Manhattan of La Jolla

4.5
825 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Manhattan of La Jolla transports you to the best of New York via the cozy, upscale village of La Jolla. Located in the Empress Hotel on Fay Avenue, it is an elegant, casual and classy place where you would expect to see Old Blue Eyes or Danny Ocean romancing a beautiful woman while she sips her Cosmo over dinner. With quality Italian charm, Manhattan offers classic cocktails that get you into that New York swing--and the entrees are as good as it gets. Liberal olive oil, garlic, lemon and pepper complement the Zagat Award winning veal chop, steaks and seafood. Signature scampi, classic cannelloni, pasta al dente, and other succulent dishes, plus professional service and decor make this a terrific spot for a romantic dinner or mixing business and pleasure. Manhattan in La Jolla gets you the best of both worlds. Manhattan is an award winning La Jolla favorite, celebrating its 25th year.
What 825 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a wonderful dining and entertainment experience!
The food and service are always excellent, and Roman Palacios (with Tommy Gannon) provides consistently outstanding entertainment!
Manhattan of La Jolla is one of my very favorite restaurants!

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G
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great waiter. Manny Jr. Enjoyed the food, especially the Veal Chop which was extraordinary! Singer Roman was good but took way too many long breaks.

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A
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This was the first time eating at the restaurant and it was absolutely amazing. We enjoyed everything about it from the time we walked in until the time we left. The band/musician they had was great we really enjoyed the music we will definitely be back

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BH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply the best ambience and Italian food. Servers are professional and know the food and wine. We liked Isarael, our server, but all are great. Very attentive. One desert is notable - Ecstasy. It is just that! Vanilla ice cream blended with white chocolate, floating on a liquor with fresh berries surrounding it all. Save room.

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GC
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Don’t go unless you want to be charged a service fee/ gratuity for service that was subpar and not given.

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m
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We gathered at Manhattan to celebrate graduation with the family and had a great night! Our table was waiting for us all set, the service was wonderful, and the food was good. Live music was playing and the energy of the Restaurant was cool! We had a wonderful evening!

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F
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent ambience....Fabulous Caesar Salad!! the Salad alone is worth the trip. This is one of our very favorite restaurants.

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N
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful evening at Manhattan Restaurant. Great food, ambiance and service. Best martini ever! Loved the piano bar; very talented snd fun singer!

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G
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Manhattan is my favorite friendly, consistently good food, restaurant. It is the Chicago or New York Italian steakhouse with seafood specials. Their cannelloni is a favorite of mine. The cocktails and wine service are pristine. Calimari fritti is a mustbwith drinks.

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ML
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve been going to Manhattan ever since it opened 30+ years ago and have never been disappointed. The Caesar salad prepared table side is hands-down the best I’ve ever eaten — anywhere, including foodie cities like NYC, SF and Chicago. Veal dishes at Manhattan are outstanding, my favorite being Veal Francesca. If you haven’t yet tried it, I recommend you do so. You won’t regret it.

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KC
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Everything was outstanding until the bill came. We received someone else's bill. This bill had the tip listed as included. I am visually impaired so later when they gave us the right bill, I assumed a tip was included. I didn't add one. The waiter came after us as we left. This saga goes on.

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M
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Caesar, Veal Chop, a good drink and voila. What more do you need?

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F
San Diego
19 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stepping into the Manhattan is like being transported to New York, from the moment you slide into the comfy booths, enjoy the wonderful wall art and listen to music coming from the piano bar......the food met our expectations, we dined on some traditional Italian fare, Eggplant Parmesan, Seafood Pasta, and a stunner, the Chilean Sea Bass....all were prepared with perfect seasoning and lots of love.....the service was exquisite.....we were impressed and will definitely return....

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DD
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Celebrated a birthday and the staff was most attentive. Our waiter never told us the specials of the day. Steak with garlic, lemon and olive oil was outstanding. My veal oscar, not so much. I should have sent it back.
Bartender Gretchen, was outstanding!
Piano bar was great fun!

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U
San Diego
26 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The service continues to be underwhelming at this restaurant. The new bartender is not very good. I had to send a drink order back 2 times and then realize she probably just doesn't know how to make it so ordered something simple that she couldn't get wrong. The food is amazing and the only reason I continue to return to this restaurant.

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c
San Diego
85 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another fine meal at Manhattan. I am never disappointed and I have tried almost all varieties of their entrees'. Service is some of the best I have ever encountered and I find that the wines and drinks from the bar are a pleasant and important attribute to the thoroughly enjoyable meal.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

Waiter was inattentive—music was so loud we couldn’t converse. We asked to have volume lowered twice but were ignored. Had to ask for our waiter twice to reorder drinks.

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U
San Diego
26 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 2

If the food wasn't as good as it is, I probably wouldn't go to this restaurant. The noise level is so high it is hard to hear the people you are with talking without yelling. The service is not good at all and diminishes the overall experience. The food saves this place for me.

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G
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 1

I've been to Manhattans several times in the past and this will be my last experience. The food and service were impeccable as always. Something has changed...patrons were coming in in shorts and beachwear - local established men and women, not tourists - the piano player sang "bar tunes" such as Garth Brooks "Friends in Low Places," and not classic Sinatra-era music as Manhattans used to be known for. It was straight up cheesy. And, apparently dogs of all shapes and sizes are now welcome in the restaurant. Dogs, Friends in Low Places, Beachwear, no thank you Manhattans. You've lost what made you special.

