“The food and the pairing wines never disappoint us.”
“The restaurant decor and atmosphere isn't anything exciting (well, they do have a decent patio) but the food is fabulous.”
“The staff in Tapenade are really friendly.”
“little pricey, but a great romantic atmosphere and excellent serv.”
A Chef For All Seasons. A five course French tasting menu in La Jolla, who knew? The editorial review found the decor to be widely spaced paintings of wine bottles and black and white French scenes...the editorial review left out that these wall covering appeared to have been selected from the art department of Linens and Things. Service was uneven, the waiter had been taught the correct description of each dish, but he gave every indication that he had never tasted them nor did he know what the words meant as they passed his lips. Wine pairing were embarrasing and ill advised. The Sauterne served with the Foie Gras de Canard au Torchon was far too sweet, the red wine served with the Noisettes de veau aux morilles did not have sufficient body. So why the four stars you ask? The Poisson du jour, Halibut prepared with spring vegetables and served with a Sauce Vierge was spectacular. The Veal Tender Loin "Noisette" served with Morels Sauce and English Peas was magnificent. This is a Chef, Jean-Michael Diot, who could be reaching for Michelin Stars...he deserves a better Sommeliere and a bigger budget.
Best French Food in Southern California!!!.
I had my first French food experience in Tapenade and it was such a terrible mistake! It set such a high standard for French food and I could hardly find any restaurants that could be comparable to it. I have been to several other so called "fine dining" French restaurants here in LA but none even comes close to it.
The ambience is cozy. The staff in Tapenade are really friendly. Not just one or two but all of them. My boyfriend and I have been there for 3 times already and each time we're served by a different server. They are well experienced and they are very attentive and caring. The food was magnificent!!! I can feel the chef's passion and experience from the food. The wine list was good too! We tried the prix fixe menus for twice and a la carte for once. The food and the pairing wines never disappoint us.
I have also been to Caprice in Four Seasons Hong Kong and Joel Robuchon (Michelin 3 Stars) so I know what real good French food is. When I really crave for French food, i would rather take a 2 hr trip to La Jolla than a 20 min trip to those "Hollywood" restaurants. Don't miss Tapenade, you'll love it.
Simple and classy, this La Jolla institution adds contemporary twists to traditional French dishes..
A host greets well-to-do couples and business-types at the door with a French accent, and escorts them to white-clothed tables in the sunny yellow dining room. Simple decor includes hardwood floors and widely spaced paintings of wine bottles and black-and-white French scenes. The atmosphere is composed but convivial as chatter and laughter mingle with quiet background music. An attentive team of servers keeps glasses filled and whisks away plates and silverware between courses.
Classically trained Chef Jean-Michel Diot's seasonal menu features classic dishes infused with unexpected flavors. The Maine lobster salad's tender medallions are set in a frothy coconut milk emulsion and covered with tousled greens and mango tidbits. Standouts include perfectly cooked, aged sirloin bursting with savory juices and earthy duck breast with soft porcini mushroom raviolis topped with crisp threads of green apple. For dessert, traditional creme brulee is paired with two others in flavors like lavender and lemon-thyme.
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