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“Great last minute decision” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Donovan's Steak and Chop House

Donovan's Steak and Chop House
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Ranked #44 of 1,238 Restaurants in La Jolla
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Groups, Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, View
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: La Jolla Village Drive at Genesee
Description: Celebrate Restaurant Week all year long! Enjoy a soup or salad, a choice between two special entrees, and your choice of desserts... all for only $45! Donovan's rich and intimate ambiance is enhanced by world-class unobtrusive service and a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. The Chef serves 100% USDA Prime beef 100% of the time. Donovan's wine list of over 700 wines feature the best the world has to offer.
CA
Level Contributor
62 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great last minute decision”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

Last night we were booked at Fleming's Steak House nearby, and they cancelled us because the restaurant had to close due to no water (broken pipe).

We quickly scrambled and my son remembered hearing good things about Donovan's. I ran in there at 6:35pm to see if we could get a table. There was a 30 minute wait for a table but open seating in the bar. I nabbed a table and texted the family who gave the car to the valet and came on in.

This place is kind of old school in that try serve steakhouse classics in the classic way. Sometimes that's just what you want.

For appetizers, we got the shrimp cocktail and the calamari. The shrimp were not colossal but they were very fresh and the cocktail sauce was nicely spiced. We even used some of it on our calamari. The calamari came with aioli. The appetizer was perfectly cooked, not overdone and not under cooked. It wasn't over battered, just the perfect amount. The lemon halves in mesh were a nice touch too.

For the remaining courses, I got the wedge salad and the pepper filet steak with a baked potato. The wedge was perfect, the dressing not too heavy. My steak (and I take it VERY rare) was perfectly done. The waiter showed up table side with the potato toppings. I got the sautéed mushrooms and those were perfect too. Worth the $10.

My husband got the spinach salad and also the pepper steak. The spinach salad had the right amount of dressing and wasn't overly sweet. This could easily have been shared. Afterwards, he thought maybe the onion was a bit undercooked, but he did eat it all. Hubby likes his steak "regular rare". My his steak was perfect too. For his side, my husband had the smashed potatoes.. As described, they were kind of a lumpy mashed potato with parsley and hit the spot.

My son got the regular 10 ounce filet (can you tell we like filet?). His was also perfectly cooked to his medium specification. He and my husband also split the tower of onion rings. This was a truly amazing side dish! It is a stack of large wide cut onion rings served on a special plate that has a center peg to hold the stack.

A night that could have been a bust was saved by a near perfect performance by Donovan's. Thank you!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank GeekSiliconValley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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327 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    195
    63
    37
    21
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great place to celebrate!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2014

My husband and daughter share the same birthday and we love trying new restaurants on that special day. The restaurant is beautiful. We sat in a booth and it was very private and quiet. The service was excellent and the employees seemed to go out of their way to make our experience enjoyable. My daughter and I ordered filet mignon and it was tender and flavorful. I tried the au gratin potatoes which had the perfect amount of cheese and seasoning. My husband devoured the cherry glazed pork chop. He is a big eater and was pleased with the huge portion. My husband and daughter were given complimentary servings of crème brulee and it was delicious! Thanks Donovan's for making this a special evening.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TucsonTraveler54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
88 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“True Fine Dining”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014

Went to dinner here w/a group of 7 people for a birthday. When we walked in I was awed by the long elegant bar. The hostess seamlessly ushered us to our table. I was "shocked" to see so many people in the restaurant as we took the turn...the place is remarkably quiet.

We were seated in a nice big round table making cross conversation easy. The waiter might have been the best I've ever had. He had suggestions for each person as well as feedback on wine pairings.

Each meal (steaks, fish) was cooked to perfection.

The only negative comment was the price of the wine -- high, even by fine restaurant standards.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank SBPinotFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belle Mead, NJ
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Best Fillet Mignon I've ever had”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

My fillet mignon was prepared perfectly for me. Medium rare came out with the right amount of pink. I'm still thinking about it. The restaurant was upscale casual, but I still felt a little under-dressed wearing jeans.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank CiscoLegs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Escondido, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Food and service are incredible!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

I have been here to the La Jolla location 2 times and both times were amazing. I was unsure I was going to like it so much the 2nd time because I drank their top shelf margarita the first time and they were a little strong. But the second time was just as amazing. My husband and and I ordered the biggest steak and shared it. We get the fried potatoes and veggies with the peppercorn gravy. I loved that gravy so much I asked for extra. My husband also orders the macaroni and cheese which he loves. I love the ambiance and the people that were always there to help you. It was great!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Michaelshoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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