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/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

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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Beet Salad
Squash Blossoms
Giant Meatball
Pork Belly With Egg
Mediterranean Mussels
1/2 sandwich & cup of soup
Chicken Liver Pâté
Charred Octopus With Fava Beans
Semifreddo
Moscatel
Bucatini
Roasted Bone-In New York Strip
Cucina Burger
Aquazul
Lavender Lemonade
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
Short Rib Parpadelle
Ricotta Stuffed and Fried Squash Blossoms, Cherry Tomato
Bittersweet Chocolate Budino
The Aquazul
Grilled Octopus
Mission Fig And Arugula Pizza
Tequila Mule
suckling pig
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Papperdelle With Braised Shortribs
Shrimp Puttanesca
Early Corn Angioletti
Modern Man Cocktail
Bbq Octopus
Foraged Mushroom Pizza
Truffled Parmesan French Fries
Chocolate Budino
Moscow Mule
Short Rib Pappardelle
Sheep’s Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter and Sage
Rosemary Bread With Sauce
Ragu with Polenta
lasagna
Baby Octopus
Lacinato Kale And Romaine Caesar Salad
Red Sangria
Stuff Fried Squash Blossoms
Jidori Chicken
flourless chocolate cake
Antipasta Sampler
Fregolatta
Burrata And Prosciutto Salad
Garlic Truffle Fries
Short Rib Papardelle
Big Meatball
Fig And Garganzola Pizza
Mussels In A Lemon Butter Sauce
Veal Piccatta
Chicken Jidori
Mediterranean Branzino With A Lemon Dill Sauce
Parsnip Ravioli With Short Ribs
Arugula Pear Pizza
Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza
Brussel sprouts
Burrata Jar
Pesto Ravioli
Short Rib Peppardelle
Bay Scallops
veal piccata
Duck Conserva Cavatelli
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

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Most Booked
San Diego
Notable Wine List
San Diego
Most Booked
San Diego
Best Restaurants in Banker's Hill ›

fit for foodies (164)
neighborhood gem (129)
special occasion (111)
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notable wine list (111)
hot spot (101)
good for groups (90)
vibrant bar scene (80)
romantic (65)
great for lunch (45)
late-night find (28)
kid-friendly (13)
great for brunch (7)
great for outdoor dining (4)
scenic view (2)
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Cucina urbana is a must when in San Dieg ...

vip
 (New England)
·Dined 14 hours ago

Cucina urbana is a must when in San Diego. Food is amazing and the service is outstanding. Went with some friends we had an amazing time. Highly recommended!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Chopped salad good but not satisfying.

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined 3 days ago

Chopped salad good but not satisfying.

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food3
ambience5
service5

Absolutely fantastic from A to Z. We wen ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined 4 days ago

Absolutely fantastic from A to Z. We went to Cucina Urbana for our anniversary dinner and were completely satisfied with the atmosphere, quality and depth of the food as well as the impeccable service. This is a gem that we will return to again and again.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

One of my favorites. A great go to for g ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined 6 days ago

One of my favorites. A great go to for good food, comfortable environment and attentive service. Just very, very easy and sure to please. The restaurant can be quite noisy at peak hours but outside of that it is hard to find fault.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food. Was given seat I bar that wa ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined 6 days ago

Great food. Was given seat I bar that was loud. Was asked to be moved hostess said was the only available. Very nasty.

Tags: fit for foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was a friends get together, however ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined 6 days ago

This was a friends get together, however none of us had dined at this restaurant before. We were very impressed by our waitress; She told us she has worked for the company for three years and her knowledgement did not denied her experience. She explained the menu and offer great suggestions.

The favorite dish of the evening was the short rib pasta as well as the rabbit ravioli. Key lime ice cream was very tasty to finished up the experience.

Wine list was not my favorite as I would have liked to see more local wines, however I respect the mixologist menu input.

We will defenitely coming back to try maybe some pizza.

Tags: hot spot
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Every bite delicious. Fabulous Resturant ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined 7 days ago

Every bite delicious. Fabulous Resturant. We will definitely be back.

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food5
ambience4
service4

I could just have appetizers here, they ...

vip
 (Seattle)
·Dined 7 days ago

I could just have appetizers here, they are so good! We love the burned Brussels sprouts with spicy sauce. Then we added the eggplant with red pepper roulade with pisatchios and currents. Equally outstanding!!! Then we had the completely boned and grilled brnzino, so fresh and perfectly gone. We did a side pasta of agnolotti with small bay scallops. Both were home runs!!!! Dessert was a nice and refreshing peach tiramisu. Sparkling wine was great with all dishes!!!! And our waitress, Danielle was superb. We cannot wait to go back!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Not great vegetarian options. Squash bl ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

Not great vegetarian options. Squash blossoms were good. Tomato Campanella was disappointing considering the reviews.

