Nice restaurant, good food and convenient for theatre goers.
James Place is attractive physically, and, as it is located strategically between three UCSD theatres, it is an excellent spot for between, before, or after theatre experiences. Friend and I both ordered Tempura shrimp and Caesar salad appetizers to serve as dinner. That was plenty...and very tasty.
Very convenient for pre playhouse
I have eaten here several times and the food is always good. The playhouse was running two shows concurrently so the restaurant was quite busy. I have noticed in the past when this occurs, service tends to suffer. They try but the restaurant seems to get overwhelmed. Our reservations were two hours before the show and we barely made the curtain.
Generally OK; but not really special except great proximity to LaJolla Playhouse.
The food was excellent and the staff make sure you get out in time for your play...even if having desert ;-)
It is nice, but mostly convenient for La Jolla Playhouse. Ambiance is OK, food is OK, service is OK. Nothing to complaint really, but also nothing special, extraordinary or yummy. Just OK.
I had grilled salmon and it was delicious, and my husband had seafood linguine, which he also said was delicious. We love that James' Place has the perfect combination of lovely atmosphere, wonderful food, interesting bar drinks and wines, and is right next to the La Jolla Playhouse theaters!
Another good pre-theater dinner at James Place. We ordered different things this time and everything was very tasty. Presentation is great. Wish they would change up the menu a bit - we eat there often as we are subscribers to the Playhouse. We like that there is the sushi option in addition to a standard menu - makes it easier to tailor our order to how much we want to eat. The scallop risotto was excellent as was the Caprese salad. They do fish really well.
Small but decent happy hour. Cocktails and house wines were good. Loved the sushi.
The first thing I saw when I entered the theater was the stage. The props/stage was covered in brilliant colors and lights. The play was also colorful with each actor standing out on there own. It was hilarious, fun and raucous. I would love to come back and see it again to catch the lines the I missed.
It’s nice to have such a high quality restaurant co-located with the La Jolla Playhouse! Especially one with a variety of entrees and tastes - from sushi to steak.
The noise was a bit too energetic ..... I don't remember it being so loud previously.
Convenient if attending theater. Good food and beer choices.
Excellent selection and variety. Great place to go before the theater.
Food, service, noise level are all excellent. Perfect place for a pre-theater meal!
Restaurant is on UCSD campus in the theater district. Food is light and quite good. Overall, it is a nice experience and best for dinner before La Jolla Playhouse.
Good food quick service nice and convenient to the play venue.
If you are going to a play at La Jolla Playhouse this is the place to go. Good food, service and ambiance.
We had the calamari as an appetizer, which we frequently do, but their calamari was the best I think I’ve ever tasted. Very late batter and delicious.
Food all around was excellent.
Great restaurant wth very good food and excellent service.. especially before LJ Playhouse performance!!!
I had to return the pork chop because it was too tough. The green beans always need a bit more cooking, they are almost raw. Jason is a great waiter.
Darling waitress. Sashimi salad is terrific!
Good size menu, not overwhelming with healthy choices and definitely convenient if you are going to attend a play at the La Jolla Playhouse. Food was delicious with a unique flavorings. Service was excellent.
My BBQ shrimp appetizer was extraordinarily good with plump, large shrimp with a small amount of sauce that did not smother the great taste of the shrimp.
My grilled salmon main course was tasty but a little bit dry.
Service was attentive in a nice setting before attending a play.
Great spot for dining before a performance at the La Jolla Playhouse. Food is always good and the wait staff is friendly and efficient.
Before I tell you everything I liked I should state that for James' Place in particular you should call in advance to ensure there are no surprises or disappointments. A number of fellow diners, one group event walked, because they were not serving sushi. As I heard them explain it they only have a sushi chef on duty when more than one theater has a production going on. For me that wasn't an issue I wanted some of their incredible appetizers.
Though my experiences have had some disappointing results as well, once ordering a cocktail for which they didn't have the ingredients and twice more ordered appetizers they were unable to prepare for lack of ingredients. Just know before you go!!!!
