ATTENTION!! On the left hand column, you will find links to search by cuisine or city. You will also find a restaurant index of all of the places I have written about on the column on the right. If you enjoy the site, please bookmark the site and tell a friend! You can also subscribe to be notified when the site updates by entering your e-mail address in the box on the left. Happy Eating!

Please visit our partner sites for info on OC restaurant openings and special culinary related events, Booze It Up OC for info on OC 21+ events and Brunch In OC for info and reviews on weekend brunches.

Griffin Eats OC's Fan Box

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Salvatore Cucina Italiana - Mission Viejo

27001 La Paz Rd Ste 390
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Phone: (949) 859-4572

As most of you know, I am a big fan of using certificates. It enables me to try out new restaurants without spending a lot of money. So I had this certificate sitting on my desk for Salvatore for about 9 months. I bought the certificate, but for some reason I didn’t have that much of a desire to go there. I was tired of seeing the certificate on my desk though, so I finally decided to go. I invited another guy from my office and we headed down there for lunch.

We arrived at the address and were both surprised to find that it looked like a medical/office building. The restaurant is located on the first floor of this small office complex. We walked around to the center courtyard of the office building to access the front door of the restaurant.

We entered the restaurant. It was dimly lit and completely empty. I knew they were open for lunch because I had checked their website earlier. “Hello!?” I said. Nothing. “HELLO!?!?” I said a little louder. Still nothing. My buddy and I looked at each other, confused as to what to do. We thought about leaving. I wanted to use this coupon though. I ventured a little further into the restaurant and peeked into the kitchen. There were people working in there. “Hello? HELLO? HELLLLLOOOOO!!” After about two embarrassing minutes of yelling “Hello” at increasingly louder volumes, someone finally emerged from the kitchen and greeted us. “Are you open?” I asked. “Yes,” he responded, “Take a seat wherever you like.”

We looked at all the open tables in the restaurant and finally seated ourselves at one by the window. The dining room seemed so dark. I wondered if it always looked this dark in here during the day, or if it was just because it was a cloudy day. The gentleman that greeted us, brought us over some menus. I asked him if it was always this quiet during lunch. He told me that they get most of their business at dinner, but they open for lunch since they’re in the kitchen preparing food for dinner anyway.

We looked over the menu. Most of the menu items were around $10.00 and came with bread, and your choice of soup or salad. I decided to order the Ravioli Gorgonzola ($9.95) and my buddy decided to order the Lasagna ($9.95). The soup of the day was Pasta Fagioli. We both decided to go for the soup instead of the salad.

The soup came out almost immediately. It contained elbow macaroni and white beans in a murky chicken based broth. It was pretty bland. When we were almost done with the soup, we received some bread. The bread was actually pretty good. It was like a little, fresh-baked mini baguette. It was piping hot and tasty.

After our soup, my buddy and I sat in silence. It was so eerily quiet in the restaurant that my buddy and I didn’t even talk much because it felt like our voices were echoing through the restaurant. After a few minutes they started piping in some generic “Italian” music. It was the kind of music you’d expect from an Olive Garden commercial or maybe a funny clip about an Italian guy tossing pizza dough in the air and then missing the dough and having it fall on his face.

After about another ten minutes our entrees finally arrived. The waiter/only guy we’ve seen in this restaurant, brought out a bowl of shaved Parmesan cheese with our meals. He offered us some and sprinkled it on top for us with a spoon.

My Ravioli Gorgonzola looked fantastic. It was meat ravioli covered in a gorgonzola cream sauce. I took a bite. I didn’t like it. Now I know this may be my fault. I know I ordered Ravioli “Gorgonzola,” and I usually love gorgonzola cheese, but the flavor in this dish was so strong. It almost made me pucker. I told myself that it was my fault for ordering it so I forced myself to eat almost the entire dish. By the end of the dish though, I just couldn’t force myself to eat the last two bites. I love gorgonzola cheese, but I would not order this again.

My buddy seemed to like his lasagna. He said that it was served piping hot and that it was really dense. He said it tasted pretty good and he would order it again.

Overall, this is a nice little Italian restaurant with reasonable prices. Their soup isn’t too good, but their other food seems to be ok. I think I just made a bad decision with my dish. It was pretty weird being the only people in the restaurant. I think I’ll probably try this restaurant again some day if I’m in the area, but only if it’s dinnertime.

Salvatore Cucina Italiana on Urbanspoon


Bill said...

You are brave to order anything with Gorgonzola.

Anonymous said...

I've never been there for lunch. I usually order the family feast and take it home for my family (they have a coupon online, btw), but the food I bring home is great (haven't tried the gorgonzola, but thanks for the warning). When I pick it up, it is usually packed for dinner, so I guess that is their main thing. I agree about their soup, and usually get salad, as I think it is delicious. You might try it again. If you are having buddies over for a game or movie night or something, order the family feast (with the salad) and it's an easy and reasonable meal. Enjoy!

Griffin said...

His_Kid-Thanks for the suggestion! I'll have to try this out sometime!