Home Page

Island Prime

Located on the edge of Harbor Island, just out of earshot of the airport, Island Prime’s stilt-supported structure extends out over the bay, giving diners the sense that they are floating along on a dinner cruise. Chef Deborah Scott's retro, yet sophisticated menu features metro steaks, seafood, and other diversely decadent dishes that will make your jaw drop. Between the nostalgic cuisine and the breath-taking view, Island Prime will keep you coming back for more.

Chef Deborah Scott's Study in Balance

Enter Island Prime's giant wood-framed glass door into an oasis of rustic textures with exotic touches and prepare your senses for an unforgettable dining experience.  While waiting for our table, we took a moment to look around us and appreciate the natural aesthetic conveyed by the restaurant's large wooden beams and the stone wall that lined the stairs down into the dining room.  The warm lighting served to accentuate its earth tones.  Large, fresh flower arrangements filled with lilies and other exotic flora softened the rustic décor and upheld the restaurant's tropical name.

To the left, in a section of its own, Island Prime's more casual counterpart, C-Level Lounge was preparing for a busy evening.  This restaurant has its own kitchen, its own menu, and even its own staff.  In fact, the only thing the two restaurants share is the bar, which offers a fun selection of cocktails such as the Ricky Ricardo mojito and the Skyline Martini.  Chef Deborah Scott later explained that her concept for C-Level was influenced by her Chesapeake Bay upbringing, and that with both restaurants she was trying to create a feeling of nostalgia, a concept that would later ring true for us.

Our hostess escorted us through the restaurant to our corner table overlooking a phenomenal view of the San Diego skyline and the Coronado Bridge.  Located on the edge of Harbor Island, just out of earshot of the airport, Island Prime's stilt-supported structure extends out over the bay, giving diners the sense that they are floating along on a dinner cruise.  The restaurant's ambiance, in conjunction with the water, is reminiscent of Monterey Bay.  When we first sat down at sunset, the hustle and bustle of the city contrasted with the calm of the just-opened restaurant; soon, the activity of the city began to calm down and the vibe of the restaurant began to pick up.  We were surrounded by excited diners and waiters who were eager to help with menu selections and wine pairings.

When creating Island Prime in 2005, the venerable Chef Deborah Scott envisioned a retro, nostalgic feel which she realized through specific details such as the orange accents on wooden beams, or in the presentation of steaks on cast iron skillets.    Chef Scott visited our table and expressed her excitement in presenting us some of her own favorite dishes.  She tantalized us with the prospect of the wonders to come: a cheese plate, a beet salad, ahi tuna, and their bone-in rib eye.

First, our waiter brought us a special amuse bouche from the kitchen: a beautiful champagne-poached oyster lovingly topped with caviar lying upon a bed of what we could only assume to be sea salt, peppercorns, and cumin.  The soft, tender oyster and caviar practically melted in our mouths, and were enhanced by the light alfredo-like sauce in which they were swimming.  Popovers fresh from the oven arrived with our oysters; it has been a long time since I've been this excited about bread. The flavors reminded both my dining companion and me of past comforts, while the refreshing jalapeño jelly butter added a hint of the exotic.

The presentation of the Point Reyes Blue Cheese Tart was superb with varying shapes, colors, and placement of the different ingredients.  On the right side of the plate, the round of Point Reyes blue cheese was veiled by a fig reduction that had a long train of sherried figs cascading down the middle of the plate with two triangles of a grainy cracker stacked geometrically in between.  To the left, my eyes were drawn to the bright green of an arugula salad topped with julienned green apples.  Once I allowed my desire for the dish overpower my wish to preserve its beauty, I started with the cheese and figs: the pungent, California-local blue cheese tasted almost sinful, and the figs added the perfect amount of sweetness to its saltiness.  Still, the most brilliant part of the plate was the addition of the mild arugula salad, offering such a cleansing of the palate that the cheese and figs could be experienced like anew every time.  We enjoyed a glass of Dr. Hyden twenty-year Riesling with the plate, its sweet, smooth taste helping to further balance the course.

When the Baby Beet Salad arrived, it became clear that Chef Deborah Scott loves plating in threes.  . On the right sat a round of warm goat cheese, next to which lay three layered beets: one red, one pink, and one golden. To the left, the plate was completed with baby greens and candied walnuts.  The crisp beets' fresh taste lived up to their colorful presentation, and the warm, crusted goat cheese added a strong contrast to its creamy and rich flavor.  The subtle sweetness of the locally grown baby greens again offered a welcomed respite from the other delicacies, and the crunch of the candied walnuts added yet another enjoyable texture to the already bountiful collection on the plate.  Our beet salad was suitably accompanied by a Grenache blend from the Chateau d'Esclans in France that provided a wonderfully subtle flavor that allowed the flavors of the plate to prevail.

While eagerly anticipating our entrees, we took another moment to enjoy the sparkling view out the window, which had taken a backseat to the equally stunning views of our plates.  Our three medallions of Everything Crusted Ahi Tuna were charmingly presented alongside spoon leaf spinach, oyster mushrooms, and forbidden rice in diagonal layers with swirls of brown butter citrus vinaigrette filling in the blanks on the plate.  The range of smells from oceanic to earthy suggested great treats to come.  Starting with the ahi, we were awed by the silky texture of the tuna, accented by the peppery, crunchy crust.  The forbidden rice grounded the dish with its deep, purple color and its grainy texture and flavor, reminiscent of a larger-grained risotto.  Our waiter shared a little secret with us, explaining that this Chinese rice's tastiness is thanks to the mire-poix mixed in, yet camouflaged by the rich color of the rice.  A surprising favorite of the evening came in the form of the spinach, proved incomparable to any spinach we had ever experienced.  This wonder was expertly sautéed with garlic and oyster mushrooms just to the point of warmth while still retaining its crispy freshness and earthy taste.  The Erath Pinot Noir proved to be an excellent pairing: lighter than a more traditional pinot, it accentuated the tuna's meatiness without overpowering it.

