Il Dandy

4.4
194 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Italian
Il Dandy is home to California’s first Italian Michelin-rated chefs, father and son duo, Antonio and Luca Abbruzzino. Their eponymous restaurant Ristorante Abbruzzino, situated in the Calabrian region of Southern Italy, was awarded a Michelin star in 2013, the first restaurant in Calabria bestowed the honor.
Staying true to sustainable measures and guided by seasonality, the Chefs Antonio and Luca utilize the bounty of local farms to offer market-driven dishes presented in a contemporary manner showcasing the talents and mindful technique of the kitchen in an approachable setting. Guests of Il Dandy can expect a contemporary approach to cuisine rooted in Calabria, but with a nod to the history of decades past.


















What 194 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RS
Miami
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Small portions, very expensive. All food came cold. Management unresponsive. Would not go back.

N
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good experience! Great service and exceptional food. Would recommend!

IM
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Fun atmosphere, little bit on a pricer side. Food was OK. We all expected more though.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

All good, service not so good.

OT
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

The sea bass dish was too salty.
The Waiter failed to offer any accommodations or added valuable customer service. For instance,
I was not informed that the Chef would be notified.
Hostess, ambiance, decor was 5 star. The margherita pizza was very good. The Italian red wine as recommended to try by my Service was very good as well.
I will continue to return for the ambiance and glass of wine for sure!

DL
San Diego
29 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Lovely restaurant, esp nice outdoors on a warm evening. Servers very nice, efficient and knowledgeable. Menu fairly limited and rather expensive for what you get. Overpriced wine, also. Take a nice bottle and pay the $25 corkage. Food was way too salty - should have sent it back but it got saltier as I went along... The bread was fabulous ($6 for basket of about 6 pieces). Would return for the pizza - they looked terrific!

JD
San Diego
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding in every aspect! The food is so amazing, the service, and every element was perfection!

CE
Los Angeles
68 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely spot. Delicious contemporary Italian food. Everything was great. I recommend the gnocchi. Hospitality was warm, comfortable. Fantastic Italian wine list. Will be back.

j
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is absolutely incredible and delicious. We arrived for happy hour and were instantly greeted and served at the bar. We had the truffle pizza, risotto, and new vegan fusilli pasta and all were incredibly flavorful and beautifully plated. The decor of the restaurant is also so gorgeous. It's a really great place to go on a nice date!

MC
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding experience. These amazing chefs Antonio & Luca have put together an incredibly unique and always delicious menu that you will not find anywhere else. Imaginative cocktails & bev service headed up by Cesar & Co. Will be back.. Many times!!

ME
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Exciting new restaurant, delicious food, excellent service but pricy

JG
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first time to Il Dandy and the restaurant did not disappoint. We had a nice table at the corner of the outdoor seating area near the kitchen. Our server made great recommendations on dishes to try. One note - the cocktails took a really long time to come out (15 - 20 minutes) - we would have preferred for them to come prior to food arriving.

We had the Mozzarella di Tonno which we thought was a great dish. We also had the Padellata di Totani -the Squid dish. Great flavors, but there was a slight chew to the Calamari which my wife didn't enjoy - I liked it just fine though. Ordered the house made bread - fantastic. We each ordered a pasta to share - the spaghetti with Sea Urchin was very rich and had the right amount of "flavor of the sea" a stellar plate. We also ordered the Cavatelli di Grano Arso - the Rabbit dish. We were blown away by the clean flavor of the rabbit - not the least bit gamy and the dish was wonderfully composed.

Opted for the Olive oil cake (Vegan) for dessert and LOVED the mix of flavors and textures presented with the cake. Espresso was top notch as well.

If you are looking for a differentiated italian food experience in a beautifully designed space - try Il Dandy out.

SR
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Finally, a ‘big city’ restaurant with fantastic service in a beautiful space. Our waitress (May) was outstanding. Knowledgeable about the menu, cocktails and wine. Great food, bustling atmosphere but not so loud to impede conversation. Really liked the abbreviated menu and will be back to explore other options. My only complaint (which has nothing to do with the restaurant) is that some of the patrons are dressed like slobs. C’mon guys, Nike shorts, ratty t-shirt, Puma socks and Vans. Tie-dye shirt, shorts and flip flops. Ladies, tell your dates to change clothes next time!

TL
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 2

Went on a Saturday night, so expected it to be busy. Four of us seated in small section of restaurant as we were told we couldn’t be accommodate d on the patio. It was very warm inside, but the noise level was better than in main dining room.. the ambience of the small dining section wasn’t great, LED lighting, etc.
I’d recommend the restaurant if you’re able to sit on patio, or if you go during a less busy time.
The food was excellent, and the chef accommodated a special dietary request. Service was great, also!

