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Jun 21, 2009 10:18 PM

Il Fornaio Pasadena Disappointing

We decided on Italian food for this Father's Day and ended up on the patio of Il Fornaio in Pasadena. It was a beautiful afternoon. The bread was warm and crusty and all seemed right in the world.....and then, our waitress was slow, inattentive and spoke to us as though we were students in her kindergarten class. We sat for 20 minutes with no beverages. I ordered iced tea and she mentioned they had bottled, flavoured teas. Sounded good to me. $6 later I wondered how much it really costs to make a green tea blend which is mostly water? But on to the meal. We had the Fra Diavola pizza which was heaven sent, amazing, delicious. We also ordered a special fettucine dish with mushrooms, carmelized onions and italian sausage. It was flavorful but cold. Our younger daughter ordered the capellini pomodoro and it was bland, the garlic was hard and raw which explains why the garlicky flavors had not permeated the sauce. And our elder daughter ordered the tube pasta with vodka sauce which was also completely cold. It took aboiut an hour to get our food and that was after waiting 1/2 hour to order. We asked for more bread and olive oil from 3 different people before it arrived. All in all this was an overpriced, underserved and disappointing meal. If the bill had been $20 or $30 I would have been more pleased but for $80, it will be a long while before I come back.

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  1. I went a few weeks back with my in-laws. Service was, indeed, slow. However, we walked in late, got a private dining room (we have three young boys) and when we ordered for the boys, that was delivered promptly. Service for the adults was quite slow. Water glasses were not refilled as promptly as I'm used to, but our server was quite nice. The food was okay...though, I did enjoy my half-moon pasta filled with Italian sausage, marscapone, and herbs...came in a brown butter-white wine sauce and garnished with pancetta. Everyone else ordered steaks and chicken...blah.

    1. Some chains don't deserve any press. This is one of them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: J.L.

        I disagree. I think it is good that the OP shared their experience so we can avoid the place.

        1. re: monkuboy

          But didn't we Hounds already know that?

      2. A friend works around the corner so we have lunch there occasionally. Usually it's good. Service is usually very friendly and professional, but have had a few poor moments. I love their creamy polenta with ragout sauce appetizer. I'm always happy to return because most of the time it has been good, especially for the area.

        1. I stopped going there a long time ago. if you want Pasadena Italian, go to Gales off of Fair Oaks. tasty.