KITCHEN 1540

4.3
682 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Modern and comfortable, KITCHEN 1540 blends energy and intrigue with an innovative, seasonally-driven menu. To further the experience, the restaurant offers an extensive wine list, full bar and specialty cocktails. The spacious outdoor patio allows guests to enjoy the ocean breezes and features private cabanas for intimate dining. The setting is punctuated with a waterfall and hanging lanterns to set just the right mood. Whether you are sharing small plates and drinks amongst friends or enjoying a romantic dinner under the stars, KITCHEN 1540 is where the perfect day becomes the perfect beach night.

KITCHEN 1540 has garnered numerous awards including such prestigious honors as Wine Spectator Magazine: Award of Excellence; CA Restaurant Association: Gold Medallion - Best Hotel Restaurant, Fine Dining; San Diego Magazine: Best Hotel Restaurant; and Ranch & Coast Magazine: Editor's Pick for Best Restaurant.

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Sun - Wed 5:30PM - 10:00PM
Thu 5:30PM - 6:30PM

What 682 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Small menu, great dishes !!

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SK
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food with beautiful presentation. Our outside cabana table provided fantastic ambiance.

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GW
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and overall experience outstanding. My only observation was food service seemed to be a little on the slow side for a week night that wasn't very crowded. All servers who served us were quite pleasent and accommodating.

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RS
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

Excellent salad and bread. Steak entree was over cooked. Seafood pasta wasn’t hot. Service was very good and Mgmt offered us a free dessert.

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AC
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and wonderful food. Had a very nice experience overall and would definitely recommend it.

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c
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was amazing. Food was good but menu was limited. Great wine !

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M
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

It is with disappointment that I write this review. We are local and eat out every night. Over the past 3 years we have gone to this restaurant only one time per year. This is unusual for us as we go to our favorite places weekly and pretty much dine only at high end 5 star options. Last night as we dined I was reminded one of the reasons we don’t dine here very often, and it’s actually because of the huge amount of salt that is used during the preparation of the food. I love salt in my food so for me to state that my food is too salty, says a lot. My salad seasoning was salt and a lot of it. For my main course I ate the ragu. One of my first bites I bit down and chewed on what we assume was a bone and the crunch was very loud and didn’t have much taste.

Additionally though the menu options don’t warrant dining here more than once a year, if at all. It’s a shame because this hotel is in a beautiful location. We also observed the kitchen chefs looking bored out of their mind and goofing around with each other. Quite frankly the atmosphere is like watching an Applebee’s restaurant kitchen rather than what is supposed to be a 5 star restaurant. I don’t believe this 5 star rating. This restaurant has a lot of competition with many better dining options surrounding it. This restaurant is supposed to serve the entire hotel room service, the casual restaurant and the fine dining option so if the kitchen staff is bored and goofing around that speaks to the lack of clientele.

Our dinner reservation was for 6pm because 5:30pm wasn’t available on Open Table. When we arrived we were one of three other tables. There were so many empty tables available it is uncomfortable. So even though the restaurant opens up at 5:30pm no reservations were available until 6pm on Open Table. This restaurant has to be losing money and it’s shocking that management hasn’t figured out (or doesn’t care) about the lack of reservations.

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S
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So enjoyed the birthday dinner. Chef and hostypersonally came to table & that added a nice touch!
Definitely will return soon.

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O
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Staff are awesome, personable, professional, attentive! The food was simply delicious, loved the salmon and the kale salad! the pastas were also very good.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Possibly one of the best dining experiences I have had in a long time! Beets from Chino were amazing, Salmon was SUPERB and the NY Strip very good also. Manager and also Chef came to visit us which was awesome.

