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“Absolutely a must go here!!!!”
Review of Isabel's Cantina

Isabel's Cantina
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Ranked #751 of 4,773 Restaurants in San Diego
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Latin
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Cass
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.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
467 reviews
321 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Absolutely a must go here!!!!”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

The tamales here are amazing, as well as their rosemary fried potatoes. But the truth is......everything we ordered was delicious! I definitely want to return on my next trip to San Diego!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Cinda10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Good breakfast in Pacific Beach, service needs to ne improved”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Breakfast on a Saturday morning in August was really busy. We put our name down for a table, but were skipped a few times, because the waiter read our name wrong. The breakfast & lunch menu was extensive, plenty of Latin and Asian inspired flavours to choose from. The service was slow and it took a long time for our orders to arrive. Although the food was tasty, the unattentive service and noisiness of this trendy place didn't really hit the spot for us. Better luck on our next visit, I hope!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Anu A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
frequent traveler
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Ate here 5 times in one week. - Seriously it's that good”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Was in San Diego on business, staying out in Mission Beach.My better half wanted to try this restaurant after reading about Isabel Cruz in a magazine and getting feedback from a friend who dined at one of her other restaurants (the barrio star)

I'm writing this review based on latin / mexican food perspective. I'm also a vegetarian, and not thrilled normally by latin food

Everything I had there was absolutely incredible. Made me sad to go back to the east coast to extremely mediocre mexican fare.

Soy Chorizo - wonderful
Chile rellenos - fantastic
Ginger margarita - killer
pancakes at breakfast - amazing

I even liked the black beans (and I rarely, rarely like black beans)

I'm not exagerating about eating there that many times. 3 times for dinner, once for breakfast and once for lunch.

Isabel Cruz is who started the Mission Cafe (ranked 14th in San Diego overall), so she has a great track record of creating excellent food.

Only complaint would a minor one about seating. Sometimes, depending on who you get, the staff can be a little odd about seating. The majority of tables are adjustable in configuration and can be altered to accomodate 2, 4 6, 8 or more people. So a couple of times when we wanted a table for 2 in a specific part of the restaurant (mostly to be away from some noisy group) the hostess said we couldn't sit there because it was a table for 4 (when it actually was 2 tables for 2 pushed together). So that was mildly annoying.

But the food is fantastic!!!!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank remorw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Tasty caribbean fusion”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Isabel's Cantina is a nice find in Pacific Beach in San Diego. It is a little of the beaten path, so not as busy as other PB restaurants. They offer a large selection of dishes with Cuban / Puerto Rican / and Mexican influences.

Isabel uses puts a lot of creativity into her dishes. This results in a mouthfuls of flavor's that are very appetizing.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank agg2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great food”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Great food, feels good inside.
I had the pozole for lunch, which was wonderful and returned the next day for the soy scramble for breakfast.
My husband had the pancakes both times with an egg and bacon.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Diane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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