Osteria Romantica

4.5
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573 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 573 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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YB
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
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
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

AW
San Diego
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
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
San Diego
8 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
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
Minneapolis
27 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

BM
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
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
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
San Diego
9 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

E
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
Charleston
117 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
Los Angeles
40 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and pleasant surroundings

m
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
San Francisco
8 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
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
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

G
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
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wife’s 65th Birthday

ML
Los Angeles
24 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.

CT
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Delicious dinner--I particularly liked my selection! My guest was happy too.

OT
Seattle
40 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Pollo al Finocchio was a little overdone. Wine and salad were great. Server was very pleasant and enthusiastic, very fun. I would go back. A little busy and noisy but emptied out after a bit. Would not do a serious business dinner there but a casual one with colleagues would work.

O
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

We live nearby and have dined at Osteria Romantica many times. The food has always been good, but on the most recent occasion, one out of the four main courses was bad, as in possibly spoiled. The shrimp just didn't taste right, and probably wasn't the freshest. The other three meals were fine. The waitstaff are charming and the ambience is great. We'll probably go back, but hope the kitchen pays closer attention to the ingredients.

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience5

Waited for an hour for a salad, my dish was way too salty I could not finish.

A
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Italian restaurant in the city.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience4

Very long wait for food, waiter, service, check, etc.

JH
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very good food and service. Nice ambiance and friendly staff.

k
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed everything about our dinner at Osteria Romantica. excellent food and people!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful outdoor seating area for my wife and I. Everything about the experience was great, from location to food to service. Definitely will be back!

M
San Diego
55 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We haven’t been to Osteria Romantica for many years, even though we live in La Jolla. We enjoyed our meal very much and will be back for sure, and soon. The service was excellent, as was the food and wine. Even my husband, a/k/a Mr. Fussy, was pleased!

GF
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always the best. Neighborhood treasure. They have been around for 15 years and always do a top job on everything. Love this place.

CP
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We love this restaurant, the dood was awesome as always and the service was good.

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and very attentive server. Great ambiance on top of it all!!

DC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place! Great food always, excellent service and a cozy atmosphere. Perfect for couples, small groups or slightly larger parties. Never fails to impress

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a lovely evening with delicious food, good wine and great service.

NY
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were looking for a restaurant that would accommodate dogs, and Osteria Romantico was great!

The food was great, and we already look forward to trying out some of their other dishes.

Although they did not have a menu for dogs (some restaurants actually do), their servers (and our fellow diners) were gracious and patient. In fact, one of our fellow diners offered what little was left of her sea bass to our pooch, who couldn't help but comply with her wishes :)

We were there the weekend before Halloween, and staff at the restaurant were decked out in costumes.

As we were with our dog, we had to sit outside, on their patio in front of the restaurant, but we peeked inside, and very much liked what we saw.

W
New England
5 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Osteria Romantica is our go to restaurant when we have visitors in town. We have never been disappointed with their food and service. We highly recommend them!

AD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

You won't go for the service. We saw our waitress three times: to take our order, gives us our bill and return our card. She walked by our empty water cups countless times. Luckily some other waiter/food runner took mercy on us and got us more water. My husband got the lasagna. For $20 it was a pretty small square though tasty. Thank goodness for the bread or he would have been still hungry. I got the veal piccata which is one of my favorite dishes. The lemon flavor was so over powering the sauce was actually sour and was missing that salty kick from the capers. The veal was at least beautifully cooked making it the saving grace. Yelp stated there was a private parking lot though if there was one to be had we never saw it and there weren't any signs for a valet service so no one to ask. For the level of effort it took to find this place and a parking spot, we won't be back given the poor service and mediocre food.

L
New England
67 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

This restaurant was recommended to us by a local resident. It did not disappoint.
Our server, Michaelangelo. made our visit extra special with his excellent service and charming personality.

L
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Food is inconsistent - better some nights than others