Vistal

4.4
30 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Overlooking San Diego Bay at the crossroads of downtown’s most storied neighborhoods, Chef Amy DiBiase and Chef Paul McCabe impart Vistal, a shared culinary tribute to the seaside communities and diverse cultures that encompass San Diego’s past and present. The two award-winning chefs seamlessly blend their contrasting takes on the region’s core flavors, presenting bright, bold combinations influenced by the Baja peninsula, Pacific islands, Mediterranean fishing villages and beyond for a refreshing new perspective on coastal Southern California cuisine.

With gleaming views of the water, Vistal’s design is reminiscent of San Diego’s endless summer. An imposing 29-seat bar is angled towards the USS Midway, which is framed by the dining room’s panoramic windows. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors let the sea breezes in, leading from the main dining area to a west-facing terrace offering tabletop seating, fireside lounges, and an elevated view of the bay.
What 30 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
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PK
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The food was ok. The presentation was gorgeous. The service was a bit slow considering there weren’t many people there.

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p
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

I have now been here for lunch and dinner and would definitely recommend this restaurant for lunch, but was disappointed at dinner. The food was good, but did not live up to the expectations created by what appeared to be a very innovative menu.

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LL
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

Good food but very poor service; operational issues due to manager inexcusable oversight. Server obviously was running behind, keeping customer waiting at table for 15 min without menu!

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OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good breakfast

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Excellent service, but very disappointed with our dinner.

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MS
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great for Valentines Day

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MS
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

My wife and I enjoyed dinner at Vistal. We ordered a drink at the bar and watched the sun set over the harbor before moving across to our table. The food and service was excellent. Our server, in a sweet nod to us celebrating an early Valentine's Day dinner, decorated our dessert plate with chocolate hearts. This is a new hotel/restaurant but it's definitely worth a visit- experienced chef duo in the kitchen turning out great food. My only suggestion would be to somehow define the restaurant space from the bar and give it less of a hotel lobby feel, but in warmer months when the sliding doors are open to the view, maybe the expansive space will take on a livelier and more atmospheric vibe.

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JR
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

It was a very pleasant meal. There could be more vegetarian options since they advertise as being vegetarian friendly

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K
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We decided to get it a try for restaurant week. The courses were more than ample, interesting and inventive. It was a bit noisy at first near the bar, but after awhile the crowd simmered down. The manager came by several times to check on our meal and talk about the restaurant and history. At one point, one of our courses was accidentally ordered wrong and they made up for it with an extra dessert and some bread and were very apologetic. Aside from the re-order, the wait time was a little long between courses, which would be my only criticism.

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J
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Vistal gets an 8 out of 10 in my book. I went there for restaurant week and ordered off the set menu. I got the steamed mussels which was quite good. I felt the sauce drowned out the taste of the mussels a bit but not too bad. Steel trout wellington was very good. the pastry was fluffy and the fish was not overcooked. The Coconut Haupia cake was off. the consistency of the Haupia should be more like a custard rather than
a firm Skyr. The lemon sorbet also drowned out the Haupia which is a shame because you can barely taste the Coconut and that's what a Haupia dessert supposed to be. The service was very good. All and all a good experience.

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4
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated our friend's birthday here and this place did not disappoint. The place was pretty new, I think they open their doors about 4 months ago, but we were glad we tried this place. The food was good; not one complaint from our group the service was great (Shoutout to our server Antonio!) and the view was awesome (we were there for dinner I would imagine lunch will be just as awesome) The staff were very friendly and welcoming. The complementary cheesecake was the bomb. And btw we were there early enough to take advantage of the happy hour drinks.

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SD
San Diego
35 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We are big fans of the chef and have now followed her through four restaurants. As always, her food is sublime. Wine list was very nice. Everything was locally sourced.

Menu was creative and interesting. We will go back.

The tough part is that the restaurant is literally across from the registration desk at the new Intercontinental. Lucky for you if you are staying at the hotel. As a local, well not exactly romantic.

Staff was excellent. Enjoyed reconnecting with the AGM who is another veteran of the local restaurant scene. Truly we felt well taken care of by the team.

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BK
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Very pricy food - which I don't mind if it's good....but here was mediocre at best. You get bread with butter. Cutlery on table not even a plate...the place was cold, my wife was sitting there with her jacket all night. At the end we paid 12$ for parking, even it was explicitly complimentary at reservation...excuse: "you parked in the neighbor hotel garage" - which happens to be run by exactly the same private company as their own...

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M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Overall the food was disappointing.

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JM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Came here with family for Christmas and had a great dinner. The prefix menu was delicious and the view of San Diego Bay during sunset was beautiful. Would definitely eat here again.

