Donovan's - La Jolla

4.7
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4115 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Steak
Donovan's rich and intimate ambiance is enhanced by world-class unobtrusive service. The Chef serves 100% USDA Prime beef 100% of the time. Donovan's wine list of over 700 wines features the best the world has to offer. Wine tasting dinners available.

We have inside seating with a view of La Jolla Cove and Outside Terrace seating with fire pit tables for dinner.
We have Happy hour every day along with Reverse Happy Hour from 9:00 pm to closing



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Sun - Thu 4:30PM - 5:30PM 8:15PM - 9:45PM

What 4115 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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DT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal. Excellent service Food was outstanding. Can't wait to return

CZ
New England
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fun birthday dinner this past Saturday night. The staff was amazingly friendly and made the evening more enjoyable. The food was great and the wine suggestion was spot on. The atmosphere was very nice. The food is pricey but we knew to expect that. The quality was excellent.
We plan to return as soon as we can!

r
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible service. It took an hour and half to get our meal.
Food was not good. "Prime" steak was not good quality (too much fat) and was well done when we ordered medium rare. The wedge lettuce was fresh, but the dressing was bland.
The place is tattered and feels dirty, unkept and worn.

VT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food2service2ambience3

We were sat at 6:45pm and didn’t get our dinner until close to 8:30! We weren’t offered an explanation, an appetizer, bread or anything. In fact our waiter avoided us. We asked for steaks cooked medium and it was rare! Not at all what I was expecting when spending over $200

OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really enjoyed the overall experience at Donovan’s. Food was amazing and service was too notch. We definitely will go again next time in the area

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service, food and view are amazing!

OT
San Diego
33 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

We were very disappointed with the experience. The waiter David was very courteous and professional but seemed to be getting pulled too many directions. Our appetizer came out after our salads, then it seemed as if we waited an eternity for our main course. During our meal it seemed as if we only saw a "busgirl". Additionally, an obnoxious party brought their own "music" into the restaurant and was allowed to play some lady singing in Italian. The gentleman who appeared to be the manager looked way over his head trying to get a handle on things. Looked like staffing and management issues.

EG
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

The food took over 40 minutes to arrive. Other than that, it was great food and great atmosphere.

p
Hawaii
14 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Our waitress would constantly look everywhere but towards us when talking to us.. other waiters continually wood bring orders from other tables to our table.. it isn’t what it used to be.

K
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

All in all a very good experience, seems that the quality of food and service has improved greatly over the past several months. Donovan's is in our rotation and we dine here or the Downtown location several times a year. Give them a try if you haven't done so recently, pleasantly surprised.

TD
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful views, amazing wine list, perfect, professional wait staff. Love this place. Ask for Victor - he is amazing.

K
San Diego
77 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our fourth evening out at the lovely Donovan's restaurant in La Jolla. Always outstanding! Our server, Jason, was excellent. We have always ordered steaks at Donovan's in the past. This time, my husband and I both opted for the halibut. Perfect portion, perfectly cooked. So fortunate to have this great restaurant close to home!!

SA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We needed to eat early and Donovan’s was available around 4:30. We were able to sit outside of the porch with a fire pit lit in the center of our table. We ordered off the happy hour menu and it was just perfection. Julian served with low key attentiveness and we were just impressed with everything. Wonderful food wonderful experience. Thank you Donovan’s.

JA
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary here, And boy did we make the right decision! Service was superb, food was outstanding and ambience can’t get any better than the view overlooking the ocean. Fantastic experience overall and will be dining here more often (can’t wait for the kids come visit us so we can take them)

U
San Diego
30 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was fantastic and we got a nice ocean view, which makes it even better. The service was excellent.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wait staff was excellent and the view was incredible:)

JS
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

disappointed in my filet. I ordered medium rare and it was cooked medium.

CR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent. Server Adam is the best of the best! Thank you for an enjoyable evening.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday/anniversary
Best lemon drop in San Diego, service and food unbeatable, our favorite place for special occasions

RY
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Donovan's has been our "go-to" place for special occasions for several years and this past Sunday was everything we go there for. We celebrated our 24th anniversary with a table by the window overlooking La Jolla cove. From the moment we came in we were treated like royalty and the meal was absolutely delicious! I recommend reservations to get the most from your experience. The staff are very good at fulfilling requests included within reservations.

