7612 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037Neighborhood:
La Jolla / Golden Triangle
FrenchPrice: $31 to $50
- 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.
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
Tapenade reviews from OpenTable diners
76 reviews since April 2 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (47)fit for foodies (42)neighborhood gem (34)romantic (33)notable wine list (24)great for lunch (16)good for groups (9)great for outdoor dining (6)great for brunch (5)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (2)vibrant bar scene (2)hot spot (1)scenic view (1)Show More
- Typical French snobsamccVIPDined on 7/24/2014used to love this place. they have gone off the deep end with an empty restaurant inside not letting you sit at another table at 6pm. the typical french refrain "we are fully booked". we were out of there in 1 1/2 hrs and the table we wanted was still empty as were many of the other tables. go for the food but definitely not for the service or the french attitude. it is annoying.
- The place is amazingOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/22/2014This is not a romantic place, but it was still nice having a dinner date there. Food was delicious, service was excellent. Definitely worth it.Special Features:
- MackeyDined on 7/19/2014This restaurant won't last much longer. THE QUALITY has gone downhill. They didn't have 3 drinks we wanted. Lobster bisque was terrible. Ravioli mediocre. Over all it was a very disapointing experience. Used to ve much better 8 years a go
- Absolutely Deliciousluv2dineDined on 7/14/2014Loved tapanade.... my meal was dvine and the service was stellar!Special Features:
- Loved lunch at TapanadejanemilydDined on 7/10/2014Three friends and I met for lunch - we all loved our various selections. Recommend this restaurant highly!Special Features:
- DisappointingLuvgoodfoodVIPDined on 7/9/2014Tapenade has zero ambience. Two elderly women and their voices, at separate tables, dominated the sounds in the restaurant. My wife's dinner was acceptable. My lamb was so tough it couldn't be eaten. I was still charged for the returned dinner. The menu hadn't seen any recent creativite modifications for at least several decades. One might suspect it's resting on its reputation of years gone by. Certainly, nothing about either the atmosphere or the food warranted the high prices charged. La Jolla has many excellent restaurants, I wouldn't include Tapenade among them.
- StunningEatingAroundDined on 6/29/2014Thoroughly enjoyed our evening here. It's unusual these days to find a place with such classy ambiance and quiet enough to really enjoy the company of your dining partner. The wait staff was friendly and offered excellent suggestions. One of my new favorites in La Jolla.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- CHASDined on 6/28/2014Tapenade brings a touch of France to the village of La Jolla without being pretentious. The menu is a perfect mixture of seasonal offerings combined with regular favorites, such as the Mushroom Raviolis and other first course choices. And there always is a remarkable soup selection. The wine list is a sampler of French and California wines with a nice balance between decent wines at moderate price points and more expensive choices for the congnoscenti. I have never had a mediocre meal at Tapenade, and I am looking forward to my next return visit.Special Features:
- CalceeVIPDined on 6/28/2014Always just the best! Tapenade is consistently wonderful: food quality and taste, service, ambiance. It is just a special restaurant.Special Features:
- king1Dined on 6/19/2014WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME FOR A REVIEW WHEN YOU ONLY ASKED ME TO RATE THE RESTAURANT…THIS MAKES THE WHOLE THING MORE TROUBLE….WON'T ANSWER MORE IF THIS IS ALL YOU WANT….Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent French RestaurantHollyDined on 6/12/2014We enjoyed this restaurant. The service was pleasant and professional. The food was superb. The restaurant was quiet, but not icily quiet. They could do more with the atmosphere and ambiance, but it is fine.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dining experienceSusanDined on 6/12/2014We celebrated an anniversary here. Loved it! Service and food were excellent. Well worth a trip into La Jolla but we live here, so very convenient for us.Special Features:
- Great preparation, limited choicePacker39Dined on 6/10/2014We dined at Tapenade for my wife's birthday. It had been recommended by several people. The ambiance was quite nice and the service was superb. What we ordered was also well-prepared and very tasty, especially the tart for dessert and the wild boar for the entree. Our main problem is that neither of us can eat shellfish, and the menu tended to be very heavily oriented that way, with every fish dish featuring a shellfish sauce and also shellfish on many salads. Therefore our choices were limited and not sure how soon we would return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous steak!disappointedgirlDined on 5/31/2014The tournedos with frites (3 out of 4 at our table ordered them) were outstanding! If you crave beef - you've found the right place!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing foodlovefoodDined on 5/21/2014The daily lunch pasta was amazing! Everything was fresh and flavorful. Service was also excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tapenade always delightsStephanieVIPDined on 5/19/2014This elegant and welcoming place just works beautifully -- lovely service, wonderful food, an interesting menu, a pretty dining room, a nice location, and easy parking.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- greateatsDined on 5/11/2014The cuisine at Tapenade is excellent, delicate, tasty and light. While based on the French tradition it is original and creative. Considering the high quality of the ingredients and preparations, prices are appropriate; but for us they are high. A "menu" in the French sense (Price Fixed) would be welcome, outside of special occasions. We would eat at Tapenade more often if it offered such a menu.Special Features:
- Above averageCindy51Dined on 5/11/2014We went for Mother's day brunch and found the food to be very good, but not the best in LaJolla and certainly came with the LaJolla price tag. Service was outstanding. I don't think I will go back however because there are so many places to choose from and this one is a bit too forgettable.
