168 W. Colorado Blvd.
Phone: (626) 793-2233
Hours: Sun – Wed 11:30 am – 11 pm, Thu 11:30 am – midnight, Fri-Sat 11:30 am – 1 am, Sat-Sun brunch 11 am – 3 pm Prices: $$-$$$
In addition to indoor and outdoor dining areas, the Villa Sorriso has two downstairs bars, one behind the dining room and the martini bar to the right of the patio, plus the Zebra Lounge, a private party area upstairs. The place gets packed on weekend nights when the young and beautiful flock to the chic martini bar.
They have an extensive menu of primarily Italian fare, heavy on seafood with steak highlights. Many menu items looked tempting, from the Rosemary Chicken - a favorite with the servers – to the Milk-fed Veal Osso Bucco to the Grilled Shrimp and Goat Cheese Pizza. They also offer the basic cheese pizza, lasagna and varieties of pasta. They are particularly known for their Penne alla Vodka.
The Main Event
I’m not always a fan of halibut, but I found the pistachio-coated fish to be quite tender, moist and delectable. The garlic mashed potatoes and spinach were a pleasing complement.
I enjoy lamb, but not as uncooked as Suzanne likes it. She was thrilled that they followed her instructions and delivered the red meat barely seared on the outside. (I did enjoy the lamb chop after I took it home and microwaved it to make sure it was dead.) I was particularly enamored with the Israeli Couscous with dried fruit and nuts. I could have enjoyed it as an entrée on its own. The pinot noir sauce suited the couscous but was a little sweet for the lamb.
I didn’t really like the sound of pasta in vodka sauce, but I decided to give it a try, since it’s the specialty of the house. I still wasn’t sure after the first bite of the tomato cream concoction with a vodka bite, or even the second taste. By the third bite, I was hooked and couldn’t get enough of it. Suzanne and I both found it addictive.
Note: This story was accurate when it was published. All prices and menu items are subject to change without notice.
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