To continue our indulgence, the Prime Bone-In Rib Eye arrived with a side of Truffled-Cream Corn, accompanied by a Meritas from the Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain.  The rib eye was presented already sliced on a cast-iron skillet, reminding us of Chef Scott's retro concept for the restaurant.    The crisp, flaky outer edges of the steak enhanced its texture.  It was simply done yet cooked exquisitely to medium doneness, exemplifying Chef Scott's idea that, it's best to let the steak itself do the majority of the work and accentuate its greatness.  The truffled cream corn, masquerading as something your grandmother used to make, was really so much more.   Upon our first taste, our original response was that the creamed corn was velvety while maintaining the crispiness of the fresh corn.  Then, all of a sudden, the rich taste of truffle arrived, albeit fashionably late.  It was a welcomed treat that added a new dimension of opulence to this very traditional dish.

Dessert snuck up on us: we were presented with a Crème Brûlée trio on a square plate with four divots, one each for the three ceramic dishes, and one for a lovely orange and raspberry garnish.  The first dish housed a blueberry crème brûlée with a soft chocolate cookie on top; the second, a cherry crème with a crumbly almond cookie; and the third was a classic vanilla.  All were sprinkled with a snow of powdered sugar.  The blueberry and cherry custards both had fresh fruits mixed in, and all had the smooth texture and rich flavor one would expect to tap into in a crème brûlée.  We enjoyed a Muscat de Rivesaltes from the Chateau de Jan in France with our dessert trio, which was chilled and not overly sweet.  This course was a delightful conclusion to an incomparable meal at one of the Cohn Restaurant Group's most esteemed restaurants.

Whether it is in the contrast of the retro, woodsy décor of the interior with the vibrant and modern city view, or the various dishes' combinations of textures, shapes, and flavors, Island Prime, much like its Point Reyes Blue Cheese Plate, is truly a study in balance.  Chef Scott provides customers with the opportunity to enjoy a chic city view while enjoying more natural, rustic cuisine; she prepares often three-fold dishes that excite all the senses in their complimentary tastes and engaging presentation; she presents customers with a feeling of nostalgia while adding in a touch of the exotic—all culminating to make Island Prime a scintillating culinary getaway.

Hide Review

Copyright © Restaurant Agent Inc.

  Buy Online Gift Certificates

Buy restaurant gift certificates online and save 20%

The perfect gift for any occasion. It's Quick & Easy!



Deals & Special Offers

Deal:   $100.00 Island Prime Gift Card for only $79.99

Valid: Jan. 1, 2018 - Dec. 31, 2099

Days Available: Daily Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday,

Time Available: 1 a.m. - 11:45 p.m.

Rules: Get two $50 gift cards ($100 total) for only $79.99. This exclusive offer is only available online through our website while the supply lasts. Only a limited number of gift cards are available at this discounted price. No rain-checks.

Restaurant Info

  • Address: 880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego CA 92101
  • Cross Street: North Harbor Drive
  • Location: Point Loma & Ocean Beach | Harbor Island
  • Cuisine: Seafood | Steak | California |
  • Cost: $$$$ | Expensive | $75 - $100
  • Category: Fine Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Dress Code: Casual Elegant
  • Meals Served: Lunch | Dinner |
  • Parking: Valet Parking |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard | Discover | Diners Club |
  • Corkage Fee: 20.00 | Per 700ml Bottle
  • Phone: (619) 298-6802

Business Hours

Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Happy Hours 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.


  • Full Bar
  • Ocean View
  • Late Dining
  • Catering Services
  • Famous Chef
  • Organic Ingredients
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Private Room
  • Prix Fixe Menu
  • Smoking Area
  • Takeout Available
  • Tasting Menu
  • Winning Wine List
  • Working Fireplace
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Valet Parking
  • Happy Hours
  • Personal Wines Allowed
  • Lounge / Bar
  • Healthy Options


  • Child Friendly
  • Romantic Dining
  • Dining Alone
  • Business Dining
  • Meet for a Drink
  • People Watching
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Special Occasion
  • Trendy / Hip


F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions

The outdoor patio is the C Level Lounge, a more casual side of the restaurant. Unfortunately, the C Level Lounge accepts walk-ins only.
Deborah Scott is not only the masterful Executive Chef of Island Prime, but also of Kemo Sabe and Indigo Grill.
Unfortunately, specific seating, such as a window table, are first come, first served and cannot be guaranteed.
The C Level Lounge opens daily at 11:30am.
Yes, there is a water taxi service offered through San Diego Harbor Excursions. The cost is $7.00 per person each way and can pick you up at dock A located behind the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Advance reservations are required. Phone: (619) 235-8294. Website: http://www.sdhe.com/san-diego-water-taxi.html


Island Prime Menu

  Sunday-Thursday: 5:00pm-10:00pm Friday-Saturday: 5:00pm-11:00pm. This is a sample menu only. Prices and availability may be subject to change.

Appetizers From The Sea

Appetizers Of The Land

From The Garden

Island Prime Artisan Steaks

Any Turf Can Surf

Island Prime Sides

Deborah's Compositions

Island Prime 5 Course Tasting


Island Prime Gluten Free Menu


Social Hour Menu

  Only offered at C-Level.




C Level Menu

Under Way

Kelp Beds

Chef Deborah Scott's Fuel

High Tide

Dinner Items

C-Level Gluten Free Menu



Restaurant Address: 880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego CA 92101

User Reviews

new kid in town Island Prime & C Level Grill  

This restaurant isnt even open yet but I went there on the 4th of july for a private party, and oh my god is this place gorgeous. "Views to dine for" is perfect. this has to be one of the most beautiful restaurants and views in san diego. and if the food is as wonderful as deborahs other restaurants (kemo sabe & indigo grill) this place will be amazing!!!!! take notice theres a new kid in town. FYI: it is located on habor island at the other end from tom hamms light house not point loma like the review says unless of coarse harbor island is point loma?

Fantastic Restaurant  

Eight of us set out to experience dinner with a view of coronado bay and the downtown san diego skyline. While we didn't expect great food or service, we were pleasantly surprised when we received both. In fact, we enjoyed the view but ultimately, it paled in comparison to both the delicious food and attentive service we received at this incredible new restaurant. Try the filet with lobster, surf and turf...incredible. Meats are all prime and Deborah Scott has done an incredible job combining sophisticated dishes with after school charm(try the study in lobster). This restaurant gets two thumbs way up for not just a great view but impeccable service and delicious food as well.

