About CUCINA urbana

505 Laurel Street
San Diego, CA 92101
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Welcome to CUCINA urbana, a casual Italian American Neighborhood Kitchen and Wine Shop located in the heart of Bankers Hill. The menu highlights the cuisines of various Italian regions with a distinct California ‘farm to table’ flair for which the Urban Kitchen Group has become known. Chef Joe Magnanelli is excited to share his Italian heritage and create dishes that are fresh, simple and seasonal. Items include: antipasti, artisan pizza, pasta and piatti. Enjoy wine by the glass or visit the wine shop and select a bottle from over 100 selections at retail price ($8 corkage fee applies). The space features contemporary elements and vintage artifacts creating the feel of a modern Italian kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, American, Mediterranean

Hours of Operation:
Lunch | Tuesday – Friday | 11:30am – 2pm
Afternoon Snacks | Tuesday – Friday | 2pm – 5pm*
Dinner | Sunday + Monday | 5pm – 9pm
Dinner | Tuesday – Thursday | 5pm – 10pm
Dinner | Friday + Saturday | 5pm – 10:30pm
Bar Only | Friday + Saturday | 10:30pm – midnight | pizzas + vasi*

*Walk In seating only, no reservations

Cross Street:
5th Avenue

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(619) 239-2222

Website:
http://www.urbankitchengroup.com/cucina-urbana-bankers-hill/

Catering:
URBAN KITCHEN CATERING provides four star, stunning events with menus unique to your occasion. For more information check the URBAN KITCHEN CATERING link on our website www.urbankitchengroup.com or call Alison at 619.239.2222 extension 2. Or if interested in restaurant buyout opportunities, please contact Tiffany Tassano at 619.239.2222 extension 4.

Parking Details:
Street parking & Valet available

Public Transit:
CUCINAurbana offers nightly shuttles to and from the Old Globe Theatre.

Executive Chef:
Joe Magnanelli

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
EVERY DAY 5-6pm Monday + Saturday | 3-6pm Tuesday-Friday | 4:30-6pm Sunday enjoy our food and drink specials.

drink | house red or white wine $7 | moretti draft $4 | seasonal sangria $6 | well drinks $6
food | burnt brussels sprout $3.75 | parmesan fries $3.5 | margerita pizza $7

Restaurant Photos

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CUCINA urbana
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CUCINA urbana
Beet Salad
Giant Meatball
Mediterranean Mussels
Squash Blossoms
1/2 sandwich & cup of soup
Chicken Liver Pâté
Pork Belly With Egg
Charred Octopus With Fava Beans
Semifreddo
Moscatel
Bucatini
Cucina Burger
Roasted Bone-In New York Strip
Lavender Lemonade
Aquazul
Fries
Chocolate Nutella Zeppole
Chicken Meatball Parmigiano Hero
Chocolate Espresso Budino
Truffle Parmesan Fries
Pepperoni And Fennel Sausage Pizza
Beef Stroganoff
Farro And Brussels Sprouts Leaf Salad
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Mussles
Bread Service
Brussels Sprouts
Fig And Arugula Pizza
Ricotta gnudi
Fennel Sausage And Taleggio Cheese, Forester Mushrooms
Proscuitto Caprese
Ricotta Stuffed and Fried Squash Blossoms, Cherry Tomato
Short Rib Parpadelle
Bittersweet Chocolate Budino
The Aquazul
Mission Fig And Arugula Pizza
Grilled Octopus
Tequila Mule
Truffled Parmesan French Fries
Papperdelle With Braised Shortribs
Shrimp Puttanesca
Early Corn Angioletti
Bbq Octopus
suckling pig
Modern Man Cocktail
Foraged Mushroom Pizza
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Chocolate Budino
Moscow Mule
Short Rib Pappardelle
Rosemary Bread With Sauce
Sheep’s Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter and Sage
Ragu with Polenta
lasagna
Lacinato Kale And Romaine Caesar Salad
Baby Octopus
Red Sangria
Jidori Chicken
Stuff Fried Squash Blossoms
flourless chocolate cake
Garlic Truffle Fries
Short Rib Papardelle
Antipasta Sampler
Big Meatball
Burrata And Prosciutto Salad
Fregolatta
Parsnip Ravioli With Short Ribs
Chicken Jidori
Veal Piccatta
Mediterranean Branzino With A Lemon Dill Sauce
Fig And Garganzola Pizza
Arugula Pear Pizza
Mussels In A Lemon Butter Sauce
Brussel sprouts
Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza
Bay Scallops
Short Rib Peppardelle
Pesto Ravioli
Burrata Jar
Duck Conserva Cavatelli
veal piccata
Veal Saltimbocca With Lentils
Tiramisu In A Jar
Italian Screw
Rigatoni Bolognese
Charcuterie and Cheese Platters
Pork Chop
Cocktails

