Saturday, August 15, 2009

Polina's Salerno Italian Restaurant

This is a LONG overdue post... while I have "work" to do this weekend, blogging about my food experiences sound way more interesting than doing power point slides. So here goes...

I have been to Salerno Restaurant a couple of times now and each time I walk in, I can't help but think... why am I not coming here more often? A sense of nostalgia takes me back to the times when mom and pop hole-in-the-wall places were around the corner. No chains, nutritional facts, or 60 inch monitors - simply a family run restaurant where the people you see a year ago, are still the people you see greeting you today. That's Salerno.

Salerno is much more of a trattoria - intimate, casual, and welcoming. Some may think the decor is cheesy and over the top, but I love it! True... besides that tiny American flag near the window, everything else screams Italy (but that's not a bad thing!). The decor is sooo Italiano, it somehow works and you feel transported back to yesteryear.

The menu had many of the Italian staples such as lasagna, chicken piccatta, cioppino. But they don't serve pizza. So if you're craving for some thin crusted dough, this ain't the place.

Caprese Salad

Huge slices of fresh tomatoes, a scatter of greens, topped with fragrant thinly sliced basil are the backdrop to the star of the dish - the mozzarella! That ball of mozzarella was so creamy and rich, I still want another bite! The balsamic vinegar and tomatoes were tangy enough to complement the cheese... just enough to deceive how much I've eaten already.

Linguini Fra Diavolo

The linguini was cooked al dente, submerged in a spicy tomato sauce that had quite the kick! Advice: toss the sauce well or else all the sauce (and spice) will be at the bottom of the plate.

Rigatoni Giovanni

Think scrambled lasagna and that's Rigatoni Giovanni. Rigatoni pasta in a slightly cheesy, meat sauce with strands of melted mozarrella dangling from my mouth with each fork full. The sauce needed a bit more salt and the rigatoni was a bit overcooked. Perhaps next time I will try the lasagna instead.

We were all carbed out, so no dessert that night. But as we were about to leave, the owner of the restaurant brought in a tray of freshly baked lady fingers/cake ( I couldn't tell from afar) and then her son starting making tiramisu a few tables from us. How many restaurants in the OC still do this? Not many... but at least I know of one.

Polina's Solerno Italian Restaurant
220 Beach St
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

1 comment:

  1. It was about time! When is you next post?