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Overall ratings and reviews
4.0based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.0
service
4.3
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EB
vipErinB
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious gourmet food options, right on the beach, with warm fires to keep you comfy.

DN
DebraN
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Mike was our most awesome waiter!! He was very attentive, professional, great personality, and well groomed. Mike sold us on the 14 oz. steak with bacon mashed potatoes and the scallops, shrimp, and lobster mashed potatoes. The chef cooked everything to perfection. The ambiance was picture perfect. We ate outside on the patio overlooking the sparkling bay and watched the amazing sunset unfold. I would strongly recommend this restaurant to all.

M
Monica
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Acqua California Bistro is a great little place to have lunch in a resort-style setting in the heart of San Diego's Mission Bay. Prices are high for what you get though... I had a mixed green salad for $10 and all it was was a cup of mixed greens from a bag placed inside a couple of cucumber strips which wrapped like a mini-bowl (best thing about the salad itself). Seriously it was less than about 50 cents of ingredients, with nothing else added. My date had the hamburger which he said was pretty good although he didn't seem overly thrilled and it cost $16. So if you are going for ambiance, then this is the place. Food and prices, not so much.

MF
MarF
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Although the outdoor seating was in a lovely location on the water, the service was incredibly slow and the food was lukewarm when it arrived. I had the Steak Frites, very tasty but cold, and my friend had the pasta with short ribs (which she did love). We had asked for our drinks from the bar to come to the table and for some bread...it took 20 minutes after several requests and no waiter. Very disappointing.

T
Teresa
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Terrible service and terrible food. Apparently there was a large party there and they were understaffed waiters and chefs. Took 30 min to get a glass of wine and then they still forgot my husband’s beer. The menu was limited to all guests due to the party but nothing was mentioned when making reservations. It was almost two hrs before we got our pasta, which was not cooked. Pasta was still crunchy as if they just dumped it out if the box and poored the sauce over it hoping it would cook it. During that time two other parties got up and left because they hadn’t even taken their order. People next to us could not eat their burgers and fries either. We got up and left and offered to pay for the drinks but not paying for the uncooked food. The manager ended up comping our drinks and apologizing but if they cannot manage large parties along with people with reservations they need to close it to the public on those nights. They have a prime location but it is poorly ran and we will never go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food with even better service. The best thing about this restaurant is the ambiance

JB
vipJackiB
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Lovely atmosphere. I am a local but I always feel like I am on vacation when I come here.

JC
JackieC
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is absolutely stunning and such great quality! The service was great, Moses our server was very knowledgeable of the products he was servicing!

T
vipTreat
Philadelphia
25 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and delicious food. Outside view was excellent

AO
AOSD
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall3food5service4ambience3

My family and I sat outside for their Mother’s Day Brunch. We were disappointed with having to wait an hour to be seated when we had reservations scheduled days prior and were poorly quoted 15 min for our table to be ready. Not to mention paying for mimosas while waiting when that in itself was included in the $58 meal ticket to eat at the restaurant. The hostess was not friendly whatsoever and I was uncomfortable to approach her as I kept overhearing her say people with reservations were trying to “jump the line”, where it was really just customers wondering why it’s a 30+ min wait with a reservation. But once we got sat I have to say our service was amazing. Steven and Juan assisted and they were delightful. We sat outside by the window to the beach and the view was amazing, although it was incredibly hot and there were no umbrellas available to shade my family. By overall food was amazing and we would likely return.

DY
DanielleY
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Mother's Day brunch was spectacular. The wait staff was so attentive and friendly, and the live music was an excellent touch. Food and food displays were magnificent! Lots of options and the staff overall was extremely accommodating.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the best experience at Acqua! Not only was our server attentive, but he really made sure that we had everything we needed and more! The filet was cooked PERFECTLY medium rare and the pork chop had so much flavor.

My mom is town visiting and we wanted to take her out to a nice dinner with a view. If you are looking for either of those, I highly recommended Acqua. The ambiance is so relaxing. The staff is wonderful, the food is amazing and the view tops it off!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience3

Food was excellent and server was so polite but short staffed. Took 10min for someone to get drinks, 40min for lunch (its sandwiches people) and 15min to get the bill.

IN
INNAK
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience2

Food was overpriced, no taste, no presentation.
I ordered Chicken breast and it was too salty. My husband's Sword fish was too dry,Ceaser salad wasn't even chopped, just 4 huge chunks of lettuce with sauce on a top.