CUCINA urbana Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Hot Spot
San Diego
Most Booked
San Diego
Hot Spot
San Diego
2 More
Notable Wine List
San Diego
Most Booked
San Diego
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Fit for Foodies (151)
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Notable Wine List (107)
Hot Spot (99)
Good for Groups (75)
Vibrant Bar Scene (74)
Romantic (68)
Good for a Date (33)
Late-night Find (28)
Great for Lunch (26)
Creative Cuisine (24)
Good for Birthdays (18)
Fun (18)
Casual (18)
Local Ingredients (16)
Modern Decor (16)
Good for Anniversaries (15)
Bar Seating (15)
Kid-friendly (14)
Authentic (13)
Worth the Drive (12)
Pre/post Theatre (10)
Cozy (10)
Great for Brunch (10)
Business Meals (10)
Happy Hour (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Comfort Food (9)
Outstanding Value (8)
Seasonal (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Tapas (7)
People Watching (7)
Healthy (6)
Wood Oven (6)
Family Style (5)
Great Beer (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Open Kitchen (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Scenic View (2)
Organic (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Spicy (2)
Molecular Gastronomy (2)
Vegan (1)
Historic (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Fireplace (1)
Dancing (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Live Music (1)
Waterfront (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Private Room (1)
Live Sports (1)
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3429 reviews
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Such a great meal! I recommend the meyer ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined 6 days ago

Such a great meal! I recommend the meyer lemon pizza and beet + avocado salad for a very filling meal. Will return when in the area!

Tags: Seasonal, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Spicy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food great; all dishes really great. B ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined 6 days ago

Food great; all dishes really great. But service was spotty, noise was really high, and AC was too high-- I was cold.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service2

Try the stuffed fried squash blossoms fi ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined 7 days ago

Try the stuffed fried squash blossoms filled with

herb ricotta and lemon aioli. It was excellent. We paired it with a glass of Prosecco. The grilled octopus with ceci beans (a kind of chickpea) was wonderful. The Mediterranean sea bass was well executed too! Loved the flavors, the service, the decor!

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food4
ambience4
service4

Cool atmosphere, with bar, pizza oven an ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined 7 days ago

Cool atmosphere, with bar, pizza oven and dining area combined. Food and service were excellent. We definitely will return

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food5
ambience5
service5

This is the place for food. We did the ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 23, 2016

This is the place for food. We did the stuffed squash blossoms followed by the short ribs. The squash blossoms were stuffed with a ricotta cheese mix that was very tasty and complimented our champagne. The short ribs are outstanding and we were amazed at how good they tasted. This is an old time favorite at Cucina Urbana and it is easy to tell why. This is by far the best short ribs in San Diego.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Loved the food, ambience and ordering wi ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on September 22, 2016

Loved the food, ambience and ordering wines from the store next door paying retail prices plus only a reasonable corking fee added to the bill. Everything was unique and delicious tasting. Slightly noisy with 4 of us at a middle table -- but other than that, a wonderful place to visit for amy occasion.

Tags: Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Cucina Urbana is our absolute favorite r ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 21, 2016

Cucina Urbana is our absolute favorite restaurant in San Diego. The food is awesome. The service is unmatched. We prefer sitting at the community table at the bar. Great interaction with the bar tenders the entire evening. This restaurant can't be missed if you enjoy great and unique food and service like no other.

Tags: Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Absolutely loved this place! I was in t ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 20, 2016

Absolutely loved this place! I was in town for 2 days, and Cucina Urbana was recommended by 2 different people -- so I had to try it! The atmosphere was fun and lively without being overwhelming, the décor and lighting level were extremely comfortable, the service was attentive and charming, the food was DELICIOUS! Overall a great experience.

Tags: People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Authentic, Hot Spot, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Fantastic service, food, & wine! Thank y ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined on September 20, 2016

Fantastic service, food, & wine! Thank you for helping celebrate my mothers birthday!

