Kettner Exchange

4.8
799 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Kettner Exchange boasts Little Italy’s rooftop patio, with spanning harbor views. We feature Progressive American cuisine from critically acclaimed Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski and expertly crafted spirit offerings by Steven Tuttle.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Seafood, Californian
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Hours of operation
Hours of Service:
Sunday: 11:00am - midnight
Monday- Wednesday: 5:00pm - midnight
Thursday & Friday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00am

Dinner:
Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Monday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Tuesday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Wednesday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Brunch:
Saturday & Sunday :11:00am - 3:00pm
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Phone number
(619) 255-2001
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Brian Redzikowski
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Private party facilities
Kettner Exchange offers private dining at our Chef’s Table, hidden inside our kitchen with a full view of the action. We also offer private sections for larger parties.
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Catering
Kettner Exchange will proudly host your next private, social or corporate event. Contact events@kettnerexhange.com

semiprivate, private, buyout, outdoor events available.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Grape St
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Parking details
Valet - $8.00 cash only
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Entertainment
Live Djs Thursday-Saturday + occasional live bands (call venue for nightly entertainment)
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 799 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.8
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great and attentive service. They have a slightly different menu if you’re dining inside versus the rooftop lounge. Menu changes frequently too.

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RJ
San Diego
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service in the restaurant was outstanding. Service in the bar area was not good. At least not until I finally flagged down someone to assist us. My spouse and I had dinner reservations at 5pm, right when the restaurant opens. We got there at 4:50pm and the hostess asked us to wait upstairs in the bar area until it was time for us to be seated. We were looking forward to getting some drinks and found an area to sit. The bar area upstairs was quite busy and the patrons looked to be having a good time. So we sat and waited for service. And waited, and waited, and waited. Waitstaff passed us by continuously and only one person said we would be helped shortly. Shortly turned out to be 10 minutes later when I finally asked one of the waitstaff if we could order. We finally got to order a couple of drinks and before we even got them, the hostess came to get us. We had to pay for the bar tab first before we got seated which made no sense to me. Why not just add it to our bill? The drinks were okay but my PSL was mostly ice filled to the brim. Drinks are expensive and we ended up paying almost $30 for two small drinks and the gratuity. Even though we waited, the gentleman who finally helped us was sheepishly nice. Anyway, we were seated upstairs for dinner and the service as well as the food was outstanding. There are not a lot of offerings on the menu. We had a few small plates and an entree that we both shared. Everything tasted delicious. The drinks and food were definitely on the pricier side. My spouse had one glass of wine which was $16. The short rib entree cost $40 although the portion was not very big. If we come again, we will probably stick with the small plates as the value is probably a little better. We would recommend the restaurant but not the bar. The waitstaff up there should be better trained.

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SB
San Diego
37 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fab food & excellent service. Wonderful! Will definitely be returning

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SB
Denver
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Brunch was more lunch with 2-3 breakfast options. The breakfast option I had was very good, but surprised there was such a limited variety for Saturday. Main issue was super slow service. We sat for 5-10 mins before a server came to us the first time and we had to ask for the check as service was not very attentive. Still a good, but not excellent experience.

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C
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, ambiance and decoration. Good simple, uncomplicated food. Awesome drinks. Whey to expensive for what you get but worth it if you value setting over meal (not that the food is bad). I would and will go again, just know what to expect

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AH
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious! The food here is heavenly and the wait staff are always kind. We continue to return to Kettner Exchange whenever we visit San Diego. Every time we are blown away by the flavors and new dishes to try. We highly recommend getting a selection of small plates to share so you can try as much as possible. A great place to celebrate an anniversary!

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SR
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend The service was prompt and informed on various selections. Nice settings and able to have conversation at table. Beautiful open area on second floor with rooftop bar and seating.

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OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to go to.

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L
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was very knowledgeable about the wine and menu items. We had food allergies at the table and she worked with us to assure everything was safe

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OT
Mexico City
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Fun night with friends. Bit expensive but fun and good food.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious!

