>Bella Italia

>I’m really trying to get better about posting regularly. In fact, it’s one of my resolutions for 2010! I kept meaning to post, but I honestly wasn’t trying any new places! I did, however, try a new place this weekend, and thought I’d share my experience with everyone.

Bella Italia, although not hard to find, it a bit off the beaten path of Pacific Beach. The restaurant is huge and stark against the surrounding small businesses, and I was a little surprised to see such a large place in PB, as the restaurants there are usually a little more small and homey.

When we arrived, we were greeted with “Do you have a reservation?” by the staff. When we said that we didn’t (sorry!), we were given a snort, with the waiter walking away without a word. Rude, or just clueless? This was not the best first impression. A few minutes later, we were led to an empty enclosed, heated patio room, where we were seated. The waiters became a  little more welcoming, and we perused the menus.

Holy cow. The menus were pages and pages of just about every typical Italian dish. Pizzas, pastas, steaks, chicken, 2 kinds of calamari, soups, salads, and appetizers. To boot, there was also a specials list. Our heads spinning from the many choices, we finally settled on two classics: beef ravioli and chicken marsala.

After a little bread and wine (Barbera, my new favorite!), we were a little more relaxed, and our food arrived in good time. My chicken marsala was pretty standard, with good flavor, but lacking any “wow” factor. The vegetables that were paired with it were nice and crisp roots and some slightly watery mashed potatoes. It was all okay, but mostly forgettable. The beef ravioli with a mushroom sauce was a bit better, but slightly cold, making the cheesy ravioli a little off-tasting. Again, not disgusting, just disappointing.

It seems that this restaurant suffers from an identity crisis. On one hand, they want to be a fancy night out Italian place, but on the other, a go-to pizza place for the beach. Unfortunately, they succeeded in being neither.

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