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food5
ambience5
service5

First time the food was great. This last ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

First time the food was great. This last time was mediocre. The pricing does not allign with mediocre quality food.

While i didnt order the same main course, i did order the grilled octopus for the table to nibble on again. This proved to be an accurate gauge as it was just as mediocre as the rest of the meal. No char on it. Might as well just pan fry it and charge $5 for that. The rest of the meal was similarly shortcoming while overall not a complete miss.

Out waitress was cool and knew the menu well. The atmosphere was a little loud but not unpleasantly so. Overall a good time despite questioning ROI.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

This restaurant never fails to satisfy! ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

This restaurant never fails to satisfy! such great food and the service, no matter how busy is great!! Our server attentive and right on it! Food wonderful as usual!! can't go wrong!!

Tags: Bar Seating, Healthy, Hot Spot, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is my "go to" restaurant when I wan ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

This is my "go to" restaurant when I want a risk free but excellent dining experience. My favorites are the daily polenta board, the pate, and any of the pastas! The service is consistently top notch, where the servers are not stuffy, nor do they waste your time. Cocktails are cutting edge and the wine list will satisfy all levels of expertise...

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Modern Decor, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Great dining experience and the food was ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

Great dining experience and the food was outstanding. Must try both the Fried Squash Blossoms and Grilled Octopus. Loved the Bucatini and Branzano as main course. Lemon Semifredo was refreshing for dessert.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Cucina Urbana is one of our very favorit ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

Cucina Urbana is one of our very favorite places to go! !!! Food's delicious and the staff is friendly and awesome!!!!

Tags: Seasonal, Comfort Food, Authentic, Kid-friendly, Tapas, Business Meals, Fun, Casual, Hot Spot, Modern Decor, People Watching, Good Vegetarian Options, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

My favorite place in SD. We take our fri ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 16, 2016

My favorite place in SD. We take our friends & OOT guests there all the time.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always a wonderful dining experience

vip
 (Hawaii)
·Dined on September 15, 2016

Always a wonderful dining experience

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food5
ambience5
service5

Cheese bread started us off on the right ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 15, 2016

Cheese bread started us off on the right note. A must!

Pork chop was seasoned perfectly and cooked so tender.

After a day at the zoo, this little gem was just what we needed.

Recommended by a local couple back in town on vacation.

Many thanks to them. We will be back!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Fun, Hot Spot, Great Beer
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Made reservations. Was seated right away ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 14, 2016

Made reservations. Was seated right away. Drinks are unique and excellent. Appetizers and pasta are where it's at.

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food5
ambience4
service4

Nice place, with an excellent wine list ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 14, 2016

Nice place, with an excellent wine list at reasonable prices. Food was very good, and we grazed on appetizers and small plates. Nice variety of tasty food to match the wine.

Tags: Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

LOVE having the shuttle available for tr ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 14, 2016

LOVE having the shuttle available for transfer back and forth to The Old Globe!!!

Tags: Seasonal, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Modern Decor, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Cozy, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, People Watching, Fun, Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Always Fun. Great staff. Fresh imaginati ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 12, 2016

Always Fun. Great staff. Fresh imaginative menu choices.

Tags: Fun, Outstanding Value, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Seasonal, Modern Decor, Casual, Open Kitchen, Happy Hour, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Wood Oven, Family Style, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Kevin performed flawlessly.

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

Kevin performed flawlessly.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Love this restaurant and I would recomme ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

Love this restaurant and I would recommend it to a friend for dinner any time. This was my first (and last lunch) at Cucina Urbana ever. What a shocker. Lousy lunch menu. The choices were either pizza or pasta. Not a single entree offered in this menu consisted of fish, beef, or poultry.

And I thought I got lucky when I was able to reserve a table for a Friday just the day before.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food1
ambience3
service3
value3

Favorite place in San Diego. The Octopus ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

Favorite place in San Diego. The Octopus is excellent!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our server Brooklyn was very helpful & i ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

Our server Brooklyn was very helpful & informative. Loved the enthusiasm too!

Tags: Healthy, Casual, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Modern Decor, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

This place is a delight. The food is cre ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 8, 2016

This place is a delight. The food is creative and delicious. Our server was knowledgeable, attentive and allowed us to be leisurely i.e. did not rush us at all. It is a popular place and I would suggest always making a reservation. The front desk folks were pleasant. Bottom line: we three decided that this is where we are going to have our monthly get-together.