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D
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 3

very Disappointed, will not be returning. The food came out in a manor that was not as described on the menu.

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JS
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Only issue is to have the music indoors lower than the music outdoors. The heavy bass in the music was great for outside, didn't match for the inside.

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V
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

pretty dining room. live music. food was good, but not quite so much as the menu had seemed. we had 3 small plates, some smaller than the prices would have suggested, ranging from OK to excellent (the cauliflower). The halibut "large plate" was excellent.

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ES
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service. They were quick and attention in every detail. Thank you

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HS
Houston
23 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this place! First time and we were very impressed. We will be back.

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DD
New England
28 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had tapas: cauliflower, foie gras on toast, Morrocan lamb salmon tartar, oil-seared salmon, kale salad, duck meatball, and fish and chips. We ordered two smal plates per person. Everything was simply delicious. The grits with the duck meatball were heavenly. My only complaints were that the boysenberry jam tended to overwhelm the foie gras, which was excellent, and the duckmeatball was uninteresting. For dessert, the budino with its salty caramel topping was eye-rollingly good. The restaurant lacks an espresso machine but it does serve a good cup of coffee. I would definitely go back, and I would try some of the other plates. I will probably not be able to try a new dessert. The budino is that good.

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JV
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We decided to go here because my mom was in town and everyone loved the food. The drinks were amazing and they had great customer service.

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JM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome experience. Definitely recommend it! Les the manager is very friendly and makes sure that every table is being attended with extraordinary service.

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SB
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 1service 5ambience 5

Kettner Exchange is one of our favorite dining experiences. Our server, Ryan, was excellent and we are very disappointed to learn he will be leaving. We would be more than happy to return soon, particularly if you give us free meals. :-)

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TK
New England
36 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Tried this for the first time with out-of-town friend and we had a great meal of small plates we shared. Inside was nice because it was a quiet weekday. Loved the variety of food and the accommodation to serve amounts for 3.

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ET
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

All our food was great except the pork chop. Very disappointed in the morrocan sauce. Other than that the whole experience was great. Ambience, drinks, price, solid option for dinner.

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ES
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the best place I tried in San Diego. The atmosphere is amazing and very quaint. I love the food ... the octopus, the lamb noodles, and the shrimp are fabulous dishes. The Martinis were great!

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C
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I hadn’t been to KEX in a few years and was excited to be home and to celebrate my birthday there. They like last time did not disappoint. We were greeted and shown to our table and met by our server immediately. She took amazing care of us and had an excellent knowledge of the menu. Love this venue and I need to go back soon and try the halibut I was eyeing but too full to order.

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m
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great food, but we had an outstanding service experience. our server was amazing, so thoughtful, knew the menu inside and out, and for once didn't try to upsell us on anything. she was attentive and really made the dining experience one to remember!

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IL
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I had been here for drinks before, but this was the first time to eat a meal with friends-a party of six; Sunday night after the theater. Overall everyone enjoyed the ambiance, especially the upstairs open patio (we sat inside upstairs). And everyone agreed “these were the largest small plates we’ve ever been served!” I had the Spicy Shrimp dish-tempura shrimp in a sweet, tangy, spicy coating. YUM!! And the Duck Meatball over Polenta was delightfully flavorful and filling. Others had the Big Eye Tuna Pizza which they loved! Another ordered the Tenderpork Belly Wontons and she literally waved her hands and shouted in glee about how delicious they were! But she also ordered the fish and chips and said there were too many bones to enjoy the flavor (for the record, they do tell you there are bones, but why serve it if it can be a potential hit-or-miss dish?) Unfortunately one friend went to the restroom which was unisex and came back stating it was “disgusting” “gross” and a “total turnoff” which probably tainted her view of her food. She ordered a shrimp noodle dish that she said was over-seasoned with cracked black pepper and the shrimp was bland. And she didn’t like her Roasted Cauliflower. But the most notable #fail was that they only had two types of vodka: Tito’s and Seagrams, and we wanted Ketel One. Only two types of vodka???? Our server (a female and I’m sorry I forgot her name) was fantastic! She was a rockstar! I can’t speak for the rest of the group, but I will come back because I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and service and I wanna try some of their other dishes and dessert!

