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 March 25 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (44)fit for foodies (40)neighborhood gem (31)romantic (29)notable wine list (23)great for lunch (15)good for groups (8)great for outdoor dining (5)great for brunch (5)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (2)hot spot (1)vibrant bar scene (1)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Mackey
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    This 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
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Absolutely Delicious
    luv2dine
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    Loved tapanade.... my meal was dvine and the service was stellar!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved lunch at Tapanade
    janemilyd
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Three friends and I met for lunch - we all loved our various selections. Recommend this restaurant highly!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    LuvgoodfoodVIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Tapenade 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Stunning
    EatingAround
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Thoroughly 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CHAS
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Tapenade 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • CalceeVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Always just the best! Tapenade is consistently wonderful: food quality and taste, service, ambiance. It is just a special restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • king1
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    WHY 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent French Restaurant
    Holly
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dining experience
    Susan
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    We 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:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great preparation, limited choice
    Packer39
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    We 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:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous steak!
    disappointedgirl
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food
    lovefood
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    The daily lunch pasta was amazing! Everything was fresh and flavorful. Service was also excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapenade always delights
    StephanieVIP
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    This 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • greateats
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    The 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:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Above average
    Cindy51
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mother's Day
    Seadog
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I have never been disappointed here. The menu was fixed for Mother's day, but was VERY nice. Service great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect evening out!
    Alpinefoodies
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    My 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    We 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 Jolla
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great French Food
    Trish
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    I 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:
    Late-Night Find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • French Bistro Soars
    JoMarie
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Dining 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:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place to go
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Nice place with very good food and reasonable prices
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always a pleasure
    Bingo
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Tapenade 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:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • LOVE IT !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    BEST FOOD, SERVICE, IF YOU ARE NOSTALGIC, MISSING PARIS BRASSERIE, BISTRO AMBIANCE, LOVE IT !
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Scenic View, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • another lovely lunch at Tapenade...
    SDDiner
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Historically 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:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapenade still the gem of La Jolla
    leendawoman
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    I 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:
    Romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OUTSTANDING..
    Sophia
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    LUCKY 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:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Love it !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined 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 bistro
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a pleasure.
    kms80
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    Dined 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:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Drinks were excellent as well
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fallen From Grace
    Bubbles
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We chose to sit at a bistro
    adie
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 41 ratings-only reviews submitted since March 25 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 771 reviews are from the Tapenade reviews archive.
  • Service Pales Next To Food
    PaulVIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • no fun
    trigny
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent cuisine, original,
    greateats
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Excellent cuisine, original, creative, and delicate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Restaurant
    finediner
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My family and I like to lunch
    Jacotte
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a pleasure to dine
    Foodie
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Always a pleasure to dine at Tapenade -- delicious courses beautifully presented with first-rate service. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapenade always delivers
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    We can always depend on Tapenade for it's authenticity and care in preparation. Lamb special was delicious, as were the scallops.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet