Clara

4.1
66 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Nestled in Carlsbad’s bustling Village Fair, Clara is a chic new dining and drinking oasis. Serving market-driven cuisine and unforgettable craft cocktails in a lush and eclectic setting, the restaurant is a refreshingly modern North County destination.

Clara’s executive chef is lauded San Diego Chef Alex Carballo (Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Moto Deli). Bartender Seth Marquez (Campfire, Sycamore Den) is behind Clara’s innovative beverage program, focusing on colorful and ingredient-driven drinks that are long, light and refreshing. Clara’s playful and feminine aesthetic offers an inviting backdrop for an unassuming eating and drinking experience that is a stylish Village standout.
What 66 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
3.6
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
74% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service and food were great. My only disappointment was that the menu posted on Open Table was not the menu at the restaurant. I was looking forward to all the vegetarian choices, but they no longer are available.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The service was great and the location is nicely settled in the village. The food was of a pretty good value with the appetizers being more worth it than the entrees which ended up being our favorites (The cauliflower tacos and lemon pepper chicken). The cocktails were imaginative though not very strong for your buck (I suggest hitting them at their happy hour).

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LW
New Orleans
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

I just moved back to the area from NYC. This was probably not this restaurants finest days, but it really needs to get its act together. I'm used to restaurants not having a service attitude coming from NYC, but this was just poor. I came to check in and nobody greeted me at the door for 10 minutes. I finally had to walk to the back and ask someone if I could check in for my reservation. They seemed like they didn't want to help me. I should have left then. We sat down and waited another 10 minutes for our server to greet us. She seemed flustered and tired - she didn't want to be there and had way too many tables to wait on. We got the ahi with lentils. Both were good independently but the dish just wasn't cohesive, its like the two didn't belong together. I got the halibut for dinner and it was good. My brother got the pulled pork and remarked that it was below average. Our waitress never once checked on us and I can't recall her coming back but to drop off the check. The only nice part about this place is the decor and the guy who refills the water. I would never go back or recommend it to any of my friends. They have a lot of issues to fix.

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J
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Service was very slow, and the staff was unaware of the menu and drink offerings.

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TR
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Customer Service made our experience what it was. Saw they had vegan options on the menu however there had been a change in chefs I believe and the old menu with vegan options were no longer on the menu. Had traveled about 40 minutes and were disappointed upon seeing the new menu. However, the chef was accommodating and made a dish that fit our dietary needs. From the guy filling our water to our great server Sebastian to the chef we greatly appreciated the personal vibe and willingness to try to accomodate.

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KM
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

Food was best part of the dining experience. We could hear very loud band playing outside this restaurant.

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NT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Really tasty food. Cauliflower tacos had a nice kick. The artichoke was full of flavor but way too small. The seafood here is amazing! We had the scallops, salmon and halibut. 3 way tie! The steak was good but not compared to the other dishes. The service was great and we did not have any noise issues as others have commented on. We'll be back for sure!

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LR
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The ingredients on the menu weren’t what was served. However, the meal was delicious. The restaurant is very noisy. It was hard to converse across the table without having to raise our voices.

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c
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Five (5) stars.....from the moment I walked into a just unlocked door to check it out in advance.....Manager Aaron made it a point to walk out from behind the bar, introduce himself, then describe what should be expected of his staff, food & drinks. I was impressed!!! This just does not happen anymore. My favorite retro music played....David Bowie, Kinks, Lou Reed, loved it also.
Food was great, drinks fabulous, and our waitress was top-notch knowledgeable and friendly without being overbearing or intrusive. Attendants refilled our waters in the same manner.
Loved everything about this place!

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ET
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful restaurant. The food was delicious. Cocktails were great and the wine was okay. We’ll definitely be back again.

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SB
New England
12 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

way too loud! all the surfaces were hard and the acoustics in the place are terrible. My guest and I were nearly screaming at each other from across the table.

