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
74 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 (49)fit for foodies (46)neighborhood gem (38)romantic (35)notable wine list (19)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
  • The best in San Diego
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Tapenade is probably the best restaurant in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • delish
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The food was excellent. Service was outstanding. Down-side was that we were in a corner of the room where there was no circulating air, so it was quite warm leaning toward uncomfortable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • AMAZING
    MiCoJ
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The food was impecable!! My wife got the Lobster with corn and Valinna foam (INSANE) and I go tthe English Pea Risotto with Diver Clams (AMAZING). I highly reccomend this hidden gem to all foodies. We were with our small children and was amazed at their quality and technical abilities. You do not want to sleep on this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food and service
    Luvgoodfood
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    We thought the filet was great, but were disappointed that neither the wild boar nor venison, which we were looking forward to, we're available.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food, great service
    breeze
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    we enjoyed a wonderful evening of food and service. The young lady serving us was informative, friendly and made a real difference. I will go back again when in the la Jolla area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    Sdeats
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    This is a fabulous restaurant sure to take your taste buds back to France. While there aren't breathe taking views of the ocean here, the food justifies the cost, which is in line with La Jolla. We started with the Maine Jonah Crab, which was light and flavorful. My wife had the scallops, which turned out to be the best scallops wee have ever had. Moist, perfectly browned and full of flavor. I had the duck, which was again cooked to perfection and full of flavor. We had two deserts, Crepes Suzette and Meyers Lemon Tartlette. If you only have room for one and like a tart dish go with the Suzette, otherwise the Tartlette is light and refreshing! Either way you can't go wrong.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Back to a Gem
    SaintGabrielRusty
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Having moved far away from La Jolla, we don't get to dine at The Tapenade routinely any more. So, it was a special treat to return to the Tapenade for dinner recently. The food was exquisite. The servers were friendly but not obsequious. The decor had been changed since our last visit and is even more chic than it was before. I had the mushroom-filled raviolis as an appetizer and they were even better than I remembered and better than those I had enjoyed in Paris. My wife and I have never been disappointed at this gem of a restaurant and we were delighted to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best of the Best
    VictoriaVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We have some excellent French restaurants in this town but Tapenade is consistently fabulous. Great service and the toughest part of the evening is trying to decide what to order because it's all so delicious and perfectly presented. Great wine list.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Left wanting at Tapenade
    Francophiles
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Food dull & unimaginative at best. Not French! Not even close!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Service was attentive and unobtrusive. Food well-done French classics. Perfect for an Anniversary dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • At Last, Fine Dining
    Ambrosia
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    And I thought the good old days of fine, QUIET, dining were gone forever. Thank heavens for the atmosphere at Tapenade, a real place for grown ups who want to talk to each other during the meal and not have to shout across the table. Thank you, Tapenade, for not having loud music that you think must reach every corner of the dining area, thus forcing the conversations to grow louder to be heard over the music. A heavenly place with heavenly food and a polite staff that did not interrupt our conversation every five minutes. Please, wait staff everywhere: stand at the table and the guests will interrupt their conversation at the end of a sentence or thought. Really, they will acknowledge you in a few seconds.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JAWilson
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Tapenade is consistently the best French restaurant in San Diego. The food is excellent, the service, however needs polishing. It is no worst than other San Diego restaurants, but does not compare to the top restaurants in major cities. Until that is accomplished San Diego will still be considered a " second Class" restaurant dining destination. The service is too casual. I'm tired having my party being addressed as "You Guys".
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still a classic
    Pickspicks
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    It had been a few years since our last visit to Tapenade and we hoped it would be a good as we remembered. It wasn't just as good, it was better! The service was impeccable and the food delicious, from the appetizers to dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome as "toujours"
    Sophia
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We had an awesome dinner at Tapenade, again! The service is top notch, "brillantissime", Kara, Hadrien, Ludo and everyone else working there contributing to make this place one the greatest places to eat if not the greatest, THANK YOU for the attention hat you have. Tapenade is French "oui" so what? The food is marvelous.. "Oui, bien sur" and it is not only due to the fact it is French because there are mediocre French restaurants.. Tapenade has a consistency in greatness that is rarely found and that not everyone can perceive. If you do not perceive this, then you are missing the "substantifique moelle" Rabelaisienne of Tapenade. In our opinion, Tapenade is THE French restaurant of San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Celebratory Meal
    LoveFood
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Celebrating our anniversary at Tapenade. Great meal. Great service. Lovely extra touches. We'll be back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always pleases
    FoodieFreakVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    This restaurant is a favorite of ours and we are always pleased with the food and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Typical French snobs
    amccVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    used 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The place is amazing
    cesium
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    This 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 44 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 791 reviews are from the Tapenade reviews archive.
  • 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
    JoMarieVIP
    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