Death by Tequila - Carmel Valley

4.1
89 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
A Baja restaurant and tequila bar with two locations.
One in the heart of downtown Encinitas and our newest location in the Pacific Highlands of Carmel Valley.

DxT is a place of delicious contrasts. Of food without borders that tells the story of our shared coastline: its vibrant cuisine, the surf culture, the rebellious spirit. Where a come as you are vibe provides the backdrop for playful, experimental dishes that burst with color and elevated flavors. Where locals gather after dark to sip handcrafted cocktails and savor a Smugglers List of fine tequila and mezcal you won’t find anywhere else in San Diego.

La vida es corta (life is short), surrender to its pleasures.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 89 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
4.0
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LA
LoraineA
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the place. Food and drinks were very tasty and the servers very helpful and kind. Would definitely recommend.

RP
vipRosePB
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The service was excellent. The meal was incredible, probably one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time.

The drinks were friendly and easy on the palate. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will probably go back.

LM
vipLMReynolds
New England
11 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, great food, yummy margaritas!

KB
KarlaB
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall2food2service5ambience5

Our server Jacob was AMAZING! The drinks were great and the food was ok. This is coming from a full Mexican so take it with a grain of salt. I will definitely go back for the drinks and live music on Fridays.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall1food2service2ambience1

The pictures on the social media make this place look amazing . Not what I expected. Won’t be back.

MB
MaryB
San Diego
27 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great eclectic menu, something for everyone! I’d give the food 5 stars but my short rib taco was overcooked and dry. Everything else was delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience3

The food was cold and the Mother’s Day buffet was overpriced. You should offer a prefixed menu. We did not enjoy our food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Fun and inviting with delicious food. Service was great, lots of fun personalities working there. The only off part was the table we were sat at was dirty and what’s the deal with the overflow of throw pillows at tables? Very 90’s grunge coffee house, yucky.
Totally recommend for a fun evening with delicious food & the house margarita is to die for! Yum!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, good ambiance and our server was very attentive, professional and fun. We also enjoyed the live music playing outside.

MS
MichelleS
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The margaritas were good but the food was okay and we tried many different items.

H
vipHarryo
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience3

It took 15 minutes for someone to wait on us. They have significantly reduced their menu options. Very unfortunate.

TM
TinaM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great additional to the area! We have been to the Encinitas location, and nice to have the same one close by. Went at happy hour (3-6) which was enjoyable, nice deals on some of the apps, as well as Friday there was some live music in the court yard which was a nice surprise. Guacamole was good, although slightly on the steeper side ($12) and had tacos- mushroom + fish, which were also delicious, ($6 each).
Will be back again! Mango margarita was delicious!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
31 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience2

Music too loud for conversation at 5:30 on a Sunday.
Stale chips.

YV
YourVeggieFriend
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Great place for chips and margaritas!

SE
SusanE
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2021
Overall1food5service1ambience3

Service terrible my entree came out they told us my husbands tacos would bee another 15 min or so

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing experience! The staff was amazing and the food & drinks were even better!

EC
EvettC
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a great gem we found! I had no idea this place existed - but we got there and from start to finish, everything was fantastic. Great and interesting takes on drinks and food. They updated their menu early April and it receives two thumbs up from us!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience3

I don’t like the new menu and the service was slow

LF
vipLuvFood
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is delicious! Great service! Cool vibe!!

JG
JosephG
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience3

Food was bad, especially considering the price point. Very expensive for what they served. My fish tacos were covered in sour cream. The salsa's were good and fresh but definitely could have used a bit more spice. My steak taco was ok, but lacked any kind of distinctive flavors. My girlfriends hot chicken was decent but the chicken was a bit dry and the vegetables they served with it tasted like they came from a can (peas really?)
I will not be returning to this restaurant. For what we paid, I expect much better.
Save your money and go to Rubio's.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Cute spot, great margaritas, friendly staff, live music in the plaza was a HUGE plus

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Just awful and can’t even make it semi healthy. Service awful.

J
Jenn
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Menu is very limited.
Drinks were good.
Service was ok.

Will not return!

M
Matt
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Limited menu. Really nitpick on pricing. My friend got a burrito that was dry; asked for side of salsa for it and was told he'd be charged for the salsa as a side. Very small Happy Hour appetizer portions; basically you get Happy Hour price because they short you on food (the quesadilla was smaller than a paper napkin folded in half). Nice server, but didn't seem to know the menu, including portion sizes. Staff had a lot of trouble getting gas heaters to work. Maybe they're just having trouble with reopening.