Best, Best, Best  

We recently went to Island Prime for a business celebration for 22 people. Island Prime is the Best Location, with the Best Chef, and the Best Service in San Diego. Great job, Deborah!

Too soon to tell...  

I will concede that Island Prime is still a little new to judge too harshly. But that said, the menu was quite confusing, my prime rib arrived cold, the rest of our fare was average, we could barely comprehend a word the waiter said, pretty much everything was ala carte, and everyting was pricey, even the coffee.($12 for a tiny dessert?!) What may keep this place going until they get the bugs worked out is that the atmosphere is understated but pleasing, and the view is breathtaking...especially if you go after dark...and we paid dearly for it. Give it another month before you try it.


I am so amazed about the restaurants' Beauty (breath taking view of the ocean), elegance and awesome customer service... Last March 18, is now my most memorable night because my boyfriend proposed to me...Until now, I am still astonished... Their great accomadation and flexibility showed when my boyfriend told me that upon our arrival , he actually spoke to one of the hostess' and told them about his plan of "proposal" ... With this short notice, they sat us up in the most romantic table of all .... (without ruining the surprise... I didn't have a clue..) After a great tasting desert wine... he then proposed.. I cried when I saw the ring and hearing the proposal... Food was excellent... He had the lamb and I got the Filet Mignon Trio... The meat just melts in your mouth.... It was heavenly...And yes, a great desert of 3 flavorful sorbets with a wonderful "congratulations" written in chocolate... Island Prime is # 1 in my books...Thank you so much for a wonderful night!


I am so amazed about the restaurants' Beauty (breath taking view of the ocean), elegance and awesome customer service... Last March 18, is now my most memorable night because my boyfriend proposed to me...Until now, I am still astonished... Their great accomodation and flexibility showed when my boyfriend told me that upon our arrival , he actually spoke to one of the hostess' and told them about his plan of "proposal" ... With this short notice, they sat us up in the most romantic table of all .... (without ruining the surprise... I didn't have a clue..) After a great tasting desert wine... he then proposed.. I cried when I saw the ring and hearing the proposal... Food was excellent... He had the lamb and I got the Filet Mignon Trio... The meat just melts in your mouth.... It was heavenly...And yes, a great desert of 3 flavorful sorbets with a wonderful "congratulations" written in chocolate... Island Prime is # 1 in my books...Thank you so much for a wonderful night!

All that we had hoped...  

After 6 trips, my family, business associates and friends have now completed a respectable sampling of Island Prime's superb menu. For both casual and upscale evenings, to a person, we have been consistently and thoroughly pleased with the service, innovative selections, extraordinary views, and masterfully prepared offerings. I don't believe there is a single establishment on the harbor that we have missed within the last year... Island Prime easily ranks in the top 2 overall.

wonderful dinner  

I had a very good time with my girl friend while I was staying there. The food was great, specially the ribeye steak. The quality of food was undescribable and the waiter was so kind and have good knowledge on wine selection. I will visit there again soon.

absolute excellence  

this place has the most incredible view, but more important the food was increidble, from the crab appetizer to the salad, the filet mignon trio was a delight and they gave me a blueberry tart because it was my bday, pricey but worth every penny.

Can you say awesome?  

I took my husband to Island Prime for his birthday on 10/15/06. The experience was awesome. The server, Lindsay, was excellent. The staff was courteous and prompt. They seated us quickly, cleared plates, filled our glasses before they were empty, and wiped our table throughout the course of our meal. We ordered an Iris Salad, which was excellent. I am not crazy about fancy salads, but this had the perfect combination of ingredients. We asked to split the salad, and even asked for the dressing and cheese on the side. They had no problem accommodating us. I ordered the Filet Trio and it was the perfect blend of ingredients. My husband had the New York steak. He enjoyed his meal immensely. We had a twice-baked lobster potato. It was good, but not that special. It basically tasted like bacon and cheese, which was still good, but not worth $15.00. We enjoyed white zinfandel and a couple glasses of Artesa wine. It was perfect with a beautiful sunset on the water. The server brought out a free cup of bread pudding for my husband's birthday. It was a sweet ending to this perfect date. The Island Prime had the best view, perfect atmosphere, excellent food and service. I would go back again in a heartbeat, if we weren't moving. Our meal was $140.00 without tip. It's worth the experience for special, or even not so special occasions. Two thumbs up and a five star rating from me!

A La Carte  

Alex, I don't know how many upscale restaurants you have been to but the majority of them do price their items A La Carte. In other words you pay for each item you eat. That is the norm for luxury restaurants.



Great Place to go for a Special Occasion  

My boyfriend and I went here to celebrate our anniversary. Everything about the restaurant was great. We had a reservation for 6:15. When we got there we were seated right away. The restaurant had great ambiance, it was very romantic and not very noisy. We were seated at a great table looking out over the water. The view was amazing. Everyone on the wait staff was very helpful and attentive. Our water glasses never stayed less than half full the entire night. Our waiter was very helpful in explaining some of the items on the menu and also made some great serving suggestions. The food was really good. The Filet Mignon was cooked perfectly and the Jidori Roasted Chicken Breast was very good. Because it is a fancy restaurant everything has to be ordered a la carte. Keep in mind that a side is big enough for 2 people. We got a side of the steak fries and we couldn't finish them. To top it off since they knew it was our anniversary they treated us to a complimentary dessert that was delicious! I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a romantic place to celebrate a special occasion or to someone who just wants a really good meal.


I absolutely loved this place! We needed a night out away from the baby and it was a perfect get-away. It has a menu to fit both of our tastes...He loves steak and I love seafood. We got a table by a window looking out at Seaport Village and the Coronado bridge...very romantic! I would recommend our server, her name is Melissa. She was extremely helpful and attentive to our every need! The food was amazing! I'd bet half the conversation we had that night was about the food. Everything from start to finish was perfect! We're definitely going back as soon as we can!

Modern and fun  

This restaurant is so awesome! Be prepared to break your wallet, but every once in a while it is worth it! This is a prefect place for a romantic date. It overlooks the bay and city, and the mac n cheese is amazing!!!!!

