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Understory Bar, San Diego, CA

Understory Bar

4.4
4.4
39 Reviews
$31 to $50
Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Named after the layer of rain forest between the forest canopy and forest floor. Understory is the central cocktail bar at The Sky Deck. Created by Scott Slater, founder of Slater 50/50 and managed by Chance Curtis, Understory offers an elevated selection of spirits and craft cocktails. In addition, guests are able to select menu items from any of the Sky Deck's restaurants to be delivered to the central bar.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Thu, Sun 12:00 pm–12:00 am Fri, Sat 12:00 pm–2:00 am

  • Phone number

    (858) 925-7022

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Private party facilities

    Please contact drink@understorybar.com

What 39 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. UC

    UrsC

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always a great time at Understory. The drinks, ambiance, concept and staff are amazing. Highly recommend!
  2. SW

    SeanW

    San Diego

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience5
    Great place for a group setting for drinks and food to celebrate my birthday.
  3. DS

    DinaS

    San Diego

    30 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall4food4service2ambience5
    This place is a great concept. You sit in the middle of an elegant “food court” and they serve you drinks while you order food from the surrounding restaurants and they bring it to you. However, last night the drink service was too slow. It took over 15 minutes to get our first drink. They also didn’t warn us that all the food comes to you at the same time so if you are in a big group you barely have room on the table for everyone’s dish. They really need bigger tables for people to really enjoy their meals.
  4. MG

    MaliaG

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2022

    overall1food3service1ambience5
    First off I NEVER leave reviews but I have also never had a worse experience in my life. The bar is beautiful, food and drinks good but the service was horrific. Very rude wait staff, we had a small table and dishes were starting to pile up. I nicely asked if they could please clear some dishes (after I stacked them all up) and she rolled his eyes. The service continued to decline through the night. Incorrect drinks and food and when we very nicely mentioned it again rolled her eyes and even laughed in our faces. By the end of the night we got our $800 bill which included gratuity bc we had a party of 8 and she came storming to the table telling us there was no tip! We again nicely and respectfully showed her the receipt and the gratuity that WAS included. She just said, ok and walked off. Again the service was SO bad and the wait staff SO disrespectful that I had to warn anyone. We all had to get babysitters, time away with friends and spouses and shelled out a ton of money to be treated so poorly. Will never return to understory again.
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    Cool spot if you’re in the neighborhood. Cool cocktail options but not much food options. Staff was okay, the person who gave us our bill had such a nasty attitude and was rolling her eyes because we asked her to take our picture. Maybe she had a bad day but don’t bring that energy to those who are paying.
  6. SG

    SandraG

    Las Vegas

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Beautiful bar, excellent drinks and service
  7. F

    Feli

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    More like a club than a bar. Really loud music with live DJ. The service was extremely bad. They messed up our order several times, and instead of acknowledging it was their fault, they tried to blame on us that we forgot what we ordered. If you want to ruin your weekend night I would definitely recommend this place.
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 13, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Awesome!!!
  9. RV

    RachelV

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 5, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    I had made a reservation to take clients there for food and drinks, I wasn’t told there was 1.5 hr time limit on tables. So we were asked to leave before we were able to order food and more rounds. Would have been nice to have a heads up.
  10. I

    Imck

    Minneapolis

    10 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on January 25, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Wasn’t open when we got there… no one answered the phone. Maybe it’s closed that day but if so need to fix their hours!
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 19, 2021

    overall3food4service3ambience4
    The service fee is ridiculous on top of a tip. We asked for more water and never got it. The waitress was definitely working hard but very little attention once we got our food
  12. DL

    DeepL

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 18, 2021

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Service was great at the booth/ bar. The only issue with ordering food at the bar is they never bring silverware. It’s a pain and then when you ask for it it takes a while and the food gets cold. Has happened 3 times. Would be nice for the drink server to ask if the table will be ordering food with the barcode and as soon as the table confirms bring out the silverware first to the booth like a restaurant would.
  13. JG

    JoelG

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 4, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was great having a DJ
  14. f

    foodmomma

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 21, 2021

    overall4food1service3ambience4
    Fabulous selection of drink Server had an attitude and wanted us out if we did not order immediately when one person finished their drink. Did not get food
  15. TF

    TaniaF

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 20, 2021

    overall2food4service3ambience2
    Reserved a table for 6 people. When we arrived we had to share a table with another party. There was no room to put our drinks or food down. Drinks are way too overpriced to have to drink them cramped up and eating on your lap. The hostess mentioned that we would have the table once the people next to us left. Which is why we even stayed but we didn’t get the entire table until the end of the evening. Very disappointed!
  16. AR

    AnnieR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2021

    overall5food5service1ambience3
    This upscale place has a fun, vibrant atmosphere. The drinks are yummy! The wait staff refuse to provide water. Water is required to be served in bars/restaurants. Please train your staff to provide water when requested. Quite noisy , hard to have a conversation. Still had fun!
  17. DO

    DominicO

    San Diego

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on November 7, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chance the manger was awesome! Great service.
  18. RA

    ReemaA

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 31, 2021

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Everything was awesome.
  19. PM

    PatriciaM

    San Diego

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 31, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    With another couple we love to get together with
  20. KC

    KristyC

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on October 17, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Suck a fun vibe! Small tables but great drinks and food choices!
  21. s

    steffanym

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2021

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Overall the service and drinks were great but the hours on the yelp and open table are wrong. I had a reservation for 12:30 but they didn’t open till 1pm and they were mostly taking walk-ins. I feel like the reservation wasn’t needed. Hopefully they change the hours on their yelp page and website.
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2021

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    We really enjoyed our visit!!
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 21, 2021

