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Mermaids & Cowboys

4.1
4.1
307 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood

Mermaids & Cowboys marries ocean and land through the rich history of the Pearl Diving Mermaids of Japan and the historic Cattle Ranches of La Jolla. “Mermaids” plays homage to the Japanese Ama Divers, who helped to inspire the modern-day mythology of the Mermaid. These female free divers would dive to the bottom of the ocean to gather shellfish to feed their villages; they later became the first pearl divers for the Mikimoto Pearl Company.

“Cowboys” plays homage to the historic ranches of California, from the Tejon Ranch, established well over 300 years ago, to the Carver Bowen Ranch established in 1872. Our restaurant tells a visual story to our diners with our pearl chandeliers, saddle-leather seating booth, teak furniture, and pearlescent fish-scaled bar. The photography on the walls pays tribute to the Japanese Ama Divers and the bold California Cowboys tending their ranch and cattle.

Make a reservation

2 people

January 2022
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7:00 PM


Booked 18 times today
  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Steakhouse, American

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch
    Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–3:00 pm
    Dinner
    Daily 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (858) 999-0205

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Neighborhood

    La Jolla

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dog Friendly, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Offers

  • Live Music Tuesdays!

    Multiple dates available
    Tue - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    *Craig Griffin Jazz Organ Trio* The Craig Griffin Jazz Organ trio provides a blend of bossa nova, jazz standards and bebop for the San Diego area. Originally from Atlanta, Craig Griffin studied jazz and classical guitar at the University of North Texas. He was a cruise line musician before moving to La Mesa and becoming a premier San Diego guitarist. ~ Juan Carlos Mendez is a professional drummer for a San Diego Music Award winning band playing all around the county and beyond, filling in a myriad of different musical settings. Ezri Martinez is one of San Diego’s best and only organ players with accolades in music school including San Diego Mesa College, Arizona State University and now San Diego State University.

  • Live Music Thursdays!

    Multiple dates available
    Thu - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    *ZB Savoy* ZB has been playing corporate events, weddings, cocktail hours and restaurants for over a two decades. The quality of his guitar playing and vocals as a backdrop to any event is second to none. His unmatched professionalism, cheerful attitude and ability to "read a room" make him one of the most sought after event musicians in Southern California.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff temperature check required
    • Contact tracing information collected

Popular dishes

Menu

View menu on restaurant's website

What 307 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.1
4.1 based on recent ratings
  • 4.2Food
  • 4.2Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 3.8Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    16 reviews

    2.0

    16 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall2food3service1ambience3

    So understaffed! We received our drinks 40 minutes after order and our meals 2 hours after ordering. Oh my!

  2. MM

    MelissaM

    Vancouver

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great food and drinks. I think our meal got missed and it took a long time to get it but we enjoyed ourselves. We liked the appetizers more than mains and the butter cake was phenomenal. We will definitely return.

  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    58 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    58 reviews

    Dined on January 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Place is nice and casual. Great customer service. Excellent recommendations by Tim.

  4. PL

    PaulL

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 15, 2022

    overall2food1service2ambience4

    Beautiful spot. The food was over salted, over peppered, and over cooked. I’ve never sent an order back before that evening, but I genuinely couldn’t eat it. At one point I had to fo find my waiter to order drinks. Possible that they were understaffed because of pandemic- but I wouldn’t go back. Good candidate for a restaurant rescue show. So much potential.

  5. JM

    JimM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    I love this place. First, the name. It has both great seafood and turf stuff too. I had the Korean shortribs...and my companion had Salmon. Both were great, with good beer on tap as well. There was live music, too, which was nice.

  6. H

    Husky

    Sacramento

    5 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 3, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience3

    Uninspiring. Disappointed that management would not allow substitutions on a simple buyer for the kids from fries to anything healthier. Lame policy

  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Our New Year’s Eve dinner was really yummy and fairly priced :-) the service was great and the ambiance was pleasant and festive Will be back

  8. SB

    StacyB

    Los Angeles

    9 reviews

    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on January 1, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience2

    Odd that a “fancy “ and expensive restaurant does not even offer bread with the meal. Wifee ordered well done butterflied filet and got pre top ink center. Cooks have really one job, cook to order. Took forever for refills when there were plenty of staff and only a few tables with customers. Waste of $120

  9. SD

    SDNative

    San Diego

    21 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2021

    overall3food4service2ambience4

    Food was good. Service was slow and waitress could not remember what we asked for.

  10. LS

    LisaS

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We enjoyed fresh oysters, great food and delicious beers on tap. Everything was top-notch. The service was fantastic. Can't say enough...

  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 28, 2021

    overall1food4service1ambience2

    The food was just good. The waiter tried really hard. But we didn’t get seated for 45 minutes after our reservation time, didn’t get our first drink for another 45 minutes, and We never got our appetizers until the main course arrived. The food was fine but overall it was a crappy experience and I spent the evening being either mad or disappointed by the restaurant

  12. RK

    RichardK

    St. Louis

    6 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on December 27, 2021

    overall1food1service4ambience2

    Food was mediocre. My salmon salad was filled with inedible ends of lettuce that should have been thrown out instead of served. when this was pointed out to waitress, she duly reported to the kitchen, but the head chef had already left and the waitress was unsure what to do so she did nothing. After we paid, the manager came over to apologize but did nothing. His insincere offer of a glass of wine when we were getting ready to leave was quite disappointing. Also, no employee was wearing a mask. truly shocking.

