Pasadena >Food & Dining > Il Fornaio
24 W Union St, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110334.146618 -118.151128
Mon - Thur: 11:30am-10:00pm
Fri - Sat: 11:30am-11:00pm
Neighborhoods: West Central
Recently visited for a special occasion. I had not been here in a few years, but this was a great experience. The Sunday breakfast/lunch (brunch) menu had a lot of great choices. The salmon bruschetta was to die for. I would go back just for that appetizer. The service was excellent as usual.
Crazy good! I grew up eating Italian food, and it is hard to find quality stuff. When somebody suggested we come here, I scoffed. "It's a chain - no way it will be good." After the bruschetta, Ravioli alla Lucana, Linguine Mare Chiaro (girlfiend ordered - amazing) and a bottle of wine (forget the name), I was proven 100% wrong. I will definitely be back.
Where is MY cake? – Hi,
I decided to try this 'restaurant' for my birthday celebration.
It was the worse experience I've ever had! The service was slow and very inneficient. Half of the entree's listed were 'unavailable at this time', as were the best choices from the wine list. Even the flat bottled water could not be ordered!
When it came time to have the cake, they brought me a cake belonging to ANOTHER PERSON!
Throughout all of this, the manager was very impolite and unhelpful.
Quite possibly the worse service I have ever suffered through!!
Never go there!
Okay food – The food was mediocre. There wasn't a "wow" factor in any of my meals. I went there with a big group of people and we just didn't seem satisfied with the meal. I would probably go back if it was convenient. The dessert wasn't bad. There are other better Italian resturants in the area.
Dependably delicious dining in Old Town Pasadena – Yes, it's a chain restaurant, but Il Fornaio does its level best to transcend that label. We dropped in for dinner tonight, and were seated immediately (although in a back corner table that was incredibly cramped). The service was friendly, patient and detail-oriented without being fussy. We tried two dishes from the monthly special menu (they feature dishes and wines from a different region of Italy every month) and both were excellent -- innovative flavors beyond the usual lasagna, pesto penne, etc. fare that you see at most Italian restaurants. The beef tenderloin risotto w/ crispy shallots and gorgonzola cream was so good, I wished I had ordered it instead of just tasting a bit from my boyfriend's plate. We've had mixed experiences before with the monthly special menu, but were pleasantly surprised by how good both dishes we ordered were this time around. The wine selection is excellent as well, as we both enjoyed glasses of Italian varietals that we've never seen before. "Il Fornaio" means "the Baker" and yes, the bread is always great too. All in all, I'm a happy diner, and I'll be sure to be back.
Dependably "Fine" Italian Fare – Although this restaurant does manage to render itself a Fine Dining Italian Establishment, it is at the expense of the authenticity and the prices. I am a firm believer that Italian dining should be ample portions and great prices in that red-checkered-tablecloth, mom-and-pop sort of way. The cuisine here is good, exquisite in some cases, but the vibe is corporate and the bills are high.
Good staple for Italian in Pasadena for Italian – The food is always good, my favorite is the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage butter. The outdoor patio is definitely the way to go, inside seating is too loud. A bit crowded and always a wait. Still, it is at the top of my list of restaurants in Pasadena even though it is a chain.
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