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Trattoria Acqua

Trattoria Acqua promises to whisk diners off to the Mediterranean, mirroring Italian seaside restaurants in cuisine, ambiance, and proximity to the water. The restaurant’s practically unrivalled location overlooks the crashing waves of the Pacific at La Jolla Cove; the dining room’s rustic charm and the courtyard’s lush greenery both offer a tranquil atmosphere with a hint of old world charm. Chef Damaso Lee’s menu of Italian coastal cuisine emphasizes fresh seafood, although also offers decadent pastas, meats, and game dishes. The award-winning cuisine is inventive, the ingredients fresh, and the selections decadent. An outstanding wine list adds perfection just when it seems there could be nothing more to add.

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Restaurant Info

  • Address: 1298 Prospect Street, La Jolla CA 92037
  • Cross Street: Cave Street
  • Location: La Jolla & UTC | La Jolla Village
  • Cuisine: Italian | Pasta |
  • Cost: $$$ | Moderate | $50 - $75
  • Category: Fine Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Unknown
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Meals Served: Lunch | Dinner |
  • Parking:
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard |
  • Corkage Fee: N/A
  • Phone: 858.454.0709

Business Hours



  • Ocean View
  • Outdoor Seating


  • Dining Alone
  • Business Dining
  • Meet for a Drink
  • Special Occasion


F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Trattoria Acqua has private rooms. The “Gazebo Room” accommodates up to 24, the “Wine Room” up to 30, and the main dining room up to 60. Restaurant buyouts are available.
Trattoria Acqua has breathtaking views of the La Jolla Coastline.


Restaurant Address: 1298 Prospect Street, La Jolla CA 92037

User Reviews

Best Italian in La Jolla  

This is one of our favorite Italian restaurants in La Jolla. They also have one of the fanciest websites. Make sure you try the Portobello e Polenta and the Creme Brulee.

Great Place and Great People  

The guy writing the other post must be insane or a ridiculously miserable person. I have entertained bussiness guests(doctors) as well as friends from out of town at this wonderful establishment. All of their food is to die for especially the Lobster Risotto! The owners are some of the nicest people I have met as well as the staff doing everything in their power to make the customer happy. The view is a bit challenged....but if you want a view why not take a stroll right outside and watch the sunset then go in for dinner. Bottom line...this is one of the best restaurants in San Diego!

In response to Theresa  

Theresa- Two health department officials responded to your complaint that you received food poisoning and both of these professionals, after an inspection of the restaurant site and listening to your symptoms, decreed your complaint false!!! Over 300 diners ate the same exact food as you and no one else experienced any negative symptoms, in fact we received accolades from many of the diners. The health inspectors take their job very seriously, as do we, and you should not spread false information. We have continued to receive request for the menu items served during restaurant week and are sorry to hear you did not enjoy your meal.

Wonderful again....  

Another memorable meal at this sweet, intimate restaurant! The pastas are innovative and the seafood is wonderful. I'm especially thankful the chef didn't mind modifying my shrimp orecchiette to nix the Italian ham. It was fabulous without it. Service was great too!

In response to  

In response to Teresa  

OK I know restaurant week was months ago now but I still have to respond to Teresa. Personally I thought the food offered that week was excellent. Superb food, great ambiance, great service. I'd definitely go back again.

Always Excellent Food & Service  

I have eaten many times at this restaurant and have never had anything but excellent food and service. Michael and Vicky (the owners) have always been available and happy to receive feedback. If it's a view from your table that your looking for there are definitely better views in La Jolla. If it's great food that you desire then you would be hard-pressed to find better.

Great food  

My dining companion and I thoroughly enjoyed the food. We both enjoyed the olive tapenade and the hummus served with the bread as an excellent start. We shared prosciutto di parma with arugula, figs, and gorgonzola as well as the Manila clams as appetizers - the clams were unremarkable, but paired very well with the prosciutto, which was fantastic. The pacific seabass (Brazino al limone) was well prepared and enjoyable. The spicy rigatoni (Mezza rigate alla contadina) was flavorful, but perhaps a bit too spicy. The restaurant was quite busy during our visit, but the staff handled everything perfectly. I would definitely return and bring friends along.

