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“Food had no Italian flavor/canned taste/homebuffetatmosphere”

Nicolosi's Italian Restaurant
Ranked #3,007 of 4,716 Restaurants in San Diego
Price range: US$15 - US$20
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Jackson Drive
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Food had no Italian flavor/canned taste/homebuffetatmosphere”
Reviewed 15 February 2012

The food in this restaurant we found to be tasteless.... absolutely tastless. As for their long standing reputation as Italian savory...well maybe in their anchor restaurant, ..not this one. Would you beleive we had a can of tomato sauce dumped ontop of one of the lasagna's because they ran out of their blended sauce. The place is souless with Stepford wives acting waitress'es.Expensive, bland, and boring..all4 meals and all different. UGH!

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank BadReallyBad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
El Cajon, California
Level Contributor
112 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Awww....I feel kinda bad writin' this review.”
Reviewed 15 October 2011

For sentimental reasons, I'd love to give these guys a great review, but....I wouldn't be true to myself if I did. :-(

When I was a kid, we used to go to the location on El Cajon Blvd and it tasted good...to a kid. Then a few times to the location off Waring Rd. It wasn't too bad, but I'd had better. Since they replaced the Fish Merchant, we thought we'd give it a shot.

The parking was full (good sign). The new deco looked nice, but why were the shutters closed when there was an absolutely beautiful sunset goin' on?! We were seated quickly and efficiently with smiles all around.

My hubby and I ordered the Penne Pesto Chicken, one of our favorites at another eye-talian joint.

Well...hmmm...how do I put this....salty and garlicky (which is good in many cases), but that seemed to be an attempt to disguise how bad the sauce really was. Doooh.... sorry Nic's. Felt sorta granular, not much flavor - other than the salt and garlic. The chicken tasted and felt like it had been cooked in the morning, refrigerated, reheated, then cut-up and tossed into the pesto. Dry and funky.

The bread was OK, but I think the bread at the Waring Rd. locaton was better. The salad was green and fresh.

Like I said, I feel bad about this review, but....the parking lot was full and the food appeals to a rather faithful following. Good for them!

Now I'm off to bed with my garlicky breath.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Genevax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
86 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“The bland food was most disappointing.”
Reviewed 31 January 2011

Having heard so much about Nicolosi's over the years, we were thrilled that it was reopening in our neighborhood at its new location at 7005 Navajo Road. The mediocre service was a warning. I had the linguine and white clam sauce and my wife has the homemade ravioli. The clam sauce was watery and the raviolis were non-descript in a sauce that tasted like it just came out of a can. We were so disappointed.

  • Visited January 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank ThePuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
55 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Best Lasagna, Pizza, Torpedo sandwiches and staff”
Reviewed 16 August 2010

You can't go wrong here. Nicolosi's is a San Diego legend and almost closed when the owner decided to retire but luckily another family member is continuing the tradition. It's a tough decision every time we go whether to get pizza, sandwiches or pasta, so we usually do all 3 and share a bite of this or that. The Special torpedo sand which and the Meatball are the two favorite sandwiches. The Mac & Cheese and Lasagna are incredible. Their homemade salad dressing and sandwhich dressing is bottled and sold because it's so good.

Always delish--we even take some on the plane home for our lunch. They offer half portions of some dishes which is great so you have room for cheesecake, Cannolis or another dessert--again, all fabulous. We've been going to Nicolosi's since the 60's and now that we live out of state we make it a frequent stop when we are in SD.

Easy to get to, just off Hwy 8--there's a main dining room, a banquet area and a bar area with tables and TVs.

Thank WhereWeGoinNext
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
61 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“I ordered the spaghetti, he ordered the ravioli. I thought it was a pretty noveau approach to make the ravioli look...”
Reviewed 18 January 2010

I ordered the spaghetti, he ordered the ravioli. I thought it was a pretty noveau approach to make the ravioli look like won tons but apparently, the sauce for the ravioli was much too sweet or the cheese was much too sweet. The spaghetti was all right. But then again, how difficult is it to mess up a basic dish? Presentation was nice. Setting was nice. Salad was good. Bread was all right (nothing too special). So all in all...eh...it's an italian restaurant. Nothing really makes it stand out.

Thank ahtravelsandeats
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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