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T
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Came here for Christmas dinner as we had heard good things. Called ahead to ask about vegan options which we were told the set menu could omit items to make things vegan. Sounded average for accommodating until the person answering the phone mentioned that both chefs are vegan and very accommodating. This made me scratch my head because not one item was vegan by default yet both your chefs are vegan?? Hmmm. We were seated early which was nice, however, it was not busy. The view and atmosphere was very nice. Service was ok. First course arrived and was underwhelming for all of us. Main course came out with the vegan risotto covered in cheese which meant not everyone ate together as the risotto needed to be remade. Lobster pot pies were described as bland and the flavors that came through didn't go well together. Portion sizes were underwhelming for a $60 price point. Dessert was ok, nothing notable. Overall, an underwhelming and expensive set menu option that met no one's expectations.
To add insult to injury, the parking was $18 at their garage. We were told later that there was complimentary valet parking and that this was on the website. Upon looking, I did locate this on the bottom of their site in tiny font. There will be no return visits to this restaurant unfortunately.

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OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We decided to come to Vistal for Christmas breakfast with our visiting family. And man am I glad that we did. Great food, very friendly service, wonderful ambiance. There could have been bit more holiday decoration but the food was so good and yummy. I highly recommend trying Vistal for a wonderful dining experience.

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R
San Diego
27 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A wonderful view to match the amazing food. What a treat at a great new venue.

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BR
Denver
9 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional food and attentive service. The menu is unique, and very creative.

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SB
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

very nice organic food options. great view of the bay. lovely service.

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SB
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome location, views and brunch selections!

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MB
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Welcome back to San Diego Amy DiBiase. We missed you and your extraordinary way with food. I fell for you back in your Roseville days. When I learned you were coming to the Intercontinental Hotel’s Vistal, a restaurant with harbor views, I began salivating in anticipation. This first visit was a dining highlight for my memory book. First, having a glass of wine on the restaurant deck and watching the sun set over The Midway has to rank as one of the quintessential San Diego moments ever. Jovial wait staff help set the mood. To anyone who wonders whether the unusual black cod with fennel, crunchy malted toast, and Persian cucumbers is the right appetizer? You cannot afford to miss its deliciousness. The sturgeon was another example of Amy’s herbalicious skills, and I was happy with her kind of dumplings: sweet stone crab and ricotto gnudi, a leap above more conventional Italian gnocchis. Writing this I hunger to return, maybe for lunch, but Vistal has instantly become my favorite dinner restaurant in town. Wait until family and friends back east get a load of this winner. Oh, just go while you can still get a reservation.

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TG
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Thanksgiving 3 course lunch was very good. The selection for each course were plentiful, the oysters were delicious with their toppings, the duck confit with gnocchi was fantastic. We liked the Salmon Wellington, as well as the traditional Turkey dish. Typically restaurants in a hotel have the stigma of being subpar, but not at the Intercontinental.

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MH
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

I've never been a fan of a restaurant charging for bread, even though the quality was high, and the beet hummus spread was excellent. I would have preferred the bartender use tongs to retrieve my large ice cube for my Blanton's Old Fashioned, versus picking it up with his hand and walking the distance of the bar from where the ice was kept back to the well he made my drink out of. He used a little too much simple syrup as well. He was pleasant enough, though. The Malfatti was excellent I thought, although the Mezzalune was a bit under-prepared, and was really just not a very good dish I thought, as did the rest of my table. The halibut my boss had was great, as was the pork cheeks the other three of us had. Super tender and just really, really good. Both desserts were pretty good. The cuisine was a bit ambitious for my colleagues, but was in line with what I expected from Amy. Our server, while pleasant enough and knowledgeable of the menu, she just really wasn't very engaging. I must admit I was surprised to see that this particular hotel had flight crew staying there.

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DF
San Diego
132 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Amy DiBiase's and Paul McCabe's food is really exciting, and there is a great view. Definitely recommended for out of towners who want a scenic view and great food, and for San Diegans who are fans of their food. It's not a cozy neighborhood bistro vibe, as it's right next to the hotel reception, but it's a lovely restaurant with fantastic service. Antonio is a treasure!

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j
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great place, great view. free valet. no reason not to go here. enjoy

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KS
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent and service top notch. I will definitely return with my friends!

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AS
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a breakfast meeting at Vistal and the atmosphere, service and food were perfect. Plenty of options for all diets - vegans, vegetarians and omnivores... and the coffee is wonderful! Will definitely recommmed this spot!

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AB
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Tried Vistal this last weekend and I left there thinking 'Meh'. I got the ribeye and while cooked nicely, the accompanying herbal topping was rather bland leaving me with a salt & pepper ($49) steak. My wife got the Crispy Skin White Sea Bass which was nice but fairly ordinary and more fishy than you'd want. The Garlic Butter Ahi Belly appetizer was very good as was the Caramelized Cauliflower Ravioli appetizer. The Sweet Corn Pound Cake dessert was unique and tasty. The atmosphere is modern and clean with a nice view of the Midway and Star of India, bay, Pt. Loma, etc. It was only about 1/3 full on a Saturday night for a new restaurant which seemed odd. It's a pricey place too at about $200 all in for a couple. I'll go again after a few months of seasoning but my initial visit was average.

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BL
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and outstanding customer service! Can’t wait to go back

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