I could eat Italian food almost every night. As I mentioned in an earlier post, comfort for me comes in the form of a giant plate of pasta. Craving another Italian food experience, this time in Southwest Richmond (Huguenot area), we returned to La Cucina. We ate there one time before and I cannot really recall what I ate--that is never a good sign. However, my husband remembers enjoying his dish so we decided to give it another go.
La Cucina is located in a strip mall and not in a funky enclave of a thriving neighborhood. But lots of good restaurants have been tucked away in these suburban outposts. This particular restaurant is conveniently located next to a Weight Watchers so you can eat there and then share with all the other dieters how many points you consumed.
Oh, this eggplant parm is only 142 Points!
So the decor is 'Ross Dress-for Less Generic'--lots of metal motifs nailed to the wall that you would see at your local Marshall's or Holiday Inn that hasn't been renovated yet. There is no one here under 30 unless they are serving or a child dragged here by a parent. So if you like to hang out with older white people, this is the place for you.
Wednesday Just Got Wild
The menu has lots of choices and good mix of traditional fare (spaghetti with meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parm) and nice specials such as lobster ravioli. The by-the-glass wine selection is fairly limited but that is to be expected in a small establishment such as this. Our server was appropriately attentive.
I was craving spaghetti--I know it is not the most exciting dish so I guess I should write this with the caveat that if I had tried a more traditionally flavorful dish I might have had a better experience. The spaghetti and meatballs was not very good. Not bad, but not good either. The marinara was basic and lacked any depth of seasoning. I have made better sauces at home with Rao's pasta sauce. The dish came with 3-4 meatballs about the size of a giant gum ball. These were not anything special either. Altogether a fairly mediocre dish.
Sad spaghetti but the parsley makes it festive
My husband ordered the Mimosa pasta dish which is cream sauce, prosciuitto, and peas. He said it was a very good cream sauce, but thought it would greatly benefit from the addition of gorgonzola. Alan really likes La Cucina and enjoyed his meal last time and this time. He proclaimed this the best Italian food on the South side, although he qualified his statement by saying, "That's not saying much."
When Alan finished all of his pasta our the server engaged in one of my pet peeves: commenting on how much we ate. I absolutely loathe it when a server says, "Wow, I guess you didn't like that, right?" in a jovial sarcastic tone as they gather our empty plates. Or my other hated saying, "I guess you really liked it, there is nothing left!" Yes, bitch, we ate the food. That's why we came to a restaurant because we are hungry.
Although I was far from satisfied with this meal, I'm sure we will return since it has become one of my husband's acceptable places to eat Italian in this area. I am willing to try another dish as well as their pizza. If it is a better experience I will update this post.