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Isabel's Cantina

#225 of 4,132 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
$$$
Latin
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966 Felspar Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (Cass)
(858) 272-8400
Website
Today
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 8:00 am - 9:30 pm
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Description: At Isabel's Cantina, Chef Isabel Cruz fuses Latin and Asian cuisine into...
At Isabel's Cantina, Chef Isabel Cruz fuses Latin and Asian cuisine into sensual and creative concoctions that are both remarkably addictive and surprisingly healthy. By incorporating ingredients from spicy pork carnitas to tofu, Chef Cruz creates a vegetarian's haven as well as a meat-lover's paradise. The exotic dining space is at once dramatic and hip, with accents such as an enormous 15-foot Buddha statue staring down at the dining room. Casual booths, stark lines, and warm colors create an atmosphere not found elsewhere in Pacific Beach, attracting crowds for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
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Good for:
Casual Dining
Breakfast/Brunch
Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 42 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 21
    Excellent
  • 17
    Very good
  • 4
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Great menu, relaxed dining

We love this place - one of our dependable favorites. The menu is fantastic with a wide choice for different tastes: ahi plate, chile relleno, soy chorizo that tastes 100% like the real thing - everything is well-prepared and delicious. The atmosphere is casual and you can always get a table... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed February 8, 2015
hollyberry57
,
La Jolla, California
Good for:
  • Casual Dining
  • Breakfast/Brunch
  • Reservations
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42 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
La Jolla, California
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

We love this place - one of our dependable favorites. The menu is fantastic with a wide choice for different tastes: ahi plate, chile relleno, soy chorizo that tastes 100% like the real thing - everything is well-prepared and delicious. The atmosphere is casual and you can always get a table. They've got a good wine selection and don't gouge... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015

We went early enough (5pm) where we thought it wouldn't be busy because my son was with. It really wasn't that busy, 3 other tables were already seated in the restaurant. 10 minutes until they took our drink order, 10 minutes until we received our drinks, another 10 minutes before ordering. The food came out quickly and it was delicious.... More 

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Scarsdale, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

Great food, relaxed staff, real people friendly. I highly recommend anything with black beans! Our waitress was super nice and efficient. The whole crew pitches in - really lovely!

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San Diego, CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

We lived in Pacific Beach several years before eating here as it was tucked away from the main areas and did not draw us in based on the exterior of the restaurant, but... Since our first visit we have been hooked. Once inside, everything from the staff, the dining area and the food is really good and prepared with really... More 

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Blackpool, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014

My daughter-in-law took us here when we visited. The food was excellent. It was quiet on the night we went and service was great. My d-i-l tells me it is like that even when busy. So another plus point for here. Served promptly by friendly staff.

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Weymouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

Got a little seduced by the website showing the words organic, farm fresh and healthy. Was disappointed to find out that many of the chicken dishes are not free range or organic. The eggs ditto. This means the choice on the breakfast/lunch menu decreases immensely. So, a big plate of salad leaves with a splattering of blue cheese and walnuts... More 

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Ottawa, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

This is well worth a visit. Had dinner there last night and the pineapple rice bowl and the tamales were both delicious and would have them again in an instant. Wine list is small but reasonable. Only complaint is that the food was served very quickly so if you prefer to linger over dinner , it's best to let your... More 

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La Jolla, California
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

We enjoyed our experience from the time we arrived to when we left. The server, Nick, was excellent. We had a nice bottle of wine (the new malbec) and started with the "Plantains with Carnitas" which came with 4 large plantain slices smothered in carnitas. This didn't knock our socks off but it was very good. We shared everything to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

We're so glad we found this wonderful place. The every morsel of food was exquisite! The place has great energy and the staff takes great pride in each dish. Regarding the Farmer's Trio special--who knew broccoli, kale and corn could be so delicious?

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

Had lived around this restraunt for years and had no idea what we were missing. We were very pleasantly surprised with our first visit and have been back several times. The chefs do a great job of combining different ingredients and flavors into fantastic and creative dishes. The price is also very reasonable, especially for what you get. Very recommended... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 966 Felspar Street, San Diego, CA 92109
    (Cass)
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Diego
  • Phone Number: (858) 272-8400

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 0 - 30
  • Cuisine: Latin

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining

Description

At Isabel's Cantina, Chef Isabel Cruz fuses Latin and Asian cuisine into sensual and creative concoctions that are both remarkably addictive and surprisingly healthy. By incorporating ingredients from spicy pork carnitas to tofu, Chef Cruz creates a vegetarian's haven as well as a meat-lover's paradise. The exotic dining space is at once dramatic and hip, with accents such as an enormous 15-foot Buddha statue staring down at the dining room. Casual booths, stark lines, and warm colors create an atmosphere not found elsewhere in Pacific Beach, attracting crowds for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Open Hours
Sunday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Monday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 9:30 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 9:30 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Isabel's Cantina staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?