GREATEST Restaurant in San Diego  

When it's time to treat yourself to a fabulous meal, Island Prime is the absolute slam dunk choice for us! The food is always cooked to perfection. The staff are terrific, and Deb Scott is a genius in her trade. Although a bit pricey, our Island Prime experiences are always well worth the price, never have any regrets. Whenever friends and family come to visit, Island Prime is a must for us. We have been to Island Prime for dinner at a minimum of 15 times in the last 16 months and it just gets better every time. Jeff, the General Manager and Melissa, waitress are the most accomodating and friendliest employees of any restaurant! Kudos to Island Prime, the whole place Rocks! We'll be there next Saturday, can't wait...Maureen and Tracey

I want to go back!  

I recently took my girlfriend to Island Prime for her birthday, and we were both blown away with the quality of this restaurant. The food was great, the service was amazing, and the view was awesome. We could even see the fireworks from petco park. I would 100% recommend this place to anybody looking for a place to eat.

Island Prime gets my 5-star rating!  

From the time we were ushered to our table, till the time we left...everything was on-point! We requested a window seat for my wife's birthday, and we were lucky enough to get one. Our two other friends joined us, and we all agreed that the establishment was inviting and comfortable. The food was excellent! Be prepared to pay above-average when it comes to the bill. However, it is well worth it! I would definitely come back to Island Prime!

won us back!  

had an exceptional birthday dinner. beet salad with goat cheese, Outstanding.... wonderful filet cooked to perfection... our whole party was blown away not only by the view but by the food... awesome Deborah and staff.

Anniversary Dinner  

Took my wife her for our 27th anniversery dinner and thanks to our waitress, we had one of the best evenings out that i can remember. If my ex wife had not given us the gift certificate at Christmas, we would have missed out on a great dinning experience. Thanks Island Prime for a great evening.

Island Prime  

Beautifully restaurant... located right on the water. The service & food is excellent....It is one of our favorite restaurants for any occasion. I love their specialty martini's ... Always memorable.

Island Prime is PRIME  

The overall experience is summed up in one word. EXCELLENT!

Great Food and Serivce!  

Great Food and Serivce!

One of San Diego's Best Places To Dine  

We are locals. Island Prime is one of our favorite places to dine in San Diego. The steaks are fabulous, great wine section and the service is outstanding. The view is unlike any in San Diego. From almost any seat you can see the water, city lights and the bay bridge. We have dined at Island Prime several times and will continue to do so. You can even make your reservations on-line. Five stars for food, view and service.

Island Prim Customer Review  

I give it a 9 out of 10

Island Prim Customer Review  

I give it a 9 out of 10


You will never be disappointed what a great evening, food was great service was great just a woderful night.


Great food - terrific view - wonderful service

Island Prime  

Excellent food, service, and views a bit on the expensive side, but worth for our anniversary

The best restaurant we visited in San Diego  

The food was great. The wine selected was great. The wait staff was great. It is a little expensive, but the views of San Diego, the quality of the experience, and mostly the food was well worth it.

Amazing Entrees, Amazing Views  

You won't be disappointed. Great choice for a special occassion.

Top Notch Restaurant  

I can't say enough about this place. HIGH quality food, service, etc. We will definitely become regulars here.

Anniversary Dinner  

This was the first time dining at the Island Prime but it is definately not the last. We go to San Diego to celebrate our anniversay and this year we celebrated our 19th year and it was outstanding. This restaurant has it all.... Food, Service, Atmosphere, Friendly Staff......EVERYTHING.............. Greg & Kim B.


service was great. food was excellent. 3 of us were very satisfied with our dish selection. dessert was outstanding.

I love this restaurant!  

When we arrived, we were greeted with complimentary valet parking. We had reservations and were seated immediately. The atmosphere was dim and relaxing. The view of downtown San Diego was breathtaking. The wine list is extensive and accomodates every type of wine drinker out there, offered by the glass and half bottle. A full bar and nice beer menu to go with all of the wine, including Island Prime specialty drinks. The menu looked delicious. We ordered seared ahi tuna stack for the appetizer, filet mignon with wild mushroom demi and a lobster twice baked potato and diver scallops with saffron buerre blanc, fingerling potatoes and sauteed brussels sprouts. For dessert we had the trio of brulees. All of it was amazing! Highly recommended.

Island Prime  

Your food is wonderful and the view is beautiful. Servce is excellent.

The Perfect restaurant  

We came from Florida to celebrate my wifes birthday in San Diego. We made our reservation while in Florida not knowing what to expect. We have been disappointed in the past but this was the complete opposite. This is an absolutly beautiful restaurant. The Service was impeccable and the food was delicious. The Bone in filet melted in my mouth. The view was breathtaking and fit for any celebration. The price was comparable to any of the better quality resaurants and worth every penny. A wonderful find and we will return next time we visit.

Anniversary dinner  

Everything was great from parking to the momment we left. A bit pricey for my wallet but my wife enjoyed the evening.

My Husband's 60th Birthday Dinner  

My husband and I visited San Diego for his 60th Birthday and we had dinner at Island Prime. I primarily picked this restaurant because of the reviews, and I was not disappointed. The staff acknowledged my husband's birthday as soon as we checked in at the podium (we had a reservation). The view was spectacular, the waiter was excellent and they even brought over a small dessert for us to share. I thought the prices were very reasonable. Thank you for making his birthday so special. I would definitely recommend your restaurant to anyone visiting the San Diego area.

Excellent experience  

Had a great time.


The food was great. The atmosphere was relaxed and the view of the bay was awesome. My husband said the grouper was the best meal he ever ate. Will definitely go back again!

A special evening to be remembered!  

I am new to San Diego and wanted to celebrate my wife's birthday in a special way. Not knowing what to expect, I chose Island Prime. Bingo! From the moment we arrived and the lovely hostess greeted my wife with "Happy Birthday," to being seated at a window to enjoy the view, to the assistant waiter who greeted Mary with "Happy Birthday," to our waiter who similarly wished her the traditional greeting and was most helpful in making our dining choices to our food - every moment was a diner's delight. The pace, from appetizer to dessert, was relaxed and measured to our mood. We have every intention of returning often to Island Prime and of introducing our many friends to this wonderful restaurant. Thank you for making dining out such a pleasure.