J
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There was a problem with kitchen being backed up and food coming out slowly. It was our anniversary and I expressed disappointment at our celebration dinner being held up. The manager came to our rescue and made an upsetting experience a wonderful one! He got us to a table, gifted us with a split of fine champagne, treated us to an appetizer and by the time all that was done the kitchen had caught up and the rest of our wonderful dinner appeared. He really made an unhappy couple very happy! We LOVE Donovan’s for this very reason — they don’t let you have a bad experience...their customers always come first.

JH
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

steaks were good, but not great. potatoes the same.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

My boyfriend and I went there as a going away dinner before he deployed with the Army. As soon as staff found out, we had a manager come up and give us a $50 gift card as thank you for his service. The waitstaff was very attentive and personable. Food amazing as well (we are both used to a bit more seasoning on the vegetables but the Ahi tuna, lobster, and crab legs were absolutely delicious). At the end of the meal, when asked for a dessert menu, we were both absolutely stuffed and declined. They still came out with a delicious chocolate graham cracker ice cream dessert on the house. I had never had anything like it but it was absolutely delicious and just something extra they had decided to do for us. My boyfriend and I walked out agreeing that that was the best dining experience either of us had ever had. Definitely recommend. We even made jokes about how when he gets back from deployment, we’re going to just meet in San Diego and eat there for his first meal back.

DT
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal. Great service.

KE
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Steaks were great. One of the best rib eye steaks I've ever had. The au gratin potatoes were tasty as was the wine. Service was unobtrusive and efficient. We will go back.

F
Louisville
8 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Second time at Donavan’s! Love the food and view and David was an excellent waiter. Will be back for sure!

OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Their steaks are on the overcooked side so for e.g. if you usually get medium, then better order medium rare here.

P
Guadalajara
24 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Fui a cenar con mi hijo de 13 años.
Estuvo todo de maravilla! El servicio y la calidad de la comida fue muy buena, aún para una persona de 13 años.
La carta de vinos por copa es muy buena.

Report
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience2

40 minute wait between salad and main course. Too long.

D
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great food great place
Just wish they had organic veggies and salads
And beef is all corn fed! That is a big no no for me!
Most corn fed is GMO and really not good for the animals as well as humans for consumption
Please switch to Organic Grass fed beef from small farms!

RM
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite restaurant in the SD area. Ambience, views, food and service are all first class. Thanks to Victor, our expert server, for a perfect evening.

j
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

we love Donovan's La Jolla and especially server Jason, who is always so friendly and unpretentious, always recommends the best choices if we ask. Steak & lobster terrific as usual. We return as often as we can - it's our "go-to" place for special occasions

KH
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful location with excellent food and impeccable service!

GA
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Me and my husband were recommended Donovan’s from a friend as well as his father. We got there a little earlier than our reservation and were seated right away. Service was excellent, the restaurant itself was beautiful and so was the view! We split a NY because we weren’t that hungry, but it was fantastic! One of the better steaks we’ve had, and that’s including restaurants like Morton’s, Fleming’s, Ruth’s Chris and Mastro’s. Not to mention the sides were delicious as well! It was the highlight of the food we ate while in San Diego for a couple days. We live about an hour away and were even talking about going back to eat, and coming home the same night. Will definitely go back and bring friends/family with us. Wonderful experience! 😊

JS
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall3food5service3ambience4

I was unimpressed by the quality of service and the overall ambiance. The food was good and well prepared but unexciting. For the price, I expect something more. will not return.

OT
Mexico City
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, but the place and view were wonderful.

C
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my first time here. My boyfriend treated me to a fabulous dinner with an ocean view. We ordered a shrimp cocktail to start which was delicious. We then shared a rib-eye dinner with potatoes. The ribeye was cooked perfectly and the gravy on top of the potatoes topped off an an amazing meal. We ended our dinner with a yummy key lime pie. Overall this was a wonderful experience and cannot wait to come back.

S
Mexico City
6 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Good food, so so service, very high prices.

GG
New Mexico
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service. Great ocean views. Great Cajun steak. Thanks Donovan staff. We will return.
Gary G
El Paso

CG
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food great service. I could tell they were behind but the managers stepped in to help and it was wonderful.

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