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“Before a morning flight, eat well.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of LA Collina

LA Collina
355 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030
(650) 652-9655
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Ranked #3 of 86 Restaurants in Millbrae
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Hillcrest Blvd.
Gualala
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Before a morning flight, eat well.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We have made multiple visits to this fine, authentic Italian restaurant, when we stay near the San Francisco Airport prior to a morning flight. We have never had less than a delicious dish and have sampled the menu fairly broadly. It feels like a traditional neighborhood restaurant with a classic decor, and the food is prepared with care. The owners are friendly the service is efficient and non-intrusive. The sauces are rich and the veal dishes particularly good. The wine list reasonably complete and not overpriced. It can be a bit noisy when crowded, but we usually go early when it is quiet. We will return!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Excellent choice for dinner near SFO”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013 via mobile

If you are looking for authentic Italian fare this place is for you. A cosey atmosphere, friendly staff , and excellent food . I highly recommend this this moderately priced restaurant.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
petaluma, california
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Comfortable, quiet and very good”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

La Collina is an endangered species and should be treated gently: we don't want this type of restaurant to disappear.
What it is not is a loud, hard-edged chain where the food is about as authentically Italian as a bowl of catfood.
What it is, is a small, padded jewel box of an Italian restaurant. The food is well-prepared and served pleasantly. It's the type of small, unprepossessing, very good restaurants many small towns used to have -- family-owned and operated, establishments that are friendly and kind. All too often these have been replaced by glitzy, faux-ethnic places that over-salt and over-serve.
Here the flavors are honest and clean. The portions are correct: not too large, not too small. This is, there is no other word for it, home cooking.
It's the type of restaurant that has regulars: folks who come several times a week because they know they'll get a good meal, decently priced and nicely served. I wanted to beg them to move to my home town: I'd gladly eat here frequently.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Hampshire, UK
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Relaxing restaurant, good choice of excellent food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

We returned here on several evenings during the San Francisco phase of our 2012 USA vacation.
The restaurant is a short walk (100yds) from the Fairfields Inn & Suites Millbrae (the only problem is crossing the road, but the local council appears to be implementing pedestrian crossings (I believe that the Americans call them "crosswalks"). The restaurant is in a row of shops on a service road set back from the main traffic flow; parking spaces are right outside if you choose to drive.

Good service, an excellent wine list, reasonably comfortable chairs. The ambience is of a small Italian village restaurant, perhaps alongside the Harbour in Amalfi.

We enjoyed ourselves, the meal and wine represented good value and we returned again.

Well done, La Collina.
Mike

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Meadow Vista, California
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Fork Tender Meat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

I decided to chance the service after reading the reviews lauding the food. I was met by the owner almost as soon as I entered and got seated immediately. I was alone in a small banquette for two. The restaurant has a double row of these down the middle of the room separated by a privacy wall. The outer walls have a line of similar tables for 4. Murals of Italy adorn the upper walls. Place was clean & fresh looking.

I had the Lamb Shanks Special, the meat was fork tender, didn't have to touch my knife for the meat, picked the bone clean with my fork. Veggies were slightly al-dente, there I used my knife. A bit of polenta, and a little penne pasta in a red sauce rounded out the plate. The shank was braised with zucchini, tomato, onion, & carrot, very tasty sauce.

I started with the garlic dipping sauce & bread which arrived with the menu, then a green salad, a glass of wine, the entree, and finished with some delightful but over priced Spumoni ($7.00). Total bill was about $45.00 before tip. Menu is Ala-carte.

The inadequate service complaint does have some basis. There were 3 service persons in the entire virtually full restaurant. The owner, one waitress, and a busboy/server. They handle jobs as they see them, I was served by all three during various parts of the meal. The problem just may be that one person doesn't take charge of one section, they all float everywhere, it means a lack of continuity. I didn't think they were grumpy, just stressed and distracted.

I thought the food was very good & would have given it 5 "stars" if the service had been more even. There was a loud table somewhere behind me that dominated the room, there's not much to absorb the sound so the place can be noisy. (or festive at their table).

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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