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r
Philadelphia
28 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a Nice table by the fireplace which is about the only ambiance available. Nice but a pretty limited menu that lacked some needed pop and variety. Enjoyable time overall just but likely not worth the price

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z
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

If you are the adventurous fine diner who wants something different from the everyday, this place is for you. The cuisine was exceptional and very unique to this diner. It touts itself as having a "...innovative, seasonally-driven menu". That it was. We started with a very rich, creamy, and flavorful butternut squash soup. I had scallops with cauliflower and pine nut currant agrodolce. This was a combinations of flavors I had never experienced. She had a perfectly cooked NY Steak with potato puree, castelvetrano salmorigio, and roasted kale. Again an interesting combination of flavors. Dessert was a custard layered on a coconut cake with a fruit and hibiscus reduction. Very unique and not something you see everyday. Service was exceptional and any questions on ingredients list or how things were prepared was answered without hesitation. These guys seemed to know the menu inside and out. The ambience was nothing special - reminded me of every other post 20th century American Grill I've been too. We were there because of a locals dinner special coupon, so we got great value for the discounted cost of the meal. Valet parking was comped with a stamp when paying the bill. Could have passed on the local business society meet-and-greet crowding the bar area right outside the door of the restaurant, but that is the only downside to the evening.

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d
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service at an amazing resort with a fabulous menu to boot. This is not ordinary hotel food - it is excellent. The NY strip was one of the best I've ever had.

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JT
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I did not consider it very classy to add a non advertised service charge to the bill, ostensibly because of the increase in minimum wage. At the very least, a notice of the "service charge" should appear on the menu. Perhaps when the salary of the CEO is increased, another service charge should be assessed.

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KL
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 2

I took my Family there for Christmas Eve Dinner. It was Prix Fi Menu, which had several wonderful choices. I was fine with the $89 ++ for all four of us, but the service was mediocre at best. We had to ask several times to have our drinks refilled (waters, lemonades and cocktails). Also, when one of my teenagers didn't eat their whole meal and we wanted to take it home with us; we were given a box to scrap our plate ourselves!! At $100/person, I would think they would take our plate and box it up for us....very tacky. On top of the tax and tip, there was ANOTHER 3% upcharge that went towards the Resort. I travel the World and am well-aware of Resort fees, but if we are dining guests in the restaurant only, I am not sure why the upcharge would be applicable.
Again, the food was very good, but not comparable to the price and service.

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MV
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent staff and especially Chance who really took great care of our table! Would definitely come back!

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Thanksgiving

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Thanksgiving

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K
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful Thanksgiving meal, the entire family truly enjoyed the dinner. Our waiter was incredible. We will definitely be back.

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x
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Overall we were disappointed with the Prix Fixe dining experience for Thanksgiving. It was quite a pricey meal for what we felt was mediocre food. The mashed potatoes were especially disappointing, actually tasted like reconstituted powder rather than fresh. The snapper appetizer did not taste fresh enough. The soup, turkey and stuffing were good. The desserts were okay, no traditional items were offered however. Overall, I was quite underwhelmed by our experience and would not recommend.

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B
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

We decided to go out for dinner for thanksgiving, we made the reservation 3 weeks ahead not knowing what sort of choice we’d have closer to the holiday. The times we could pick for were complicated and we wanted something later in the day. We called two days ahead to see if there were any openings later in the day and our call was not returned. We chose to sit outside and the cabana was very worn out and the seating not really good for fine dining. For the price of $89 per person there should have been another course or a glass of wine included. I would not go back for fine dining there.

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SC
13 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We dined here while staying at the hotel. Slow night for the restaurant less than 10% occupied, very good service, excellent food ( scallops for one, salmon for the other) nice unique preparations and interesting selections for starters and sides. Would recommend to anyone. Looks like they are well set for large groups as well

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OT
Omaha
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Restaurant is now closed. We showed up for the reservation to find out the news. Fortunately hotel was great about getting us into their other restaurant which is now serving the same menu. Great food!

