California Modern - George's at the Cove

4.5
1923 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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Private Dining

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Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Come and join us for a beautiful Valentines Day experience, featuring complementary bubbles and house made truffles. We are offering a three course meal for $125 in our Ocean View Room or $95 in our street side dining. We are offering this experience on both Thursday the 14th AND Friday the 15th

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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Sun - Thu 5:30PM - 6:15PM 7:30PM - 11:45PM

What 1923 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
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MG
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

the octopus was very fishy and i did not find an entree that i really liked

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J
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food

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C
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic food and great service!!! The only negative was that the dining room was freezing! Everyone had to keep their jackets on - not only our table - at every table you saw people with their coats on. A bit strange to see at this fancy place, plus it's not very comfortable eating dinner when you are cold.

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E
New York Area
61 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, food and ambiance. The chicken tacos which aren't on the menu were amazing. They will make them if you ask for them.

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

I heard for years that George’s was a must stop while in La Jolla. And that might have been true in 2002. But don’t waste your money or your time today.

George’s California Modern needs a full makeover, from decor to food. It was like stepping into a time warp from 20 years ago, and not in a good way when things ‘come back in style from years past’. The term ‘modern’ in the name of the restaurant is offensive to the word. There is nothing modern about the place, nor nice or enjoyable. Nursing homes and funeral homes have better ambience.

And worse, the food was terrible. When paying $40+ for a pork chop and $40+ for a beef tenderloin, I expected it to be at least half way decent. But the food tasted old, completely unseasoned and all in all bad. A $200 meal should be good, if not great. This meal we left most on the table as we couldn’t stomach it.

Not to mention, I have seen nicer bathrooms in convenience stores and college bars.

Starting from scratch would be the quickest way to turn this place around. But until they have a major overhaul, I wouldn’t step foot in the place. I could not recommend any more strongly that you go somewhere else, any where else, before spending your money here.

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KL
Memphis
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect anniversary dinner! Great food, fantastic waiter. Would do it again!

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r
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic experience with my family. Great food, service and ambiance.

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ML
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

It has been a number of years since I'd been to George's. While the renovation created nice ambiance, I found it disappointing that an upscale restaurant would not offer bread as part of the pre-meal offerings, and moreover charge for it. When it was brought to the table, it was placed requiring the guests to get up and reach across the table to access it. This reflected poor staff training in my opinion. Sorbet with fresh fruit was ordered for dessert, and the presentation was anything but creative. While the scoops were entertaining in the shape of a football, the fresh fruit was at the bottom of the glass dish.

They have a 3% wage adjustment surcharge which is disclosed on the menu. I would rather see the prices adjusted, instead of ownership subtly (or not so) sharing the issue they have with what staff are paid with their patrons.

When the check arrived, again it was placed such as to require the guest to reach across the table to access the folio. This after a gesture was made to be handed the check.

In short, while the meal preparation was very nice, I wouldn't say that it was exceptional, such as to reflect the historic reputation of George's.

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FC
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

It was wonderful, had a nice date night, enjoyed the food variation. The spreads that come with the bread were very unique and tasty. Dinner presentation was really nice! Overall a 5 star.

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Y
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our family celebrated Christmas dinner at George's this year. The delicious and imaginative dishes were a nice surprise and very much enjoyed. The noise level was surprisingly low enabling conversation easily. Every member of the staff that we encountered was alert, friendly and on top of every aspect of the meal. I recommend George's for any special occasion!

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M
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were exceptional. Combined with an outstanding view and ambiance and Christmas dinner was terrific.

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JP
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Group of 12 people and all agreed the food was outstanding. All courses mall dishes unique and cooked to perfection
Thanks Georges we had an amazing Christmas dinner at your restaurant!!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful evening of outstanding dining and professional service. Tasting menu is exemplary.

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BZ
San Diego
19 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

George's is our absolute favorite "occasion" restaurant and they deliver every time! Consistently warm and engaging service with exceptional creativity and passion from the kitchen. We are never disappointed with our experience and have enjoyed George's for many years - and hopefully for many more to come. They've recently added a new chef from Juniper and Ivy and he's bringing new ideas to the table combined flawlessly with the classic quality and skill of the existing offerings. Bravo!! Brilliant!! Big fans of George's Modern... xo

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ME
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another exceptionally good experience at California Modern. Our group of 5 included 2 vegans and 3 vegetarians. We were able to order successfully from the menu, which includes both vegan and vegetarian options. All the dishes were prepared and presented beautifully, and all were delicious. Top that off with a comfortable, inviting environment and a well-trained serving staff and you have the makings of a delightful evening.

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ZZ
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Table view is of an industrial rooftop. Server was a bit full of himself.

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CT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

George’s at the Cove is an incredible dining experience that we have enjoyed and savored across 20 years(!) of living in La Jolla, CA. Service is impeccable, food outstanding and the ambiance is quiet and relaxing. Truly one of the best dining rooms in SoCal.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Georges has always bern that special dining experience in la jolla. I took my family members there for a wonderful evening. The service was impeccable and the food was superb. The donut dessert with dipping sauces was the perfect dessert to share. It is pricey but totally worth it

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a
San Diego
25 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Ate here in Feb. We all had a really great experience.
This Sat. is was awful.
Poor service
Menu a good read but poor execution.
Horrible cinnamon/parsnip dessert.
Fool me once.

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B
Las Vegas
24 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always outstanding. Sets the bar high and then exceeds it. Pardhom, our waiter, could not have been any better. My wife's first time to La Jolla and George's. Great romantic dinner and lovely experience. Thank you.

