Cucina Urbana One of San Diegos Newest Hot Restaurants

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by MilePointInformed, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. MilePointInformed
    Original Member

    MilePointInformed Silver Member

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    Yikes I don't know what to say but the bells didn't go off for me. I had to try it simply to find out what folks are raving about. The perception and word on the street is this is this is the next OMG wow Italian of San Diego if not Southern California. Perhaps for San Diego it is up there however I would say to folks go out and travel more globally if not in our own country.............its above average food for big money.
    It's certainly a place to be seen. It's lively and good people watching....

    By all means CU is a good enough restaurant but I cannot begin to understand the hype. The noise level on a Wednesday night was close to unbearable and the service highly satisfactory.Our server was a very helpful and he seems to know his product. I can't imagine how much worse the noise must be here on a weekend night.EEK
    Conversation with the help is rushed as its cut to the chase and all about ordering here. It's a very busy place.I love bottled water typically sparkling.However bottled is the new debate. If it is politically correct to have Pellegrino or other such brand to buy as it is bad for the environment.
    I'm not sure why the folks who do green didn't go after bottled beer but our sever said we will sell you our house private label water and no bottled water with a brand may be purchased.Uh ok sure whatever you guys want to push.........

    From start to finish there is nothing on the table unless you order it. No bread, no olives just a table. If you desire bread for approx 3 to 4 dollars' they will bring you some or you can purchase a pizza if you desire.Well at least the host was hospitable at the door as was the server. We started with their take on a Ceaser salad. Very Good but not amazing. In fact it was the best part of the meal.......On top was semi warm polenta croutons without any crunch so they were very soft. They were delicious separately as was the salad.However IMO they didn't really work all that well together.If they could have somehow made the croutons outside crispy with the soft warm center I think it would have elevated the salad to excellent. But credit for being creative and the dressing was the perfect amount.

    Pasta Bolognese with touches of Ricotta cheese. Could not find fault with the high quality packaged pasta with skimpy amount of ricotta here or there and the ricotta was far from memorable.The Bolognese itself above average with a thicker grind but I have had far better in far less expensive establishments. I am not price sensitive incidentally just looking at overall value for what you receive.
    Food is always my biggest splurge if I am getting what I want.We had a chicken dish that was good or highly satisfactory but not nearly as good and flavorful as Starlite here in town who has some of the best Jidori grilled chicken in the country.Starlite whose brilliant chef Marguerite inspires is up there with Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton the James Beard award winning team formerly of Campanile in Los Angeles.The accompaniments to the chicken at urnab Cucina well\to each their own but an poached egg next to my chicken? Doesn't excite me personally. We also had the pork chop like the salad it too was the strongest contender of the night.It was accompnied by some some smoky beans and kale.Not a kale fan here.Its ok
    The pork and what they call 3 bean bean treatment once again very satisfactory but nothing that would call me back for round two on a return visit.

    Ben Rollins the pastry chef here has a good reputation around town but my guest said all items sampled on previousvisits were not memorable or special so we passed. Routine stuff Tirimasu,chocolate cake and a poached pear.The poached pear is what I would have ordered but my guest said been there done that don't bother it’s not remarkable in any way and I took their word. I would like to see what else Mr.Rollins does at one of their other establishments in town. Desserts were approx starting at 9 dollars each..........

    No one left hungry and the 3 of us having spent close to 170 approx dollars walked out of the deafening noise and out into the quiet city street .Not one of us said we need to come back to eat well in this city. It was a relief to leave and I am not sorry I visited.
    Having traveled to Italy and dined on the East Coast for years at establishments like Al Forno in Rhode Island and Pasta Nostra in Norwalk CT or others in NYC.The food here is no great shakes from my experience and personal taste.........and just begins to hit a chord here or there. I left thinking they probably do something exceptional but I never witnessed anything of that caliber. Obviously what I think will barely matter. The perception is it is amazing and the place continues to be packed. Thats all that matters more power to them!
  2. Emos-closet
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    Emos-closet Silver Member

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    I have eaten at this restaurant a number of times and I do agree that it does not compare with super great east coast dining. However, it is a wonderful San Diego restuarant. Great and friendly service, interesting decor, and a happening and busy buzz. The food is quite yummy , as are the fruit infused vodkas that they make in house.[​IMG]

    It can be pricey, but they do have a little wine shop area where you can purchase wine at liquor store prices instead of restaurant prices which you can drink at your table. They also have specials during their happy hour. Half off appetizers and pizza's depending on the night of the week. I really appreciate Cucina Urbana and what they bring to the San Diego restaurant scene. What San Diego places do you enjoy?

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