Thanks for Thanksgiving!  

Enjoy a classy holiday meal with only those you choose to share it with. Leave the kids at the card table and the clutter at home. Dine on the red carpet at sunset with memorable cuisine prepared and presented by staff who clearly care to please. We will return.


Great valentines day dinner !!

great place  

i had a good experience , good food and excellent service...

Excellent food....  

Our dinner was outstanding. The only complaint we had was that we had two $100 gift certificates that we used to pay for the dinner and when we got our bill we were told we could not get any credit for the unused portion of the certificated and that we had to use the remaining money that night or it would go to waste. We thought it was strange but proceeded to get an extra after dinner drink and desert to bring our bill as close to $200 that we could. We should have been able to get a gift card or something to use at another time. Make sure if you have certificates you check before hand that you can get credit for any unused portion.

Highly recommend  

Would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for great food, excellent service and views. Request water view as we saw dolphins and the city lights were magical.


Great restaurant


My husband, son and I searched online for recommended restaurants near the hotel we were staying. To our pleasant surprise, the Island Prime nearby came highly recommended. It certainly lives up to its reputation! We had the chef's tasting menu and it was incredible! The service was fabulous and the food was spectacular. The wines were perfectly paired for each decadent bite. We will definitely come back to Island Prime during our next visit to San Diego. Thanks for an excellent evening!


My husband, son and I searched online for recommended hotels near the hotel we were staying. To our pleasant surprise, the Island Prime nearby came highly recommended. It certainly lives up to its reputation! We had the chef's tasting menu and it was incredible! The service was fabulous and the food was spectacular. The wines were perfectly paired for each decadent bite. We will definitely come back to Island Prime during our next visit to San Diego. Thanks for an excellent evening!

Anniversary dinner  

As a visitor, there was no better place to celebrate our anniversary that we knew of. Location was of prime importance and looking at downtown Sab Diego at night takes some beating, Service and food were excellent. Thanks for creating a beautiful memory for us both

Outstanding food and service  

The meal selection was great. The service was outstanding. And the view was the icing on the cake. Highly recommended.

What a great place  

Made a reservation through sandiego restaurants dot com. They sent an email confirmation to my phone! we had a great window table where we could see the lights of the city, What a view. My wife had the prime rib and I had the filet mignon. Both were cooked perfectly! we were too full for dessert but the food was so good! Maybe a little pricey but it was worth it in my book.

Optimal Dining Experince  

Everything was amazing at this place...the view, the staff, the food...! If we ever make it back to San Diego Island Prime is on our must eat list!

good food, poor service, great view  

Amazing view but our waiter all but ignored our party of 5 in favor of a special table of 4 VIPs. The manager was nice and came over to check on us and was concerned enough about our service but our dining experience with our waiter did not change after that and we continued to be ignored. I had worked many years ago as a waitress in fine restaurants and I would have asked for help to ensure that a table was not ignored. The quality of service did not go with the class of restaurant.

Island Prime  

Great ocean view and atmosphere. The booths are not as comfortable as some of the other fancy restaurants, but overall the food was good. Would go again.


If you are simply looking for a restaurant with an excellent view, Island Prime will definitely not disappoint you. You felt like you are situated above the ocean floor when dinning. Service is excellent and the restaurant provides an excellent romantic atmosphere. The food is great but not excellent compare to other restaurants with similar food served. I've definitely eaten better seafood pasta in other restaurants than Island Prime. Overall, I would recommend this restaurant cuz of its excellent view, atmosphere, and service.

Beautiful View  

My boyfriend and I dined here for the first time to celebrate an Anniversary. We were attracted by the reviews and the distinctive menu. Things started on the right foot, as we were seated immediately for our reservation. The view is stunning, as is the ambience in the restaurant with wood beams, dark wood, and an impressive glass casing for the wine. Our server was attentive and polite. I started with the nightly special Oysters Rockefeller, which was mediocre. My favorite remains with the Oceanaire Room :) Although, we were happy that everything arrived on the table hot, hot, hot! We've been to many places were the food arrives warm, as if it has been sitting for a while. This is my #1 pet peeve! So, I give them a big thumbs up on the timing of their dishes & swiftness to the table. Our main entrees included the filet mignon and vegetarian pasta (which was created by the chef, based on my boyfriend's fave veggie ingredients). He was happy with his dish. The filet mignon was average in taste, but cooked to perfection as ordered (medium). But again, it would probably be unfair to compare it to other steakhouses. I wouldn't order it again because I have had better. The truffle mashed potatoes were whipped to perfection (my fave dish of the night). The dessert was our only disappointment. The brownie with peanut butter ice cream was dry and slightly hard, which was an unpleasant end to dinner. I gave it only 4 stars for now. We will definitely come back (hopefully with a 5 star rating!). I look forward to sampling the rest of Deborah Scott's inimitable creations.

The meal was awesome!  

I took a gamble making the reservation based on some of the other reviews. The service was good but not the best. I noticed our server seemed a little rushed and we were his only table at the time when we arrived on a Monday night. Over the course of the meal he did prove to be good waiter. He did make very good suggestions for the appitizer, and side order. Second, the steak was amazing. You really will not go wrong for a great meal. It is a great place to try, we did go during the week which may have made a difference in the service.

Island Prime  

My island Prime experience was satisfactory. We had a table with a nice ocean view. The food was very good..The only bad thing was that they took too long to serve us..I had the Rib-eye Prime rib..I love my steaks to be well-done, but this one might have been a little over-cooked, still had some flavor though. As a side order I got the baked potato with lobster It was Delicious !!I couldn't help but always grabbing from my girlfriend's plate. She ordered the King Crab legs, very mouthwatering..Another thing it's a bit on the expensive side ,one inconvenience is that I've been to several Fine dining restaurants & most main entrees come with side dishes either potato, rice or vegetables sometimes they even give u salad before , for this restaurant mostly everything is seperate & a bit pricy. The waitress was nice but not too attentive, My overall experience I would give a 3.5 out of 5 stars

Island Prime on a Friday night  

I made an on line reservation and was pleased to find it worked. Originaly I had requested 7:30pm (made late Wed. or early am. Thrus) They came back with 8:15 which was acceptable and I had requested a "Romantic" table near the window. When we arrived at 8:14 pm we were told (very nicely) that it would take a few minutes. 5-6 minutes later we were seated. Yes at the window but around the side, but view was acceptable. Service was good through out, our waiter did not come back every 10 minutes to ask if everything was okay, but did ask once or twice and that was fine. Time laps between courses was right on.Entree was just a little on the cool side but again acceptable.

