1110 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040334.029986 -118.497591
Neighborhoods: West LA, Wilshire Montana
Arrogant, over-priced – I live a block away, and I used to eat here weekly when it first opened. I was eventually driven away by the high prices, and the arrogance of the waiters and owners.
For excellent italian food in the neighborhood, I now go to Pecorino or La Botte.
Lowlife Scam Artists -SKIP THIS PLACE – I went to Portofino for an anniversary dinner with my girl. Waiter brought the wrong bottle of wine and charged us $200 for it!!!
My girl ordered the special lasagna that was the size of credit card and cost twice as much as anything on the menu AND it came out cold. She returned it to heat up and came back cold again. The other reviews are correct, these guys are straight up swindlers who will do anything to pry money from your wallet. Watch your back here, these guys will get you...and they'll look you straight in the eye as they do.
A SECRET GEM IN LOS ANGELES - THE ABSOLUTE BEST ITALIAN FOOD IN LOS ANGELES – After reading some of these negative reviews about my favorite restaurant in all of Los Angeles, I had to write in. I have been going to Locanda Portofino for many years. It is the best food I have ever had. I have eaten probably at the most popular restaurants across the country and overseas. I take notice that this restaurant is so clean that you could eat off the floor. It is the cleanest restaurant which is very important and overlooked by many. If a restaurant and kitchen is in disarray, what do you think about how your food is prepared and served? And yes, portions are not gigantic. They are what a normal person should eat. This is not an Olive Garden. This is high quality food, and not a place for glutiny. Food and wine should be savored and enjoyed, not devoured in super-sized amounts. People get kicked out of Georgio's in the Palisades for complaining about things like this. And his food is not nearly as delicious or as expensive. Restaurants can have their off nights, of course, but this restaurant should not have these negative reviews. I know plenty of people who love coming to this restaurant and hopefully I can spread the word for more people to write in. Locanda Portofino has more regulars than I have seen in any restaurant. People have been going there for several years a few times a week. And the wines are beautiful and priced the way a well-kept restaurant would. Anyway, try the Penne Vodka (THE BEST) and for a different pasta, the Spaghetti Sea Urchin. This is the best kept secret in the LA restaurant world and I'm starting to see it mentioned in more magazines lately so something is on the rise.
Worst Experience in a Restaurant Ever – 1.Wines were not listed "by the glass". The waiter came over and I asked him if he had wines by the glass- he said yes. I asked him to show me, and he just said "what do you want, what we have changes all the time". I said cabernet- and he said "very well". Before I could stop him, he came back with the two glasses. I took a sip- and I'll be damned if it wasn't 2 Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's. We decided to let it go, and order our dinner.
2. My girl ordered pasta "alla checa" and I order linguine "positano" (linguine with shrimp and scallops). I took my first bite, and the shrimp and the scallops were overcooked, and on the COLD side. As I began "spooling" my next bite between my fork and spoon, I looked down to discover a HUGE STRAND OF HAIR in the food. I held up the candle to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. Even my girl from across the table could see the black lock silhouetted against the candle light. The waiter came over, and when my girl told him what was wrong (I was mute in the act of trying not to be sick) he simply said "Oh, that happens sometimes." He took the dish away and disappeared. Then he reappeared and asked to speak to me privately. I thought he was going to apologize and comp our meals etc. I was flummoxed when he led me into the kitchen, pointed me to my dish of fish pasta and asked me to show him where the hair was!! I was in such a state of shock- I didn't know what to say. I quietly told him it was in there somewhere and didn't have the stomach to look for it. I turned around and walked out. I told my girlfriend that I could not stay one more minute in the place. I mean- to challenge one of your guests to "show you the hair" after he's only taken one bite, and then refused to eat it? We paid for the wine and her dish. Tally was as follows- 20 for her pasta, 28 for two glasses of "2 buck chuck". So, $48 dollars for this insulting experience with the worst food I have ever (not) had.
Worst Restaurant in Los Angeles - Avoid at all times – This restaurant must be the worst restaurant in LA I ever experienced. We went to dinner there on a Saturday night. The seating was very fast with reservation and the Italian wine we order was quite good as well.
We have been a party of 6 and 4 out of our party ordered an Italian sea bass. I order a dish from the special menu as well - a pasta but unfortunately after waiting for 45 minutes have been informed that the pasta was sold out for the evening. When our food arrived at the table we were served 2 sea basses instead of the 4. They brought one complete fish to the table and said they would prepare the others in the kitchen. When we got the fillet fish back at the we received only 4 1/2 fishes in total. We complained to the waiter that we only got 2 complete fish instead of 4. The waiter said this was normal as the owner would keep the other half (I assume this was supposed to be a joke but I didn't find this very funny at all). Once we got our bill we had been charged for 4 sea bass. When we complained to our waiter he never came back but send the owner back or at least the person that pretended to be the owner.
During our somewhat heated conversation the owner had called all of us incompetent and unaware of how a restaurant is supposed to be run. He was extremely rude and interrupted us many times during our conversation. I never had such an experience in a restaurant in the US before and thought I would share it with you. If I would be in Italy I wouldn't be surprised of such a service (the customer is always wrong) but it has been a quite unusual experience in California so I thought I would share this with you.
Apparently I will never go back to this restaurant.
They'll steal the wallet out of your pants, if they can reach it – What a SCAM! The setting (except for the liquor store parking lot) is beautiful. The food is consistently great. But wow -- as numerous other reviews attest, this place is run by CROOKS! They will pull every sleazy trick in the book to "accidentally" part you from your money. Last night, dining there with friends, we tried to be economical and order one of the cheapest bottles of wine, at $35. We specifically pointed out the bottle on the list we wanted. It came, it was tasty, and so we asked for a second bottle. When the bill arrived, we had been charged $250 for wine! We were astonished.
We complained to the manager, and the waiter pointed to a completely different bottle, on a different page, and said that was the one we had picked. He was LYING. At this point... what can you do? The manager's best offer was to knock $40 off the colossal bill.
BEWARE this place! Note how many reviewers have been scammed!
STAY AWAY!! Save yourself and your money!!!! – Worst restaurant experience on Montana Ave. Terrible food, way over priced, rude wait staff. We waited a half hour for the smallest, wilted salad we'd ever seen. Then, we waited another half hour for our pasta entrees, which were tiny. Plus, no one said a single word to us about the fact that we'd waited so long for dinner (not that they ever came around at all...) Avoid this place at all costs!
Too Expensive – The first time we went a couple of months ago we enjoyed ourselves (possibly it was the company we were with?). Anyway, decided to go back. Many of the similar frustrations as other reviewers: Expensive house wine; don't tell you the price of the specials, which are very small and expensive; the smallest salad for the money; very rude waiter. Will not return.
They paved paradise and put it in a parking lot: The only high-end restaurant on Montana Avenue, this charming Italian spot is where moneyed diners go for fine Northern and Southern Italian fare. – In Short
Opened in 1995, this pricey Montana Avenue standby might have a front patio that shares space with a parking lot and dry cleaners, but it manages to pull off its rustic, romantic setting without a hitch. Maybe it's the candlelit interior that cast shadows over the dark wood accents and white tablecloths; maybe it's the waiters who wear starched shirts and ties; or maybe it's the Northern and Southern Italian dishes (enticingly listed on the menu in both Italian and English) made with farmers market produce, wild caught fish and free range meats. Whatever it is, this intimate space keeps neighborhood couples and small groups returning time after time.
Best Italian on Westside – By far the best Italian eatery on the Westside. Great food, great service, extensive wine list and romantic setting. If you want true Italian food you have to come to this spot on Montana.
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