Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Isabel's Cantina
At Isabel's Cantina, Chef Isabel Cruz fuses Latin and Asian cuisine
into sensual and creative concoctions that are both remarkably addictive and surprisingly healthy. By incorporating ingredients from spicy pork carnitas to tofu, Chef Cruz creates a vegetarian's haven as well as a meat-lover's paradise. The exotic dining space is at once dramatic and hip, with accents such as an enormous 15-foot Buddha statue staring down at the dining room. Casual booths, stark lines, and warm colors create an atmosphere not found elsewhere in Pacific Beach, attracting crowds for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
San Diego, CA 92109
Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary Mexican
Hours of Operation:
Daily: 8:00am - 3:00pm
Daily: 8:00am - 3:00pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
4 private parking spots in front of the restaurant. Easy to find non-metered street parking beyond that.
Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Send a Gift Card
Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.
Isabel's Cantina Ratings and Reviews
This place was fantastic! Although a bit lacking in decoration the building was beautiful and I loved the windows looking back into the kitchen area. Food was fantastic but even better was the service! He sat down next to meet while taking our orders and was so friendly. Let me try a mini version of the jalapeno margarita because I wasn't sure if I'd like it! This place absolutely stands by their quality and we were not disappointed! I ordered the shrimp tacos which were delicious and my boyfriend ordered some sort of Brazilian bowl...every part of it was great. Would recommend and if we weren't just visiting on vacation we'd be going back often!
Started with the house-made kombucha, and the meal just took off from there! My husband and I kept remarking on the interesting mix of flavors. Food is incredible! My husband wasn't sure if he'd like the chile relleno, and the server guaranteed it was the best thing on the menu -- and that he would buy it if my husband didn't like it. Needless to say, the server was right. Great place!!
A bit unhappy with this visit to Isabelle's. Arrived expecting to order ahi and fresh fish meals but they did not have either. Given the limited menu, this was a big disappointment.
The lettuce wraps appetizer was excellent and would order again.
Service was friendly and efficient.
We will return based on previous outstanding dining experiences.
Isabel's Cantina is not your standard fair Mexican food. Expect the unexpected when you munch down some of the magnificent tastes that you will encounter on your plate. Not sure how to describe it - maybe like Mexican Fusion or wall penetrating flavors or just plain interesting and GOOD!
It was our second trip to there since we were turned over by manager due to having reservation at 9:45 PM (last appointment option was 10). He said he already closed the kitchen because it was not busy anymore (Saturday night). He was keep saying it was open table
False not their as open table is offering last Rez. Option at 10 PM. He was extremely rude and basically and clearly he suggested us find another restaurant at Pacific Beach. Nothing else to say but Very rude! We had to go for second time to use our our Groupon purchase...the server was helpful, they had out of one chicken tamalades that I wanted to try. I ordered fish taco I according to his suggestion I nstead it had so little almost no flavor...I would not suggest this restaurant to anyone even the atmosphere is very unique and stylish.If you ever need to talk with manager, good luck!
Not the first time we've been, always have incredible food; innovative combinations, fresh seafood, great produce. Everything expertly combined to make some of the best craft Latin dishes both traditional and cutting edge! Fun atmosphere, creatively decorated with huge picture window into the Kitchen, well-stocked bar.
This visit was for Ceviche Wednesday, did not disappoint! Three flights of the best ceviche we've had this side of Baja!
We used a Groupon as we love tying out places that are new to us. Isabel's Cantina is a hip and mod restaurant with an interesting mix of Asian-inspired and Mexican food. We started with the very ample chips, guac and salsa starter, yum.! Guac was smooth and creamy and salsa had the right amount of spice. For our mains, we had the carnitas tacos and the shrimp tacos. Both came on very fresh soft, double corn tortillas. We enjoyed Isabel's and highly recommend.
We love Isabels. Always an enjoyable experience here. The new Ceviche Wednesdays with guest chefs is a great way to try something adventurous. We will be back for lots more of those. You can also never go wrong with anything with carnitas on it! The Chile Rellanos are also amazing. We love dinner here, but breakfast is just as good if not better.
They do not have a host/hostess and it causes so much confusion. I went there a couple months ago and waited about 25 minutes for a waiter, host, manager, anyone! to acknowledge my boyfriend and me and let us know about a table, so we left. I made a reservation this time, hoping it would be better and legitimize our claim to a table. It was still really confusing but we were seated quickly. The waiter did ok but we had to finally track him down for our check, meanwhile watching the drama unfold at a table near us that was sitting long before we got there and never got their food. I think they do some sort of easygoing waiter/waitress sharing system but it's just not executed well. Food is excellent, but bring your patience.
Horrible customer service! Had a rez.at 9:15 PM on Friday night (opentable offers reservation was giving
options till 10 PM). We got there 9:25 (no parking- finding street parking at PB). When we entered hostes was seemed to be surprised to see us. Manager came over and said "I close kitchen at 9PM. I accepted your reservation at 9:15 anyway but you were late). Kitchen is close. " when I mentioned about opentable reservation time options, he was keep saying opentable's mistake.We were told there is many other restaurants in the area we can go to eat!! He was even feeling pretty comfortable to mention that clearly it was not a busy night so he closed the kitchen before we came. Even we were saying our sorry for being 10 mins late, he said " sorry " only once after 5 mins complain-conversation about how he was not even saying sorry. He also mentioned about recent renovation, it is clear that they are not on track.
As soon as we arrived, the hostess let us know that they were shortstaffed and scrambling. We could definitely tell, because the service, especially the wait time for food, wasn't great. But the sangria is fantastic, and when the food came, it was beautiful and delicious.
Isabel's used to be one of my favorite restaurants. Unfortunately, each of the last three times I have eaten there the experience has become progressively worse. On my most recent visit, it was clear they were not ready for the 6:30pm onslaught of diners. My family was the first group in the restaurant at 6:15pm, at which time staff members were still running around adjusting tables, chairs, and lights. Once we sat down and ordered, it was instantly apparent that our waitress was extremely distracted and careless. She ended up screwing up our order two times. First she brought my mother the wrong type of fish, and then she brought my brother a Brazil Bowl instead of the Brian's Bowl. By the time the incorrect dishes were returned to the kitchen, the restaurant had filled up with people, so our correct dishes didn't come out for another 10 minutes. This forced half of our family to eat while the other half waited, basically destroying the enjoyment of our dinner. I should also mention that the food was not very good. My favorite dish, the Ahi Tuna Platter, came with less tuna and much less wontons. For $26.00 it was a rip off. My mother's seabass was terrible, way too much rice that did not complement the taste of the fish. My father's chicken was good, but nothing special.
Additionally, the wooden chair my father sat down in had a crack on the armrest. When he sat down some of the skin on his hand was caught in this crack and pinched extremely badly, instantly creating a giant blood-blister on his hand. When we told the waitress all she did was point at the chair and say "yeah I see there's a crack there". She then walked away as we switched the chair with a nearby chair. We told her the chair was dangerous and should be removed, but our concerns were ignored.
TL;DR: Isabel's is going through a renovation and right now they are struggling. Hopefully they can get their act together again because I used to love this place.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.