The dilemma of the disappointing dinner

For those of you who missed my column in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald, I’m reposting the stories here, complete with some photos that didn’t appear in the printed article.

What do you do when you go to a restaurant — one that’s usually pretty good — and you have a disappointing dinner? That’s my dilemma right now, readers.

I had originally planned to review Joe Rombi’s La Mia Cucina this week, with just a short blurb about sister restaurant La Piccola Casa’s new café service.

Joe Rombi's La Mia Cucina has long been my favorite Italian restaurant in town, but things took a turn for the worse the other night.

I considered La Mia Cucina the best Italian restaurant in town — until last week.

I ordered my favorite pasta dish on the menu, the tortiglioni with sausage ($21.95). What arrived at the table was a far cry from the plate of spicy sausage and pasta I’d been expecting.

The offending pasta.

The sauce really was the worst offender — chunky, dry and pasty. And the flavors were too pungent — overly sweet in some bites, overly herb-y in others. It wasn’t inedible by any means, but I know — or I hope — La Mia Cucina can do better.

Other entrees, like the meat lasagna, were better received.

The other entrees at the table were better received. The meat lasagna ($20.95), served every Friday night, was a favorite, filled with gooey cheese.

The crab ravioli were decent--better than my dry plate of pasta, but nowhere near the "angel pillows" as described on the menu.

The crab ravioli appetizer ($11.95) had a nice pesto sauce and the ravioli were stuffed with a lot of crab. Somehow my pasta wasn’t up to par.

It’s a hard pill to swallow when the kitchen at your favorite restaurant hits a snag. Do you speak up and send the dish back? Or just suck it up and hope things are back in the groove next time? I opted for the latter — it was a busy night and I didn’t feel like sending my plate back to the kitchen.

I wrote it off as nothing more than an off night for the kitchen. It happens to the best of us. It’s not the first time I’ve dropped into one of our area’s restaurant stars and wound up with a plate of food that wasn’t up to snuff.

I’ll be back soon for a proper review to see if the groove is back — or if I need to look for a new favorite Italian restaurant.

This entry was posted in Herald, Off The Menu, Restaurants, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s