Sitting outside at Locanda Portofino, The Monsters wait for another couple that unfortunately can’t make it. Date night Italian dinner it is.
This intimate, candle lit restaurant on Montana is renowned for delicious food, a good wine list and considerably high tariffs.
Saute di cozze e vongole – clams and mussels sautéed with garlic, virgin olive oil, tomato and parsley along with Pollo ala parmigiano – free range breaded chicken breast with tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmigiano and fresh basil along with the fish special is the order on this evening.
There’s something about chicken parm that The Monster can’t resist try as he might. You however may chose from the menu of salads, appetizers, pasta and risotto, meats and fish that hue toward standard Italian dishes and preparation
The clams and mussels are a nice sized portion (many argue the portion/price point is off at LP) in a truly lovely broth. You’ll be dipping bread in this dish once the seafood is gone. It has a bit of bite from red pepper flakes and the bowl is returned to the kitchen clean.
As for the chicken parm? It’s rich and tasty though not served warm enough. The broccoli is even colder, leaving The Monster to believe the food has been sitting on the pass too long.
The fish is also a good sized portion, topped by scalloped potato and served with broccoli and spinach. It is nice enough. A simple fish with little adornment. Perhaps a bit too simple however.
Tiramisu for dessert. It’s heavy on the cocoa powder (very) and otherwise not a standout.
And herein is The Monster’s issue with the meal this evening. The venue is beautiful, the service polished, the clientele well-heeled and the high priced (perhaps egregiously so) food…good.
It just doesn’t add up to a memorable meal the way The Monster wishes for the cost incurred.
Why go? You suffer disappointment well.
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
1110 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403