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  • Tapenade

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Tapenade Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.tapenaderestaurant.com
  • Email: info@tapenaderestaurant.com
  • Phone: (858) 551-7500 x1
  • 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: French, Mediterranean, 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 (858) 551-7500 x101
  • Special Events & Promotions: 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "I took my girlfriend out to dinner at Tapenade to try something interesting in La Jolla. The food is spectacular and the service was outstanding. My only complaint is that they brought out an amuse-bouche with ham in it after my girlfriend told our waiter that she is a pescetarian. All and all through Tapenade is a lovely, high-end restaurant that I would recommend. I will definitely be back. "
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Drinks were excellent as well as the appetizers (smoked salmon & beef carpaccio) . I had the boar (good) and could have sworn it was prepared differently when I had the same entree 2 weeks earlier. Service was great at the beginning but was extremely poor at the end. Waited forever for our desserts and when they finally arrived (with melted ice cream on the cold apple tart), our coffees were equally cold. I have mixed thoughts about returning to The Tapenade."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Tapenade has been one of my favorite restaurants for about 20 years - it is therefore painful for me to feel that I need to tell you how poor my last experience was. My escargot were cold as were the ravioli - I chose to do nothing because of numerous good experiences in the past. The service was condescending and due to the noise difficult to hear. It will be a VERY long time before I return"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Same problem as last visit ... the food's so good it seems an extra shame that the staff isn't trained to give service that's on a par with it. If you offer (and are actually known for) a tasting menu, DON'T make the customers have to ask specially to see what it is!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We chose to sit at a bistro table in the bar as we were in the mood for a more casual atmosphere. Service was friendly and charming. The room was a little cold (temperature) and we all commented on it. Food was excellent - mussels and frites, bouillabaisse, salmon, and their famous wild mushroom ravioli. This is one of our favorite restaurants."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We had the cassoulet and the wild boar main dishes. The cassoulet was OK, but nothing special and very bland. the boar was dry as a bone and tasted like overcooked beef sirloin tips. We started with a non-menu salad, which was pleasant, but simple, composed of mixed greens and light vinaigrette dressing. At $9 per salad, it was overpriced."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "This was the first time that my wife and I had dined here in the evening. We did have lunch here once before and found both occasions fantastic. The food here is outstanding and well worth the price. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone who enjoys great French food."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Excellent cuisine, original, creative, and delicate."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My family and I like to lunch at the Tapenade , The meals are well prepared with a special French touch we appreciate very much. The service is impeccable. The atmosphere is quiet. Whenever my children come to San Diego we like to enjoy a succulent meal in a simple but pleasant décor and ambiance. Their visit is an occasion for me to treat them at the Tapenade, a little bit of France where I was born and lived( in Reims Champagne Province.) Jacqueline Mongeot"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Always a pleasure to dine at Tapenade -- delicious courses beautifully presented with first-rate service. We will be back!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We can always depend on Tapenade for it's authenticity and care in preparation. Lamb special was delicious, as were the scallops."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "great night, great food, great service "à la française" : they bring you free "petits fours" before and after the meal, they won't constantly come to ask you how is your diner, and they won't bring you the check unless you ask for it"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Food is mediocre Service is good Overpriced San Diego has better restaurants much more reasonably priced. This one attempts to be a class A dining experience but the food remains at the level of a C grade.Very disappointing."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "This is, and has remained my favorite restaurant for nearly half a decade. The food is beyond compare, as are the cocktails. I've never had a dining experience here that was anything less than exquisite. The food is so expertly balanced, so beautifully prepared that you are taken aback by the pure artistry of each bite. The staff has the perfect mix of friendly and professional. Their smiles and conversation are genuine, and they will not constantly affront you during the meal with that dreaded "...and how's everything going here?". The ambiance is sophisticated, modern and elegant, a perfect place to entertain friends, family, or just enjoy a table for one."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "We spend part of each winter in La Jolla and Tapenade is always a "must" for us. This time, we began with Escargot, traditionally and wonderfully prepared, and moved on to the Monkfish special and the Veal Osso Buco Plat de Jour. Both were enjoyable, especially the Osso Buco, which was prepared in a flavorful Milanese sauce. We accompanied the meal with a bottle of Crozes-Hermitage from the nice selection of wines. Our waiter, Karim, has served us before, and is always professional and friendly."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "The food was exceptional. I had a lobster bisque followed by the pasta of the day - both were beautifully done. My wife had a monk fish that she raved about. Our wait staff was excellent. The kitchen was unusually slow, but the wait staff was attentive enough that it didn't cause an issue. One would think the restaurant would be noisy because of its high ceilings and open room, but the sounds were effectively muffled by ceiling draping. We are from out of town and feel fortunate to have discovered this gem."