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F
Salt Lake City
11 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

We were excited about celebrating our anniversary. We were asked to confirm our reservation and did. Heading into the restaurant was a big surprise, it was empty as in nobody was there and some barren furniture was pushed against the wall . We located a hotel staff member. Yes, we indeed did close last week! So, they without telling us transferred our reservation to their poolside casual cafe. What a huge disappointment. We will never return. Bummer!

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

The portions are sooooo small you would think they are serving a 7 course meal

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JS
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kitchen 1540's new chef, Colin Lever, transforms the cuisine. Been there twice since the new chef joined and both times the food was cooked to perfection, and was spectacularly delicious. The service is attentive and professional as always. 1540 has a chance to compete at the top in San Diego and No. Co. dining.

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JM
Austin
12 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food! Surprised it wasn’t more busy. But that let us have great service.

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J
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Thank you Chef!!!! What an amazing dinner! Server Seth gave incredible service! Manager Maddy thank you for checking in on our experience it exceeded our expectations! The music and ambiance of the patio was lovely!

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WR
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

The reviews on this restaurant are misleading. The food is lackluster and the emphasis is on the bar. The place is a pick-up joint. The house wine was good and the yellow-tail appetizer was very nice, but the entree were nothing but boring. This restaurant probably does okay because of being located in a fancy resort hotel, but Del Mar has MUCH better food for foodies than this place.

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LM
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I would recommend this restaurant but do whatever you can to be seated outdoors and dine in one of the cabanas!!!! Quieter, private, and still excellent service. Best waiter ever = Damien!

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TR
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Food was bland.. I think there is effort but execution is underwhelming. Service was excellent

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DA
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Second time there. Expensive place but food is not good enough. Lacked flavour. Are other better places in Del Mar. The Market is same price point but much better food.

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BH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

My husband and I went there for an early Valentine's Day dinner. Our waiter Seth was fantastic. They offered a 3 course meal for $40, which is a really good deal for Del Mar and L'Auberge. The specialty drinks were delicious. The noise level was pretty quiet, so we were able to have a nice conversation. The dinner portions were on the smaller side, but we were happy about it because we felt really good when we left, not too full. My husband loved the mushroom risotto, it was amazing. I would definitely go back there again.

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SS
Monterrey
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

The menu consisted of three apps, three entrees and two desserts. It was really limited especially for the amount of staff working. When we inquired if this was the full menu the server brought us a casual menu with sandwiches. It all seemed very disconnected especially for a celebration dinner. The salmon was really very good and the service was good. I expected more. Maybe it was just an off Saturday night. It was not busy in the restaurant at all and the bar crowd was very loud.

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C
San Diego
149 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

They have a limited menu, but the food was quite good. We enjoyed sitting by the cozy fireplace in the lobby after dinner!

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DT
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a family gathering at the hotel and opted for the 7 pm Christmas dinner. The menu was pre-fix and had enough variety for everyone. Each dish was perfectly prepared. Service was exceptional. They created a lovely Christmas evening

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 3

Went here for Christmas dinner. The atmosphere was ok. Nothing special. Like any other hotel eatery. Food was very disappointing. If I spend $350 dollars for dinner it should be spectacular. Not so here. Mediocre at best. Even the bread was dry, hard and tasteless. Main course was small and not very tasty. I could duplicate it at any restaurant in town. I will not return!

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L
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 2

Christmas eve dinner was overpriced and very small portions for the price. The booth was uncomfortable too wide of a seat and a $25 corkage fee for a bottle of wine was exorbitant. I think they took advantage of the holiday. Christmas decorations at this hotel used to be amazing obviously they’ve been cut back tremendously the Christmas tree was pretty weak.

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p
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Prix fixe Xmas eve menu. Thought it would be something special considering the price..it was not. Mediocre food, sub-par service. No friendly greeting, nothing special at all. Usually go to Georges..will do that next time. Disappointing.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time for Christmas Eve. Sat outside by the fire pit with heat lamps all around. Beautiful setting and friendly service. Everyone loved it.

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