495 Laurel Street, San Diego CA 92101
$$ French Top 10 Recommended New Special Offer Gift Certificates

Named after the six-sided shape of France, Hexagone offers one of the largest French menus in San Diego with twenty appetizers and twenty entrees. Soft jazz croons its way lazily across a dimly lit L-shaped dining room adorned with crisp white linens, floor-to-ceiling windows, and rambunctious Art Nouveau prints. The Beef Bourguignon alone is reason enough to visit, as the rich wine-infused dish braises for a total of three days. This new addition to Banker’s Hill has been competing—and holding its own— against the likes of neighboring Laurel and Bertrand at Mister A’s, a sure indication of the quality of their California-inspired traditional French fare.

Hexagone: A Culinary Tour de Force

Review by

Hexagone, whose name refers to the six-sided shape of France, is a relatively new corner establishment on 5th and Laurel.  It offers over twenty appetizers and twenty entrees representing some part of the country’s twenty-two regions. This prized fact alone has had me eagerly awaiting this Wednesday evening reservation in Banker’s Hill.

While the sometimes stiff settings of certain upscale French restaurants often have a way of making an unaccustomed diner feel inferior, I experience none of these emotions as I pass by Hexagone’s smiling staff and crisply set tables. Upon entering Hexagone, I am welcomed into the marble-clad bar’s lively happy hour crowd by a warm and tailored French host, whom I soon discover to be the affable general manager, Benjamin. A few moments later, my party walks through the door and we are graciously whisked up a short landing and across the L-shaped dining room to our table overlooking El Prado Way and the entrance to Balboa Park.

Casual elegance can be found in every detail of the restaurant, from the beige-toned floral damask drapes to the soft jazz emanating from hidden speakers. The lighting sets an intimate mood as wall-mounted glass sconces and tabletop candlelit lamps flicker to life. While the atmosphere is subdued, framed prints of Toulouse-Lautrec’s illustrious “Jane Avril” and others of its genre hint at the culinary revelry that is to come.

We are warmly greeted by an exuberant server who briefly runs through the copious carte du jour full of updated French classics. The wine list is no less alluring, and boasts a lengthy selection of French and American wines to complement the seasonally inspired menu. Doubtlessly picking up on the overwhelming sensation that comes from having too many choices, our server astutely reassures us that there is no wrong choice with a menu at the hands of veteran Chef Fabrice Tissier.

Feeling bold, and upon the server’s recommendation, I giddily order the Escargots à la Bourguignonne to start, while my companions opt for the Frogs Legs Provençale and Crab Cake with Phillo Crust and Bell Pepper Sauce. Unsure of what to expect from my appetizer, I am momentarily taken aback when a plate hosting five Lilliputian-sized shot cups full of a vibrant green pesto-like concoction appears. The piercing scent of garlic and herbs wafts up to my nostrils, teasing my senses. Popping the blanketed morsel into my mouth with a tiny three-pronged fork, the escargot slips down my throat with the ease and grace of a seasoned Olympic diver. The sharpness of the garlic mingles seductively with the less dominant fresh parsley butter, assuring me that I will not survive my post-supper entertainment without at least a mint, or two.

Now cloaked in a heady sense of bravado, I confidently accept one of the three lightly breaded frog’s legs on my partner’s adjoining plate. I would highly recommend the tender amphibian to even the most cautious diner, with its pleasingly distracting presentation of fanning frogs’ legs, blanched cherry tomatoes, and delicately drizzled pistou. While I can see where the old “tastes like chicken” label is derived from, the metaphor does little justice to the complex morsel that all but melts in my mouth. The lightly sautéed breading enveloping the legs’ exterior camouflages the appearance of any bold flavors, so I am pleasantly surprised when a rush of garlic saltiness followed by a squeeze of vibrant lemon hits my mouth. The experience is revelatory, and I am left wondering how I could have clung to unfounded reservations for so long.

The Crab Cake arrives on a bed of olive oil encircled by bright green and orange sauces. Blanketed by a crisp golden layer of phyllo dough, I wonder if the fleshy interior will do the impressive exterior justice. The taste exceeds my expectations, for the crab cake barely has any filler and is stuffed with the freshest crab meat I have sampled in a long time. Generously dipping a small bite into the two sauces, my mouth is enveloped by the bright flavors of Moroccan spices, mint, cilantro, and roasted red bell peppers.

When it comes time to order an entrée, I elect to switch gears and order seafood, deciding on the Roasted Scallops with Grapefruit Sauce. When my artfully presented golden plateaus arrive seeping with a thin tangerine-colored sauce, I can feel my stomach smirking with the satisfaction of a well-made decision. In the center of the arrangement, a medley of tomatoes and summer squash alongside crispy fingerling potatoes rest under the protective guard of two deftly crossed pieces of asparagus. Although reluctant to destroy such a carefully crafted presentation, I cut through a plump scallop and dip it generously across the plate to absorb the sauce. As the bite hits my lips, I have trouble concealing my wonderment at the unexpected fusion of sweet and tart, and the underlying tang of the faint citrus essence.

