Valentino Italian Restaurant
3115 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
verdict: it's aight
i took advantage of restaurant week and had dinner here the other night. it's a really gorgeous place, uber snooty, and slightly makes you feel retarded for spending that kind of money on food during these hard economic times...until you realize, HOLY SHIT, it's a dineLA deal and that's OK.
i started my meal off with a drink. OF COURSE! they had a nice reisling by the glass for $12 that i couldn't resist. having a good meal without wine is like eating an ice-cream sunday without a cherry on top. i then moved on to my appetizer of two jumbo shrimps in a diced tomato sauce. it was tasty, but i wasn't blown away by it. as the meal progressed, i discovered that this would be the theme for the night,"yummy, but nothing special." my entree was lamb ossobuco which was really tender and fell off the bone as you forked it. there was a slight sweetness to this dish though which seemed strange to my palate. the meal then culminated with a chocolate mousse dome for dessert which was their rendition of the tiramisu. little unidentifiable crackly pieces were imbedded in the mousse which gave the dessert good texture with every bite. nice!
but alas, the portion they gave for each course was way too small! i'm not sure if it's the consequence of eating dinner for $44 bucks so portion size was restricted to the smaller end. in any case, my eating buddy and i left valentino slightly hungry and unimpressed. perhaps if i win a million dollars, i would come back. otherwise, there are a gazillion other snooty eateries to conquer before i feel valentino's call once again. i require that i be seduced by my tastebuds first, and not just by ambience. valentino didn't do it for me this time.