Solare Ristorante Lounge

4.5
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1302 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Voted 2018 Best Italian Restaurant ... and 2018 Best Service and 2018 Best Wine List ... by San Diego Magazine! The setting, service, decor and ambiance in this historic Liberty Station location is like no other. Family-owned and operated, Randy Smerik and his team work hard to offer an amazing dining experience for you. We believe in the use of local fresh organic produce, natural meat and wild seafood and we are a "Sustainable Green Restaurant". Each dish is prepared from scratch with love and passion to satisfy our customer's heart and soul. Housed in the filming location for Top Gun, Solare helps to sustain the historical landmarks of San Diego's NTC Promenade.
What 1302 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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h
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food. Third time there. It was quite noisy, but food was delicious as usual!

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2food5service1ambience3

This was my 1st time at this restaurant. I picked it from the restaurant week website.
The food was good but a bit rich. I had the lamb. My date had the lasagna.
The only disappointing issues was the lack of attention from the wait staff. My date had to ask 2 different waiters to help us. We only talked to our waiter 2 times. When he got our drink and food order.
The other odd thing is that the restroom is outside of the restaurant....odd?

Overall it was ok, not great.
The drinks were Delicious! Oh and the bread was warm.
Something I do have to mention is that our reservation was at 6:30pm and I was called to ask me if we would change it to 6:45pm so we did.
I asked the young lady why? She replied “so we could give you good service”
Maybe I should have moved it to another day or just cancel?

I was expecting a great meal but it was ok.

P
San Diego
17 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Next to loud party group. Food was very good. I didn’t like the grilled Caesar salad, but my wife did.

s
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food4service1ambience4

Was looking forward to going to this restaurant due to the good reviews. Service was horrible. The manager ended up waiting our table. Although the company I was with was very enjoyable, the experience took over an hour longer than it should have due to the non responsive service. Aside from an "I apologize" the manager should have offered a free corkage or after dinner drink. Too much money for such a bad experience. Will not return.

NL
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We dined at Solare during Restaurant Week and had an outstanding experience. Our party of five was seated in the back room, where it was much quieter and permitted easy conversation. Our waiter was excellent and even gave us a bonus appetizer that the kitchen had made by mistake. All the foods we tried were delicious and beautifully presented. We were particularly impressed by the fettuccini wrapped in a thin slice of zucchini. We have not been to Solare in several years, but this experience will remind us to dine there more often.

JO
San Diego
29 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Comparing restaurant week prices to regular menu prices showed that this was not as advertised.
The bar area, where there are dinner tables, is extremely noisy.

RL
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unique Restaurant Week lunch menu. Excellent preparation

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P
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was delicious Modern Italian. Everything was light and fresh. We loved it!

MI
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Decided to try during SD Restaurant Week and very glad we did! Lovely atmosphere, excellent service, extensive wine list. The lasagna was delicious and unlike any I’ve tasted. The lamb chops were crispy and perfectly cooked that I couldn’t help but to eat some right off the bone! Definitely worthy of a visit and many returns.

s
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

After seeing the reviews I was exciting to try this place. Sad to say I didn't enjoy it. It took 45 min. to get our dinners and all we ordered was pasta. We only saw our server twice and we constantly had to flag him done. I would stick to little italy for Italian food.

RI
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I visited for the Restaurant Week dinner. I had an octopus appetizer that was spectacular. It was a very generous portion of octopus, slow poached in olive oil and then briefly fried to slightly crisp the outside. It was served with a tomato, caper, and olive sauce that complemented the super-tender and well seasoned flesh. The entree was a tasty piece of ono with a pistachio crust, atop roast fingerling potatoes and some greens. And the panna cotta dessert was delicious, with a bittersweet chocolate ganache smear.

LS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A birthday party!

DH
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice wine recommendation from the waiter. Pappardelle with Cinghiale was very good

RS
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was outstanding. They made our birthday dinner something special.

NV
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is so awesome and delicious! The staff are great and made us feel very welcome. The food can't be beat and you'll need to go back a few times to try everything!

IL
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

A number of entrées were not available.

EC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Food was pretty good but the service could have been better. The service wasn’t exactly bad but I think it could use some work. The main issue I had with the service was that it seemed to take forever to get help from our waiter. Other than that they were nice. I would recommend trying it if you are in town.

h
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

We tried all 3 of chef's specials Loved 2 out of 3!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing, top-notch service and absolutely delicious food.

