I usually can't stand Maria's Italian Kitchen
- Muhlyssa Dec 14, 2006 04:17 PM
We live up the street to the Sherman Oaks location and I've generally not liked it. I've found it very ordinary, not creative and no atmosphere. It's a great place if you have kids though. The problem is, hubby likes it. A few weeks ago, we were in Woodland Hills and ended up for lunch at their WH location.
They had a special menu with some fall dishes and I tried a Pumpkin Ravioli with Curry Cream that was really tasty. A week or so later, I got an Entertainment Book from my folks and noticed they were in there.
So last night I gave my local one (Sherman Oaks) a try and got another one of their seasonal dishes, Pumpkin Chicken and Fontina Lasagne, and loved it. It was savory and sweet (a favorite combo of mine) and gooey and filling. My husband had his old stand-by, gnocci, which just looked boring and doughy to me but he likes it. I recommend trying the pumpkin dishes if you are a fan of pumpkin.
I remember one year they had some sort of pumpkin dessert that was really good. Whenever I go, I usually get the Cioppino (with a side of marinara to dump in).
I'm just OK on Maria's, but their fried calamari is excellent, I really liked their chopped salad (with mustard vinaigrette, I *hate* balsamic vinaigrette), and the calzone's not half bad.
I, too, am a fan of their calzone. And one time I had a risotto dish that was respectable. All in all, pretty decent for an Italian chain; I'd go there ahead of Mi Piace. (I go to the one in Agoura Hills next to the bicycle shop.)