Expectations and Results: well having followed the chef (chief/chef whatever) Debrah Scott from Kemo's and Indigo etc.. I was looking forward to her excelent touch with the exotic touch of spices and tastes in the dishes. It was there but very hidden or faint and did not explode of the plate like she managed at the fore mentioned places. The presentation is not quite as breathtaking. I think she/they are assuming that the whole "eating on the water" thing will carry the dinning experiance. The food it's self was good, note I did not say excellent, just good.

All in all I would give this whole experiance a 3.5 stars out of the 5 star rating. I would suggest it to an out-of-town friend because the view is awsome, the food good and the service to good/acceptable standards. To me "good" does not = "Excellent". All in all a pleasant night out. -B-

best seat in the place  

I tried the SanDiegoRestaurants.com online reservation system for the first time at 11 am the day of our reservation and received excellent seating. Beautiful sunset viewing from the southwest corner. excellent food presentation and a very attentive waiter, plus service staff. The menu is wonderful, scallops, salmon on cedar plank, red snapper and a prime rib 12 oz, satisfied us all. Large portions, including salads. The entries and side dishes, a la carte, are a little pricey in my opinion. Four of us each had a mixed drink, and a glass of wine with dinner, and no dessert, we were too full. $229, plus a $40 tip, made it an expensive evening, but it was worth it for our friends visiting from Europe.

Bob and Pat  

We had Friday night reservations at Island Prime. We were seated promptly when we arrived and were taken to a comfortable booth (not a great view from our seat, but still a good ambiance). Our server, Carrie, was attentive to our needs and made great menu suggestions. Overall, the salads, entrees, and sides were great - very rich and filling (we had to take food home). We especially loved the cheddar and lobster twice baked potato. The menu is definitely pricey, but worth it for a special night out. Dinner for four cost $220 (before tip and with limited beverages).

Nice view  

I requested for a window seat for me and my boyfriends anniversary and I got a window seat, but there was a clearly better window seat that was never occupied the whole night that had a much closer view of downtown. The food was very good. The atmosphere of other customers weren't too appealing. I was stuck sitting next to a middle aged couple who kept making comments throughout the night about me and my boyfirend. We were sitting so close to them we could hear their conversations. They were commenting on how we took pictures of the food and how I was rude for saying I thought the mushrooms weren't appealing. The service was very good, until the end when they were closing. We were ignored for quite sometime. Overall, good but I felt like the restaurant treated us like we weren't good enough to eat there, so did their guests...

Dining on the Harbour always a treat  

The service is always top notch. The staff goes out of their way to make sure everything is to your satisfaction. I have been going to this location for years.(It used to be Rueben's)It was good when it was Ruebens but it is even better as Island Prime. Be sure and try the lobster stuffed baked potatoe. (appetizer) Bon Apitite

Island Prime is a great choice!  

Great food, nice ambience, and picturesque sunsets, who could ask for more?

Island Prime  

The atmosphere is inviting and the table that my party received had a very nice view of the bay and downtown San Diego. The staff was very attentive and courteous and the food was very good. For a laid back local as Island Prime, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting to enjoy a nice get-together with family and friends.

Post Restaurant Review Critique  

The food, service and atmosphere were all excellent. Although feedback questions were noted with the statement that "All questions are optional" my feedback was initially rejected because "You did not answer some of the questions. In order to receive your rewards please complete the red highlighted questions!" Perhaps the notation regarding questions being optional, you should rethink your process and make RESPONSES to the questions optional. I wonder what rewards I will receive.

Great food, spectacular view  

Kid friendly, great view, good bar drinks, black and white salmon is amazing, wonderful friendly staff, really nice. Easiest Thanksgiving dinner ever for us :)

Island Prime New Year's Eve Weekend  

The service was great the food and abiance excellent!

Dinner in San Diego  

Good location. Friendly staff. Attentive waitress. Food above par. Definitely a return visit next time in the area.

No rush  

They didn't rush us in any way. The objective of the restaurant wasn't to turn over tables as fast as possible to get more patron volume. We were encouraged to take our time and enjoy ourselves


I love this place but going on Mother's Day was not a good idea. I would have liked their regular menu.

Fantastic meal  

I took some important customers to Island Prime and we had to move the reservation back to 9:30 p.m. I was told that the restaurant would close at 10pm so I was a little bit apprehensive since I have had bad experiences at restaurants around closing time. We could not have been more accomodated. The service was attentive and the food was fantastic. We were seated at a window with a view of the city by the water and even though we were the last customers in the place, we never felt rushed or pushed to finish our meal. It was a tremendous experience and I received compliments from my customers about the evening.

Christmas dinner  

The main courses were very good, steaks were tender and the salmon was delicious. The view was sensational. The service was quick. Taking a little more time to allow everyone in the party to finish eating before the next course would be great. The desserts were a disappointment but overall we enjoyed our experience.

Great service!!  

I love it!

Island Prime  

Great service!!

Good Food - Good Tiime  

We were celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary. Th staff was great. Very attentive. My steak was a little overcooked. I mentioned it to my waiter and he and the manager immediately offered to remake a steak which came out in just a few minutes. They also brought out an amazing complimentary dessert. My husband also had a steak which he enjoyed. My son ordered a burger from their casual dining restaurant. It was huge and he loved it. It was lovely seeing the boats pass as be had dinner seated by a window. We were too early to see the sunset. Great restaurant for a special occasion if you are in the area.

Enjoyed The View  

Great atmosphere, right on the Bay. Food was great, a little pricey. All of their staff was polite and friendly. Popular tourist spot, be sure to make reservations. Overheard walk-ups would have to wait up to 45 minutes.

Prime Time  

The Staff at Island Prime went above and beyond to insure my guest and I had a relaxing, enjoyable and satifying dinning experience. Treated us as Prime Time!!!!!