  13. JM

    JillM

    St. Louis

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 26, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fantastic setting, food, & staff. Everyone was so friendly & wonderful. Perfection & much appreciated. Thank you!!!

  14. S

    Sana

    Washington DC

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on December 22, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Tonight was a small reunion of lifelong friends. The food was exceptional and the service was top notch!

  15. AE

    AEDaniels

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 21, 2021

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    Great service. Good food and fun atmosphere. Would come back if in the area. Celebrated our daughter’s birthday, and the server (and restaurant) did their part to make it special.

  16. JV

    JosiahV

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 15, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    As always, service, food and ambience is excellent!

  17. AR

    AndiR

    Phoenix

    7 reviews

    1.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 12, 2021

    overall1food2service2ambience3

    We arrived right on time for our reservation and despite being less than half full, we had to wait to be seated. In my reservation, I requested to be sat at the bar but we were instead sat next to a large table that was reserved for a large group. We didn’t want to sit next to a group so we moved to another table further away. We waited for about half an hour before anyone came over to take our drink order. Multiple servers buzzed by our table and brushed us off when we asked to place our drink order. Someone finally came over to take our order, and by then, we were ready to put in our food order as well. It took at least another ten minutes for our drinks to arrive and in this time, we saw multiple tables who were sat after us, receive their drinks. When the food finally arrived, it was completely lackluster. I ordered the short ribs and the whole presentation was unusual - strips of meat lined up on the plate. It looked and tasted more like a standard steak than short ribs. I completely understand that restaurants everywhere are short staffed and servers are working harder than ever. But the night we were at Mermaids & Cowboys, there appeared to be a full staff and a less than half-full restaurant so I cannot come up with an excuse to justify the horrendous service. The food was not good - the only thing that prevented it from being a total disaster was the drinks. They were well-made and the presentation was on point - though we sat for nearly 45 minutes in total before we ever received our drinks. Save yourself the money and disappointment and skip Mermaids & Cowboys. Go across the street to George’s or Duke’s.

  18. A

    Anonymous

    Los Angeles

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on December 11, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    First time in and was excited as I’ve heard such great things about this restaurant. I’m gluten-free and was hesitant to try a new place, but Jenna, our server, took the time to talk with their chef to point me to safe dishes to eat. It was also my friends birthday and she didn’t miss a step on that as well. The Cascade oysters were my favorite, and absolutely loved everything about the Blackened Ahi Tataki. The surprising star on the table were these delicious Brussels sprouts (who would have thought Brussels sprouts would be a shout out in a review!?), try them!

  19. S

    Shahla

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 2, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Birthday. Tim was an excellent server and by mistake I left a 15% tip when I meant to leave 20%. I’ll make it up next time we see him.

  20. TS

    TomS

    Hawaii

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 29, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great 51st anniversary dinner. We each had the small filet and they were very good. Very good service in addition. We are only in La Jolla for a week but plan to go back.

  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 24, 2021

    overall2food3service3ambience3

    Two of our four dishes had to go back, no water refills, constant check in’s, after a year of supporting tge reataurant through a number of chef and staff changes

  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 21, 2021

    overall5food4service4ambience4

    We made a reservation on OpenTable, in hopes of trying something new. We got our reservation for right at 4p, since it was a family dinner with an infant. We try to be very considerate of other parties’. We got there and the greeting was a little odd. But Tim our waiter was the BEST! Attentive to our family, gave suggestions when asked and really made the whole experience good for us. We did not feel rushed or off since we were a family dining at a fine establishment. Food- go for the shisito peppers, ribeye was good, tender and soft. Drinks- recommended by Tim, the CJ was GREAT! Very smooth and sweet. Points to Tun for offering Shirley Temples for our girls’. Again, it made the experience for us ☺️ Dessert- Cake, great way to end our dinner. Moist and not overall sweet. It was enough for our family of 5.

  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2021

    overall5food4service4ambience4

    Great food and very quiet during the day

  24. TP

    TomP

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Everything was a wonderful, food was great, beverages were great with a good selection in all categories. Location, employees, were fantastic. I feel things were slightly high in price, but we are in La Jolla, on prospect. We will see you again, and hopefully bring some friends over the holidays. Keep up the good work! Tom

  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 14, 2021

    overall1food1service1ambience2

    Service was horrible. 20 minutes to order drinks. 40 minutes to order food. Didn’t eat until 90+ minutes after we sat down. Food was cold. Steak was incorrectly cooked. Rice came out raw. Waitress didn’t bother to check on us even though we were one of her few tables. Waitress admitted she sent our food to another table so appetizer came after entree. She didn’t even bother to serve us the check and let someone else do it. Don’t eat here. You have been warned.