EL
EdwardL
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Overpriced for what we got. Could have found better food in a fast food restaurant. The service was amiable and the ambiance nice. Restaurant seems like it is designed for tourists who will never come back, and for people attending meetings and eating on an expense account. I can't see any local, who will pay out of pocket, wanting to come back.

M
Mike
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

No red or brown beer.
Waiters standing outside talking to each other alot.
Food potions were small

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

The food was absolutely excellent for everyone who ordered different items. not one complaint in our entire group of 8 people. Service was excellent. our only real complaint was about the air conditioning inside was too cold and our entire table had a breeze, and outside the night before had too few heat lamps.

S
vipSabrena
San Diego
206 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Lovely restaurant with a beautiful sunset view and excellent service. Unfortunately the food wasnt as good as everything else. The lamb was cooked perfectly but the green curry deterred from the tasty meat and the vegetables were under cooked. Similarly, the rock fish was great but the lobster sauce was so salty I had to scrape it away (and I usually use a fair amount of salt). It was served with "crispy" smashed potatoes that were actually burned crisp and again, vegetables that were under cooked. The best salad was just okay. I think it could have used a little more sweet--maybe more candied pecans or some fruit. The little neck clams and the chocolate terrine were delicious.

M
Mev1203
Naples
6 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience2

It was terrible food, terrible service and would never go back. Yuk!

LS
LaurieS
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Service can be slow as they get busy.

g
gr8dining
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We chose this restaurant for Valentine's Day dinner and were not disappointed. The food was amazing, our waiter was very friendly and helpful, and the restaurant was very nicely decorated for Valentine's Day. The only thing that I would suggest is replacing the tables for two with smaller ones. We were sitting kind of far apart from each other and it wasn't as intimate as it could have been.

M
Manny
Dallas
10 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very nice restaurant at the Hilton Resort & Spa. It was a little chilly to eat outside so we ate in the main dining room. Service was friendly and attentive. We had the lump crab cake, a salad, and the jumbo shrimp and scallops. Each serving was delicious. I would recommend this restaurant!!!

C
Cathy
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

So nice to let us hang out while waiting for our ride home. Nice cozy place with a lovely view. Thank you!

l
luxurygirl
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We dined last Thursday night for my husbands 60th birthday and it did not disappoint. We had 6 guests total. The food is consistently good and we so appreciated the complimentary champagne and Amuse-Bouch.
The icing on the cake was our waiter Moses! if you go be sure to ask for him. His service and attention to detail is exceptional. It’s clear that he truly enjoys what he does and takes great pride in giving his guests the best possible serve. His wait staff was spot on.
We would highly recommend.

PH
vipPeteH
Dallas
8 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall1food2service1ambience2

The service at this restaurant was absolutely horrible. We were seated (at a table in the far corner outside) and the hostess had a fairly unpleasant attitude. Our waiter took 10 minutes to even take our order and it was another 10 to 15 before our mimosas showed up (and they weren’t good). Our appetizer finally showed up after 45 minutes but our food still wasn’t out after an hour. We left rather than stay. The restaurant was too pricey as well.

RG
RowenaG
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Nice waterside dining. Casual and relaxed and can even have a walk after.

MB
MarianaB
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall3food5service1ambience5

Food was great, the service was terrible. It seemed like they didn't have enough people working.

g
gahiii
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall3food4service3ambience5

My wife and I went here during San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW). The location is excellent, at the Hilton Resort & Spa. We sat outside, which overlooks Fiesta Island and Mission Bay. There are nearby walking/jogging paths that are great for people watching. We were seated just before sundown on a beautiful clear night. The setting was great.

I ordered from the special SDRW menu--Mussels for the first course, Scallops for the second course, Banana Bread Pudding for desert. My wife ordered from the regular menu--Burrata & Heirloom Tomato salad, Linguini Pasta with seafood for the main course. For good measure, I also ordered the soup of the day, New England Clam Chowder.

The clam chowder was pretty ordinary, although it did contain fresh corn kernals which was a surprise. The Mussels were very good, although it was served without a side bowl for discarding the used shells. Having to discard the shells in the same bowl in which the dish was served when combined with the evening darkness made it difficult to know whether I extracted all of the seafood from the shells. The scallops were outstanding--perfectly cooked. The plate only contained two scallops, but they were large. In all the plate was satisfying. My wife enjoyed her dishes as well.

The service was very slow. I looked around and noticed that other guests were also waiting for their food and drinks. By the time the wait staff cleared our second courses, my wife and I were ready to leave. I asked the server to pack up the desert to go. They did so and we left. When I unpacked the dessert at home, it was completely unattractive and unappetizing.

