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Apr 21, 2008 11:21 PM

San Diego - Trattoria Acqua (Italian, downtown La Jolla)

We had a great experience at Trattoria Acqua Friday night. Food, Ambiance, and Service were all superb. Lobster Ravioli was the best, as recommended by other reviews. You can really taste the lobster, and that's most of the filling. I chose the Arrabiata pasta myself, and that was real good too. The quality of ingredients really made the dishes. For an appetizer we had the Filet Mignon carpaccio with arugula, which I did like. The Tiramisu was nice, but I prefer the one at Piatti nearby. Coffee was great. Portions were perfect for us - 2 dishes and an appetizer to share had no leftovers. I'll upload photos of each dish we had.

Our server was great and knowledgeful, we got everything we wanted right. We liked the atmosphere and attention to detail - my wife loved the decor and the plating used, and I enjoyed that it was tasteful but still casual. This was our first time here - we usually go to Piatti, and we plan to go to both from now on. This is the kind of place we look for to return every few months.

Anyone else who likes this place, what other dishes would you consistently recommend? I like all Italian food. Other than George's which we really like, are there any other restaurants on that row in La Jolla you'd solidly recommend? Thanks!


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  1. to georges.. Great food and atmosphere.. Music on Fri and Sat night.. But we also love the food and service.

    1. I really enjoy Trattoria Acqua..I like Crab Catcher next door and they have a great happy hour and the crab bisque is one of the best along with the mussels..
      Alfonso's for nachos and marg's..

      6 Replies
      1. re: Beach Chick

        Trattoria Acqua is hands down my favorite SD restaurant. They take their food very seriously, but without any tedious attitude on the part of the wait staff. I think they've been voted one of the top 10 in the US by Food and Wine, but don't quote me on that. Excellent food, fabulous atmosphere, and reasonable pricing = perfection.

        1. re: SDgirl

          An Italian restaurant which serves spaghetti carbonara without fresh egg can't be serious about food. And an italian restaurant which serves mac and cheese is just a sad joke.

          1. re: honkman

            Well, it's actually Buccatini Carbonara, which should make clear the intention of straying from the original classic (which it does). This dish doesn't even pretend to be Spaghetti Carbonara, so it shouldn't be compared to it. In today's sue-happy society the use of raw egg is risky, so the chef, serious foodie that he is, probably chose to skip the classic altogether and exercised artistic license in creating an alternative. Why use the term "carbonara"? I don't know, but who cares -- it's the taste of the new dish that really matters. As for the mac and cheese, that dish is Italian to it's core -- Pasta al Forno. Again, why get hung up on terminology when taste is all? Mac and cheese is instantly recognizable as well as whimsical, so go with it. And I would hardly call a restaurant which has been given numerous awards by USA Today, Zagat, Wine Spectator, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and others, a sad joke. Perhaps you should visit the place and try their Mac and Cheese, maybe you'll like it.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              When I had spaghetti carbonara at Barolo they claimed that they used raw eggs. Does this mean that they either ignored the law (like some restaurants who serve hamburger medium rare) or that it is enough to follow the law by letting the eggs heat up with the pasta who have a high enough temperature ?

              1. re: honkman

                Honkman, yes. Some restaurants will ignore the law. There have been a number of them in San Francisco that have refused to not use a real coddle egg in their Caesar dressing. Pasteurized shell eggs are also out there on the market, Barolo could be using those.

                As I think you're aware,eggs are a common source of Salmonella. There are some parts of the U.S. were salmonella in eggs is pretty common, that is not so much the case in CA. It certainly doesn't mean that CA eggs don't have, or aren't susceptible to salmonella, just that it's not an ordinary occurrence here. The law's intent is to protect the consumer from possible food borne illnesses. I

                I really can't fault TA for not using real eggs if their intent is to comply with the law. Who knows they may have been cited for using raw eggs at some point. Also, some of the pastuerized liquid egg products available to the commercial are actually extremely good. The bottom line is eggs are a high risk item when it comes to food borne illness, I think the majority of restaurants are going to err on the side of safety.

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  DD, to the best of my knowledge there is no law in California regarding the use of raw eggs. Any prudent restaurateur who wishes to use raw eggs will employ a disclaimer on the menu warning customers of the use of such ingredients as raw eggs, nuts and raw shellfish etc..

                  I won't consider ordering any carbonara in virtually any restaurant because I make my own using raw egg and never, never any cream and I'm not inclined to look for Italian at 2am or so.

                  Raw eggs are a touchy subject these days - too bad.