TL
San Diego
72 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary at Il Dandy. From the moment we arrived the entire staff went out of their way to make the night special. We were warmly greeted at the hostess stand and then taken to a very nice table outside to enjoy the warm weather and people watch. This area of town is not as frenetic as the Gaslamp or Little Italy, but there is still plenty to see. They have a nice cocktail and wine menu and we sampled each. I tried the Diamante and it was light and refreshing. We ordered the bread (which is extra) but worth it. They serve it with olive oil, but it would have been nice to have a little Balsamic Vinegar with it. Like most restaurants, they do not permit just one person from trying the tasting menu, which I find disappointing. My wife’s taste is not as adventurous as mine, so this means that I have to pass. In this case, it wasn’t a problem since their tasting menu is just a sampling of a variety of dishes contained within the menu. It sounded like a large amount of food. My wife had the Maialino and a Margarita pizza, while I had the Ravioi di Pasta Kina and a filet. We both tried dessert and they were quite good. The Maialino was a bit dry but the pizza was excellent. My Ravioli was very good as was the steak. This place is not inexpensive, but it was worth the trip downtown given that the staff went out of the way to help us celebrate. I would like to see the menu expanded or for them to introduce some specials.

LT
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Too much foam! The chicken is always the safety choice for the conservative eater, serve it with normal potatoes. The ingredients are very high quality, just process them less.

OT
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food and wine pairing. Has the cavatelli with a glass of brunello.

T
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Il Dandy. The setting is tasteful and service was excellent. All our starters and desert were outstanding. Yet our mains were all (we were a party of 5) a little bit disappointing compared to the other courses (for example the fish was dry, risotto tasty but the consistency not quite there). Generally we thought that dishes were outstanding, interesting and very tasty.

p
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Each dish was beyond expectations. Simple ingredients taken to a distinct level. Unique wine list that was well priced. Service was excellent and our special occasion was made special.

SD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great space with fantastic service. Appetizers (Mozzarella di Tonno and Maialino) were amazing. Pasta dishes, Gnocchi and Ravioli were good, seabass was over cooked and bland. Drinks and wine were great.
Would come back for the apps alone, but was hoping for more from Michelin rated chefs.

NL
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Interesting decor, exceptionally creative menu, delicious food, good service. We will definitely return.

LL
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Very nice atmosphere , very open concept restaurant , pleasant tables , server seemed way to busy to come back and supervise that we where comfortable and didn’t need anything else , never offered dessert or coffee , took a long time to get our tab as well , only after we called his attention he came back to us . Very nice hostess , very attentive and cordial , manager also very on task !! Dishes where delicious !! Worth a second try !!

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

My risotto was undercooked and not tasty.

GT
San Diego
25 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, presentation, and service. Only criticism is that the staff are not very familiar with the wine list. Make sure to ask for a manager.

J
Atlantic City
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

Poor service
Good food but very overpriced!
I don’t think it’s worth what you pay.
Not going there again.

SD
San Diego
48 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything!

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

Food wasn't worth the price. The steak that we ordered was overcooked and the ravioli were cold.
There are better restaurants in the area.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

Food was very underwhelming for the price point in my opinion. If you’re going to offer Italian food across the street from one of the most popular Italian restaurants in San Diego I would expect a higher quality product. The pizza we got and the beet gnocchi were both just okay. The design and build out was awesome but noise in the side room we were in made it almost impossible to have a conversation.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was great. Food was good. Some things were excellent and some were just okay (I’m looking at you, seafood risotto). Breaded ribeye was really good, but there wasn’t a lot of it. I wanted more, especially when half it was all fat.

MM
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exquisite experience in every way. Appreciated the delicious vegan and gluten free options.

M
San Diego
39 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding in many ways. This is our second time dining at the restaurant. Intense flavors, playful cocktails and impeccable service adds up to a wonderful evening.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Bartenders not engaging, plenty of staff.

G
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a beautiful restaurant - excellent wine list and very delicious food. It is pricey but given the location and atmosphere not unreasonable.
The Service was very good despite the busy evening - very enjoyable!!

MA
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot! Will definitely go back!
Branzino was excellent!

C
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The back server/busser is a true asset, friendly efficient, fun. Both the young female bartender and female server were great as well. The tortellini and red onion sorbet were the standouts.

VV
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is superb , service was excellent and ambiance perfect for a casual dinner or to celebrate a special occasion. The cuisine delivered a wonderful expression of authentic modern italian. Menu is simple and easy to navigate.

JO
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant, superb staff. The Calabrian wines were a great discovery for us. The food was such a disappointment, though - the carpaccio di gamberi was nice, although the tangerine slices detracted from the other flavors; the cavatelli di grano arso itself was so bland we had to add salt just to get a bit of flavor, not helped by the tough shreds of rabbit (we shared this and still left half of it); my husband's lamb was nice (not the best he's had in town, but good), but my branzino was so salty I literally couldn't eat more than a few bites - even the polenta was so salty it was almost inedible. My husband, who likes things saltier than I do, couldn't eat it either. By that point, we decided not to bother ordering dessert.

V
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Food was ok. Pizza was the best part of the meal and I hate to say this, but I have many other choices for great pizza. Noise level is horrific unless you sit along the edges of the restaurant.

GL
San Diego
30 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great new Italian Restaurant!!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fresh modern open space with nicely appointed but not over the top details. The service was pretty average. Not at all sub par, but at the same time my party was not overwhelmingly impressed. Likewise, for the price point, the fare was good, but not phenomenal, with the exception of the ahi tuna mozzarella app with tomato water. That dish was excellent. Overall, our experience was good...not great... but a solid good and for that, we’ll go back.

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