My vegan dish was AWFUL ( i had the lentil croquettes, tasted like under cooked flour mush. Flavor was terrible). The lettuce wrap appetizer was ok, my partner enjoyed his sea bass. Very overpriced for what it is: loud atmosphere, sub par food, not worth the hype.

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KJ
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This quant new restaurant in Carlsbad village is just what this town needed -GREAT FOOD, GREAT SERVICE, at a good price! Its loud inside but the delicious food makes up for that!!

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SS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

The food presentation was was top notch. I like my food with rich tastes of spice. I found the food bland and doesn't seem like the restaurant has found its roots in taste but its's only been in business 3 months. I try it again in 3 to 6 months. There is a lot of competition in the village and they will need to bring it up a few notches to stay relevant.

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r
San Diego
27 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food and service were outstanding but the noise level was unbearable.
If that bothers you, avoid weekend nights

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Wonderful food and service but the noise level was awful. We will go back once they make the adjustments to help absorb noise in the dining area.

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LK
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Clara’s is a cute restaurant. The menu is a bit odd. We were seated in the main dining area and asked if it was still happy hour. Our waiter said that Happy Hour is only in the bar, though he made an exception. The hostess did not ask if we’d like to sit in the bar. I think if you show up to a place at 5:30 you’re likely there for Happy Hour. I had a Manhattan served in a tiny little glass. It was t great. Anyway, the food is all OK. The portions are extremely small and very overpriced. There are many better options in Carlsbad. We would not go back to Clara’s.

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HC
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and great service! I have been twice now and the staff has always been super friendly and checks in at all the tables a lot. I highly recommend their cocktails and skirt steak!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

I was looking forward to going to Clara, I read about its opening and I thought the menu looked cool on line. I was mostly disappointed with the service, drinks and food took a long time to come. The food was good for the most part. I had lamb and enjoyed it. The fish that was served was a little overlooked and the pickled deviled eggs were disappointing. The flat bread was a big winner and the cocktails were delicious.

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BP
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Last minute date night with the wife without kids. Great ambiance, cocktails were very tasty and food was delicious! Never had raw scallops before and was a bit nervous but was fantastic. Flank steak is amazing.

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

Went for anniversary. Service was very good. Salad and flatbread were both excellent. The sea bass was fishy. They didn’t offer a complimentary dessert for our occasion. Super loud, so be prepared.

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V
San Diego
69 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 2

Need to try one more time...My first visit to this new restaurant was a mixed review. The food was good, the service wonderful. Unfortunately, the noise level was distracting. The server told us that the restaurant is working on it. For that reason, I am going to try again in a month or so to see if they've solved the problem.

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DH
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 1

LOUD AND NOISY!! It was not full but we could barely talk. Service people were as nice and friendly as could be but not well trained. For however was delicious!

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

Great service, the bourbon banana pancakes were soooo good along with the breakfast flatbread. Great coffee too :) will definitely go again!

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OT
Pittsburgh
7 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food, cocktails and service was great. As others had stated, the noise level takes away some of the enjoyment especially the band playing in the restaurant below.

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MH
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

I ordered a skirt steak flatbread and instead was served the skirt steak entree which was good but not what I ordered and I didn’t want to have to wait to receive the flatbread because everyone else at the table had received their main dishes. One of our guests ordered the lemon chicken and said it had very little if any lemon flavor. Ambiance was fine and service was okay but they have only been open a month and a half. Will give them another try and see if things have improved.

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J
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

This new restaurant is very cute but the location is terrible because it is above a VERY loud bar. The restaurant itself has terrible acoustics so we had to yell across the table to each other. We could hear every word of the other tables around us as well. The food was okay. My salmon entrée was literally a piece of nicely cooked salmon on a plate with a couple pieces of carrots and zucchini. All of the appetizers come in portions of three which is annoying when there is a group of four at a table. The food runner brought us our entrees but no clean silverware, we sat for a few minutes before our server came to check on us.
It's a cute restaurant but I doubt we'll be back.