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k
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

Our server was quite rude and seemed put off by the fact that we needed a little more time to order while my girlfriend was using the restroom. She was very moody after that and did not show a change in mood until she brought out the check. The food wasn't as hot as we would have expected either.

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LK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Avocado toast with burrata was delish but the frisée on top was too much, not enough flavor and cumbersome. Prime hanger steak was excellent as well as the Beijing duck! Friendly waitstaff but at times it took awhile to get even water. Overall, one of my San Diego favorites held up to my expectations!

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J
Phoenix
33 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server, Erica, was friendly and very attentive. Best server I've had in a long time. The food was creative and delicious. Our drink were adventuresome and so good.

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v
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ambiance is amazing , service is stellar and food was remarkable. Hanger steak is my favorite steak by far and they did a good job preparing it . The chicken was outstanding as well. Will definitely come back .

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MG
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

CRSSD Day party. Sunday 9-29. Paid $50/Person minimum to sit at a table. We would have to go to the bar and order our drinks because service was lacking. Sometimes we wouldn't see our waitress for 20-30 minutes... Music was on for around 4 hours total unlike the last couple of years so the event was short. Felt like for the service, amount of room we had at our table and time for drinks to come out, it was not worth the $50. We couldn't even reach our table minimum and ended up eat $110 dollars to close out our bill. Management made us pay the total $50/person - $200 on an $89 check. Not to mention we ran up a couple tabs of around $25 each at the bar getting our own drinks during the event. Disappointed for the first time at KEX.

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IK
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love everything about this place! Everything was perfect tonight. Service was superb , Kathryn was knowledgeable, sweet and made sure we had a good time and the quality of our drinks and food was at the highest level. Fish and chips, octopus, Brussel sprouts, everything was delicious! I definitely be back again.

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DA
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

On vacation and wanted to try something different. The atmosphere/vibe was excellent and the small plates were yummy and fun to share with our table of four. If you choose a large plate, the pork chop was extremely moist and tasty. Server was very knowledgeable and provided great direction for ordering.

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JL
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

My girlfriend and I visited KEX from out of town, being foodies, the restaurant came highly recommended.

The drinks and my food were competent and came out promptly. However, my girlfriend's meal, the halibut dish on the menu that night, was stunningly bland. It seemed a portion of the dish was completely forgotten, perhaps a paired sauce which never made it onto the plate.

Somewhat disappointed and ready for the check, our waitress, who was incredibly sweet through our visit, surprised us with a free dessert at the end of our meal! My girlfriend joked it was probably to make up for the missing flavor in her halibut.

Overall, it was a fair experience and a successful date night. However, aside from the lovely demeanor of our hostess, nothing to pull us in for another taste before discovering what else Little Italy has to offer.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was so knowledgeable and pleasant it was a great night.

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MA
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I realized me and the guy I’m dating from two different world !
Left him for ever at this restaurant......!

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 5ambience 3

The “management” adds a 3% surcharge because of the recent increase in the minimum wage. They are trying to turn people against the livable wage for waitstaff. We will not be back until they stop this practice.

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RJ
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I went to Kettner Exchange for our anniversary and we were both blown away! The food was incredible. Very, very impressive! I am telling all of my foodie friends they need to check it out.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great atmosphere to catch up with a friend on Thursday night!

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CA
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 5

Ambiance is a ten. But, things fell down with the food presentation, which I found to be odd. I ordered a $40 steak and it came out on a plate nothing else - and I mean nothing. Everybody knows you eat with your eyes, so I wondered how difficult it would have been to throw something on that plate to make it look decent.

So, order sides and ask the waiter to dress the food up. I think the place knows how to do it, they just need some coaching.

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