424 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA | Directions 9103034.120729 -118.149991
Neighborhoods: San Marino
Good Italian food... great prices & customer service – My husband and I were just there this past Saturday... and we will definitely be coming back for more. The portions are enormous. I had the Gumbi and it was FANTASTIC (definitely big enough to share)! I wasn't too excited about their garlic bread (you have to order this as a side dish)... but the freshly baked bread they bring out w/your drinks and salads is very tasty & fresh.
The best for family! – What a great place! I had been to the cocktail side to listen to the sounds of Souled out. Which was great! But one Saturday I decided to take my family there for dinner. Carmine himself greeted us and after about a 20 minute wait for a table we were seated. From the get go we had great service. Our waiter recommended a plate called "Gumbi" my boys got a kick out of that. But when our meal came the plate was HUGE! With our 2 meals and the large pizza we ordered the 5 of us had more than enough. We even took home half of one of the dishes and half the pizza. Our drinks were never empty. Carmine even stopped at the table to ask us how we were doing. What a great host! My family was very pleased and when the bill came I was especially pleased. What a deal! It's exactly what an Italian restaurant should be like. I will NEVER go anywhere else for Italian.
Traditional Italian fare lures large families to this cozy country trattoria. – In Short
The warm dining room bustles with families sharing pizzas and pasta every night. Wood furniture, empty Chianti bottles and closely packed tables add to the homey atmosphere. Iceberg salads accompanying each meal can substitute for starters like calamari. Seafood consists of shrimp scampi in lemon juice, while house specialties include rigatoni smothered in a cheese-tomato-meat sauce. Desserts are flown in from Italy.
Excellent Italian Breadand Great Sauce – The salads are crisp and fresh with a tangy balsamic dressing. The bread is served warm from the oven. Whether I go there for lunch or dinner, weekend or week nights, the portions are generous and I always have some left over to take home. I keep forgetting to leave room for the Tiramasu!
Good food for a nice price – Another restaurant that I've been to a few times, Carmine's is very predictable. You're going to get good food, good portions, and a decent bill at the end of the night. The pizza isn't too greasy and the toppings are plentiful. Pastas are good too, and they have plenty on their menu to choose from. Definitely a nice pick if you're in the area.
Excellent Value – I've been taking my family to Carmine's since we moved here in 2002. The restaurant includes very generous portions, reasonable prices, great location, and friendly service. The sauces and recipes remind me of Italian food in Chicago where I came from rather than what I would call typical Southern California Italian food adaptations.
Everything's great.. – I like this place a lot. it's comfortable and inviting, they have a small but nice variety of italian dishes on their menu. you can choose your own pasta dishes with whatever sauces you like. the pizza is above average- large slices, fresh toppings. it's not the kind of place i would go out of my way for if i didnt live within walking distance of it. !!!BUT!!! try calling there and ordering any food for delivery. they have employed a hostess with absolutely NO patience whatsoever. i literally wanted to hang the phone up and order dominos, it was so bad.
Consistently Good – I've been ordering the same meatball sandwich for years and every time it's the same: great. The salad is big, the bread is plentiful, and my drink is always refilled. No other restuarant has been this consistently excellent for so long.
Big Disappointment – i finally decided to try carmine's after reading some good things about it. it was a huge disappointment. the food was very bland. i tried the sausage and peppers dish which had the "asterisk" which meant it was a house favorite and specialty. it was supposed to come with a side of spaghetti with marinara sauce. that came about 5 minutes after the dish arrived. the garlic bread with cheese tasted and looked like the frozen food variety. my friends had other pasta dishes and the sauces tasted like they came straight out of a jar. to make things worse, the service was awful. we were almost done with the bread before the server remembered to bring the balsamic vinegar.
i will never go back to this place.
Great Experience! – My girlfriends and I try to meet their at least once a month for dinner. We usually start out in the bar, they have a killer happy hour. Everytime we go into the restaurant we always get such friendly service and they have really attractive waiters which always adds to the experience:) We always indulge in their martinis, they have amazing martininis and I have yet to order an entree that I didn't absolutely love. If you try this place out I recommend sitting on the patio (very romantic) and either having their BBQ chicken pizza which is so good, the Chicken Ceasar or the Gumbi, its this house special with meatballs and cheese. Anyway, if you live in the area its a must try.
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