Nice Place  

This Igor guy obviously lacks taste or an open mind. Their food is quite good, and any view in La Jolla is a good view. The service was excellent. We requested a table with a view and got one without a hassle - and we are hardly elite regulars.

Love that restaurant!  

It's situated right above the water in La Jolla, and it has this rustic look with stoned floor. The food is delicious! Every time I go, I enjoy it. They have a fabulous brushetta, served with a delicious bread. A perfect start! Usually for the main course I pick a special, always fresh, original and tasty. The service is very friendly, and quick or slow depending on your needs. Staff is receptive, and it's a pleasure to go there. It makes you feel at home.

Thank you Trattoria Acqua!  

Trattoria Acqua gave this amatuer critic an excellent dining experience that I will not soon forget. The moment my date and I stepped in the restaurant, we were greeted warmly by the staff, as well as the delicious aromas from the kitchen. Although this was our first time dining with Trattoria Acqua, we immediatly felt at home, no pretentious attitudes to be found. We started our meal with the Vongole alla Victoria which were perfectly cooked,full of flavor, and turned this clam "hater" to a clam lover. We continued with the Insalata Savoiarda. Although simple, it was well executed and the perfect transition from our first course. My Agnolotti con Funghi Porcini e Tartufo Nero was rich and full of wonderfull wild mushroom flavor, yet not "heavy" and overly filling. My only disappointment with this dish was the presentation, which lacked creativity. My date tried the Aragosta e Gamberoni. She was immediatly impressed with this dishes inventive presentation and perfectly cooked lobster. The only negative criticism on this dish was that the tiger prawns were slightly over-cooked. The entire staff, from the hostess to the server to the bus staff were professional, knowledgable, warm, and friendly. This, together with very reasonable prices make Trattoria Acqua an instant favorite and a "must try" for any San Diegan. Thank you Trattoria Acqua!!

Over-rated! A view is all they (barely) have!  

and good luck at getting one at that. My friend and I dined here not long ago and I will admit, some of the dishes are rather good...but nothing to write home about. Me being italian myself, I come from a family of fine cooks(so I may be a bit biased). and as far as a view is concerned, good luck! Since being they seem to reserve the seven tables (out of 60) with a view for the more elite or more "regular" customers. Basically, whomever they feel like...so unless your there at opening time,good luck. And the service... well, I had one of the rudest waiters, I've ever had in my whole career as a professional restaurant goer: our food was late and cold, he made smart remarks under his breath when we asked for service and he blatently sat someone at the table we had requested right in front of our eyes. Even though the restaurant claims, that to ensure quality and fairness to all of their guests, they do not hold tables for anyone. So, they clearly lied to us as well. When we asked to speak to the proprietor, our waiter snapily replied," He's to busy to speak with anyone right now, sorry..." and with that, hustled back to the kitchen, with only the thought of his next tip on his mind. Bottom line, if you absolutely must dine in La jolla amidst a bunch of snobby nuevo rich morons, idiotic, self-fooled San diegans or smelly tourists from Illinois... I would suggest going to IHOP. You won't get a view of the ocean, but at least the service is consistant, the prices affordable and well, who doesn't like pancakes... Any of the other restaurants in the area would just be a waste of time.

Terrible Dining Experience  

Terrible Dining Experience  

The menu items promoted during restaurant week were unimpressive. Three of the four people in my party came down with food poisoning. We will never go back.

Management and/or ownership bad view on kids  

We dined at the restaurant in July and were greeted at the front door by a lovely hostess, she took us to a booth. Right after I, my husband and our 4 year old son had been seated I hear an older lady (I believe she was the owner) ask the hostess how she could have seated a party with a kid at the booth, she went on to tell her that she needs to move us to another table so our "kid" won't mess up their booth. I couldn't believe my ears!!! I expressed my disappointment to my husband but he calmed me down and urged me to just keep calm and just go along with it. We were not asked to move but after overhearing her say what she said, the meal was already ruined as we did not feel welcome because we have a child. A CHILD! Since when is it frowned upon to go out to dinner with the entire family??? The food was good but I will never return, there are far too many restaurant that are happy to accommodate everybody in the family (especially in this economy).

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