Decoy Dockside

4.1
509 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
From serene lake views to cozy fireplaces, it’s #openseason at Decoy to celebrate the unexpected! We invite you to our peaceful lake side retreat to feast among the flora and fauna on a menu of new American cuisine inspired by the great outdoors and prepared by Chef David Warner. Grab a stool at our floating lakefront bar for a casual drink or sit down for a decadent meal among friends. However you choose to experience dockside dining, Decoy welcomes you to join our table.
Dining Style
Elegant Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Breakfast Monday-Saturday 8am - 11am
Brunch Sunday 8am-2pm
Lunch Monday-Saturday 11am-2pm
Dinner Sunday-Thursday 5pm-9pm and Friday-Saturday 5pm-10pm

DOCK BAR downstairs dining : casual dining on the lake level with an all day menu
Monday - Friday 2pm - Close
Saturday & Sunday 10am-Close
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Phone number
(760) 653-3230
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Chef David Warner
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Neighborhood
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 509 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
4.1
food
3.9
service
4.6
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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NC
San Diego
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant with great details around the room from the lit wood grain bar to the unique chandelier and view of the lake from all sides. My favorite part was the water show and music. A nice surprise to the evening. We sat at the bar first for a glass of wine. The bartender was attentive and the wine selection good. Very nice ambience. We first chose to sit outside for dinner but the hostess did not know how to turn on the patio heater. We sat for a while before anyone came outside and it was cold and windy. The waiter made it out but had to get a new tank before our orders were placed. Again we waited a while. Our drink orders took so long that we decided to move inside. We felt like being outside we were being forgotten. The service was not as good as it was at the bar.

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CF
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Unfortunately a little noisy. -------------------------

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JR
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

loved the food. Didn't love how pushy the waiter was about up-selling. Speaking as a server in a steakhouse it is very distasteful to constantly upsell. & absolutely bothered my husband and I.Server was slow and forgetful. At one point we considered asking for a new server. However food was great, bartender was great, drinks were great. Service was a 2. Also hostess wouldn't seat us at our 5:30 slot, so we had to wait. However is wasn't busy. Seemed like a strategy to get people to go to the bar. Also annoying.

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C
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely view and venue. Attentive staff, decent menu, good presentation.

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l
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Ambiance is great-right on Lake San Marcos. Easy access for disabled. Food was good but service was very slow-especially the kitchen. Waited over 30 minutes for the meal after ordered at 1:15 on a weekday. That is unacceptable. The basil chicken pasta was excellent . Very nicely decorated and modern.

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

First time at Decoy. The food was 90% good. The service was excellent. Unfortunately, we got to the restaurant after dark; we did not get to see the lake view. The place is supposed to be scenic. We definitely will return to dine at Decoy. Will recommend for others.

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A
San Diego
133 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for brunch. good for the family. When busy, the staff was a bit over run. All in all a great brunch.

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OT
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On Saturday night we had some friends joining us for dinner and they wanted to try someplace new. My husband and I have been to Decoy several times and have not had a good experience with the service! We were hesitant to recommend Decoy but we decided to give it another shot. We shared with our waiter and the manager Upon arrival our I previous disappointment and I have to say that they completely changed our opinion at this restaurant!
The food as always was excellent! We had New York steaks and scallops and all four dishes were exceptional!
The ambience is amazing at this restaurant! We dine out frequently and are so impressed with just how beautiful the setting and the restaurant is!
This time we were pleasantly surprised at the outstanding service we received from our waiter and the manager!
The service was first class which made the entire dining experience amazing!
I would highly recommend Decoy!

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LL
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

This was my second visit to Decoy. I had been there about 7 months ago. The place is beautiful to be sure and it is a delightful setting. The menu however is very limited. Not many choices for an individual who is lactose and gluten intolerant. On this occasion I had the trout served on cassoulet. The fish was done to perfection. However the beans in the cassoulet were drastically undercooked. Another individual in our party ordered a baked potatoe as a side and it was so cold he sent it back to the kitchen.
I don’t think I will be returning. You’d think after all this time they would be able to
offer more variety, small adjustments to dishes to allow for hose with dietary restraints. GF past would be a start.....

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SL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have wanted to try Decoy since it opened and finally made it! Very much impressed with the room, the food and the service. The view of the lake and mountains was an added bonus around sunset. We'll be back.

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MP
Miami
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

They had run out of fillet steak which was one of the reasons we went there and as we were celebrating a birthday we were very disappointed. Sirloin was a bit sinewy. We didn't bother to stay for dessert.

