Serious valley red-sauce declines?
Twice in the last month, I ended up with the Woman In The Hat at what I previously thought of as reliable and tasty, sources of "very basic, old-style Italian-American food" (red sauce, plastic grapes on ceiling, chianti in bottles with basket-bottoms, etc.), once with Cam the man in tow. the first was Scarantino's, in Glendale, the second, on a whim, was Dominick's, in La Canada (La Crescenta? Sunland?).
Now I noted that Scarantino's opened, and then closed, a pasadena location, and that Dominick's, in the decade since I last ate there, seemed to have reduced their space by roughly half, but I didn't draw conclusions from that; times are tough in the resto biz....
BUT I was disappointed. Notwithstanding a LONG wait at Scarantino's, their sauce was watery, pasta mushy. ....and Dominick's just made me sad, in part because I HATE when Cam the Man is disappointed by a resto (it's where he ate his first restaurant pasta when he was a pup). What had once been a bustling neighborhood hole-in-the-wall was, this time, half-empty at 7 on a Saturday night; the portions have shrunk, the servers seem to be tired high schoolers, and the food was, even for red-sauce italian, meh.
Am I just old and cranky or have these places taken a downhill slide in the last few years?
2055 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA
I've never been to the Glendale Scarantino's. The Pasadena location (which, before its brief incarnation under that name, existed as Dino's Italian Inn for a half century or so) was never known for al dente pasta, but was very reliable for its old-school, red sauce standards. My eyes tear up every time I drive past the empty, shuttered space. I would never describe the sauce as "watery," though. I'd give Scarantino's another try and hope that you just went on a bad night, or that someone simply forgot to stir the sauce before serving your portion.