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“Very nice except for this one little thing.......”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Cafe Secret

Cafe Secret
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Ranked #20 of 91 Restaurants in Del Mar
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Kids
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: The magic that happens in Cafe Secret's tiny kitchen dates back to the couple's childhood years in Peru, where good food and great company was a part of life. We are full-service restaurant proud to serve homemade authentic Peruvian cuisine. Join us in the heart of Del Mar, San Diego California. Our cozy indoor-outdoor setting, on the street, covered by beautiful bugambilia, resembles side street cafe from a european city. Romatic, quaint with a lot of character. Come and join us for some out of this world flavors.
Alpine, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Very nice except for this one little thing.......”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

This Peruvian restaurant had good food, very tasty, fresh and well prepared. The menu is limited, but it works for this tiny restaurant. We also enjoyed a nice bottle of Argentinian Malbec which was a nice pairing for the lamb dish my wife had and the Lomo Saltado beef dish that I had. I was surprised that our "mozo" (waiter, in Peruvian Spanish) was a young, red haired gringo. This is the first time I have ever gone to a Peruvian restaurant that had non-Peruvian staff. No big deal.

Oh, yeah, that one little thing....This is to management. I am SERIOUSLY trying to help and not be mean, but the carafes the water was served in were NASTY looking. Wash the outside. I just left the water sitting on the table. Even in Peru, I have never seen anything that gross. The water and the vessel in which it is served should be crystal clear. The lemon slice should be on the rim, not in the water. Give the customer the option.

Someone mentioned in another review that the bread pudding was soggy. We had it and it was very nice, not soggy at all, but it IS bread pudding. To that reviewer, I say, "Pudding, duh. Traditionally a bit soggy is permissible."

We tried unsuccessfully to get an order of ceviche as an appetizer. I guess Big Red was overwhelmed being the only mozo on staff at the time. Management: That would have added $17 to our bill. What we did manage to get was very good and we enjoyed the sidewalk dining experience, even though we had to find something else to do for an hour while we waited for the Café Secret to open for dinner.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ray H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    59
    29
    7
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
245 reviews
160 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Service was a mess”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2013

The food was super good as always, but the service was an absolute failure this time around. We waited over 30 min to get our drinks, people all around us were amazed how menu items were delivered to wrong tables, dessert was served during the main course and arriving guests had to wait while tables were open. I suppose it was a busy evening, but summer is just beginning and they better get their act together quickly. I, myself trust this was a once in a while slip up and will return again as there is no better seafood place in Del Mar

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BigCityCowboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
177 reviews
103 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Ceviche from Peru”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

is their speciality, delicious, and very different from others I have enjoyed. Tuesday evening is tapas night and a discounted wine selection

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Nancy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great healthy seafood and desserts”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2013 via mobile

Small "hole in the wall" feel , yet the food is pretty amazing . The ceviche is very fresh and tasty... The alcoholic drinks are sad... Not a recommended place for a cocktail. They used to serve pesco but not anymore. The chicha (sweet corn drink) is pretty good it is non alcoholic. The sangria is a hit or miss.
I still eat there once a week, so I do highly recommend it. Don't miss out on the lacouma cheese cake... Worth every calorie.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Hana A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Del Mar, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Cafe Secret has the best recipes,quality & service in town!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

Cafe Secret is perfect for Del Mar. High quality food with excellent service & dedication. Has pride of ownership & feels like you belong.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Acuheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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