We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Hit and miss” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Johnny Carino's Italian

Johnny Carino's Italian
6805 Camino Arroyo, Gilroy, CA 95020-7081
Improve this listing
Ranked #36 of 114 Restaurants in Gilroy
Cuisines: Italian
Description: Phone: (408) 842-3130
Restaurant details
Description: Phone: (408) 842-3130
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
“Hit and miss”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

I have eaten here in a large group on several occasions. Some items are much better than others. I would say the service is pretty good. It can get pretty busy on weekends because of it's proximity to the outlets. The bread and calamari are actually pretty good. The pasta dishes are good with the exception of the tortellini. The salads are good. I wasn't impressed with the desserts. We tried several of the mini's. The restaurant is a good spot for large groups.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

13 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Arroyo Grande, California
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Not worth the effort.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2010

Carino's (actually Johnny Carino's) is a chain based in Antioch, Ca. They claim they are about Food, Fire and Fun. Well, the only fun we had was leaving after a disasterous meal.

My wife, son and I were on our way home from the Bay Area and decided to stop for dinner in Gilroy. Since this was the outlet shopping area, we thought one of the restaurants would be acceptable. Boy were we wrong.

It was around 7:00 PM on a Sunday. After driving through the complex, we noticed most of the restaurants had long lines or lots of cars in the parking areas. We saw fewer cars at Carino's and decided to go there. No waiting. Lots of empty tables. {Probably should have recognized the early warning signs at thsi point]

We were promptly seated in a booth. What seemed strage to me (I'm 6'3") was the table height was almost up to my chin. I looked around and saw that all of the tables were higher than what I would consider "normal". Perhaps the seats were lower than normal, but the bottom line was that the distance from food to mouth seemed to be minimal. Perhaps easer to feed for some? We will never know.

Typical Italian bistro music played (a bit too loudly) in the background.

Our server finally greeted us after more than 15 minutes and took our drink order. Seemed like a long time considering they really were not that busy. At least they had Peroni. Ahhh, such a good beer! We sipped the beer as we reviewed the menu.

The menu features a good selection of dishes with reasonable pricing, especially for a tourist area like the outlet shops. As with most Italian restaurants, we were provided bread and olive oil. The oil was infused with rosemary. Not very flavorful. The caesar salad was okay. Dressing could have had more garlic. Skip the crutons. They were just bad.

We ordered Baked Cheese Tortelloni (Creamy meat sauce tossed with ricotta cheese baked with mozzarella and parmesan. $9.99) and Carino's Favorites Combo
(Bountiful combination of lasagna, chicken parmigiana and spaghetti with marinara

After 30 minutes the food arrived. It was not impressive, but there was a LOT of it. The tortelloni was horrible. More like very bad mac 'n cheese. The combo was a little better with the lasagna the standout, but nothing to write home about. The marinara sauce was very runny and not much of it.

When the server came back to check on us, we complained about the tortelloni. The served seemed uninterested and walked off. The manager arrived a few minutes later and asked if there was anything he could do. We told him there was not much anyone could do about that particular dish. He offered anything on the menu as well as any dessert we wanted. We asked him to take the charges off the bill and provide feedback to the kitchen.

He did.

At this point we were in no mood to stay, so we paid our bill and left.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Nice Family Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2010

When I first tried to write about Carino's, TA did not have it listed, so I supplied the name and address and they have included it. We had been driving for a few hours on our way to San Jose for the State DestinationImagination competition. We were hungry and in the mood for Italian and we stopped at Carino's. It was clean and well maintained and our wait time was less than 5 minutes. Maybe we just got lucky. Because this review is over 3 months old, I have forgotten our waiters name, but he was one of the best servers I have encountered. He was attentive to our needs and constantly checked on us to see if we needed anything. I have been to some restaurants where the server takes forever to take your order and after that, you see them only when they deliver the food or the bill. Not a Carino's. This gentleman kept an eye on our water, brought us bread, wanted to know how we liked our food, etc. A very, very pleasant experience. Give them a try. We go to northern CA once or twice a year and we will be sure to return to Carino's.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Johnny Carino's Italian also viewed


Been to Johnny Carino's Italian? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Johnny Carino's Italian, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.