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    No mention of the 21 and older requirement. Was not able to sit because of one 20 year old and they were not willing to be flexible. To make it worse the owners were having a private party with all of their kids. They could have done something but turned us away instead
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    44 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    44 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2021

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Cool spot with many options of drinking and dining
  25. PV

    PreethamV

    Houston

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 17, 2021

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    I love these tech savvy places where you can sit in a bar, order and pay for food from your phone from 5 other restaurants, they bring the food to your table. Loved their drinks , each one had a personality. Will definitely be a regular! Special shout out to our waitress Natasha who took care of us.
  26. D

    Debbie

    San Diego

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The decor is amazing! So much to look at. Our server was great. Food was really good - lots of choices. I will be back.
  27. MH

    MaryH

    San Diego

    16 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2021

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Ambiance was wonderful, love the decor and everyone was super friendly. The food was delish! I had the Whole Grilled Branzini - excellent flavors and very moist. I only wished it was deboned because there was certainly a lot of bones you bite into. Even with the bones the fish was one of the best I’ve ever had. The wings, ceviche were amazing! Excellent craft cocktails that have you wanting more. The service was slow due to the lack of staff. Unfortunately this is not something restaurants can control right now with CoVid. With that said, the manager and our waitress were doing the Best they could with the amount of staff. I highly recommend this place for dining and date night. ♥️♥️♥️
  28. CN

    ChristineN

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 5, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I'm so happy I finally got to visit this spot with some girlfriends. We had amazing service and the hostess, Kate, and all the waitresses were so so friendly and always making sure we were doing okay with our big group! Thanks so much. I cant wait to visit again!
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 30, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    LOVED IT ! The drinks were fantastic and the aesthetics were everything!
  30. JC

    JenniferC

    San Diego

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 25, 2021

    overall1food2service2ambience4
    Wanted to really like it. They didn't have enough menus for all of us, which is fine but, the drinks are specialty drinks so you need to read about them. Drink service was extremely slow.. Our food order arrived way before our drinks, even though we ordered our food 15 minutes after our drinks. Then they didn't have utensils for our table. Meaning we asked for some and our server explained she didn't have anymore to give us. Excuse me... We were served food/dinner with no cutlery. Meaning not enough knives and forks to eat it with. 5 people with 2 forks and 2 knives. Not sure how they expected that to work. We had to ask for Bar napkins to use. Needless to say. We left after 45 minutes and finished our evening out elsewhere. We would have left sooner but it took that long to get our drinks. I will say, we enjoyed the drinks but not planning on going back. Sadly disappointed.
  31. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Exclusive

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 10, 2021

    overall3food2service2ambience5
    Took 15 minutes to get our drinks
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 10, 2021

    overall1food4service1ambience4
    Bad service… bad bad bad service
  33. G

    Giovanni

    San Diego

    40 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    40 reviews

    Dined on July 4, 2021

    overall3food2service3ambience4
    Space is interesting as there are multiple dining places underneath of one roof. Understory has a VERY limited food menu and suggests you order food from other neighboring vendors using a tablet/app. Spirits are limited and are overpriced; service falls a little short of expectations. Will not be going back.
  34. LC

    LeticiaC

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on July 3, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Drinks were really good and service was great! Will definitely come back and maybe order some food from the places around it.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 28, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Beautiful space, great ambiance and drinks
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on June 24, 2021

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    It was my girlfriends birthday and we decided to grab some drinks before heading to dinner, all I can say is their drinks are amazing! Their craft drink menu is like I’ve never seen before, super creative and extremely delicious. I didn’t get the opportunity to try their food but their service was great and I’m definitely looking forward to coming back.
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 24, 2021

    overall5food1service5ambience5
    Everything was great unfortunately the menu had food offerings there were not available.
  38. D

    Danni

    San Diego

    8 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on June 20, 2021

    overall3food3service2ambience4
    Understory was newly opened when we went so hopefully they'll work out some kinks in the weeks to come. The drinks are ok if you like everything sweet....I asked for a recommendation for a tart or savory cocktail vs sweet and the waitress came back with a drink that was quite sweet. The second time she even said that the drink was not sweet at all and "very strong" -- I asked her to relay my request to the bartender so any sugary syrups could be avoided, yet I was served another sweet drink. Hubby said his bourbon drink had nice flavor but was pretty weak so 2nd round was bourbon neat. We had been seated at a booth, which was really cute and comfy to hang out & drink, but awkward for eating because the table was so low -- if you plan to eat, sit at the bar! Our food options were limited as only 2 of the perimeter restaurants were open. We scanned the QR code imbedded in our table and selected & paid for our meals... the wait wasn't too long before we saw them brought to the bar....then we waited. Our waitress was nowhere to be found and our food was getting cold. The bartenders were busy and we couldn't get their attention. Eventually, the manager (?) stumbled upon the plates and started trying to figure out which table ordered them -- we saw him looking and waved to him and our food was finally delivered, cold. Our server never returned to ask if we needed anything else....our glasses were empty....we ate our food then had to ask another server to find her so we could get our check. Disappointing but, again, the place just opened so hopefully they'll figure this all out because it's a cute place and an interesting concept.
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2021

    overall3food4service2ambience4
    Service was pretty bad. Our table saw our food and drinks on the counter ready to be given to us, but servers were too busy socializing to notice our drinks/food were ready. This happened everytime we put in another drink or food order, so it wasn’t just a one time thing. Everytime we would stop our server to check on our drinks/food (because we saw them sitting on the counter for 10 mins), she would bring them over…but only when we would ask her about them. Other than that, everything else was great.

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
    • Contactless payment available
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Understory Bar is rated 4.4 stars by 39 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Carmel Valley

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Thu, Sun 12:00 pm–12:00 am Fri, Sat 12:00 pm–2:00 am

  • Cuisines

    Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Parking Lot

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Entertainment, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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