I’m really stoked with the new additions to Fashion Square Mall, since it’s my favorite shopping destination and is one of my fave places to get a bite. I’ve always loved the reverse happy hour special at Kona Grill and the late-night dining options at Yard House, but this weekend I tried the recently opened Marcella’s Italian Kitchen, right next to the gorgeous Modern Steak.
The interior sort of reminded me of Maggiano’s, a Little Italy atmosphere mob bosses would feel at home at.
We sat on the heater-filled patio, which was nice and toasty. Our server was excellent, and the rest of the staff was friendly.
The food, on the other hand, was less than stellar. I always appreciate complimentary bread and olive oil at Italian restaurants, but the bread didn’t seem freshly baked, and the olive oil was generic.
My Marcella’s Chopped Salad ($3.95) was pretty good, since it was a generous portion, had lots of grape tomatoes and was full of dark greens. But the creamy Italian dressing wasn’t as good as ranch, which wasn’t available.
I love pizza, but I opted to try the Penne Alla Vodka ($12.95). The pasta was way too garlic-y and not creamy enough. Compared to other vodka pastas I’ve had, it was less than mediocre.
My pal got pizza. I didn’t try it, but it was a stiff, flatbread style that I’m not a fan of. I’m actually thankful I got the pasta.
We ordered tiramisu ($6.95) for dessert, and it was a huge serving big enough for four people. Lucky us. It tasted fine and was super-creamy, but I have a nagging suspicion it wasn’t handmade.
The atmosphere was peaceful, but it didn’t make up for the food. I’ll probably just go back to Kona Grill next time.