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G
Detroit
28 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 5

I ordered the Short Ribs and the side hot cake that came with it was actually refrigerator cold in the inside. They kindly corrected with a side of veggies that were good. My short rib did not taste good at all and I love short ribs. My girlfriends scallops were ok at best.

Lovely ambiance, view and friendly service, but the food is not up to par with their high ticket menu and the ambiance.

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G
San Diego
26 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Little things deficient: no napkins for cocktails, calamari appetizer over cooked, lower quality oysters (relative to other upscale seafood in the area), prime rib eye seemed over-gristley.

Pluses: beautiful outdoor seating, reasonably broad wine list, ample parking and even with two large parties (>20) easy to carry on a conversation.

All in all, we will give Decoy/Dock a second chance.

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V
San Diego
33 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

I made reservation on OpenTable, checked in 10 minutes early, was asked to wait in bar area and then had to remind hostess we were waiting to be seated which was 20 minutes after reservation time. The restaurant also failed to record I arrived on the Open Table system and was contacted by OT via email. I responded with my receipt number since I could not attach a picture of my receipt.

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

This place is super nice and a good atmosphere. I was able to try the bar below for a casual lunch then took the complimentary ride on the boat. The kids loved it. Then a few days later we tried the fine dining upstairs and watched a water ahow from the balcony. All and all, a great time. Even has 2 EV spots to charge up front.

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m
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My three dinner companions each had fish, sea bass, salmon and trout, which without exception was deemed excellent. I'm vegetarian and had cauliflower gratin and roasted fingerling potatoes. The desserts, apple cranberry cobbler and spiced butter cake, were anazing, but huge portions.

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

Went during restaurant week. The ravioli and scallops were delicious. Staff was friendly but service was slow. We had a reservation for two at 6:45 on Sunday. We got a drink at the bar and then had an appetizer, dinner and dessert off the restaurant week menu and didn't get our check until 9:20.

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M
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We live in the area and dine there quite often. I rated the food and value as only average for good reason. We dined during Restaurant Week, a time when restaurants get the opportunity to showcase their restaurant (generally with a price fixed menu) and focus on what they do best. I thought the options and portion sizes were just okay but not worth the price they charged. Our service was outstanding and attentive but we all left there feeling a little underwhelmed. Sorry, I am usually more positive but the restaurant needs to know.

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S
San Diego
24 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

First time having diner during restaurant week. Service was excellent. Fabulous table against the window and we could enjoy our conversation. I had tenderloin after waitress suggested. It was yummy. Husband had tuna it was ok. Deserts were ok that was the weakness. But we are planning on being family back for birthday celebration

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came here during restaurant week. We were seated on the balcony/patio area overlooking the water. Service from Jason was excellent. The food was outstanding, especially the lobster bisque, cioppino, and strawberry panna cotta. Nice ambiance, great for a romantic dinner.

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K
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for restaurant week. Great value and great food. Service was prompt and friendly.

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CJ
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

The food was good, except that items were missing, the steak didn't have its demi-glace and the salad was missing the egg. Service was poor, we had to track down a waiter and weren't offered bread.
We went for Restaurant week and they didn't have a vegetarian dish on the $40 menu, you had to buy up to get a vegetarian entrée.

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K
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

We went for my husband's birthday. The hostess wished him a happy birthday, but the server did nothing. We weren't necessarily expecting a free dessert, but she didn't even put a candle on the dessert order or wish him a happy birthday! The hostess basically ran out to the table without checking to make sure we were close behind when she seated us at the table. I had to basically jog in heels to catch up. We were seated for a long time before the server greeted us. We had to ask for bread. The ceviche appetizer tasted sour (like there was too much lime juice). We flagged her down to take it away, since I had only taken a bite. It was still on our bill at the end. We had to point it out to her so she could give us the corrected bill. Not a good experience, but at least being seated outside by the water was nice.

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S
San Diego
45 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food and service, but on a Saturday evening sooooo loud, you had to shout to your party over dinner or miss most of the conversation.

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t
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience overall-I would highly recommend upstairs for any fine dining desire and downstairs for a fun social atmosphere.

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DB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 5

The ambiance is great, the food is so so but the service is terrible. We have been to Decoy at least a dozen times over the past couple of months and keep going back for the beautiful views and nightly show of lights. But we always have to tell our guests we bring that the service is terrible. We had a party of 18 for a special occasion recently and it took over an hour just to get drinks. Doesn't matter how small the party, the service does not get any better.

Perhaps management is the problem? Just a suggestion. The good news is that the restaurant has a perfect location and the views are spectacular! Think with good service, you could turn over more tables and increase your bottom line. Perhaps a new crew is warranted!