- Mother's DaySeadogDined on 5/11/2014I have never been disappointed here. The menu was fixed for Mother's day, but was VERY nice. Service great.Special Features:
- Perfect evening out!AlpinefoodiesDined on 5/9/2014My husband and I stumbled upon Tapenade while searching for a La Jolla area restaurant. The service was impeccable, the food delicious, the ambiance perfect. We will be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding !OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 4/29/2014We had not been here for awhile but were thoroughly impressed with our dinner the other night. The menu choices were outstanding and the food delicious, It was outstanding. The service was great and our waiter was very helpful in terms of wine and food suggestions. I have to agree with the other reviews that this is the best restaurant in la JollaSpecial Features:
- Great French FoodTrishDined on 4/27/2014I enjoyed the ambiance and the food. The employees were friendly and accommodating. The food was flavorful and portions were bigger than I expected. I had the wild boar and mushroom ravioli. Both were delicious. Will repeat!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- French Bistro SoarsJoMarieDined on 4/26/2014Dining at Tapenade, we thought we were in France. Big posters of French scenes filled one wall. The food is classic French cuisine, which was excellently prepared and beautifully plated. The service was terrific. We can't wait to dine at Tapenade again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Place to goOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 4/19/2014Nice place with very good food and reasonable pricesSpecial Features:
- Always a pleasureBingoDined on 4/19/2014Tapenade never let's you down. Great menu, great food, and genuine European style service. I love the room. One of my favorites for a long time.Special Features:
- LOVE IT !OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 4/18/2014BEST FOOD, SERVICE, IF YOU ARE NOSTALGIC, MISSING PARIS BRASSERIE, BISTRO AMBIANCE, LOVE IT !Special Features:
- another lovely lunch at Tapenade...SDDinerDined on 4/18/2014Historically I think of going to a good French restaurant for dinner to celebrate or for an indulgent treat. Tapenade is such a lovely place to meet a friend for lunch and a good value when you consider the quality of the ingredients, the service and ambiance. You would spend the same amount at popular lunch places that are noisy, providing indifferent service and food cooked without love. Have a civilized, lovely lunch at Tapenade and you will be relaxed and very pleased.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tapenade still the gem of La JollaleendawomanDined on 4/17/2014I haven't been to Tapenade in many years even though we live here in La Jolla. I guess other "trendy" places distracted us. Tapenade has gotten even better. We had a spectacular experience with the tasting menu on Thursday. The food was an inventive twist on traditional French dishes with outstanding results on par with dinners I have had at the finest restaurants in Europe. They started us off with a crab mango salad in a coconut foam. Then monkfish Ballantine rolled in a wafer thin eggplant. The main course was the venison medallions huckleberry sauce; delicious.Great service.Highly recommended.We will definitely be coming back more often for innovative dishes expertly prepared by an experienced chef right here in our neighborhood.Special Features:
- OUTSTANDING..SophiaDined on 4/17/2014LUCKY LA JOLLA to have such a gem in your community. My experience at Tapenade is always the best in town. ALWAYS. As soon as we step in I can feel a positive energy, the service, not stressed but focused, they know what they are doing whether it is a busy evening or quieter, between a Monday and a Saturday experience, there is definitely a difference in the scene, however the food is one of the essences of success. The puff cheese Gougeres slowly melting in your mouth washed by a sip of Champagne, followed by lamb sliders and golden crispy French fries with a perfect Vacqueyras. I am already craving for more real Bistro food experiences or other Chef Diot's seasonal food creations.Special Features:
- Love it !OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 4/16/2014"We decided to try Tapenade for my wife's birthday. It was perfect for a special occasion. The food was exceptional; delicious, sophisticated, and unique. We particularly enjoyed the duck special ,scallops, and profiterolles. Want to check the bar menu, the place was packed ! A rigth bank Parisian bistroSpecial Features:
- Always a pleasure.kms80Dined on 4/16/2014Dined with friends (who had never been before) for my husband's birthday. Dinner at Tapenade is always a treat we look forward to...probably our favorite and most consistently fine dining experience in San Diego. All enjoyed all courses of their dinners. Two of us had the lamb and we both felt the texture was quite "chewy" (hate to say tough), although the flavor was excellent. Service is always impeccable. Decor is comfortable, but could be warmed up a bit. Would be nice if main dining area had a more intimate feel. Would highly recommend to anyone who appreciates fine dining.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Drinks were excellent as wellDaveVIPDined on 4/10/2014Drinks 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.
- The following 773 reviews are from the Tapenade reviews archive.
- Fallen From GraceBubblesDined on 3/29/2014Tapenade 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 returnSpecial Features:
- We chose to sit at a bistroadieDined on 3/28/2014We 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service Pales Next To FoodPaulVIPDined on 3/28/2014Same 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- no funtrignyDined on 3/27/2014We 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.
- Excellent cuisine, original,greateatsDined on 3/22/2014Excellent cuisine, original, creative, and delicate.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great RestaurantfinedinerDined on 3/22/2014This 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.Special Features:
- My family and I like to lunchJacotteDined on 3/21/2014My 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 MongeotSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always a pleasure to dineFoodieDined on 3/21/2014Always a pleasure to dine at Tapenade -- delicious courses beautifully presented with first-rate service. We will be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.