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S
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 1

Clara has a great menu and very good food. We would gladly go back weekly, it's that good BUT.... the noise is absolutely terrible. There is not a soft surface anywhere in the restaurant and noise is deafening. You hear every conversation going on across the restaurant and echo and reverberation of noise is TERRIBLE. The waitress said that is a known issue and they are trying to figure out what to do about it, but likely wouldn't go back until this issue is resolved. Left the restaurant with a headache!

If they fix it this will be a 5 Star!

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

Loved our server! Food timing needed a bit of fine tuning- but they just recently opened- and when the food came YUMMMM. Well worth it! We were there early- as we had one senior with us and it worked out perfectly- when the place gets going it’s a hopping joint!
Food A+++
Server A++++++++
All that makes for a wonderful evening -

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A
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great spot. It's very rare to go somewhere and thoroughly enjoy everything that you order.

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EC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friends and I loved this new spot! The server was awesome. Everything he recommended was on point. I don’t eat meat, so he recommended the kale salad with salmon, so freakin good! Also, I’m super picky about wine, they have a great selection that’s just yummy. I’m definitely going back to show my husband this spot!

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AH
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Cute little place. Cocktails were amazing. Service great. Food pretty good. Prices reasonable. Would go again!

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SM
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and great service!

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HE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

The waiter rushed us from the beginning of the meal asked us 4 times if we were ready to order within first 30 minutes even though we ordered cocktails and two appetizers it was ridiculous!!

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service! Was slightly disappointed as we noted on OpenTable it was a special occasion yet there was no mention of it and we were sat at a table between the restroom and the kitchen. Would definitely go again but not when celebrating an anniversary.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We came for dinner at 5:45 on a Friday evening and it was during the Taste of Carlsbad event. EXCELLENT SERVICE! Still a very new restaurant, so working out kinks such as noise level in dining room and running out of things (like chamomile tea and also asparagus which is on the menu but were unavailable at the time of our visit). We had the cauliflower tacos which our daughter loved— they were great in both flavor and texture, the lettuce wraps which had a nice heat and amazing a layered spice to it, the steak entree, also great, as well as the (vegan) lentil croquettes which were just “ok.” The croquettes were more like pan fried patties rather than a proper croquette in style and the serving size was somewhere between appetizer and entree. Pretty dish though and flavors were good. The lentil patties could have used a crumb coat to lend texture as they were supposed to be the star of the dish. They came out a bit mushy under the pile of pretty sautéed veg. Our kids were welcome at this restaurant and also well accommodated, having a cheese and pepperoni flatbread. Also on offer for the kids were grilled chicken and vegetables. Ending the night, we had an chocolate mousse dessert which our terrific server brought out with a candle for my husband’s birthday. So good!! Overall, it was an 8 out of 10 for us, and we do plan to return. Great addition to the Village!

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BO
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wanted everything on menu will be back. Great craft cocktails.

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JS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We were sat promptly. The cocktails are thoughtful and well executed but took a while to arrive. Everything else was a disaster. It was extremely loud, the dishes we chose were either bland or had flavors that just didn’t work. The scallop crudo was bitter. The flatbread was undercooked and doughy. The grilled peach salad was the exception, it was delicious and well balanced. The lentil croquettes were bland and not croquettes, they were just patties that need salt and flavor. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croquette The first dish came in 40 minutes, the next 3 came within 5 minutes of each other. I’m not sure the noise is fixable but the food and service timing are.

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KE
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The service was fantastic, and the food was great. But the restaurant is VERY loud.

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TM
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Finding a place to satisfy one vegetarian diet and one not can be difficult. Clara delivered with many delicious offerings to choose from. Service was great.

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TS
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 1

We liked the food a lot, but it was so noisy that we couldn't enjoy each other's company. We probably won't be coming back again because of that.

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