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JA
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Went to Decoy to celebrate my daughters birthday. Table was ready and we were asked if we’d like to be inside or out. We chose inside not knowing there’s a light show over the lake during the evening. Would have appreciated someone mentioning that as we made our decision. Food was great. Started with the grilled octopus. Beautiful presentation and cooked perfectly. Entrees were he salmon, ciopinno, seared scallops and the short rib. All looked amazing and tasted just as good. The one drawback was the service. It was adequate at best. Drinks took awhile ( was not a busy night) waters we never refilled and they did bring a birthday dessert but with it the check. Never were we asked if anyone else would like dessert or coffee. I would highly recommend Decoy for a special occasion or just a nice night out if they step up their service game. Decor, view and food are all on point.

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s
San Diego
36 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

We pretty much enjoyed our first time there. Our waiter was especially nice and accommodating. We were disappointed that, with a reservation, we waited quite a while and then were seated in the back in a booth. Also, chilled champagne would be nice. It was always a little warm and my spouse saw that it was just kept on a counter, not in chilling buckets. Food is a little limited. Lots of breakfast items, but not too many savory items. Salad section was really nice.

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K
San Diego
20 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I didn't expect such a sophisticated yet laid back place in San Marcos! The place is beautiful, the food is wonderful and the portions are not skimpy. My only criticism is that they should bring you bread with appetizers and not just at the entre. Be sure to be there around 8:30 pm to see the light show in the lake.
I want to try downstairs at Dockside next! YUM!

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BB
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 5

We have dined at Decoy a couple of times now - the food has been very good, the menu selection is broad and fun the service each time has been HORRIBLE. The first time was a team lunch we could not get service to save our souls when the food trickled out we often there was no serving utensils for condiments we had to ask numerous times for everything including beverages. Everyone I have spoken with expresses the same sentiments - "it is such a shame the service is SO BAD because the food and location are really good!" The restaurant has been open long enough they should have seasoned wait and kitchen staff. Unless I receive some acknowledgment or announcement that they recognize their poor service and have taken action to resolve - I will not recommend or return. It really is too bad!
Thank you for your time

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SR
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The view, the food, the service--it all was beyond my expectations. The prices prevent this place from being a part of our regular rotation, but it certainly makes for a lovely celebratory meal. We attended for breakfast and enjoyed a beautiful Vista accompanied by delightful (both to the eyes and to the tastebuds) food. Our waiter was friendly and attentive. Overall, we had a very pleasant morning.

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S
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our second time here. Love that it is on the water with boat action. Service in bar and dining room are outstanding. All meals we have had have been exceptional. They really nail their steaks. Can't wait to go back. Get there early because parking is at a premium.

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LM
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We were 15 minutes late and out sweet Hostess held our window table for us. Medford was an excellent server! Meal (Caprese Sandwich) very, very good.

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UD
Sacramento
101 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Indicated this was our anniversary when I made the booking, but no one acknowledged this. Service was spotty; asked for our Caesar salad to be split on two plates and I had to ask the busboy to track down the salad after 15 minutes of waiting. The wine we requested was not available and the server did not make any suggestions for substitutes. The breading on the calamari was soggy. On the plus side our outdoor seating gave us a great view of the light/water show.

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

Love love love! From the moment we walked in to the moment we left!!! We will definitely be back very soon!!!

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BM
San Diego
35 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great evening celebrating our anniversary and received great service from Jace. The ambiance and food and drinks were perfect. We appreciated the complimentary dessert and boat ride around the lake after dinner.

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MM
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We loved Decoy’s new menu, the food was great. Jason our waiter was fantastic and knowledgeable about special diets. We were quite impressed overall. We will be back soon.
The restaurant is beautiful.

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JS
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Very disappointed in the service here. Hostess was curt upon our arrival 10 minutes early for our reservation. Told us to sit and wait for our reservation time. 10 minutes after our reservation time, I went to check whether our table was ready. Hostess didn't remember us checking in. There were many empty tables, so I am not sure what the issue was. Wait service was also very slow throughout the evening. Music was so loud we couldn't hear our own conversation. Even though the food was good, we will not be back.

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m
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great table on the terrace, cocktails and heavy appetizers. Only down...while waiting in the bar for my group, rude group of people just plopped down and encircled me, and dumped purse on table right in front of me, so I couldn't put my drink down! Then talked loudly and incessantly. Didn't even ask if they were intruding. Got up with my drink and left to find someplace to wait. Fortunately found new couch and no one intruded. Staff super. Honored my reservation and gave us a great table on the terrace with wonderful view. Service excellent. Food and drink wonderful. Good things come to those who wait and put up with inconsiderate folk.

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DD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My only criticism Is that the air-conditioning was too cold, so we changed to an outside table.

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