  26. R

    Rocky

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 14, 2021

    overall2food1service2ambience3

    Steak was overcooked and tough; had to wait for another 45 min for a new steak to be cooked. Will visit again to make sure this was not a one-off night.

  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2021

    overall3food3service4ambience4

    food took a long time and came out cold. steaks were ok, but at that price was expecting better. i wouldn’t go back.

  28. H

    Heather

    Los Angeles

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2021

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    Laid back little restaurant. We shared the New York steak and lobster tail. The steak was under seasoned but with the pink peppercorn sauce it was good. Cooked a nice medium rare. We also shared a dozen oysters which were fantastic. The lobster tail was one of the best I’ve ever had. Would return.

  29. TT

    TamaraT

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 11, 2021

    overall1food1service4ambience4

    Service good. Steak was cooked wrong the first time and charbroiled the 2 nd time. No offer for free dessert or anything to make it right.

  30. SD

    SD92109

    San Diego

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 10, 2021

    overall1food1service1ambience1

    I’m not one to write bad reviews, but I feel like I’m doing people a disservice if I don’t tell you not to waste your time and money coming here. This might have been one of the worst dining experiences I’ve ever had. We are still sitting here after 3 hours. The service is terrible, the “manager” is a joke, and the food is disgusting. I will say the bone marrow crab cake was delicious and so were the chowder fries, but our entrees - absolute garbage. It’s really sad because I’ve been here before and it wasn’t this bad. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t this terrible. We decided to give them another try because we came during COVID and think everyone deserves a second chance. This place does not deserve a second chance. I give this place another 2 months before it goes under.

  31. d

    diningguy

    Los Angeles

    85 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    85 reviews

    Dined on November 7, 2021

    overall3food3service3ambience4

    Nothing special. Food was good, but not so great that I would return. Service was very slow.

  32. RL

    RogerL

    Dallas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 7, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Awesome food and service

  33. R

    Rory

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 7, 2021

    overall3food3service4ambience4

    New York strip was practically mooing (asked for medium rare). Sides were pretty expensive, and just ok (nothing speculative). Desserts were pretty good. The bill for four light eaters was over $350. Ouch. Maybe that’s normal for La Jolla? Who knows. Think if I’m going to spend that much I’ll go to Flemings.

  34. H

    Hapisdgal

    San Diego

    31 reviews

    5.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on November 3, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Thank you Chef Victoria for a wonderful dining experience. The barramundi and grilled shrimp were amazing and the butter cake OMG! Service was excellent given the times and love the casual yet sophisticated ambiance.

  35. L

    Lilith

    San Diego

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Absolutely outstanding evening at Mermaids and Cowboys. We tried about 12 different dishes, and all were very well executed. Our server was fantastic about checking in and making sure we had what we needed. The oysters here are very fresh, and served with consideration to keep the liquor in the shell. The N'awlin scallop is just like New Orleans - you will feel like you are deeply indulging in something sinful, but you take a breath, and look around and realize that everyone else is doing the same. And the desserts! OMG! To top it all off, the chef came out to visit us! Maybe it was all the plates we ordered between us 3 hungry ladies. Made us feel very special. Cannot recommend this place enough!

  36. PD

    PaulD

    Denver

    27 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on October 28, 2021

    overall4food4service5ambience5

    We are returning guests. Wish you would put specials on a printed menu on the tables. Difficult to see chalk with meat and fish specials.

  37. BO

    BrentO

    Chicago

    6 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on October 24, 2021

    overall1food1service1ambience4

    Despite half the tables in the restaurant being empty, service still took forever (over 15 minutes to refill a soda), food took forever (over 45 minutes for entrees), and half of the food was inedible. I got withered lamb chops that had never been within an arm's reach of a salt shaker. When we complained and sent back food we couldn't eat, we were still charged full price for everything. Now I know why it's easy to get a reservation here: the place is terrible.

  38. TM

    TonyM

    Los Angeles

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great service and food. The atmosphere was great, they had awesome live music.

  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 22, 2021

    overall5food5service4ambience4

    Food was outstanding, and portions were just right. My son and I kept saying, “This is the best ____ I’ve ever had!” (Fill in the blank with every dish we had, AND the specialty cocktails!) Great location on Prospect Street to watch people walking by, good live music, great bar atmosphere inside. Definitely on our list of Favorite Places for Food and Drinks.

  40. ES

    ErinS

    Phoenix

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 21, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Food was excellent. Service was very friendly and efficient. Sitting on the patio was great. Cool but had lots of heaters in case it got colder.

FAQs

Mermaids & Cowboys is rated 4.1 stars by 307 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.

Make a reservation

2 people

January 2022
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
26
27
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30
31
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7:00 PM


Booked 18 times today
Google Map for Mermaids & Cowboys

1251 Prospect St La Jolla, CA 92037-3610

  • Neighborhood

    La Jolla

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch
    Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–3:00 pm
    Dinner
    Daily 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Steakhouse, American

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dog Friendly, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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