Looking for a little Italian in Culver City last night - a fairly gritty area West of the 405 and we gave Caffe Roberto another try (had a really wonderful lunch there a long time ago). The place while still Italian had a heavy Brazilian feel to it because it had been a Brazilian soccer haven - there is a Brazilian grocery store to the north of the restaurant which used to be an Italian grocery store. Atmosphere and mood - bistro-y - food good to quite good. Caesar salad and Mme ZoeZ, formely known as Mme Zoe and I split a Lasagna and it was plenty for a split. Our friends split a mushroom and chicken risotto which everyone said was very tasty.
Good place for a quick snack.
Jefferson Blvd west of the 405,
Parking lot in front of the restaurant
The irony to your post for me comes in the "quick snack" reference.
I live within a mile of Caffe Roberto and when we moved into the neighborhood we really wanted to like the place. We were looking for a nice Italian spot close to (new) home.
And we went once and had literally the slowest and most disinterested service I've ever experienced. Slow. Messed up orders. Everything came out at a different time. Disorganized. Couldn't get anyone's attention.
So bad, so insultingly bad, we never went back. (And we're still looking for some place else).
Everyone's experience is different, I guess.
The Brasilian store was shut (Sunday night I thought) but the buzz in the restaurant was the leftovers from soccer fans who had been guzzling beer earlier and enjoying the big screen. Maybe all that activity made them more efficient in serving in the evening, but to be fair, it was far from slow - quite efficient I thought.
Caffe Roberto... this place ranks at the top of my list as one of the most dismal restaurants I've ever been to. Clueless food, bad atmosphere. I can't figure out why or how it exists. The big piece of land it's on with good parking is begging for something worthwhile to take its place.