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“Special place”

Pamplemousse Grille
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Ranked #9 of 78 Restaurants in Solana Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$35 - US$50
Cuisines: French, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Business meetings, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

We went for my wife's birthday and it was a very special meal. The good was inventive and delicious. Be aware you get what you pay for. This quality of food, atmosphere, and service for not make for a bargain. Nevertheless it is definitely worth a splurge

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Thank BPR18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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96 - 100 of 180 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2014

We made a spontaneous reservation from Laguna Beach and made the drive down along the PCH to get there for a 9:00pm reservation. The restaurant exterior is misleading: set inside a housing development, it looks like middle-class mall restaurant. Once you step inside and look at the wine cabinet stocked with Lafitte and Romanee Conti, you know you are in a serious restaurant with a modern French approach: "pamplemousse" is French, after all. The interior needs a makeover: the problem is mainly the furniture and layout--which is reminiscent of restaurants with far less ambition. A dessert chef was preparing some chocolate pieces for a wedding they were catering the next day in open view of the restaurant and the room smelled heavily of dark chocolate as a result. Normally, a restaurant that caters is a red flag for me, as it means their attentions are distracted by quantity productions. The chef Jeffrey Strauss, with long catering background, was not cooking the evening we were eating, as he was seated at the table across from us eating with a large party of family members--his party was a little loud, and it set a vibe of insider vs outsiders. Wine list was extensive, but the waiter was not really a wine person, and could not answer my queries over different bottles. We ended up with a rather mediocre but expensive bottle of Staglin, with dried up fruit, although we wanted to avoid ordering a white wine that was over the hill: the waiter insisted it was a "great bottle." The appetisers lean toward Asian fusion treatments, with wasabi and ginger used creatively. The restaurant offers grille or oven-poached fish dishes with high quality ingredients. The portions were fairly large, and the plates extremely filling, if not very memorable, lacking that extra fineness that would justify the prices and make the restaurant more attractive to me. The approach is not full-on French, but French mixed with other approaches (traditional American, Asian, etc.) and it is hard to tell if the restaurant wants to be a grille or really a fine dining establishment. As it is, it is caught between a portfolio of things (wine temple, US grill place, modern French restaurant, fusion place, high quality caterer, etc), perhaps this is strategic portfolio management for the owners, but the restaurant loses a clear unique identity through this for the ordinary diner. Prices were high, expected better.

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1  Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We enjoy this restaurant a lot and try to make a point to eat there whenever we are in San Diego area. Food is always prepared just right and we find the menu a little different from your standard fare. Good choice for that special occasion.

Thank KGross818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Super Slow service,Regulars are catered to while new guests wait forever. Portions are gucci sized... What happend to the passion and the quality?

5  Thank esmipaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

It was a typical high end restaurant. they had an endless menu. I got the salad w/ goat cheese and a sea bass entrée w/ miso glaze. It was all good but at $15, salad was a little over priced I think. The fish was well cooked and well seasoned and came on a bed of bok choy and enoki mushrooms in a mild broth. the seared side was crunchy and very tasty while the rest of the fish was moist. The dessert was also very good- we had a fruit crisp. tasty but I wasn't blown away. There were complementary short bread cookies at the end so if you decide not to order dessert, you will still get a little something at the end. there is also a amuse bouche between salad/appetizer and entrée which was grapefruit sorbet, appropriate since the name of the restaurant is grapefruit. Overall a pleasant experience.

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Thank Lauren K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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