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MS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

George's is a staple in La Jolla, but this was the first time we'd been to this "California Modern" part of the restaurant. There is a very limited selection on the menu, and as you might expect with a name like California Modern, there is a twist to everything there. They were serving California Spiny lobster as the special the night we went ... the waiter was kind enough to point out that the entre was just that ... a spiny lobster tail with nothing else on the plate. We took some relatives out to dinner here to show off La Jolla a little ... I think that backfired a little. There are better places in San Diego to take visitors.

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r
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

This was our first time dining at this George's. We like Level two and the Rooftop, so for a special occasion I took my boyfriend here for his birthday. The food was superb and beautifully plated. The waiter was very professional and kind. We love to go out to dinner and this place was one of the best meals and experiences we have had in the San Diego area.

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O
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb evening celebrating a birthday.
Beautiful room, exceptionally good food, great service. Altogether perfect.

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KJ
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kyle, our waiter, was outstanding in every way and the food was awesome!

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CH
San Diego
22 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant continues to be a premier venue in San Diego. The view over La Jolla Cove remains special, and night, the lighting adds to the ambiance. Food portions run toward the smaller side, which is a refreshing change from other places where the entrees spill over the side of the dish. I had a beet salad, which was a distinctive presentation of a common menu item; it was superb. Jidori chicken was fresh, moist, and delectable, especially when accompanied with a Black Kite Chardonnay. I can hardly wait to return for another wonderful evening. All things considered, this has to be the best restaurant choice in La Jolla.

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CH
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I believe the best restaurant in San Diego. Freshest ingredients, food bursting with the natural flavors from within the food (not masked by a sauce). I had the halibut which was cooked just the right, so it was soft and it was combined with a crunchy topping. The ultimate in presentation, texture, and flavor.

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B
New England
9 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The last meal I had here was extraordinary. This was just ok... the garganelle pasta was excellent, the duck was bland, and the burnt croutons with which it was served did not add to it. A disappointing meal considering past meals have been so good.

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TC
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service and the food and drinks were simply outstanding!

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EM
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and attentive service, but rather be pricey.
Only downer was, we reserved a week ahead of time to celebrate wife's 69th birthday, requesting the favor of a window/ ocean view table. Got a phone call a couple of hours before dinner time informing us that such request would be handled on a first come first served basis. So what's the point of reserving ahead of time? I thought that was poorly handled. Reservations made in advance should be given preferential treatment IMO.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Was okay for a Tuesday night... as the last people there, we expected to get shooed away a bit quick lol so we tried to hurry a bit. I was just expecting a bit more from this establishment. To their credit I used to serve at a Michelin Star restaurant so my expectations may be a bit off mark. But if I simply went by value, there was more to be expected at this price point, but ces’t la vie perhaps they’re leasing, and their markup has to be huge.

Hoping next time is better

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AG
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic! Not the biggest portions but the taste was undeniable. Would definitely return!

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JL
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and timely. They took great care of us. Can't wait to go back

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M
London
3 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Helpful and polite server in a lovely environment with a great wine selection. The food is genuinely fantastic - absolutely one of the most well-executed meals I’ve ever eaten, and decent portion sizes.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Fish scales were found in my crudo. The waiter responded appropriately and apologized the manager, however, did not. When told about the scales he had an opportunity to apologize and rectify the situation and he did not. ...Another missed opportunity is the training of the staff in fine dining. No serving spoon for the pasta and the waiter said the soup spoon we had was the serving spoon. ...As for the food, it was okay but certainly not worth the value of the price paid. ...The ambiance was good but very empty for a Saturday night which is good for us but there are reasons why it’s not busy. ...I would not go back.

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F
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

A wonderful restaurant with a long history of excellence. It had been a while since our last visit, and it shouldn't have taken so long to return. The meal, ambience, and service were first rate. Do not miss the Black Garlic Garanelli pasta starter. Magnificent - it should be an entree choice, maybe with larger, Diver scallops in lieu of the small Baja scallops on the appetizer version.
Our two entrees consisted of the Northern Halibut and the Rohan Duck. The halibut was exceptionally nice - perfectly prepared and presented. The duck was a disappointment - tough and accompanied with a melange of flavors that didn't quite mesh, or hit the mark. I would not recommend the duck. The broccoli had an odd smoked flavor that would be off-putting to most people.
For dessert, we strongly recommend the Banana extravaganza. It is fantastic, and worthy of a trip back on its own account!
Well done, George's. You continue to keep your restaurant relevant and humming at a high level. Cudos!

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SD
Jackson Hole
7 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was good but we waited a very long tine to receive our entree. The restaurant had a few larger groups but otherwise there were many empty tables so we were very surprised the kitchen was so behind. Our waiter was very professional.

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CN
Salt Lake City
5 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tasting menu was excellent. This is not a value dining location, nor should you expect it to be.

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M
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

George's is a unique restaurant: three levels with three very different "personalities" (& menus!). In my opinion, the California Modern experience was OK. The setting & views were fabulous, however the food quality was average and not what I would expect when self-proclaiming "Fine Dining". This is not to say the food was bad, but each dish was basic & unremarkable.

The server assigned to our table was friendly & informative, however the ratio of tables per server seemed too high as it was difficult to track them down on several occasions.

I'd be willing to give it a try again, but perhaps the "Level 2" or Rooftop terrace next time.

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TM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was outstanding and I was so happy they recognized my guest who was celebrating his birthday. I thought the vegan eggplant dish was one of the best tasting meals I have eaten in the past 10 years. Thank you so much!!!!

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M
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Missed the beautiful view due to nightfall but everything else was great. Will be back for the view and everything else.

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