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caramel & cocoa

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Osteria Romantica (La Jolla, San Diego) - Italian Cuisine

2152 Avenuda de la Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037

2152 Avenida de la Playa
La Jolla CA 92037

I always favor the underdog in all things sports and food. I walked into this place desiring to be "wowed". It all started brilliantly as was I greeted in a very friendly manner by a very attentive waiter and as I eyed the restaurant taking in the cozy decor, I was sure it would be a lunch to remember. Unfortunately, for the restaurant I will remember it, but for the wrong reasons. My visit here lasted about 20 minutes and we all left disappointed and extremely hungry.

Food: I was already extremely hungry walking into this place and immediately ordered some bread, which was lovely with olive oil and balsamic. As a first course I ordered the soup of the day which was a spinach and egg drop soup. The portion was rather large but when I first tried it, I felt as if I had swallowed the ocean. It was extremely salty. Going in for a second taste, I ended up with a bit of tuna in my mouth. At least I think it was tuna. I proceeded to find several bits of tuna in the soup. And as the waiter confirmed, tuna was not an ingredient in the dish.

As a main I had the mushroom ravioli. The ravioli was under-cooked, chewy with hard edges. The inside of the ravioli was dry and the mushrooms inside were coarse. Having a bit of experience in my own kitchen now, it was as if it had been frozen and then defrosted upon ordering. The white sauce covering the dish was equally unpleasant and salty and there was way too much of it

Atmosphere: The restaurant is in an absolutely fabulous location a couple walks from La Jolla Shores. The neighborhood is a combination of commercial and lavish residential and you definitely do not get too much congestion on a normal day. The decor and atmosphere are, I'd say perfect Italian. It is relaxing and you feel as if you are in a cozy Italian home ready to have some good hearty home-cooked food.

Service: Our greeter/waiter was impressive. He was quick and managed all of his tables very efficiently. He also knew the menu very well, as well as, the ingredients in the dishes. He was polite when I expressed my dislike of the soup and promptly apologized and removed it asking if I wanted to chose another item from the menu. Declining he brought my main course which sadly was just as bad.

Would I go back? Yes - shocking I know. But I am hoping that I was there on a bad day. Like I said, I really want to like this restaurant and therefore have it at the top of my list for my next trip to San Diego.

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