California Modern - George's at the Cove

4.5
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2161 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
Welcome to California Modern, where our passion is telling the San Diego story through food. We approach every day as a special occasion – one that begins with a bounty of locally grown and harvested products and ends with inventive preparations that surprise and delight our guests. Located on the lower level of George’s at the Cove, our ocean view dining room is contemporary yet comfortable, where conversation comes easy and our friendly, knowledgeable staff serve as guides to the many exciting choices available. Come have dinner with us and celebrate San Diego.
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Sun - Thu 5:30PM - 6:15PM 7:30PM - 11:45PM

What 2161 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
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2food3service4ambience2

Not the best value for money out of tasting courses we've ever had. $3/person charge for bread seemed petty given our bill for 8 was well over 1K and seemed ridiculous for the caliber of a restaurant this is trying to be; so was the 4% service charge which is added regardless of the group size. The management should just add it into the overall cost of the meal otherwise it feels like 'nickel and diming'. Food was good but some portions were too small even for a tasting course standard. For example the tiny 1cm by one inch piece of lamb just didn't allow for a proper tasting and was a frustrating note to end on before desert. Poached egg was by far the best course. Service was good and that somewhat redeemed the dining experience. I really wanted to like this place.

DH
San Diego
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful, soul-affirming food that is Michelin-good, but not Michelin-priced!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

as someone who works in the food business, i am usually not one to say this, but from the moment me and my girlfriend were greeting upon arrival to our exit, it was nothing short from impeccable. patrick was my server, and he recommended me his favorite and the most popular dishes on that menu from our appetizer to our dessert. and as a part time server, that’s something very important to do to guests. if i could give another star (6/5 stars) to patrick, i would. excellent job.

L
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a large group (12) and they were wonderful and accommodating! Server was thoughtful and good with timing and suggestions! Good was terrific California cuisine. This made for A fantastic fun night!

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and ambience were excellent. Highly recommend/

NB
Savannah
3 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband & I visited La Jolla for our 25th anniversary & chose George's California Modern for one of our dinners during our visit. Beautiful view, great server, great food & wonderful dessert! Highly recommend! Also, loved their casual rooftop restaurant. Can not beat the views from either restaurant!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience3

The restaurant was nice and the food good but I probably would not go back. The menu was limited and the price of entrees without sides was not a good value.

Service was really good. My friends thought the wine selection was good.

GG
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

They changed their layout for the holidays. Was more elegant before. Normally. Food was great tasting. Pairing was good. Service always great.

BA
St. Louis
70 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had an absolutely lovely meal at the California Modern section of George’s at the Cove. The meal was elegant without being fussy and the food was creative without being odd for oddness’s sake. The service was friendly but unintrusive. And the pace of the service seemed adapted entirely to our desires—not rushed, and certainly never slow. Perfect for a date and a celebratory dinner.

LD
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food5service3ambience3

Family get-together, with two couples from different parts of the country.

I had been to a very nice reception at George’s by the Cove, so I booked there for Saturday several days in advance, after checking the menu. I was informed through a phone call on Saturday afternoon, several hours before our reservation, that the menu would be the Valentine’s Day menu with a fixed price for 3 courses, carried over to the 15th of February. The food was excellent, but the prices were astronomically high.

Of course, any business can set its prices, but this last minute unusual switch seemed unethical.

California Modern - George's at the Cove
Responded on February 18, 2020

Open Table was programmed to alert all guests booking for Saturday 2/15 that it was indeed our Valentine's Weekend menu. The prompt comes before the booking is able to be made. I am sorry that you did not read this very clear announcement but I assure you there was not a "last minute unusual switch," as it had been in place for two months. Open Table is a very helpful tool for us and for our guests but no system is completely bullet proof I suppose. I appreciate your feedback, thank you.

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B
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience5

Great environment and ambiance. Wait staff was amazing. We did not like our waiter- we felt he was snobby and kind of looked down on us. Accidentally booked on Valentines weekend without thinking and didn’t know it was a separate menu until the day of- the cost of food goes up drastically and for the amount we paid was not a lot of food. The plates are very pretty if that’s important to you, but not super filling. The reason for going for us was definitely not the environment not the food. Glad we had the experience but wouldn’t go again.

California Modern - George's at the Cove
Responded on February 18, 2020

Hello Bubbles, I am so sorry to hear of the bad experience you had with one of our wait staff. I would very much like to hear more details if you would be willing to share. My email is Matt@georgesatthecove. I thank you for thoughts and your time. Thank you

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RS
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food2service2ambience1

It took them to seat 30 minutes after our arrival, long wait after seating to serve. Long wait between appetizer & dinner, cold food., longer water before dessert.. Around tow & half hours. Boring, Worst experiences, Very expensive, bad service & not going back...

California Modern - George's at the Cove
Responded on February 18, 2020

Hello Rahim I am sorry to hear of your disappointment regarding your recent visit to George's. I would very much like to hear more details if you would be willing to share. I assure you this is not the typical experience that our guests have when dining with us and I would love to have a chance to make this up to you. My email is Matt@georgesatthecove. Thank you.