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food3
ambience4
service4

First time there- very reasonable valet ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

First time there- very reasonable valet cost, excellent food, attentive staff, and early dinner (5pm) seems to be best if you want a quieter place. After 6 was getting pretty nosy but that's because it was full of life. Overall can't rate to go back!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Maybe just 'cause of the PRIDE parade an ...

vip
 (New England)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

Maybe just 'cause of the PRIDE parade and weekend (which was cool, of course/!), music in background was both too noisy and too clubby (poomph ah poomph ah...). Food great ... Service fine, just some delays sometimes. I imagine everyone was buzzed and hyped about the PRIDE parad and weekend, which is understandable. I may try this a fourth time on my own or with a son.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

I have dined here many times! I requeste ...

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

I have dined here many times! I requested no salt added and as little salt on all my food do to health issues. My request was totally ignored and my food had lots of added salt. This was very disappointing. All restaurants need to be health conscious. Salt is everyone's enemy! You can use other spices to add flavor!

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food2
ambience5
service5
value5

No wonder I have to book well in advance ...

vip
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on July 13, 2016

No wonder I have to book well in advance to get seated here! Great.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Always great. We took my sister who was ...

 
 (Puerto Vallarta)
·Dined on July 13, 2016

Always great. We took my sister who was visiting from D.C.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Ambiance was terrific absolutely gorgeou ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

Ambiance was terrific absolutely gorgeous. The burger was complex, flavorful and oh so juicy. It was like you just discovered burgers for the first time, very appetizing. The cod also is buttery and just melted in your mouth. Simply divine.

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food2
ambience4
service3

Our waiter was fantastic, the food was v ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 11, 2016

Our waiter was fantastic, the food was very good, and the atmosphere was great

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

The meal was amazing! Everything we had ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

The meal was amazing! Everything we had was delicious. Great place!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

squash blossoms appetizer--usually my fa ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

squash blossoms appetizer--usually my favorite but not crispy on outside -so missed on preparation

Octopus appetizer-okay sauce, but hardly any food and over-sauced. Pizza artichoke/olive/kale. Felt like it was made hours before. Luke warm, dry, hardly any of featured items --cheese was flavorless. Should have sent back. Pasta with short ribs very good and generous portion. Cocktails very good. Server started out great then disappeared.

Tags: hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food2
ambience5
service2
value3

Food was super tasty and I had one of t ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Food was super tasty and I had one of the best desserts...Nutella stuffed zepello!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Consistently great. Never disappointing ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Consistently great. Never disappointing. Wine list and value is superb.

Tags: fit for foodies, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

To uphold my yelp integrity, I must rate ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

To uphold my yelp integrity, I must rate my previously ranked Number 1 most favorite restaurant with 2 stars. I was incredibly let down by my experience tonight. Not only did the food take forever, it wouldn't have been good without the wait either. Preface: birthday dinner, favorite spot, boom.

1. Started with the chicken liver paté - a must. My favorite dish, and ultimately the highlight of my dinner.

2. Chopped salad - pretty regular for a chopped salad. I appreciate simple salads like these. I'd give this a 3.5.

3. Half chicken - no flavor, over cooked and cold all at the same time. How does this happen? At least be one or the other. Not cold and overcooked with no flavor... Simultaneously. What's going on here - it wasn't even that busy. It's a Thursday night with plenty of tables open.

4. Pappardelle - cold, undercooked, too salty. Undercooked al dente pappardelle noodles are seriously the worst. Difficult to eat; not to mention, pretend to enjoy. Couldn't do it. Just didn't eat it. Now I'm straight up disappointed.

By this time, we're annoyed and just wanted to go... We mention that our plates were quite cold to the waitress and she asks if we'd like to have the kitchen heat them up. We decline. She offers to buy us a dessert. We check out the dessert menu. Nothing looks appealing... We order a cappuccino and the check.

They discounted part of the bill, but it did not reflect my experience. I never mind paying for quality and consistency. This time, they had neither.

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food1
ambience5
service2
value1

This place has the BEST truffle fries!!! ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

This place has the BEST truffle fries!!! My waiter was very kind and very attentive, he made our dining experience top notch.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Every dish was a surprise and a taste tr ...

vip
 (Baltimore)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

Every dish was a surprise and a taste treat. Will return again!

Tags: fit for foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The giant meatball is SO delicious. Rea ...

 
 (Detroit)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

The giant meatball is SO delicious. Really good bread. My salad and my husband's branzino were both very good but not excellent. I would definitely go here again. Great ambience.

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food4
ambience5
service5

This is the best of the urbana restauran ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

This is the best of the urbana restaurants. Not really impressed with the new Kensington location.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I love this restaurant! One of my very f ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

I love this restaurant! One of my very favorites. I go alone , with friend and out of town guests. It is always a treat! Excellent staff!