I cannot recommend it enough!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My wife and I were visiting from out of ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 5, 2016

My wife and I were visiting from out of town. We were blown away!! Service, from the arrival to departure was top notch. Food was great. Octopus and the ribeye carpaccio must try apps. The chopped salad was also incredible. My wife loved her sea bass and my pork chop with shishito peppers was spot on. Dessert was also great. My only regret was we weren't in town long enough to go back and try more. Specifically the rigatoni bolognese. If you are in the area you need to this out!!

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Open Kitchen, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent dining experience.

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 3, 2016

Excellent dining experience.

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food5
ambience5
service5

From beginning to end the food, cocktail ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

From beginning to end the food, cocktails and service are always incredible. One of my favorite restaurants in San Diego.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We ended our San Diego vacation at this ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 30, 2016

We ended our San Diego vacation at this fabulous restaurant. The atmosphere was chic, service very professional, food delicious. We shared the beet and avocado salad and meyer lemon bianca pizza, both excellent and delicious.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Modern Decor, Cozy, Special Occasion, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I've been here once before, a year ago. ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 29, 2016

I've been here once before, a year ago. Same fun place, fairly full and lively. Service is quick and friendly, food is very good, and the rib-eye carpaccio was awesome! I took a business acquaintance from Bordeaux, and he was very impressed.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Very nice dinner, great service nice cho ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Very nice dinner, great service nice choices nice wine options.

Tags: Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Hurried back here after a great experien ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Hurried back here after a great experience two weeks prior, a little disappointing this go round. Server was overwhelmed, forgot salads and then seemed confused as to why we wouldn't want them after pasta entrees( which seemed like they had been sitting around) had been dropped at table? Older gent that was our server last go round, amazing. This time around? Forgettable. I guess the moral of the story, you never know what you are going to get service wise here. Inconsistent.

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food3
ambience4
service2

We had reservations and were seated imme ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

We had reservations and were seated immediately even though the restaurant was busy. The food was very good and the decor was fun and interesting.

Tags: Fun, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food with spectacular service comp ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 23, 2016

Great food with spectacular service complimented by an excellent wine list.

Tags: Business Meals, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

I took my friend to celebrate her birthd ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

I took my friend to celebrate her birthday dinner and from the moment we valet'd to the moment we left we had an amazing experience. My friend loves the polenta there but also the short ribs, the Server was amazing because he talked to the kitchen about creating the dish she wanted. He also recommended an amazing bottle of wine. It was great service, a great environment and worth every dollar I spent for the experience. I can't wait to go again.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Romantic, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I made a reservation for 7 for dinner an ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

I made a reservation for 7 for dinner and I can speak for everyone when I say that it was an amazing experience! The service was great and the food was one of our best meals while in San Diego. I would recommend this spot to anyone since there is no going wrong with all the food and drink options.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Fun, Good for Groups, Family Style, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Outstanding Value, Healthy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Great Beer, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I dropped in at my old standby Cucina Ur ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

I dropped in at my old standby Cucina Urbana in Bankers’ Hill before attending a show at The Old Globe in Balboa Park.

My server was new to me this visit, Daryl, very nice, attentive and helpful in trying to keep me in line with a reasonable amount of food. I started with the “garden of good and evil” cocktail made with gin, carpano bianco, shishito pepper, cucumber, lemon and rhubarb bitters. Oh yea, one of THE BEST DRINKS and why am I drinking gin?

I started with the hamachi (sushi grade yellowtail) crudo, such beautiful slices of fish with plluots, finger lime in a grapefruit balsamic and topped with dehydrated onion that looked like hay. OUTSTANDING!!!!!

I finished my cocktail with the hamachi and switched to a glass of Ciu Ciu Montepulciano red blend from Marche, Italy, perfectly dry and dirty, to accompany an order of the herb ricotta stuffed fried squash blossoms with an opal basil pesto and lemon aioli schmears.

I was so glad I ate somewhat light because I’ve hardly ever had room for dessert. Daryl twisted my arm and I had the peach tiramisu, lady fingers soaked in rum with basil and lavender all enveloped with a mascarpone mousse and vanilla cream, oh my, and a cup of decaf to wash it down.

Tags: Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Great for Lunch, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Local Ingredients, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The service was fantastic. Very attentiv ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

The service was fantastic. Very attentive. Thank you!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Service and food were fantastic as usual ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Service and food were fantastic as usual!!!!!!!!!!!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Scenic View, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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