Great dining  

The view is wonderful! Also like 333

Island Prime  

Great location, ask for a window seat. Excellent food, great service

Island Prime  

Great place

View incredible, food/service not so  

We were very excited to try Deborah Scott's newest restaurant and planned an outing with 3 other couples. We were underwhelmed! The service was poor, they were out of several wines we requested, they were out of beets for the "beet" salad, definitely disappointing.

Hit and miss  

We went in with high hopes considering the location and the owner, but left with mixed feelings. The decor was sparse and the views are still the best. The menus are a little difficult understand and the waiter did a minimal job explaining things. We were told the menus are changing soon. Some items were not available. The salads were excellent. So was the lobster bisque although it was called "pan roast.” The fish and steak trio entrees had good presentation but the steak filet was just the meat on a bare white plate. The steaks were just fair. They appeared to cooked to the desired temperature but the flavor was weak and they were dry. It seems the menu confused the waiter or the kitchen staff because we missed a side dish. And it did not appear to be an issue that it came out when we done with our entrees. I did take it home because it tasted great. We only got one dessert and all who sampled it were not impressed. It is a bad sign when nine people will not finish one dessert. We found the service from the waiter to be fair and service from the support staff to be excellent. The prices were higher than several competing steak places. Considering the portion size and the quality, I thought the salads, soup and side dishes were a good value, but the steaks were way over priced. So right now you a five star price and only half of what you get is five star.

Not Quite There, But Close....  

As noted previously, the view and decor are stunning. We dined there last night, and had a great experience after the too-loud drunks behind us finally departed. We began with the crab cakes: very good, but not as good as those at Ruth's Chris. I ordered the chopped salad, my wife the BLT; we should have probably been warned the salads can easily be split. I found the chopped salad quite good, my wife found the BLT a bit overwhelming, with almost a half head of lettuce. The baguette promised with the BLT never arrived. The 12 oz filet I ordered was fork tender and perfectly done; I had to request the peppercorn sauce that was ordered with it but not brought to the table. My wife's 12 oz prime rib was also very good, as was the overpriced ($15) twice baked potato with aged cheddar and lobster. Dessert was out of the question. Would I eat here again? Quite likely, but primarily to impress out-of-towners with the view; I would, however, like to try the C Level, whose menu looked intriquing.


Dissapointed. The views are great. Service mediocre. This "Steak" Restaurant does not serve fries, onion rings, or a baked potato. The "double baked" potato, mixed with lobster, doesn't do it for me. The steaks were mediocre with one of three being very grizzly. If you expect beets in your beet salad visit their Indigo Grill. The ice cream sandwhich was nicely presented, however, when the three of us departed, more than half remained ( and it is not because it was huge).

Island Sub-Prime  

Have the Cohn's lost their Midas touch? Our 8:00 reservation, got seated at 8:20. OK, not a big deal, but the start of a downhill slide. While we were waiting for our table in the front lobby area, there were 2 men also waiting for a table. They got seated 5-10 minutes before we did and coincidently, our table was next to their's. After we had been seated and pretty much ignored, for another 5-10 minutes, the 2 men next to us, got up and left. When I glanced at their table after they left, they had no drinks and no food. A few minutes later, a lady who I presume was the manager, came by the empty table with a puzzled look on her face. I called her over and told her they apparently left in disgust, after having been ignored, much like we had been. Shortly thereafter, our waitress came over and apologized for the wait. She took our drink order and then vanished for another 5-10 minutes. After the drinks arrived, out came the popovers. I mentioned to the others with us, "To bad they don't have any flavered butter to go with these". While the popovers were good, they would have been better with some type of spread. Well what do you know, our second order of popovers came with 2 different kinds of butter. When my salad came, it was covered in dressing, which was flavorful, but not in the huge quantity they covered it with. When it was taken away, half eaten, I commented to the waitress about this and she again apologized and promised to take it off the bill (which she did). A few minutes later, someone else came over to our table and again apologized for the salad, telling us "...it never should have left the kitchen like that" I ordered the pork chop and my wife ordered the filet mignon trio. The other couple with us, had the salmon and filet mignon trio, as well. All were cooked to perfection and very tasty. Also, the sides of mushrooms and au gratin potatoes, were also very good. After the dinner plates were cleared, the waitress brought us a delicious cheesecake dessert, 'on the house'. At the same time, she took our after-dinner drink order; 2 Ameretto's, one of which was supposed to be 'on the rocks'. Out came 3 and none of which were 'on the rocks'. By this time, we were all tired of complaining, so we just thanked her. My wife and I eat in restaurants at least once a week and typically at someplace we have never been to before. We have been from Hodad's in OB, to Tapenade in La Jolla and everything in between. We have also been to most every Cohn restaurant in San Diego, with Blue Point being one of our favorites. This was by far the worst experience we've had at a Cohn restaurant. Would we go back? Maybe, but not for a while. Hopefully, they get it together and soon!! David, Leslie and Chef Deborah, yes, you have 'Views to Dine For', just not the service to back it up.

Not as good as I expected.  

The service started out pretty slow, but it picked up later on in the night. The waiter was not the greatest, but the people who had great service were the runners. I had the Seared Ahi Tuna and my date had the Filet Mignon Trio. The food was good, but not spectaculaar. I indicated patio seating and was sat inside. I said it was my date's birthday when I reserved my table, but didn't get any response. The restaurant is OK, but I wouldn't come again.

Pretty view, but  

Lovely view yes, but after spending close to $300 for dinner for two, we expected good food too. Service was well intentioned but not professional. This is a steak house, right? Our knives were dull, our meat was cold and very tough. Our oysters were really small and gritty. Our recommendation if you MUST go -- get a bottle of champagne, the wedge salad and all the popovers they'll let you have (they were wonderful!) then give them $150 and go someplace else for dinner.

Great view.....  

The view was great. The food however, did not meet the expectaions. There are better steak houses like Flemings or Rainwaters. The service was good, steaks were average at best. Would not go back again at these prices for this food.

