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Acqua Al 2 Ristorante

578 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic

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Acqua Al 2 Ristorante is a casual, elegant restaurant that serves traditional Italian classics in cozy settings. Helmed by Chef Ari Gejdenson, the menu features soups, salads, pasta dishes and delicious steaks. Beef enthusiasts will love the Filetto al mirtillo, a hand-carved medium-rare filet mignon paired with sweet blueberry sauce for a delicious balance of flavor.

In addition to its a la carte menu, Acqua Al 2 Ristorante offers the Assaggio di secondi -- a dinner menu option that allows guests to enjoy a chef-selected serving of three of the kitchen's most popular steaks. Acqua Al 2 Ristorante also offers the Assagio di insalata (a sampling of three salads), the Assagio di Dolci (a tasting of four desserts) and the Assagio di primi (a mix of five pastas). This restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Mondays to Sundays.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Italian, Mediterranean, Contemporary Italian
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Hours of operation
Dinner, Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
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Phone number
(619) 230-0382
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Martin Gonzalez
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Cross street
J Street and K Street
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Parking details
There’s a public lot across from the restaurant.
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Public transit
San Diego Trolley at Convention Center | One block south
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 578 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 30, 2016

Love it. Our favorite restaurant

bruinduo (Las Vegas)
5.0  Dined on January 29, 2016

Aqua Al 2 on 5th in San Diego's Gaslamp District was one of our favorites for special occasions. We loved their filet mignon with blueberry sauce and their pasta flights - along with a great wine list. We found out they were closing Jan 30th so we dined there one last time the night before. Had a nice chat with the owner/chef who said he would reopen another restaurant sometime in the future, so we will be sure to be on the lookout for it. Sad to see a great neighborhood restaurant close.

HugeDisappointment (Detroit)
1.0  Dined on January 16, 2016

Having eaten here previously, we were looking forward to a nice dinner. The atmosphere and noise level were good, but the food was terribly disappointing. The steaks we ordered were served at room temp, not hot. We sent them back and they came back the same--barely lukewarm. The creme brulee was soupy--not set at all. The service was terribly slow, as well. The manager was very apologetic, as was the server, however it was a huge disappointment. I think we'll skip this restaurant on our next visit to San Diego.

Datenight15 (San Diego)
4.0  Dined on January 16, 2016

I came with a group of 6. We tried the pasta appetizer and that was a good way to try different pastas. Some were really good, others were just ok. I got the chefs choice of three entrees. The filets were amazing, the chicken was mediocre in comparison to the beef! Our waiter seemed great at first but lost his flare as the dinner went on. Didn't remember which plate was medium well and median rare...big difference! Then just told us to cut into it, should be fine. Really?!?! Overall it was a good dinner. Nothing super spectacular. We've had better, less expensive Italian.

runza (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on January 7, 2016

The foos was tasty and authentic Italian.Good choices on menu. Excellent service from waiter who was from Brazil. The price for the dessert was a bit much considering the portion size. However, the main entrees were appropriately priced. Parking is hard to find and pricey.

Foodie22 (Toronto)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2015

We picked this restaurant because the reviews about the food were very good. Our experience was "average". The food was very bland. Out Server suggested the fielt with balsamic instead of the blueberry sauce. The balsamic sause was burnt and ruined the steak. We also ordered the was so salty it was also tough to eat. The pasat sampler is a great idea but again the pasta was very plain and lacking in taste - I would recommend the gorganzola pasta - I was very good!

We might try it again with the assumption it was an off night.

OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on December 30, 2015

Great food and service. Really enjoyed our meal!

OpenTable Diner (Orange County)
5.0  Dined on December 28, 2015

The food was amazing and the service was impeccable. Highly recommend to couples for dinner.

OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
2.0  Dined on December 12, 2015

We tried Aqua al 2 because it was billed as the best Tuscan restaurant in San Diego. We were puzzled once we got there and checked the menu. Where were the typical white beans, spinach, fresh egg noodles, prosciutto, game dishes? Not at Aqua al 2.

OK, there's still a lot of good Italian food that's not specifically Tuscan. But we found the menu selections rather ordinary. Lots of steak dishes, a couple of veal dishes, 2 or 3 chicken dishes that were on the plain side. No lamb, pork, salamis, or the game dishes that are often found on Tuscan menus. I asked if any of the pasta was "fatta in casa" (homemade), but was told-- a trifle snootily-- that no, the pasta came from Italy. You mean, like the dried stuff you can easily pick up in many stores yourself? To me, there's nothing like fresh pasta, and any restaurant worth returning to should have at least a couple of fresh pastas on the menu.

My husband's buffalo mozzarella and tomato appetizer was OK. I started with a salad that was overdressed with a thick dressing (not the simple oil and vinegar most Italians use) that swamped the greens. In retrospect, I should have returned the salad, but what can I say?-- I was hungry and didn't want to wait to re-order. (Service was also on the slow side.)

Since we were not interested in the steak selection, we ordered 2 pastas. Once was rather bland, the other not bad, but nothing to rave about. We didn't bother looking at the dessert menu.

Afterwards, I admit I was puzzled by this "Tuscan" restaurant and its popularity-- enough that I checked the website of the original restaurant in Florence. I was surprised to see that the menu was very similar to the one in San Diego. I concluded that the Aqua al 2 group are called Tuscan simply because the original happens to be located in Florence. But no Florentine would call it Tuscan!

Rungirl (San Diego)
5.0  Dined on December 11, 2015

We celebrated a birthday with dinner at Acqua Al 2 on Dec. 11 and the food was phenomenal. All 3 people in our party had the tasting menu and not one of us was disappointed. The waiter did an amazing job of describing each of the pastas and the meats to us and none of us could decide on a favorite item. The dessert sampler was the icing on the cake is one of the most amazing dining experiences we've ever had. Thank you Acqua Al 2 for a meal to remember!!!

Jewl (San Diego)
4.0  Dined on November 24, 2015

We found Acqua Al 2 in Florence, Italy and wanted to experience the restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarters. We enjoyed our meal in San Diego but still just not the flare of Italy! Italy's restaurant was much more quaint and tucked into a back neighborhood. So glad we went in San Diego and someday hope to visit our eastern restaurant in Washington DC! Service was good and our waitress was a delight. Can't remember her name but she lived in Reading, PA which is very close to us in Lancaster, PA. Had some lemoncello with prosecco!!! I could pretend I was back in Italy....... We didn't get to visit any restaurants in Little Italy so we can't make a comparison. Definitely worth trying.

vipMacaco (San Diego)
4.0  Dined on November 21, 2015

OK for a quick dinner. Food was good, but nothing special. It is a very convenient location for me because I live half a block away.

John (San Diego)
5.0  Dined on October 31, 2015

Aqua al 2 is one of our favorite restaurants, and a regular stop on our downtown excursions. The food is excellent Italian - start with the Eggplant Parmigiana, baked to perfection. Then either steak, chicken, or pasta - you can't go wrong. I prefer the Rigatoni Melanzane, while my wife loves the Pollo al Porto. But there are so many other choices to please all tastes. Ask for an outdoor table and enjoy the people-watching along 5th Avenue.

OpenTable Diner (Denver)
3.0  Dined on October 31, 2015

Sampled many pastas and nothing was exceptionally good. Disappointed that noodles were not homemade. The steaks however are quite good. My husband did the sample menu and all three meat samplings were good.

grilla (Caribbean)
3.0  Dined on October 24, 2015

eggplant parmigiana, delicious