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TA
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

George’s is always a great place to go for a fancy dinner! Get there early so you can watch the master mixologists/bar tenders produce their craft!

b
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Come hungry. They feed you well. But not like crazy amount that makes you sick after 😂

R
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience4

George’s Level 3
Food, drink, & service has gone downhill while prices has been raised since we’ve been to George’s a couple years ago. Very disappointing. George’s use to be an incredible night out. Now, I doubt we’ll go back unless they make some serious changes.

GP
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food4service4ambience2

Great food and service, for Valentines it could have had a bit more ambiance. Was not overly happy with the manager Matt when asking for a nicer table. Would recommend going here since the food was unique.

California Modern - George's at the Cove
Responded on February 18, 2020

Hello Greg Valentine's Day is our single busiest day of the year. We have to build our floor plan and assign reservations very carefully in order to have a smooth successful service. I had MANY requests to move throughout the night and unfortunately I am simply unable to grant said requests to all 265 of our guests, as you can imagine the logistics of such a feat. I am thrilled, however, that you so enjoyed our food and service. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Thank you.

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DC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience1

I do not recommend this establishment. Arrived ten minutes early for our reservation on Friday, February 14, 2020 at 5:00PM. Greeted ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ by a non-smiling hostess in a robotic tone. A male host led to our table a few minutes later in a primarily empty main dining room. He stood behind my chair but failed to pull it out.
Our server, Nick, approached cautiously and stared making me feel uncomfortable. We ordered the tasting menu along with the wine pairing. Our appetizer course arrived, and we waited several minutes for the wine pairing to be delivered. Nick quickly ran through a long monologue on the wine. Our appetizers (soup and carpaccio) were beautifully presented, appropriate temperature. The quantity of each food course was quite large. The entrée (pork chop and swordfish) were both beautifully presented, moist and appetizing. The dessert (pound cake and chocolate fudge cake) were well presented. The pound cake was dry, and the fudge cake was burnt looking (edges blackened) and had a burnt odor.
Nick hovered on the edges of our table, but rarely spoke to us directly. Nick offered coffee or after-dinner drink and at that time, we inquired about the sparkling wine that was supposed to come with the meal. He stumbled saying, “It could have been brought ahead of time” or, “I can bring it now”. We said we did not want it and he finally said, “I’m sorry” but did not offer any type of compensation (nor did we ask for any). The Manager was seen in the dining room several times, walking amongst the tables, but we did not see him speak to any tables.
Upon reading the reviews on Open Table, I’ve learned that apologies are the only thing you get here. A common theme is for the Manager to apologize and suggest they ask for him at their next visit and he will make sure they have a positive experience. Good service should be given not requested.

California Modern - George's at the Cove
Responded on February 18, 2020

Thank you for your extensive review and the many platforms you posted it on. I regret to hear of your dissatisfaction with the service provided by Nick, one of our best and most tenured service captains. Occasionally personalities do not sync during these very busy holidays. I am glad you enjoyed both the food and the wine pairings (the latter of which I am responsible for), and I hope that you would consider seeing us again, I would love to speak to you in person about this mixed review.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience2

Love the attention and kindness of the staff. The ambience is lacking - no view other than a wall mural of the ocean. Seems tied and impersonal.

Food was good but not memorable.

Cocktails on level 2 are very good and worth the time and creativity!

SF
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. My only complaint is that they nickel and dime you for everything (ex: bread is charged per person! Really? I’m paying $40 for 3 scallops and I don’t get a piece of bread with that)?

PD
Denver
17 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

30 year anniversary!

TA
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience3

Level 2 and the Terrace we really enjoy. California Modern was good but the overall value was not there for us. If you are eating while the sun is up there would be more value in the view.

OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful anniversary celebration. We were made to feel so special. We really appreciated the extra attention of our waiter. Thank you!

DW
Dallas
38 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We did the 7 course and two of us paired with wine. Everything was amazing. We totally enjoyed our meal. Looking forward to the next time we are in town.

EK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food and Great service. Worth the money. Was a little skeptical with the limited menu but all concerns disappeared after the dining. It was extremely satisfying.

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience2

Everything - literally everything - was super salty.

Service was exemplary.

California Modern - George's at the Cove
Responded on January 29, 2020

I am sorry to hear about your over salted food preparations. I am thrilled, however, to hear that you appreciated our excellent brand of service. I have alerted our chef about your food concerns and he will be diligent with his staff, I assure you. Thank you and I hope to see you at George's again soon.

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AR
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food as always; wonderful service; perfect evening.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience5

Undercooked swordfish and super slow service today. We’ve loved it every time but tonight was a total bust

California Modern - George's at the Cove
Responded on January 29, 2020

I am sorry to hear about the slow service on the occasion of your visit. I hope that you will come in again to see us soon as it sounds like you are usually a fan. My name is Matt, the General Manager here at George's California Modern. Please ask for me by name the next time you come in so that I can be involved in the execution of the excellent brand of service that you and I are accustomed to and which you deserve. Thanks and have a great day.

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GN
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food4service4