Osteria Romantica

4.5
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593 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
We are located in the heart of la Jolla shores, a short walk from the beach. The Shores area has one short main street with a few stores and restaurants. It has the look and feel of a town square. In this simple but wonderfully comfortable setting, Osteria Romantica generates good feelings as one dines on its good food. The voices of Pavarotti and other famous singers emerge from the background, filling the room softly with operatic melodies. An outside patio provides seating for diners who wish to enjoy the sunny afternoons and cool La Jolla evenings. The restaurant was opened by Fabio Speziali and Antonio Mastellone in 2004. Speziali grew up in the Lake Como region of northern Italy. Mastellone, who also owns several other local restaurants, grew up in Sorrento, Italy. Speziali said, "and we are from different regions of Italy. But we create together and offer dishes from all of Italy. We have our regular menu and daily specials. Our breads and pasta are always fresh and homemade."
What 593 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
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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FI
vipFIVEFORDINNER
Phoenix
30 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Very poor service followed by even worse food. Not sure what part of Italy their food originates from but they should have left it there.

LT
LaurenT
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Loved our meal here! Best bruschetta and carbonara I've had in a while.

GM
GlennM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice atmosphere, great service and good food at a great price

s
vipsregnie2
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an outstanding experience at Osteria Romantica. Everything from the service to the ambiance was perfect, and most importantly, the food was amazing! Both of our past dishes were really flavorful and the homemade pasta was top notch. The artichoke appetizer was the best we’ve had. We will definitely be coming back again and again!

MS
MariaS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband brought me here after he asked me to marry him 7 years ago. It holds a special place in my hearts. Plus the food is delicious!

RF
RandyF
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Nice food prep. Speaker in corner of room not useful to ambiance. A good experience

GC
GinaC
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a really nice table and a wonderful meal. This was our second time. I like the variety of dishes.

g
gabrielac
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

really good food, and great service! i would definitely come back again!

KL
KenleyL
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

It was a nice escape from the traditional San Diego vibe.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We go to Osteria Romantica every year for Valentine’s Day dinner going back over a decade. We love the whole experience, the welcoming hosts/greeters, any seat is a good table, the food and wine is delicious, the owner comes to talk to your table to make sure everything is fine, and the ambiance is wonderful. We hope to be back soon, before the next Valentine’s Day!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely My go to place
We eat here once a week
Always fabulous

N
Nito
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been dining at Osteria for years now, every Valentines day. We love this place. Food is authentic Italian, the servers are very polite and the ambiance brings us back to Italy (we lived in Sicily for 7 1/2 years). Recommend this restaurant for any occasion you might have.

AM
AMO1
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very tasty food. Had veal scallapini and veal parm. Generous portions. Looks like Mama was in the kitchen. Impeccable service. Very reasonable prices.

MI
MICHAEL
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience5

Veal Piccata was more like veal jerky... super tough...spinach ricotta ravioli was ok. Nothing special...no better than frozen. Beet salad was sliced canned beets... Server was super friendly but stopped by our table very infrequently...would have had at least 2 more drinks if he'd checked in more frequently. Also would have helped to get menus when seated...we were asked if we were ready to order before actually getting a menu...weird.... Strike 1...but I'd give it another shot based on reviews and the many people who seemed to be regulars...

SK
SKCBD5
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great place to relax and Enjoy quality Italian cuisine.

C
Cookie
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

This was my second visit. My first was for lunch and I loved the food and ambiance. This time, for dinner, was about average for food but better than average for ambiance. Service was great both times.

CF
ChristopherF
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome, small spot, really good food and atmosphere. They go above and beyond. My wife and I visit from Minnesota and come here every year.

CM
vipCarolM
New England
13 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Pretty disappointed. Not nearly as good as the many other times we’ve been there. I have celiac disease, and wanted their gluten free pasta BUT it’s boiled in the same water as their regular pasta, so totally contaminated. Settled for the risotto, which was just ok, as was my husband’s eggplant parm.

TK
TKMT
Phoenix
6 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious dinner & our service was great! Celebrating our 30th which made it even more special!!

YB
vipYaraB
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

This a great restaurant for a Sunday dinner. I had a great time with my friends, we were able to talk while enjoying a great Italian food with an outstanding service.

HN
HeidiN
Palm Springs
4 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this restaurant - always delicious! A great date restaurant or meet a few friends and enjoy.

AW
AnthonyW
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The staff was very attentive, food was fresh and well prepared. Décor could use a little update. Over all a very good value for the meal we had, veal marsala. Tiramisu was the highlight of the meal, very light, creamy and lots of chocolate.

