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$12 - $35
American, Wine Bar
Special Diets
Vegan Options, Vegetarian Friendly
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Reviews (17)
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Reviewed July 31, 2020 via mobile

What a charming restaurant in La Mesa. Nice covered outdoor seating. Small but delicious farm to table menu sourced locally. We had the charcuterie board, which was amazing if you liked pickled vegetables. My husband had an outrageously good wild boar ragu pasta dish. I...had a delicious ceasar salad and our daughter thoroughly enjoyed her shrimp and mussels dish. The chef checked on us after the meal and she is very friendly. We will most definitely be back to Garden Kitchen!More

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed July 22, 2020

Garden Kitchen is a hidden gem of a restaurant, serving exquisite food made with locally-sourced ingredients in a menu that changes daily. The seafood, and the vegetable dishes, are often mesmerizing. Full disclosure- it is not cheap, but the dining experience matches the best you...can find just about anywhere. The happy hour wine and appetizers is a good option for the budget-conscious. Eating under the covered patio benefits from the perfect local climate, and adds to the relaxed and neighborly atmosphere (up the hill is the cute Rolando Village). Garden Kitchen is recommended as a treat for date night, or to experience top tier gourmet food in a unique location.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed March 12, 2020

To a visitor, the location seemed a little out of the way which added to the mystique of dining here. The small kitchen turns out a menu with very well prepared, fresh and local ingredients. The chefs work with a number of local farms and...the menu changes daily. Short rib and lamb were standouts at our table for entrees and the addition of locally sourced wines is an unusual and enjoyable touch. The seating is covered and outdoors on a patio so the overall vibe was very casual and friendly. Highly recommended!!More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed June 8, 2019

The staff are welcoming, friendly and very professional. There's a wide-ranging menu, with a real mixture of influences. Some really unusual ideas on the menu, I won't spoil the surprise by listing them, but they're all well executed, tasty and healthy. Something for everyone, the...veggie and vegan options are equally imaginative and enjoyable. There's also a carefully selected and good value wine list. It's not the easiest place to find without a satnav, but it's well worth the effort! Loved it and can't wait to go back...More

Date of visit: June 2019
Reviewed February 12, 2019

Mind blowing good food and service in a location I guarantee you will not find just driving around. Its so hidden, its almost secret. This eclectic, fun, high energy neighborhood eatery is so surprising it is an evening all to itself just being there. All...food is locally sourced, the chef's toil away in a small house converted to a kitchen behind large viewing windows and is surrounded by outdoor eating space. Wait staff is attentive, knowledgeable and very patient with guests who have dietary requests. PLUS the owner actually comes out to hang with guests to chat about the food, the history of the joint and their culinary backgrounds. I had the most amazing fish and sweet potato "chips" dish, my wife had the Mediterranean meatball entree, both replete with most excellent salads and veggies. And speaking of local veggies...try the fried veggie appetizer, a huge sumptuous portion, enough for the 4 of us to share. I was partial to the insanely good fried avocados. My only regret was that I was too delightfully full to sample the mouth watering dessert offerings. Great wine selection as well. Wonderful fun and delicious evening. Make the trip!More

Date of visit: February 2019
Reviewed August 6, 2018

My daughter took us here for my wife's birthday and what a treat. They serve us carnivores, vegetarians and vegans. Each days menu is published at noon and changes daily to utilize the freshest of ingredients. We started with a starter of Fried crisp Fig...Leaves with a wonderful sauce. My wife and I had a fish dish with grouper and a sauce of fish stock that was divine and was told later cooked for 2 days and Daughter had the Chile en Nogada - both entries were delicious. For dessert we shared Basil Olive Oil Cake and vegan Chocolate Peanut butter cheesecake. I am amazed how they did a vegan cheesecake and it was good but not outstanding. Each menu item had a suggested wine which was excellent. I told the chef this was probably the best fish dish I have ever had in my 77 years. The whole meal was something to be remembered. Please note that I give very few 5 star ratings.More

Date of visit: August 2018
Reviewed April 6, 2018 via mobile

Went to this place with friends for happy hour. Cute, quaint, clean, outside covered patio. Excellent, tasty happy hour food. Wine $5 but in my opinion food is a bit pricey for happy hour.

