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“A Great Evening, Some Of It Gluten Free”
Review of Costa Brava

Costa Brava
Ranked #284 of 4,799 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$30
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Pacific Beach
Memphis, Tennessee
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A Great Evening, Some Of It Gluten Free”
Reviewed 15 February 2014

I love tapas and had made reservations before learning my guest ate gluten-free. We decided to go anyway and she had a great meal, about a fourth of the menu met the gluten- free requirements. Terrific food and atmosphere, fine for normal conversation, would have been too noisy for detailed business talk. Orlando was an outstanding server and made some great recommendations. Will definitely go again!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank William P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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179 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    106
    45
    12
    8
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Tapas music and atmosphere in San Diego”
Reviewed 27 January 2014

Delicious food, great atmosphere, live guitar music and wonderful service. Highly recommended. We especially loved our wait staff...they were a lot of fun!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SAnsbaugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san diego california
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
“Okay food, okay service, horrific wines”
Reviewed 18 January 2014 via mobile

My husband and I along with 4 friends went to costa brava for New Years and had gone there a couple timed previously . For New Years, we brought a bottle of wine ,as we have done in the past, and of course, willing to pay their ridiculous $20.00 corkage fee. At first, they refused to open our wine as they stated that you cannot bring your own bottle on holidays. This was New Years Eve and we had not been provided the information when making reservations. After much argument, they finally uncorked the wine. We also decided to order another bottle from them . During previous visits, we knew how the wines tasted- Terrible. And true to form, the wine was really bad. Fortunetly , we ordered a 40.00 and not the 86.00 bottle they tried to talk us into. Sweet and nasty. All the wines are Spanish and I applaud the Spanish for sherry and sparkling whites, their red wines however, are bad. We actually had a small glass and left the rest. The service is very average. They bring the entrees before you finish the tapas and it is obvious that they want you in and out of the restaurant. The food varies. I ordered the oxtail which is really bull tail. For 18.50, you get a 3" tail in a red wine stew/reduction. And of course, most of the tail is bone and cartlidge. I must say, the flavor was good. They have some nice tapas, the bacon wrapped dates, the grilled lamb, and the stuffed piquillo peppers; however, the price adds up quickly as the portion sizes are miniscule . The marinated seafood salad is bland and like eating a tire. The clams are equally tasteless and rubbery . I would give the Paella Marisco 3 stars ( and that's generous). Lots of rice with bits of rubbery seafood. Some of the food looks and tastes like it was cooked and then reheated in a microwave. So... In summary , stay away from their wine lists - really really bad! If you love wines with dinner, do not go on a holiday when you can't bring your own. A 20.00 corkage fee is fine for an upscale restaurant. This is a cute restaurant that tries to be upscale- they haven't achieved this to date. Stay away from their seafood and be prepared to be stuffed in a space like sardines in the evening and served your food in a rush so that they can get you out quickly. I will say that the restaurant ambience is nice but, the service is hit and miss. I can recommend going for a late lunch, trying a couple tapas and ordering a glass or 2 of white or sparkling wine. I've heard comments that stated " yes, the staff can be rude but...that's
how it is in Spain." This is not Spain...

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bijou6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Wow how great can it get!”
Reviewed 14 January 2014

A friend from Calgary recommended Costa Brava where they ate tapas and loved the atmosphere. My wife and I went at lunch and since we were the only people there that early we sat at the bar and were entirely entertained by "Freddie" and Alan (see photo). They told us all about the different menu items and let us taste several different Spanish wines. We had so much fun. And the paella was fabulous. I'd go back in a heart beat. Next time for dinner when they have live Spanish entertainment. Give it a try!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Parkman27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boise, Idaho
Level 6 Contributor
133 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Noisy but good food”
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We selected this restaurant based on the glowing reviews on Tripadvisor, plus the location near our vacation rental. Our San Diego friends suggested it based on recommendations from friends. There is an extensive Tapas menu and the 5 items we had were nicely cooked and presented. We also had main courses, Ox Tails, (Rabo de Toro), plus Rabbit (Conejo a la Cazadora) and Sea Bass (Lubina), Each of these dishes was very good. The problem with this restaurant is the floor show which featured an amplified "singer" and flamenco (stomping) dancing along with guitar accompaniment. It was so loud that any conversation was impossible. Apparently, for those who speak Spanish and like Flamenco, the show was very good, based on the enthusiastic applause from the table next to us. However, the show went on what seemed like forever obliterating our desire for a social evening over dinner. So, what do we recommend? Well, the show is in the main dining room, which is actually is small and only part of this facility. They have a nice Patio that is sheltered from the loudness of the show, as well as another small room in another area where you might be able to have a conversation. If you like Tapas the menu is huge and well served so this place fits for that, but be sure to determine the show schedule and select the room for dining based on your plan for the evening.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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