H
vipHeidi
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first time here, but this is now my new favorite Italian Restaurant and plan to return soon! I had the lasagna, which was simple and delicious, just how I like it. My mom had the cheese filled tortellini with Bolognese sauce - the table favorite! My husband had the ribeye which he said was cooked perfectly and was delicious. The prices were not outrageous like a lot of restaurants.

The entire staff was friendly and attentive. I am so happy we found this restaurant. Thank you for a fantastic evening!

S
Stan
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience3

This restaurant has been good in the past, but this time it was terrible.

The pasta was way overcooked and when combined with overcooked sauces, three of our four meals were a gooey mess. Had it just been my wife and I, I would have sent the food back. But we were with guests and I didn't want to spoil the evening - so we ended up paying for a terrible meal

We won't eat here again!

T
vipTwosix
Minneapolis
29 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious authentic italian food. The artichokes Romano were phenomenal. Salads and pastas were loved by all.

BM
BillM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience3

My 13 son & I were in La Jolla and picked this restaurant because of its proximity to our hotel and our love of Italian food. The place looks very old-style Italian. We didn’t know it when seated, but we were stuck next to the bathroom door. Constant opening/closing, cold air and ...
Service was perfunctory, at best. We had a heirloom tomato & burrata cheese appetizer. The cheese was good, but the tomatoes were hard, not ripe and tasteless. My son on had spaghetti and meat-balls. It was just ok, nothing special. I have the mushroom ravioli. They were overcooked and had a “chalky” aftertaste.

This place need up their game in this upscale community.

C
Cold
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Had to wait 45 minutes for our table on NYE standing outside in the cold even though we had a reservation. Many other parties were also in the same situation. We were then seated outside in the cold and at the at point just wanted to eat so didn’t want to wait longer for inside table. Hostess and servers were not apologetic. Other than that the food and service was amazing at a decent price. Just don’t come here on a holiday expecting them to honor a reservation.

SZ
SherriZ
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place! We frequent one of the restaurants at least once a month! Good food and excellent service always!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s our go to favorite Italian!
Friendly service
Yummy food
Excellent lasagna
Fabulous parpadelle with lamb ragu
Great wine list

JF
vipJonathanF
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience5

No pesto or butter offered upon seating! No olive oil at the table. We only received a small jar of Ragu to dip the small, tasteless bread.

Go to Piatti’s.

E
Elliott10
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A great Family restaurant Excellent wait staff and
Along with grat food a perfect combinations

JW
vipJeffW
Charleston
135 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is authentic Italian!!! Amazing food and selections. All made from scratch, served piping hot and absolutely delicious! We had to wait 20 minutes despite a reservation and you'll understand when you try this place!!! You never want it to stop - amazing food, service and ambience. Put this on your dining list in La Jolla.

S
vipSuzy
Los Angeles
45 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and pleasant surroundings

m
marz
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

FABULOUS!! Went here with family over the Christmas holiday. Our daughter in law insisted on returning. She had remembered every detail of the meal we had there last year and wanted to repeat the experience. The food is authentic and delicious. The artichoke appetizer is to die for as long as you like garlic. Decor is funky but charming. People are warm and inviting. Wish we had had room to try dessert.

m
vipmsenergy
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Restaurant is very nice and the food is excellent. As with most restaurants it's so darn noisy that it's impossible to carry on a conversation. Such a shame, because that's often the reason I don't go there.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice xmas eve lunch. The restaurant was pretty quiet so we had lots of attention. Excellent food and moderately priced. Quaint atmosphere and very charming.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing location, food, and service. Came earlier than reservation but were able to accommodate us.

G
Greatfood
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite restaurants. The food is consistently delicious. The only problem is deciding what to have! Service is friendly and you can dress up or down. A real gem.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wife’s 65th Birthday

ML
MikeLeung
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unexpectedly excellent value in La Jolla Shores. Steps from the beach, it isn't a beach restaurant. Rather, it's what it says it is, an "osteria." Most pasta meals are under $20 and are generous and tasty. Wine by the bottle is reasonably priced. Interestingly, it's one of 3 or more Italian restaurants within a block of each other. Is there something I don't know about La Jolla Shores? Anyway, we picked this one because the menu featured some interesting items (e.g. squid ink pasta and pork shank osso buco), and because of the relaxed ambience. Of the other Italian restaurants within this block, my sense was that you could go upscale or even more relaxed than Osteria Romantica. For us, it was just right.

FAQs

Osteria Romantica offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (858) 551-1221.

Osteria Romantica is rated 4.5 stars by 593 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.