TM
TrishaM
2 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and ambiance

MB
MaryB
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Food was great, although tacos were a little greasy. Fantastic margaritas. Our server was very attentive, but the music from the restaurant next door was a little overwhelming. Quite cold on the patio in the shade, mushroom heaters needed to be turned on. The street corn is fantastic, as are the sweet potatoes. I love finding lamb tacos on the menu, too, as it's unusual. We'll be back!

E
vipErnie
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

The sever was nice and did a good job. The food was blah. No flavor and overpriced. Beans needed salt, rice was bland and the carne asada was cold. The carnitas was dry. The best part of the meal was the salsa and guacamole. The churros at the end were ruined with chocolate sauce and a weird mush of strawberry inside the churro. Nice place, nice area, mediocre food.
The drinks were weak and were not anything special. Next time I’m in the area I’ll try Pacific Social or the Italian place.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice place

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great environment good food

E
Elena
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food, drinks and service was great! We were served very quickly, I had the rolled Flautas and my husband had the pozole. A little pricey for the bowl of Pozole but was very well made and amazing flavors. We plan to go again and also take family there when visiting!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience1

I had high hopes for this restaurant and it was pretty bad.

Service was terrible. We had to make sure we all ordered some drinks in advance before we were done with the first round because it took about 30 minutes for her to come by and take our order.

We ended up getting food we didn’t order instead of our own.
We asked for some more water and the hostess ran by and literally SLAMMED the glass of water on the table. It was very strange.

Food with good but not worth the price. I’d say the tacos were worth the $4.50 but the carnitas was dripping in oil.

Manager was running around with his mask half off. I dont understand wearing a mask that falls off your face every minute. All servers had secure masks, you’d think the manager would.

Also, bar was open and guests were standing up drinking. At one point there was probably 12 people at the bar. I don’t mind this but you have to walk past them to get to the bathroom and it’s a tight walkway.

I won’t go back for many reasons. What a waste after being excited to go out to dinner because it’s not the norm anymore.

SL
SamL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place always delivers. It's a neighborhood gem.

BC
BlakeC
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place with great food and great drinks!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Orlando
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

We made a last minute Valentine’s Day reservation not knowing they would have a set menu - a simple night of tacos and margaritas would have been fine. Server took our drink order and both margaritas (classic and jalapeño) were like lemonade. $12/lemonade wasn’t horrible... but then food started to come. Big eye tuna appetizer was pretty good. Lobster ceviche was too milky/cheesy. Squash soup was small, but fla

JC
vipJenniferC
San Diego
19 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambiance and food but a bit pricey. We enjoyed our time and will look forward to returning.

MB
MaryB
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Love the eclectic Margarita menu at this restaurant. Tried a "black" margarita called "Los Muertos" - it was delicious! Need to go back to try some of the other margaritas! I had the 3 taco plate, and I chose lamb pibil, carne asada and brisket. They are fairly small, but they filled me up. My husband chose the pork belly fajitas. They were also delicious. I would give this restaurant 5 stars for ambience but we had to eat outside due to COVID, and the chairs are metal, not the most comfortable.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

2nd time here, excellent food, outstanding service, and top notch drinks, the margs are the best I’ve ever tried. By far our favorite restaurant, and the servers are always so polite and very accommodating. The ambience is amazing with lively music and comfortable outdoor seating arrangements. Will definitely be coming back here very soon

1
vip1birdrockfoodie
San Diego
34 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We stopped in for lunch- and most everything was very good. We ordered some guacamole and roasted tomato salsa- both really good and then I had 3 tacos; veggie, fish and carne asada.The veggie taco ( go figure!) was delicious and I would highly recommend it. The fish taco was salmon ( again, not your usual fish taco) and was really good too. I thought the carne asada was just okay- the meat was a bit tough and the flavor was overwhelmingly limey. I had a couple of drinks (Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder)- in this case a tequila version, which I liked, but they were tiny ( 1 oz of tequila, I’d wager) and pricey ($15 ea.) but again, really good. The staff were very nice and very accommodating, and I would definitely return when I’m in the area.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience4

We ordered drinks and appetizer, which were delicious and arrived quickly. But our waitress never came back to take our dinner order or to check on us, so after 30 minutes of waiting we asked for the check and went across the street to Pacific Social. Pacific Social was great! Good food and a waitress who didn’t ignore us.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Drinks are amazing here!!! The food is excellent, service is always great and friendly. I want these guys to do well and support them during these crazy times. Mike our server was so on point and friendly. Support local restaurants!!!

FAQs

Death by Tequila - Carmel Valley offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (858) 369-0717.

Death by Tequila - Carmel Valley is rated 4.1 stars by 89 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.