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Tapenade never disappoints. Very good food to enjoy with your loved ones in a quiet setting. I always go there either with my wife or another couple and they have great service. I highly recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "The scallops were to die for! I heard very positive comments about the salmon."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "So we booked a reservation for 5. We were meeting friend we hadn't seen for awhile. We got there and were pleasantly greeted and ushered to a section off to the side where there was a large round table . The area could be sectioned off with a drape so it was like a private room. We could hear each other speak! That is so rare in today's restaurants, We each ordered an appetizer, main course and dessert. Excellent. The house pate was delicious with a touch of sweet. The duck roll unbelievable! The special for the night was duck, the fish was Monk fish. No one was disappointed. And then there was the dessert! Too good! The service, the ambience, the food! Wonderful. I would definetly go again and have a,ready recommended."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "This was our 8th year spending Valentine's Day at Tapenade and it most certainly won't be our last. The food is always superb and the staff is friendly."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Visited on Valentine's evening. The food and service was great. The seating was very tight as it seemed they squeezed extra tables in the main dinning room so the people on either side were literally right next to you making it hard to have a private conversation. I have been here on other nights and the seating was not as tight or close together."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Delicious french food with a wonderful atmosphere for a date night."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We like our duck roll so much that we asked for a second helping."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "Extremely attentive wait staff. Very good meal preparation. Had the casserole, the Thursday entre, very good. Wife had monk fish, also very good. Appetizers of mussels and pate, very good. Great service. All of which is a bit pricey. Will be back, for that special occasion."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "A restaurant we enjoy coming back to when in La Jolla. Fantastic service and good French food."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "My husband and I went to Tapenade on a date before going to a play. We could not have picked a better place to start our night. Everyone was wonderful. We never wanted for anything. The food was spectacular! My husband and I both tried specials, I apologize I know very little about French food and cannot recall the names of our dishes. Everything is cooked to perfection. I have been here for lunch, and I've tried quite a few items on the menu; No matter what you choose - you will be thoroughly impressed and enjoy your meal immensely . The desserts are excellent as well - my husband and I treated ourselves. He had superb espresso with his dessert! We can't wait until our next date night at Tapenade!"
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Tapenade is alway a go to place for a special occasion. For that matter it is great on any occasion. Food is wonderful with European style service. I love the room- sleek and very French."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "Not nearly as good as it used to be. My steak was way overcooked. The apps were fine but nothing special. Prices demand better execution since there are so many great options in San Diego these days."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Been wanting to try this restaurant since it's always on San Diego Magazine's best and yelpers rate it high as well. We came during restaurant week two. Had to ask the waiter for the restaurant week menu because they gave us their regular menu when we were seated. Started with the cheese gougeres which were great. the amuse bouche was delicious. I must not be a pate fan because I didn't enjoy my app but the bf's mussels were fantastic. we were both satisfied with his coq au vin and my wild boar dinner. His profiteroles and my meyer lemon tartlette were a perfect ending to our meal."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "The only problem we encountered was the waiters English was limited. Gave miss information about some of the menu items."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "Steak like shoe leather, pasta like cardboard. Creme Bruleee was good but overall now I understand why restaurant was empty."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "Authentic, excellent, best food, service decor, French elegance, Best French restaurant in San Diego, no question aboput it !!! " LA VIE EN ROSE !!!!""
    Dined on 1/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "What a lovely spot. The food is always the best, the service perfect, and the entire experience memorable. One of the "finds" in La Jolla."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "I love French food and have eaten at many French restaurants around the US and in Europe - honeymooned in France multiple decades ago. Tapenade is one of the best I have been to anywhere, let alone in La Jolla, where we literally just moved from north county San Diego. Tapenade is our special occasion place, great food, not massive portions, good service, great French photos and ambiance and a bit of French spoken, un petite peu. The raviolis are outstanding, the steak frites or moule frites take me back to the Rive Gauche. The dining room is elegant, but can be a bit noisy since it's open. The bar is intimate and for a quick casual meal with a glass of wine a real find. Bon appetit!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "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."
    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"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Average French food. Certainly nothing to complain about. But far from anything to get excited about either."
    Dined on 1/11/2014