledgable about the menu. We were seated at the best table with a great view of the ocean. We had the lobster ravioli and another pasta dish with crab, shrimp ad lobster and both were amazing. We also had a cannoli for desert and it was delicious as well. We will Definitely be returning!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Restaurant
    markVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    This is the second time we have eaten at Stella La Jolla, and it won't be our last. The food was just terrific. Their Seafood Pasta is one of the best I have eaten (Inluding the 12 years I lived in Italy!). The staff is terrific and our lunch for five was delightful. You should note that there are a bit of steps to climb....don't be like us and make our 91 year old step mother walk up the stairs to find out their is an elevator to the resturant just past the stairs. Great views from the patio as well as some tables inside. Charming resturant, view, great food and good staff..it can't get any better that that.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great music & food. Fun place.
    Mickey
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Outstanding customer service. Friendly, music and dance. Full portions of food.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant, but bad service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The food and environment was perfect, but the server completely ignored us after taking our order. We had to have another server get our check, after waiting about 30 minutes of trying to get our original server's attention.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stella
    ch12345
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    We sat down.. The server said there was no wine list, and that if we wanted ice in our drinks it would be an additional $1 per person. For ice? The view was great, and I'm sure they have good food, but we didn't stay long enough to find out. If you want a classic italian meal, (pasta and meat sauce, fettucine, pizza, etc.) I wouldn't suggest going here. And if you're a La Jolla local, be prepared, because you'll be paying tourist prices.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food
    marimar
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Fresh food but bland. Needed more flavor. A bit to expensive for just a pasta plate. About 2 weeks ago, I had a reservation and when I got there it was closed! :-( I can all the way from San Marcos. Then they told me they had been calling me to inform me. I had my phone with the all the time and the ringer was on. The guy told me that he got a message that my phone was not working! really?? Disappointed!
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SERVICE
    SheriVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    This was our first experience at Stella. Danko was our server. It was if it was his restaurant. His goal was to be sure that we had a memorable experience. Food was authentic Italian, and they were all about the customer. We sat outside and had great views of the water. A very pleasant evening!!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good italian!
    ItalianfoodloverVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    This was the first time at Stella Italian Fare. we sat inside because all of the outdoor tables near heaters were full. They didn't have our name on their reservation list until I told them I had made the reservation through Open Table. I guess that list is separate and may explain why they didn't honor my request for seating. Wait staff were very good, food was excellent, and i would definitely go back there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Stella's!
    Teach
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Stella's has become our favorite 'special occasion' restaurant. EXCELLENT food. "Donko" is a great waiter!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dburke22VIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Stella is getting its groove. The food was delicious (nut-crusted yellowfin and fresh pappardelle with a lamb ragu) and the server was knowledgeable, friendly and poised. However, the wine list had changed and had not been printed, and our OpenTable reservation had disappeared/not been recorded(?).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.