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Donovan's in La Jolla-best steakhouse in SD?

I heard some women in Trader Joes today saying that Donovan's is one of the best steakhouses in SD. I thought it was like cozymels or something. Someone give me the background on this restaurant.



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  1. I don't know if Donovan's is the "best" steakhouse in SD, but it's pretty darn close. It is upscale, extremely good and worth every penny. It's definitely NOT something like Cozymels.

    1. I think Donovan's is a cut above the rest (pun intended), though if one is located in downtown/Gaslamp I'm not sure if it is worth the trip. But where on earth did you come up with this "like cozymels or something" impression? It is *near* Cozymels geographically, but how you could compare a private non-chain upscale steakhouse to a chain Mexican "trying to project themselves as being a bit above El Torrito" restaurant is entirely a mystery to me.

      1. Donovan's is our favorite steakhouse in SD, above Ruth Chris' and Flemings (both of which are also very good). Consistently excellent service every time we're there. Steak is great, as well as their salmon and chicken. Great creamed spinach and sauteed mushrooms! Expect to pay top dollar there and plan to either share your meal or have a full meal made of leftovers.

        1. For San Diego, I would agree it is the best steakhouse....however, where are you coming from and what are you comparing it to?...in other words, if you are using a Peter Luger, Sparks, Metropolitan Grill or Gene & Georgetti's as a frame of reference then you will probably be disappointed...if not, then Donovan's will almost certainly meet or exceed your expectations. I would certainly choose Donovan's over a high end franchised steakhouse (i.e. Mortons, et.al) that you can find in 50+ other cities.


            You can not beat the incividual attention that you get when the owners are onsight.

            1. Donavon's does a nice job, but let's face it, the ambiance at all of the high end steak houses are pretty boring. Consider Red Tracton's on Via de la Valle: Totally old school, great steaks, green goddess dressing (I miss the 70's) and some very interesting dining patrons. The last time I was there the piano man was playing a musak version of "Doctor in my eyes".

              3 Replies
              1. re: buzznutter

                Second Red Tracton's. It's a virtual time machine (and I don't mean that in a bad way). If you have a salad with their Green Goddess dressing, you'll wonder why it ever went out of fashion.
                . . . jim strain in san diego.

                1. re: buzznutter

                  Can any of you give a little direction as to how to get to Red Traction's from say Downtown? I love trying "non-chain" independant restaurants & out of the way places that may be great but don't have exposure like say being located in the gas lamp.

                  1. re: JerseyGirl1825

                    I-5 north to Via de la Valle, go left, and it's at 550 Via de la Valle.

                2. I third Red Tracton's - they also have the best lobster bisque I've ever had - and I come from New England.

                  1. Donavan's is still in my top 3 for steakhouse's in San Diego but LG's is giving them a run for their money. I'm gonna have to try out Red Tracton's and see if I can add them to my list!!