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food5
ambience5
service5

I love the food and service. We went rea ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 3, 2016

I love the food and service. We went really early on a Saturday evening - 5:15pm, to avoid a packed restaurant. I wish it was quieter. At first it was just the acoustics, and then all the tables filled up, but at 6:30pm they turned on loud music. It's not conducive to having good/intimate conversation, or a "date night" when you are getting to know someone. It's really hard to hear just sitting across the table. But, the food is amazing. We shared the burrata mason jar, squash blossoms, and the choc/peanut butter bar and zeppoles. The short rib pappardelle is amazing, as are the zeppoles! I will definitely be back.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

The food is consistently good as well as ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

The food is consistently good as well as the experience. Just not a fan of corkage fees after you buy wine there. They should waive the corkage fee since you are not bringing yours in. Also, we really liked their pappardelle short rib dish but it's so minimal and priced too high for what it is. Perhaps if it was more of an entree size and not an appetizer size it would be worth the price. Also service could be improved. I found mysel continuously getting up to fill our water glasses and finally we asked for a caraf. This was for lunch and they were not busy.

Tags: neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

One of our favorite restaurants- always ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

One of our favorite restaurants- always a treat for us when we get to go. Everything on the menu is awesome, you really can't go wrong.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Came for lunch after hearing rave review ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 29, 2016

Came for lunch after hearing rave reviews and having enjoyed the sister restaurant in Del Mar. Food was good... just good not great, service was not good- possibly ok, cocktails were very good. I wouldn't go out of my way to go back. 😥

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

Our dinner was great. The Octopus was de ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 29, 2016

Our dinner was great. The Octopus was delicious. The best I had for a long time. I like the design a lot, it's clean and pretty. It was a Tuesday evening but it was full. I'm glad I made a reservation. Thank you!

Tags: fit for foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

It's been a long time since I have made ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on June 29, 2016

It's been a long time since I have made a reservation for a special occasion (anniversary in this case), that the restaurant actually took notice. CUCINA urbana did just that. From the moment we walked into the door, to the time we left, we were treated like royalty by everyone (hostess, bartender, wait staff) WITHOUT mentioning anything except for a simple little note in our OpenTable reservation. AND, on top of all that, the food was OUTSTANDING. Kudos to all!

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food5
ambience5
service5

The best food I have eaten in my life... ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 29, 2016

The best food I have eaten in my life...ever. Bravette Steak is amazing!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

After having had a rather challenging ex ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 28, 2016

After having had a rather challenging experience at another restaurant, we were looking for a good experience particularly given my wife's gluten allergy. Rebecca, our waitress and the hostess, were all absolutely fantastic and made sure that all of our particular needs were met. The gluten free options were plentiful and the staff bent over backwards to be sure that my wife had a meal that was gluten free and met the standards for which Cucina Urbana is known. Rebecca suggested their house specialty, the pork chop which did not disappoint. We were two families with two 9 year olds who both devoured their dinners. We loved the food and our experience so much that we requested to come back the night before we had to return home from San Diego. The staff made all the arrangements for us and welcomed us back for the second time that week, which was just as good as the first! Thank you to Cucina Urbana for helping to make our stay in San Diego that much more enjoyable

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our bartender, Connor, was very knowledg ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 28, 2016

Our bartender, Connor, was very knowledgeable and professional. His drink preparation was "spot on".

Tags: vibrant bar scene
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Beautiful and great atmosphere, the wait ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

Beautiful and great atmosphere, the waiter was excellent and kind and the food extraordinary.

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food5
ambience5
service5

This restaurant has great reviews so wan ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

This restaurant has great reviews so wanted to try - food good but not anything spectacular. Good value for the cost. Great wine list. Very loud.

Tags: hot spot, notable wine list
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food2
ambience2
service3
value4

Short rib pappardelle was delicious!! Th ...

 
 (Dallas)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

Short rib pappardelle was delicious!! The decor and presentation was very rustic chic, and the prices matched the portions and quality. My daughter has a blast making her own pizza, which was a nice menu offering for kids.

The happy hour menu is nice if you're looking for small bites or starters for an early meal. Try the crunchy brussels!

Two minor hiccups-

Drink service was slow and a lot of the specialty cocktails had floral notes; mine was tasty, but my husband didn't care for the ones recommended by the server.

Overall we had a great dinner and we will return when in San Diego again!

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

I love it! Would be nice if the food qua ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

I love it! Would be nice if the food quantity is a little bigger though.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Our Special occasion was made more speci ...

 
 (Hawaii)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

Our Special occasion was made more special at Cucina Urbana. thanks for the great food, excellent service and happy times Cheers!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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