Good and bad  

I went there Sunday for a pre-theatre lunch. Based on excellent experiences at other Cohn restaurants, we had high hopes. Upon arrival, I was excited as the view is inredible. We were seated at a corner table with a view of the water, coronado, and the gorgeous city skyline. The waiter made a wine suggestion based on our input of personal taste. The wine he recommended was EXCELLENT. We ordered the nut crusted brie appetizer and it was out of this world. I love brie and this was possibly one of the best warm brie dishes I have ever had. With the wine and apetizer, I had high hopes. This is where the positive review ends. All four of us ordered different entrees (blackened catfish, fish and chips, brick chicken, and a chicken sandwich) and while they were artfully plated, their taste was nothing spectacular and not worth the price tag. Therefore my recommendation for this restaurant would be to hit it for appetizers and drinks and enjoy a sunset view that is gorgeous.

Great food and service - food just okay  

My hubby and I went to Island Prime for our anniversary during a weeknight. We casually mentioned the occasion and were given the best window seat in the house! The view there is really great. We are good cooks ourselves, so service is really why we dine out. The food was good, but not great or worth the price. We had a tasty side dish of potatoes au gratin but the potatoes were slightly underdone and crunchy. Also disappointing was a risotto cake (served w/ a scallop dish) and the rice was underdone and cruchy as well. We should have sent those dishes back.

Mystery charge at Island Prime  

Having been to C Level Lounge many times and always having loved the view and the food, we decided to make reservations at Island Prime for my 40th birthday. Unfortunately, our group of six was less than impressed. The appetizers were superb, and yes, we did order an extra side of the yummy Mac'n'Cheese. We also ordered two of the tuna appetizers which were awesome. The meal, however was less than worthy. My swordfish special was flavorless. Although the waiter sold the special as "surrounded by crab" on a bed of "greens and pesto" which sounded rich and delicious, the crab was barely noticeable. The pesto, might have amounted to 1/2tsp.

Three of us ordered this dish and only one finished the dinner, all were sad they didn't order the salmon. The salmon, by the way, was the hit. It was full of flavor and cooked to perfection. The sides were also yummy. My poor husband, who loved the tuna appetizer, was so excited to order the tuna on the menu. When it came, however, it had the gelatinous consistency of a piece of fish that had been sitting out. We grew up in San Diego, my father's a boat broker so we eat seared ahi and shashimi quite often. We know fresh fish. My husband ate a couple bites and was really disappointed along with our other diner who didn't finish the same meal. Again, the appetizers were super. The desserts and cocktails were also commendable.

Our server, while very courteous and helpful, was extremely slow. We waited about 20 minutes to catch his attention for the check. There was another interesting catch to the evening. Because we were a party of six the gratuity was already included in our bill. We agreed, because he was so slow and inattentive after ordering, that we wouldn't pay our usual 20%. When we checked our statement the next morning, to our surprise, there was an additional $20.00 on my brothers charge. When we called to inquire we received the explanation that they always "over-charge" then credit back the account in a few days. Bizarre, I've never heard of this and it made my husband furious as he was the one who chose the location and invited our party to celebrate my special night.

Overall, for the price, the so so food, and the extra "mystery" charge, we really expected more from this restaurant. We love, C Level, Kemo's and Blue Point and were really disappointed since this was such a special occasion. My husband swears he will return to C Level, but never to Island Prime.

Ambiance will only get you so far  

First impressions can sometimes be misleading. From the time you walk into the door to the time you get your first course the stage is masterfully set for a fantastic dining experience. The lighting is just right, the wait staff is on point and the view is remarkable. Unfortunately the food did not quite measure up. While it was all presented beautifully, it just wasn't quite as tasty as you'd expect for what you're paying. Add to that the steaks weren't prepared the way we'd asked and it just ended up being a let down on multiple levels. Given the experience we had I'd say that Island Prime would be a wonderful place to meet for drinks but I'd look elsewhere for the evening's meal.

native san diegan  

beautifule view, great ambiance and energy, exellent waiter service. quality of food was a disapointment for the price was a bit disappointing

Style over Quality  

We've been to just about all of the Cohen restaurants and with the exception of Blue Pointe, they have all been very stylish but at the sacrifice of the quality of the food - and Island Prime is in that same category. We had high hopes for Island Prime and growing up in Pt. Loma I was very familiar with the view. So we concentrated on the food. We started with an awesome salad, so we had high hopes. Then we had king crab legs for an appetizer but the way they were cut open you really had to dig into it and yet they provided no tools for this. The hot towels that came after was a nice touch - especially since we had to eat with our fingers. Then came the entrees - my wife had Oso Boco - a favorite of ours, which we've had in many restaurants, unfortunately we had to send ours back because it was over cooked and dry - the worst Oso Boco we've ever had. I went with the 3 differently topped filets - not bad very tasty but at $40 for 3 bites apiece I expected more. The service was fair, although the appetizers were served after the salads. All in all I can't recommend Island Prime. You're better off at Ruths' Chris and you get a view too!


We were a large party - but allowing for that: Steaks were tough; service was slow; orders were delivered incorrectly. Ambiance is awesome. Will go there again for drinks.

Bad service, not worth the money  

My boyfriend and I have gone to this restaurant twice. The first experience we had mediocre service, but the steak was great and the view spectacular, so we thought we'd try it again. Unfortunately, consistency is typically seen as a good thing, but in this case, we got the same (if not worse) service as the first time, with even more mediocre food. Luckily, we are carb conscious and didn't want bread, but had we wanted it, we wouldn't have gotten it! The waiter(s)--we had two of them--both never noticed that we were never offered bread and the bread server walked by our table 4 times...without even offering us any even though he offered all the tables around us! I have to say, the steaks were tasty, but no tastier than Donovans or Ruth's Chris. And the mash potatoes were a bit dry. If I were to spend the money again, I would much rather it be at a place with consistently GREAT service (like Donovan's or Ruth's Chris) and great food and side dishes. No use wasting your money or calories on an experience of bad service. Needless to say, we won't be coming back...

Why I won't go back  

It is easy to understand why a restaurant with a splendid view and generally good food would act as a pirate when it comes to the bar. No restaurant in my experience is as stingy and even dishonest as Island Prime in serving overpriced, miniscule cocktails with poor ingredients. It is unfortunate the Cohn organization has fallen to this level. Incidentally, my complaint on their rating form has never been answered.

Rate This Business

Please rate your experience on scale 0-10, with 10 being the high rating.

Overall Experience