Upon hearing the server mention that the French Bœuf Bourguignon is slow cooked for three days, it is impossible to resist trying a taste. It descends upon our table with a near tangible aroma so rich that it immediately halts the flow of conversation. The unassuming arrangement of jumbled beef, pearl onions, button mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, and julienned carrots is cloaked by a deep russet broth that confirms that even rustic dishes can be refined into haute cuisine. The tender beef and fruity, earthy notes of the sauce roll off the tongue in a marriage of flavors quite unlike any I have ever experienced. Every bite washes over me in a warm, soothing embrace, and in that instant I understand what the renewed excitement over such a time-honored style of cooking is all about.

My companion’s heaping portion of Duck a l’Orange rests carefully against a white bean and artichoke casserole and crisp fingerling potatoes. Bright orange kumquats mingle playfully amid thin slices of pale pink duck breast sitting in a delicate jus. The duck, particularly the leg, practically melts in my mouth alongside a piquant sauce of the bird’s own juices mingled with wine and the sharp citrus flavor of the oranges and kumquats. Nearly full, but unable to resist the sweet temptation of dessert, we order the Grand Marnier Soufflé with Crème Anglaise, the Chocolate Mousse Bombe, and the Apple Tarte Tatin. Served in a fluted porcelain ramekin, the Grand Marnier Soufflé arrives as an impregnated heap gently sprinkled with a snowy layer of powdered sugar. As I sink my spoon into the unsuspecting confection, it is unclear as to whether the pleasurable sigh that escapes is from the deflating dish, or from me. The Crème Anglaise, a smooth and refreshing cold custard with just a hint of vanilla, is a wonderful companion to the airy orange-spiced soufflé.

The Chocolate Mousse Bombe, a flawless chocolate sphere split down the middle, sits proudly in a white sauce sprinkled haphazardly with dollops of dark chocolate. Specks of gold leaf reflect the elegance of our meal thus far. The cool and refreshing taste of the superior chocolate is pure rapture, and the texture from the unexpected wafer crust on the bottom contrasts pleasantly with the velvetiness of the mousse. As the same crème Anglaise from the soufflé seeps out of the center to meet with the outer white and dark chocolate sauces, I know that I have reached culinary heaven.

The Tarte Tatin is no less pleasing, and brings with it the sweetly tantalizing perfume of caramelized sugar. Three glistening halved apples lay on a bed of golden-brown puff pastry with a fresh scoop of vanilla ice cream hovering proudly in the center of the formation. The sharp contrast of the bitingly cold ice cream with the soft caramel infused apples and flaky pastry are a welcome change to Tarte Tatin’s more traditional cousin, the apple pie. The flavors permeate every inch of my being, and it is a unanimous vote around the table that while the Soufflé and the Chocolate Mousse were excellent, this dessert quite literally “takes the cake”.

Basking in the warm after-supper glow of a well spent evening, my companions and I take a moment to appraise our surroundings before heading to the door. The previously quiet dining room now has servers enthusiastically flitting to and fro the kitchen balancing trays of colorful dishes to animated diners. The hum of conversation interlaced with the crooning voice of Ella Fitzgerald follows us out into the crisp April night, and as we part ways we make tentative plans to return to Hexagone sooner rather than later.

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Business Info

  • Address: 495 Laurel Street, San Diego CA 92101
  • Cross Street: 4th Avenue
  • Location: Downtown | Bankers Hill
  • Cuisine: French |
  • Cost: | Inexpensive
  • Category: Fine Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Meals Served: Lunch | Dinner |
  • Parking: Street | Private Lot |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard | Discover |
  • Corkage Fee: 20.00 | Per 750ml bottle.
  • Staff: Fabrice Tissier |
  • Phone: (619) 236-0467
  • Features: Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Prix Fixe Menu, Takeout Available, Working Fireplace, Wheelchair Access, Happy Hours, Personal Wines Allowed, Healthy Options,
  • Occasion: Romantic Dining, Dining Alone, Business Dining, Meet for a Drink, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion,


Hexagone - Fish
Hexagone - Lamb Chop Hexagone - Souffle Hexagone - Onion Soup Gratinée Hexagone - Prime Top Sirloin with a Bearnaise Sauce Hexagone - Seabass a Mediterranean Sauce Hexagone - Frogs Legs Provencale Hexagone - Escargots à la Bourguigonne Hexagone - Apple Tarte Tatin Hexagone - Pictures Hexagone - Wine Hexagone - Full view of dining room Hexagone - Table Setting Hexagone - Dining Room

Business Hours

Reservations Available
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.


Frequently Asked Questions
There is free underground parking at the corner of Laurel and 4th Avenue.
Yes. Hexagone offers lunch daily, from 11:00am-4:00pm.

Customer Reviews & Ratings

4.5 out of 5 stars based on 1 votes