Clara

4.1
92 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.

What 92 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
4.2
food
4.2
service
3.7
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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PZ
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Even better than the last time! This time we brought two friends and both loved it. He was a food industry CEO, so knows restaurants.
I just wish they’d carry Battlemage beers.

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OT
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Huge portions!!! Almost too much food!

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Naples
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Only 2 waitresses for the entire place, took almost 15 minutes to get water, and another 20 for drinks. Food was good, but not worth the noise & poor service to return.

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LB
New England
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service, exceptional menu, loved everything we ordered!

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CT
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoyed the experience. Good was excellent.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super cute, intimate dining experience. Sebass (Sebastian the very talented bartender) absolutely made our night! He was personable, on point with his recommendations and very upbeat and friendly. We also happened to talk to the chef, and I have nothing but great things to saw about him and his food! Delicious!!!! We had the Salmon and the Chimichurri Steak... mmmmmmmm! We will definitely be back!

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DF
Baja California
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

we had four entrees and two appetizers - no alcohol. Everything was delicious! I would have liked a hotter artichoke, but still good. The salmon was amazing. Cooked perfectly. DON'T change your timing and you'll have a customer forever! Scallops were as expected - succulent. The chicken was really tasty. Not over done, but almost... I didn't try the skirt steak, but my daughter said it was tough. It's a skirt steak, not a filet, so not unusual. Next time we'll ask for the meat to be charred rare and I expect it will be sensational! The sides were really good with the meat, saving grace. The little kids liked everything, except the artichoke! A hit all around. Service was nice. We changed our reservation three times but fortunately they weren't busy, so very accommodating. It's a little noisy, but with a concrete floor, to be expected. Loved the booth seating. Chairs were hard! All in all, WE'LL BE BACK!! AND I CAN'T WAIT!

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D
San Diego
29 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

It was kinda loud with in the place and the music was loud too, but the food was really good!

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s
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambience, yummy food, great drinks and the service was very good! Highly recommend. Welcome to Carlsbad Clara!

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Anchorage
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

Food was disappointing and slow during a really quiet empty dining room. Drinks were good. Server forgot about us several times. Left before second appetizer could be made.

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T
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant in the Carlsbad Village. I’m going to take my parents here.

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DR
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The ambience was more if a cafe feel, but the food and service were superb. I had the Salmon (fabulous) and the Baby Kale Salad

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GM
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great new restaurant! Cocktails were spectacular.
Loved the decor and service... we had the cabbage tacos and roasted artichoke to start. They were both super delicious!
I had a chicken Cesar and they customized it for me with tomatoes.
lil tiny thing, the chicken was pretty salty.

Will most definitely send friends over...

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SK
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best food in the Village! A bit noisy with the acoustics for some reason, but worth it for the food.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 3

Sent back food. Overly salty. Noise level was more loud than energetic, probably due to poor acoustics.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We went on Valentine’s Day - it was a pre fixe menu, did not know it was going to be pre fixe. Service was horrendous, although the bartender was great. Hostess did not know what she was doing and server was not inviting at all. Food was mediocre - I expected more from the chef!

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SV
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it the place was awesome.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Really awful food and weird atmosphere.

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GD
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Clara serves wonderful cuisine that crosses over from seafood to vegetarian to exceptional meat dishes, all prepared with an artistic flair and just the right seasonings to delight! Their fish dishes were prepared perfectly -- served moist and hot with nice touches in their plating. And importantly, THEY SERVE LATE, which is almost unheard of in Carlsbad! Their service was also wonderful -- didn't feel rushed, gave us time to enjoy the evening, and the wait staff had REAL conversations without any of the robotic talk that mars so many other restaurants. We felt welcomed here, enjoyed their menu and their craft cocktails. We will return, and urge others to as well!

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PZ
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service were exceptional. I wish Clara much success. The restaurant is on the second floor, so not very visible.

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NN
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We were in a party of 5 : 4 solid entrees & one good dish but scallops were dry and over cooked : this dish clearly been left under the heat lamps for ages.
Staff were stretched thin and so service was slow : they could have sold our table more cocktails but they missed that opportunity due to their staffing. Server was professional, good, serving too many tables though.
Nice modern place with a good cocktail list : prices are very fair.
Impossibly loud in the back part of the restaurant: couldn’t hear my parties discussions at all well : the place has poor acoustics and loud customers the night we visited.

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BM
San Diego
37 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first time at Clara. We enjoyed the ambience, the great service and had one of the best meals we’ve enjoyed in a long time! I highly recommend this restaurant.

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C
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were so impressed with Clara. While we didn't particularly have any expectations, the food was phenomenal. Unfortunately on our visit, the kitchen was a bit backed up, but honestly, the quality of the food and service compensated for a slightly longer wait time. Of everything, however, the flatbread was by far our favorite part of the meal. The homemade pesto and abundance of cheese made this one of the best flatbreads we have ever eaten.

I would highly recommend Clara to anyone looking for a nice evening out in Carlsbad.

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C
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great casual faire - good vibe. Had two flatbreads - the capresse and the white - both very good and the kale salad. Would like to see more salad options on the menu. Ordered a side of asparagus and the serving was small - our server noticed and brought us another portion. Will try the main dishes next time.

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RC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful new eating place with superb food, fair prices, and awesome service! The decor was a bit on the industrial side, and the lack of fabrics and other noise-absorbing materials made it a bit louder than my liking, but overall I would rate it one of the best places to eat in Carlsbad - which is saying a lot!

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Service was incredibly poor which put a damper on the whole night. Music playlist was great, cocktails were very good, but food was average. The service though really killed the experience.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 13, 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
3 reviews
Dined on January 5, 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 December 31, 2018
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
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
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 December 31, 2018
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
30 reviews
Dined on December 28, 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 22, 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 9, 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 7, 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 6, 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
14 reviews
Dined on December 1, 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 24, 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 18, 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 17, 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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