Cafe Sole, La Canada
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
Cafe Sole was an excellent place for me and my two friends to enjoy an Italian dinner. It was a rainy night and they had heat lamps in the outside tented area and the temperature was perfect!! We were able to enjoy our meals without our bulky jackets on. The owner, Salvatore, was really friendly and had an Italian accent that brought my friend and I back to Italy (or so we felt as we munched and listened to him converse with a waiter). They give you Bruschetta as you wait and it was SO good that we got a refill ;0) Their pizza has PERFECT crust where it was the right amount of crispy. I was impressed! We also ate their delicious gnocchi! I would def come back here for the ambiance, food, and friendly staff!
Pretty darn good Italian. Cafe Sole hits a nice spot between a place like Tarantino's with it's pizza joint atmosphere and a Stony Point or Celestino's with their pretension and high(er) prices. Reminds me of a sidewalk Italian place in New York, with tablecloths, a comfortable patio and simple but fresh, well prepared dishes. We were warmly welcomed by a man I presumed was the owner who proceeded to open our wine as he told us of a huge list of specials. He then handed us off to a tall, rather sullen waiter. All the specials sounded wonderful, but after all the popcorn at the movie we were into a somewhat simpler repast. We ordered the fried calamari as an appetizer(very fresh and tender, the best in this area), the spinach, pear and pecorino salad(a special of the night, simple and good which we split), and two pasta dishes. My pomodoro was delicious with bright, fresh flavors and a large portion. My wife tried a pasta with zucchini(sorry, don't remember the name) and loved it too. Only issue was with our waiter, and it will cost them a star. We like to relax with our wine and appetizer before ordering, but we felt a little rushed by his hovering and continued sullen inquiries as to when we would order. Seemed like he was ready to go home and we may have been his final party. After tiring of his attitude we decided to order, and that was the last we saw of him until he dropped off the check. Food was brought by very amiable and efficient runners who also brought coffee for my wife. No room for the panna cotta other diners were raving about, looking forward to it on our next visit... with (hopefully) a different waiter. Dinner for two with $15 corkage came to a reasonable $67. A little pricey for the selections, but worthwhile.
I wish I could say this is like mulholland grill. It it isn't. It's not even like divina cucina. Quick service and really friendly service. But decor was meh and the host made us feel rushed. Sounds wasn't hot and the portion was meager. Carpaccio was salty. Not sure what the hub bub is about. Won't come back.
I really wanted to like this restaurant. We entered the restaurant just before 5:00. We were the only guests in the restaurant. When our waiter asked us if we would like to see the wine menu and we said no he said "You are killing me." Next, I was halfway through my meal and as I picked up my water glass, he asked if I wanted a box. Half my plate was full. I had barely put my fork down. Then, when he was returning the paid bill to me-mind you, I had given him a 20% tip as I do all servers...he, in the middle of the room asks me if I wanted the rest of my cash back. Who does that!!?? Yells to me in the middle of the room if I want "the amount" of cash back. He even said the amount so everyone could hear. Anyway, very offended on several levels and very disappointed. I am not sure if he was the son of the owner but he was speaking to him in Italian.
Any establishment I go to, first thing I will always observe is the service provided.. this place hands down has extremely attentive staff! I give it 5 stars just based off that!
The busboy greeted us and was accommodating and smiled, but it took a while for the waiter to crack a smile ... I, too, take food seriously :-). But once he talked while we ordered you could sense his passion for food. We decided to start with the Mushroom soup du jour. Honestly, it could have been served hotter, took a lot of pepper to give it some flavor and overall Mr. Picky said it was far from the best he'd ever had, and I definitely agree. Bland. Mr. P had the lasagna and I don't think either of us was super impressed with it. But the waiter suggested I try a special and I admit it was really great. It was comprised of freshly-made spinach linguini, zucchini, sausage and tomato. So simple, yet light and flavorful. The sausage gets removed from the casing, sautéed with wine and garlic, then baked, and finally has the fat removed and gets pan-crisped. Worth the effort. For dessert we tried the Ricotta Cheesecake which was dense and lovely, and then the Panna Cotta which was light and very close to perfect (one of the best I've had). Overall, some contrasts to elements of the dining experience. Mr. Picky thinks it's "3" stars, but my entreé was far better than his and I'm giving it "4".
We have been meaning to try this restaurant for years, and now that we've been, we plan to become regulars. This is delicious and authentic Italian food, family owned and managed.
Wow!! My husband and I found this amazing place on route to Northern California but we will make the drive back here for sure! Food was outstanding! Service was perfect! Within 5 minutes of placing our order we had a beautiful salad and warm bread brought to us. I ordered ravioli, absolutely the best I've ever had and I'm a huge pasta person! We ended our meal with homemade flourless cake which was nothing short of deliciousness!
It was our Tuesdate Valentine's Day celebration and I must say, Cafe Sole did not disappoint. We had the Osso Buco and the Spaghetti Mare and the dishes were superb! Robust in flavor and quite tender with generous servings. Service from the moment we entered to the time we left on a busy night was perfect. Servers and runners were very attentive, but not overbearing. Oh and the owner, Salvatore, was very polite, accommodating and the funniest ever. He made us feel like family when in fact, it was our first time there. Thank you for making our dining experience an enjoyable one. This will now be our go to restaurant when we crave for Italian food and we will be sure to take our family and friends the next time around. Per il momento arrivederci!
This place is so delicious and authentic! Great place for family to go and eat. The owner and son are so kind and definitely know their Italian food. Can't wait to come back
Best panna cotta, hands down. Right size, texture, and taste for dessert. We've tried all different dishes and it never disappoints. Pizza always comes out so delicious, and the pasta's are always go fulfilling. Chef and Staff are so friendly, and it is a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for.