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m
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrate birthdays

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CD
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

And I I advise them trying not to use main dishes; this part we saw the quality dropped.

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JL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing restaurant! Had great service!

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MJ
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Worth every dollar. I have recommended this restaurant to many people at work.

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A
San Diego
17 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

We came here for a date night. In our mid twenties, we were easily the youngest of the bunch, but don't let that turn you away! We sat at the piano for drinks and conversation. I love the ambiance, it's a nice break from the modern try-hard theme of restaurants and bars in San Diego. As the night progressed couples and friends were getting up to dance to anything from modern renditions to romantic classics. Drinks were light on alcohol, but well made.

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a
San Diego
76 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, a great experience. Went for dinner on our anniversary, mid week is much quieter even with the piano player in the lounge area. Service was attentive but not bothersome. Almost always order veal here and never disappointed. Glazed carrot sides are more like a desert.

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BB
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Server Jose and crew were excellent!

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FT
San Diego
31 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

Again this restaurant surpasses anything like it in San Diego. It knows it’s customers and serves them with understated aplomb.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding! Thanks Manny

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SN
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Short version: music and atmosphere is great, food is barely OK, service is unacceptable, rude, cold, unprofessional and the worst you could get among most restaurants in San Diego.

Long version:
Music and atmosphere was really great and definitely the best part of the restaurant.

The food was just OK and overpriced.
We had a lobster bisque as appetizer which was very tasty (best thing we ordered).
My wife had the pasta combo: the food taste was overtaken by the sauce, making the taste poorly equilibrated.
I had some veal and had a similar experience: the sauce was too strong.
The dessert (the manatthan) was one of the worst dessert I have ever eaten in that kind of restaurant. The pieces of apples were so thick, uncooked and barely fried. They didn't even bother drying up the oil which was dripping down everywhere in the huge amount of mapple syrup. Even in the dark we could see the huge layer of oil, it was disgusting to look at. The plating was also terrible for this dessert and unpractical.
Don't get me wrong, the food was not bad (except for the dessert), but not great as well and mostly not worth the price and not what we expected from a restaurant of that kind of standing.

However, the service ruined the whole night.
This is for sure the worst quality of service I ever had in that kind of restaurant.
We got seated but waited for a good 10mn until a waiter started to talk to us, that was very awkward.
He asked us for drinks but did not even gave us the drinks menu that we had to explicitly ask for.
The waiter came back to ask if we had any question: my wife started to ask something and he just left while she was still talking and never came back wtfff!!!
The plates were served so fast, it felt like we were rushed out of the restaurant.
We were not even offered the dessert menu that we, once again, had to ask for (and probably shouldn't had asked considering it was the worst thing we ordered in this restaurant).
Either way, the whole experience felt very c

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D
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

We go to the Manhattan about 8 times a year. Definitely for Birthday dinner etc. I went for my 62 Bday and ordered Veal Saltimbocca. It was excellent. Not the best I've ever had, but they best I've had at Manhattan after eating their at least 100 times over the years. Drinks were marginal and our espresso chocolate martinis had to be remade 3 or 4 times as they would just mix coffee with vodka. Bitter and terrible. I suspect it had to do with some of the staff who took our order who don't speak english very well, so once we got an english speaking person to address the problem, it was corrected. The music was fun, as was the relaxed dancing atmosphere. I would like to suggest that the music stick to the classic older stuff that made the Manhattan, like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Engelbert etc until 9pm. Then do all the other stuff as the crowd does get kinda wound up.....in a fun way. But something more subdued for the dinner crowd. Just my 2 cents. I would definitely recommend.

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GA
El Paso
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere was great. We are regular patrons. I had a very average filet. My wife had a fantastic piece of salmon. Inconsistent this night. Service is always first rate.

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DH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Option rich menu, superb food and impeccable service.

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BF
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Make sure you order separate checks if in a large party before you order if not, they will charge everybodies drinks and food to your check ( I had random appetizers and drinks on my bill that nobody in my party ordered. Also make sure they bring out the appetizers before you order your food. Almost 1 hr in and barely bringing out appetizers. I was very specific in what appetizers I wanted and put server decided he was gonna do what he wanted and believe me I winded up paying for it. I know better next time.

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OT
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Not sure what all the fuss is about. I was excited to try this place after several recommendations. I was highly disappointed.

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

All of our meals were cooked with perfection!

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LJ
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiters were fabulous. I did not mention my husband’s birthday before but let it slip I had cake for him at home and they were kind enough to bring him cake and sing to him there.We loved the Caesar salad preparation also. I can’t wait to go back.

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SD
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

The music from the bar ruined our lovely dinner! Couldn’t even chat! Rehydrates on earth does bar music require diners in the other room to wear ear plugs? Kind of counter productive!

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HR
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service outstanding! TV in bar was a huge disappointment and stupid distraction with a beautiful piano in the room. However the crowd was so loud could hardly hear the piano even a few feet away from it

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RG
Calgary
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The noise was too loud. Service and food were very good. We were charge for items we did not order
however the restaurant phoned the next day and corrected the bill.
This was very much appreciated
Ron Graham

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KM
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

The entree vegetables could use an upgrade. My $100 double veal chop was completely raw in a large section of the middle... a thermometer should probably be used for a large cut like that. The decor was really cool though. I loved the old fashioned New York vibe.

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