Date of visit: April 2018
Reviewed July 20, 2017

We were in San Diego for a conference and had the opportunity to catch up with some friends who live there. After a few days of the usual restaurant fare, we were ready to try something different. Our friends suggested Garden Kitchen. The restaurant is...in a nice neighborhood, and we were actually able to walk there from the friends' house. The first thing to note about Garden Kitchen, and I think a big selling point that makes it unique is that the food is fresh, as in picked up that morning or the day before, they are a sustainable business - they buy local (organic and seasonal), and everything is made from scratch. This means that the menu may be different each day. They have a selection of local craft beer and wine as well. Another selling point is the atmosphere. The tables are situated on a deck, in front of what was once the house. You know how in a restaurant even when you are surrounded by others you rarely interact? Well, that doesn't happen here. There were three occupied tables near us, and we were all talking to each other about the food, the drinks and because it was a nice San Diego evening, the weather. On the menu you will find five sections: Taster (appetizers or openers), Salad, Soup, Entree and Sweet Tooth (dessert). The menu offers meals that are Vegan, Vegan Option and Gluten Free. We ordered a variety of Entrees and shared them among ourselves. I will give a shout out to the Borscht. I've had home cooked borscht in Russia, and it was good. However, the Garden Kitchen variety was amazing - warm, filling and savory. We did the same with dessert, ordering a few items and passing them around the table. The cheesecake was light and creamy and the pie warm with a flaky crust. Because the friends were wine experts, they chose two local reds, both full bodied and complimentary to the meat and fish dishes. Garden Kitchen is open for dinner from 5 to 9 Tuesday through Saturday. You may want to make a reservation on a Friday or Saturday. Check for special events. When you are ready to break away from the standard restaurant fare, make Garden Kitchen your destination. You will be glad you did.More

Date of visit: March 2017
Reviewed June 20, 2017

This place is really off the beaten path and not where you would expect to find a restaurant with this quality of food. Worth driving out of your way to try this place!

Date of visit: April 2017
Reviewed January 30, 2017 via mobile

Everybody likes to talk farm to table but this place walks the walk and leads the way. A menu that changes daily to reflect chef Coral's fresh finds. Everything is prepared from scratch, sauces, that scream yum, even homemade ricotta cheese! Every bite was scrumptious...right up to dessert which chef made by baking cookies just to break up for the crust. We had four menu items and 2 desserts and there wasn't a bite we didn't savor. Personal service including a visit from the chef only makes the delicious food better.More

Date of visit: January 2017
Reviewed September 25, 2016 via mobile

We kinda stumbled upon Garden Kitchen and we're so glad we did! Everything we ate and drank was so so good, and made from scratch! The menu changes daily, so we're excited to go back!

Date of visit: September 2016
Reviewed September 1, 2016

We had read good reviews about the restaurant and went there last week on our trip to San Diego. We got there at 8:00 PM and the waitress told us that this was there special Burger night so all they had on their Menu for...main course was three types of Burgers but she was Sorry that they were out of Buns for the Burgers!!!! This was at 8:00 PM!!! We had reached San Diego from Boston that morning and were too tired to go looking for another restaurant. So we had the Patties wrapped in lettuce instead of Bread. the food was delicious and the service was great! the chef-owner came to the table and apologized. But I find it odd that you are keeping a limited Menu and then run out of the main ingredient!!More

Date of visit: August 2016
Reviewed August 6, 2016 via mobile

This is a tiny, magical little restaurant. The chef decides daily what she will prepare and during our meal came out twice to answer questions and chat. Everything is fresh daily, local with gourmet meals for meat eaters and vegetarians. I had pork belly with...sage risotto, my husband had linguini and clams - both excellent. Give this place a try but I recommend reservations.More

Date of visit: August 2016
Reviewed April 6, 2016 via mobile

After a noteworthy Sunday brunch our family went back for happy hour and tried every appetizer. We couldn't be more pleased! Every item was unique, perfectly prepared and stunning to look at. All agreed that this was the best restaurant among the many we've sampled...this vacation week. Great menu for plant based as well as meat eaters!More

Date of visit: April 2016
Reviewed April 6, 2016 via mobile

Came here for Sunday brunch on a whim, and it was an amazing experience. Very creative and just delicious. We had to come back for happy hour a couple nights later. Great place!

Date of visit: April 2016
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Frequently Asked Questions about Garden Kitchen

Yes, Garden Kitchen offers takeout services.

Garden Kitchen is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 5
  • Service: 5
  • Value: 5