JM
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to sit down and be surprised with an authentic taste. Good drinks, good environment, cozy place to enjoy your food.

OT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great as always

OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food was fantastic, got surprised with a tasting menu for New Years that was great, expect the desserts. The only problem we had was a table of 12 who was extremely loud and they were on the opposite side of the room. Service and food again were fantastic!

MC
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing prefix dinner, nice quite room with great service. Owner came around and greeted all patrons.

E
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to Solare with friends for an early seating on New Year's Eve. It was a four-course fixed price menu and it was amazing. The choices were varied and good but the Chef outdid himself. Wonderful evening, terrific service, great wine - who could ask for more?!

PN
Denver
13 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The food was good. However, when you compare to others across the country you realize the chef is trying to hard to come up with unique flavors. Sometimes less is more. Complexity is not always the answer to great food. Enhancement of food is often a subtle exercise in adjusting flavors.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Very expensive for a $$ meal. Specials over $100 and entrees on average above $20! I think this restaurant should be a $$$.

TD
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great, service was on point. The staff was friendly and totally professional. We’ll be back!!

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Christmas eve prix fix menu was limited. Food was just okay, but under seasoned. Risotto was al dente. Panna Cotta was bland. Ravioli was good, but marinara meat sauce lacked pizzazz. Underwhelmed by the food, but the ambiance, the cocktails and the service was spectacular.

D
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Loved the vibe! Several rooms to chose from which helps with noise levels. There is even a 2-person "table" where you can watch the chefs cook the orders. We went on Christmas Eve. The food was "different." The chef seemed to be trying to be unique. Allspice in the spinach ravioli was weird; whole, uncooked garlic on the Branzino fish (fish was mushy), and lavender seeds sprinkled on the dessert, (too perfumey). I may go back so that I can try the regular menu. Great parking.

D
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food, well priced and attentive waiter. Lamb was outstanding

JT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had another wonderful experience at our favorite place to dine for a special occasion. I have never been disappointed coming to dine at Solare. From the moment we entered they made us feel like family. Our server Mark was wonderful.

d
San Diego
42 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic lunch in a quiet, sunny, happy environment.

J
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious. Our waiter, Joseph, took very good care of us. Impeccable timing which we really appreciate! We live in Atlanta but get into the area twice a year. We will definitely return.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall2food5service3ambience3

Please don’t tell me that I need to be done eating by a certain time. I was told when I checked in with my reservation I had to be done eating in an hour and 15 minutes.

E
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We frequent Solare as often as we can because we know it will be an amazing experience. The dishes are amazing and so authentic and the service is special.

BJ
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I made my reservation about 4 weeks In advance for 5:30pm was not seated until 5:50pm...yes it was a busy Sunday because Andrea Bocelli was in town...and yes I was going to the concert...so I was kinda sweating it. Thinking my wife and I were going to be late for the concert...yes we made it to the concert on the nick of...You guys must have a better system. On how to seat or very close to the time of reservation....please look into it...over all everything was good...thnk u

P
San Diego
27 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The bar was very slow, but everything else was great. (When your grilled salad comes before the cocktail you ordered prior to dinner, the bar needs help and/or management.) The salads and entrees were outstanding. We look forward to returning for the food.

k
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

They were not on their game Sunday. They knew many diners were headed to a concert, but the kitchen couldn’t seem to cope. My entree came out very fast and before my soup! I believe it sat under a heat lamp and was returned after my first course. The lamb chops were painfully over cooked. A simple dessert took forever and I had to leave. Not going back any time soon. But on the good side, they did not charge me corkage for the wine I brought.

SN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding Italian restaurant located in Liberty Station. The menu is varied and creative. On a recent visit the octopus (pulpo) appetizer was superb. Grilled lamb chops (5) were perfectly prepared and quite possibly the best we have ever tried. The owner, Randy, is attentive and personable. The staff are courteous, professional and well-trained.

RM
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I like the bohemian atmosphere at Solare. Our waiter was helpful. The appetizer was super, however my zuppa was not piping hot-- a no-no for restaurant service. Also, the shrimp in the soup were tough and not tasty. Of the six dishes ordered by our party of four (two 80-something; two 50-somethng) I'd say 50% were above average.

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