Clara

4.2
47 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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, American, Spanish
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Hours of operation
Brunch
Sat, Sun 10:00 am–2:00 pm
Bar
Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–12:00 am
Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–2:00 am
Dinner
Daily 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
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Phone number
(760) 944-0699
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Chef Alex Carballo
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Ample parking in surrounding lot.
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Public transit
Right next to the Carlsbad Village Coaster stop!
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 47 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
3.7
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
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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P
San Diego
2 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
66 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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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
1 review
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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OT
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
4 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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OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The appetizers, entrees, dessert and cocktails were delicious. Great beer selection including unexpected choices.

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KD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Amazing food ! However quite noisy- best for a 2 top.

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KG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Came here for our anniversary and it did not disappoint. Everything we ordered was delicious, but the standouts for us were the fried green tomato salad and the skirt steak flatbread with potato of chimichurri sauce.

It was definitely on the louder side, but managed to get a table that was kind of on its own so we could hear each other and it gave it a more romantic feel. Was struck by how reasonable the prices were for such delicious food. Atmosphere was very lively and service was great too. Definitely will be coming back soon!

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KB
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

So excited to see another great restaurant open in Carlsbad! The service was fantastic. The food was really delicious. The cocktails were very tasty. The ambiance could use some improvement. It's very loud and bright. But I highly recommend Clara.

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M
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My new favorite spot in carlabad. For both drinks and food

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r
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding food, lamb dish for my self and scallops for my wife.

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JD
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the moment we walked in we were treated like we owned it. The decor is impressive, the staff is professional but warm and the manager is a gem. The drinks were incredible and the staff were well versed and helpful in our selection.on e of our appetizers’s was the the fried green tomato, great grandma would have been impressed. The food was delightful, well presented and original. We came, we relaxed, we drink, we eat, we relaxed, what more cam you ask. By the way the version of the old fashion is memorable. Nice place to unwind and enjoy yourself.

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E
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We enjoyed our meal. Service was good, but at times aa bit too attentive.
We mentioned that it was my husband's birthday, and a dessert treat was brought out as a surprise, but we were charged for it.

It would be nice to have more of a sound buffer between the bar and other seating.

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I
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 2ambience 1

Quite good food but HORRIBLE experience. 45 minutes until our first dish came out, nothing on the table to nibble in the meantime, but worst of all, very, very, very loud. This space needs sound deadening. Had to yell to speak to the person next to me. Won't be returning

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RF
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

All our dishes were outstanding especially the gnocchi. We will be back to try out their other dishes!

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C
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

This place came highly recommend but I was not impressed. High points were that the drinks were really good and the service was also decent... We enjoyed our waiter. Otherwise, just ok food. The mushroom gnocchi was the best thing we tried. The decor was alright but the worst part was the noise level. Very noisy inside. We had a lot of trouble hearing each other. Wouldn’t go back for a meal with friends again but would meet a girlfriend after work for drinks.

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JG
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Nice new spot in Carlsbad but VERY noisy. Once you get a few tables filled in this spot, the noise level goes through the roof! I’d read a review that mentioned a nice romantic spot for date night, but I sure didn’t see that. There is an open kitchen which contributes to the noise level & then you add their piped in music and everyone is yelling to be heard. Perhaps the owner can take a page from 264 Fresco’s book. That owner listened to customers & worked to improve the noise level with sound abatement additions.
The food we had great flavor (skirt steak, a flatbread & kale salad) but the flatbread lost a little something with the addition of mashed potatoes on top of the flatbread. Also, the skirt steak on top of the potatoes was way over done.
A few tweeks and this place could stick around for a while.

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AV
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are big fans of Stone World Gardens and regulars at Moto Deli, so when we heard that Alex Carballo opened this place, we were excited to try it. We were not disappointed! Great food and excellent service; we tried the gnocchi and the salmon entree and found them delicious. The delectable pear galette for dessert was made to order and warm from the oven! Our server - think his name was Alexander - was enthusiastic, friendly and helpful (and I'm glad we listened to him about the pear galette).

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WL
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Meh. The server assistant with the water needs to stop coming so frequently. Lighting at our two top was very dim. Lentil croquettes were mushy and taste was bland. Not enough goat cheese in salad. Cauliflower tacos were great. Flatbread with zucchini was good (pesto on to made for nice burst of flavor). Staff walking through dining room with bags of soiled linen and other supplies from kitchen. Get that stuff done before the start of dining. Stark decor but it worked.

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JM
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was terrific, although dessert was limited selections. Service was above par and very pleasant. Definitely a little hidden gem in Carlsbad.

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RS
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Great drinks and solid food. They are still working out some kinks but the manager was very good about smoothing everything out for us once we addressed some concerns. A lovely new option for the village.

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AG
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fresh, creative, delicious...excellent meal and outstanding service.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Food was good, craft drinks were excellent, service was attentive. If you are trying to have a conversation it is a bit difficult as it is very loud inside this restaurant.

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B
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We found Clara via YELP. We were so pleased to have Alexander as our waiter. They were short staffed and he asked us to be patient, and that was fine with us and we wanted a relaxing evening.

Starters were the infamous Cauliflower tacos (Did not dissapoint) and Salt and pepper chicken. These were good. Sea bass was fabulous and the flat bread with Skirt steak flavors were amazing, except the steak was a bit stringy, but the awesome Alexander brought a side of skirt steak and these were cooked to perfection.

Highly recommend giving this 3 week old restaurant a chance. The food is really good, ingredients fresh and flavors yummy.

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