Ti Amo Laguna
Anyone been to Ti Amo in Laguna Beach? Any good? Looking for romantic and quiet location w/good food.
A perfect location, I would think for what you have in mind. The specials tend to be the best choice, although the regular menu is not bad, it is just not terribly inspired. I suggest you make a reservation for a table on the patio, they are semi-private tables that are really quite exquisite. Nice, traditional wine list.
Think overall experience rather than gourmet, lay back & enjoy the funky atmosphere and tasty if not exquisite chow.
Thoroughly enjoyed a special dinner at Ti Amo a couple years ago. Food was wonderful. As I recall, though, the dining room is rather small and they have live music on some nights, so where you are seated could detract from the quiet aspect. You might want to check that out when you make your reservation.
IMO, Ti Amo is one of the most overrated restaurants on this CH board in terms of "romantic" "cozy" "quiet" "tasty Italian food" That said, it is not a terrible place at all. And, as a general rule, restaurants in Laguna Beach are usually a cut above the rest.
One of the reasons I don't think it is romantic, cozy, and quiet is because most of the interior is wood - much of the floor, room railings, bar with brass rails, only "whispy" curtains - and eating areas are open areas to each other, including upstairs and the bar area with entertainment (I have most often seen piano there, so not too bad - in fact, I love piano, but after about 9PM, it seems to get louder - maybe now it's just guitar)
I may be one of a few that don't think it is a romantic place. They seem to use the word "romantic" as their calling card. It's just not MY idea of romantic. And, I have had better Italian food in other places.
re: kc girl
Yes, it's definitely a different kind of "romantic." Kind of an eclectic romantic-not really upscale romantic, if you know what I mean. We took my husband's parents there for dinner, and being the traditional, mid-western people that they are, they were pretty unimpressed with the decor.
It's more of a funky little place with decent food. I wouldn't say fantastic, but good. It's all about who you are bringing.
Let's stipulate loud & clear, Ti Amo is definitely not for everyone. Different strokes, understood. Fun-type folks will likely get a kick out of Ti Amo, those who take dining too seriously or have a rod stuck up their derriere may find the bizzare atmosphere a turn-off. Ah, but when we take our funkier out of towners to Ti Amo, it's simply a great time every time.
We don't go to Ti Amo instead of Antonello or Sabatino or Cucina Romeo or whatever, but in addition. It's complementary, a different sort of experience for those who savor diversity.
About the chow. Not overly imaginative, but quite decent IOHO. Actually surprised at the quality of the ingredients, maybe not gourmet, but invariably better than expected.
This is one of those fun neighborhoody-type Italian restaurants that is particularly nice for both small and large parties. Even though it is top quality, the prices are quite reasonable.
I think it must be an old house and has five different dining rooms on several levels. Because of that there are many tables that have quite a romantic feel because they seemingly away from the others.
It feels like one of those old romantic neighborhood Italian places rather than modern trendy type joint. You have to determine what works for you.
I used to live walking distance from Ti Amo and when it opened years ago it was a special place. The two times I have been back over the last 18 months have been disappointing though. Food seems a little blander and had really bad service both times. It is a nice location but much prefer Eva's across the street.
Dredging up a very old thread... Dined there last night - not my choice, went along with the crowd. Service excellent, Manager friendly, Food - ok to awful. I don't think anyone had a decent meal. Best of the lot was asparagus with wild mushrooms & truffle oil - good, not stellar. My gorgonzola & pear salad was blah blah blah. No one seemed too excited over their Caesars. Paella was truly awful - no flavor, no saffron, and less than fresh, smoked chicken with brandy tomato cream sauce was like eating a jar of sun dried tomatoes straight - no subtlety, just overwhelming, linguine vongole was strangely in an all green sauce & pretty yucky, my veal scalloppine with artichokes was so lemony & puckery I couldn't begin to get through it - and the veal ranged from no taste to kindof awful, complimentary birthday cheesecake was just old & nasty. Best part was small cups of hot milk & Amaretto offered after dinner - and I don't like Amaretto. All in all, an embarrassing evening for the host and a disappointing evening for the rest of us. Too, bad, as I've followed this restaurant since it was Monique's and have had some lovely and romantic meals there, but somebody really needs to re-think the execution of these dishes.