What really keeps me coming back is the Buehler Chardonnay that I can't seem to find anywhere else. My wonderful server, John, started me with their Cucumber Ginger Martini made with vodka, fresh cucumber, ginger liquor and served extra chilled. Cold, refreshing and delicious with my first appetizer: Hibachi Hokkaido Scallop - northern Japanese scallops grilled, lemon creme sauce, on lemon slices with chuka salad and habanero tobiko. Yummy for scallop lovers!
From there I moved to the Buehler to pair with my Mini Ahi Poke Tacos - ahi tuna diced, mango diced, sesame poke sauce, chuka salad, avocado, wasabi aioli, mini wonton taco. This appetizer is always a good bet, fresh and delicious.
And for my grand finale, at John's suggestion, I had a glass of Twenty Rows Cabernet Sauvignon paired with the Steak Bites - grilled seasoned filet bites on very lightly toasted baguette slices with bearnaise sauce. Oh the decadence!!!
We love going to James the service food and ambience is always superb
Food is really going downhill.
Its very conveniently located. On the grounds with the LJ playhouse. We were a table for 3 and the first to get into the restaurant at 5:15. We were given the menus and asked about the happy hour and said ok. There were no rolls, chef didn't come to work. So we ordered chicken wings very good. 3 wings $6.
All wine and beer by the glass was $8. So I had 2 glasses, my husband had a beer and another guest has one wine at the happy house price, although when we our bill we were charged full price. Complained and it was corrected. We had the wild salmon, over cooked, the sea Bass was delicious and my husband has the flat iron steak, which was only ok. It was almost $80 a guest and I would say it wasn't worth it.
It was average, not fine dining.
The restaurant is part of the La Jolla Playhouse theater complex so ambiance includes views of UCSD's eucalyptus-shaded campus and dining amongst fellow theater enthusiasts. Dinner was limited to the special sashimi sampler mix as my companion arrived late but it was plated beautifully and delicious. Samuel our waitperson was personable and attentive, making sure we made decisions respective of our impending show -- including to have him bring my companion's second cocktail to take into the theater! Will definitely return to try more substantial repast.
As always, the staff and manager are pleased to see us there before the Playhouse. Kudos to servers John, Valerie, and Sidney, our most recent server. Keep up the great ambience.
Excellent sushi for appetizers - and first class cocktails!
We had the scallops and wild salmon dinners respectively and were very pleased- great risotto!
Topped it off with coffee and bread pudding- just perfect!
We dined for almost two hours before the performance and were so happy to have had the time right there at the theatre. We will highly recommend this to friends, and will be back!
Totally understandable, with the clientele that frequents James' Place (Older Playhouse Goers)
I was hoping to have the same items I have had in my previous (3) times dining at James' only to find out that they no longer serve Hot Sake (not a high enough demand, again, understandable) and they are now very limited on sushi. Not how I thought I would start my dining experience.
We did end up ordering the Edamame, Crispy Rice, 808 Roll, Mini Ahi Poke Tacos and a Chicken Caesar Salad. All were good...although everything but the Edamame & Caesar Salad, had pretty much the same ingredients/flavors. We did enjoy the food...however, just a little disappointed with the condensed menu.
Overall...we had a great time & our server was fabulous!
Location is convenient for La Jolla Playhouse. Food is always well prepared. The menu is quite consistent. Service is usually a bit slow--sometimes slower. Need to allow 90 minutes before theater; even so, might have to skip dessert. Although Ceasar salads are a menu item, there was no Romaine lettuce at 6 pm.
Unfortunately the Kolbe Beef Bun-less burger although ordered as museum rare was terribly dry.
We also miss the Sushi they use to offer.
Overall, the dinner experience was good. The salmon seemed fishy and the coffee was horrible. The balance was good. Very good service.
Good Food. Good Service. Meet expectations. Great option when going to the La Jolla Playhouse for a play.
All in all, you missed the boat. My wife, a vegan, ordered the tofu dish, the only thing on the menu she could have. I ordered the pork chop. It was covered with a sweet sauce and was TOUGH, despite the sharp knife you provided, and presented with TONS of fingerling potatoes and other vegetables--what a disappointment. Granted, we received water immediately, but since we failed to order beer or wine, we were without food or beverage for at least 20-30 minutes! Asking for bread and butter met with refusal. We thought you had solved a problem, but we are still looking!
Alan L. Lasnover, MD