This is a San Diego style fine dining establishment, meaning that while the restaurant is elegant (and pricy) guests are relaxed and casually dressed. The highlights of the evening were the entrees. The biggest area for improvement is the timing of the various courses and drinks.

D
Disappointed
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Only complaint was that the restaurant did not have our open table reservation. I even showed them my reservation on my cell phone and confirmation number. The were able to seat us with no problem. They need to get their act together if they want to use Open Table. Maybe you all could forward this comment to the restaurant.

l
luxurygirl
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our second night dining here and once again it did not disappoint! First and foremost be seated in Moses section. He and his waitstaff are wonderful! We all enjoyed the prefix selections and they were delicious. My husband had the steak and I the chicken with polenta. The Butternut squash soup with lobster and beautifully presented and delicious!

l
luxurygirl
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our family had a celebration of life dinner last night on the patio that was outstanding! Moses was and is our favorite waiter and was exceptional! We can’t wait for tonight to dine again!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall4food2service4ambience5

Overall the experience was good, the server was very servicial, the ambience was calm and enjoyable. But the food wasn't great. We were a party of 4 celebrating a birthday. We order the bluechesse burger, the pork chop, the fussili paste and the steak and fries. The pork chop was overcooked and dry. The burger was also overcooked, I order it medium and received it well done. The fussili pasta was overly saucy, you couldn't enjoy 3 consecutive bite because you'll be all cloyed after it.
They need to enforce their taste.

J
vipJanet
San Francisco
107 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall1food1service4ambience4

I think we caught Acqua on a bad night because we chose it based on reviews. It is a lovely setting, right on the water, and our waitress was upbeat and helpful, but our food was simply not good - chewy / dry chicken, lamb chops that were tasteless, chewy and dry on the largest bed of broccoli I've ever seen - just to fill the plate. The vegetables were tasteless and while not overcooked, seemed like they'd been waiting to be served for way too long. It took so long to come that we asked for bread - that also took ages to come, but this didn't matter because the food still didn't come for another 20 minutes - 1 hour and 20 minutes before our food finally arrived - meantime we had a cocktail - the tonic was flat in the gin and tonic and the Manhattan was over loaded with vermouth. A glass of wine ordered as our food finally arrived, didn't come until we had finished our meal. This was supposed to be a special, celebration dinner and instead it was disappointing and almost embarrassing. I'm sure there was something going on in the kitchen but some honesty could have gone a long way. It was really a shame that our special evening was spoiled by our choice of restaurant - despite the nice waterfront/outdoor setting. Oh well. It was only a dinner - a 1st world problem!

PT
vipPeteT
Dallas
5 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Other than the view and the patio there is no reason to go to this restaurant. The food was bad and the service was worse. Avoid!!!

G
vipGeorge
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The restaurant is great and the food and service are a cut above, however it was too pricey and won’t be back for dinner...maybe lunch or breakfast!

RR
RandyR
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall1food3service1ambience5

Overall and value ratings are underrated because of the poor service for the past several years which can spoil the good food provided and occasion. We are repeated customers, and after our recent experience, we will not return or recommend Acqua.

MD
vipMikeD
Denver
19 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Excellent food, well prepared and presented. The swordfish and venison special were outstanding, as was the appetizer. Very nice view and pleasant atmosphere. Reasonable wine list. I’d recommend but it will be expensive and service tends to be slow.

l
vipluvfoodandtennis
San Diego
17 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Breakfast buffet which lasted until 11:30 am was terrific. If you like bacon I highly recommend it:)

RG
RyanG
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2018
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The food was absolutely delicious! We ordered a couple appetizers, the goat cheese and Crostinis and the tuna tartare. Both great flavors! Presentation was on point as well. We then received a couple salads, the burrata caprese and mixed greens salad. The greens salad could have used a little extra tomatoes and olives but all were delicious. Entrees were wonderful as well. The venison loin was tender and red cabbage full of flavor. My wife had the scallops and prosciutto wrapped shrimp, she demolished the whole thing! The service also was executed well. Mike was our server and he was attentive and proffesional. He allowed us to enjoy our evening without hovering or making us feel rushed. Will definitely recommend this to anyone in the area! We also recommend setting a sign out back by the water where so many people run by. Hate to see a place like this lose business where it could so easily be captured. Thank you!

D
vipDiner
San Diego
22 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Beautiful location. I felt like I was in Hawaii! We were there for Sunday brunch on Mother’s Day. The brunch was very good but expensive.

FAQs

Acqua California Bistro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 275-7922.

Acqua California Bistro is rated 4 stars by 238 OpenTable diners.