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“Great atmosphere, average food, go for a drink beautiful bar.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Trattoria Neapolis

Trattoria Neapolis
336 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 792-3000
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Ranked #119 of 591 Restaurants in Pasadena
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Del Mar
Transit: South Lake Avenue Gold Station
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, average food, go for a drink beautiful bar.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012 via mobile

Live in Altadena, discovered this place just the other day. I believe they've been open for about 3 months, enough time to get their act together, or just slow to react. The atmosphere and decor is just what Pasadena needed, so hats off to them for spending a pretty good hunk of change and doing it well, kudos to the designer and owner for not holding back. If your looking for a fun sort of upscale/casual place to have a drink, head straight to the bar, it's beautiful. They have a great wood fire pizza oven, so it definitely has promise, but the're not there yet.

We ordered their house made lamb sausage with wood oven roasted peppers Angello pizza ($15) and wood grilled vegetable, house made ricotta lasagna ($15). Well, the food doesn't match up to the decor. Our hope is, since the owner spent good money on the restaurant, he/she can't afford not to step up the quality of the food. Both dishes came cold, which was minor problem compared to the quality. Let's not jump all over the server or chef to cover up for the inadequacies of the owner, because ultimately it's his/hers decision what leaves the kitchen.

The pizza was the size of a dinner roll plate (that's an exaggeration but) and the lasagna not much bigger. A tablespoon of meat on the pizza and the lasagna was dry and fell apart. We didn't finish either plate, no point. We can deal with small portions, that's not really the problem, but tiny $15 pizza, really. We can report they've got the pizza dough down pat, thin, crisp and chewy, perfect, so they have jumped the biggest hurdle, so let's get to work on the topping's.

Well, we can't say we're from Italy, but we've traveled enough through Italy to know and understand the food. We appreciated that they aren't trying to be your typical American Italian restaurant and have put a lot of effort into assembling a unique menu. So we encourage them to continue in that vein, but get back into the kitchen and get some flavor going.

So, definitely stop by this beautiful restaurant for a drink, you won't be disappointed and hopefully for them and you they'll have improved the food.

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62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    15
    9
    10
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
La Canada Flintridge, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

Although had read a number of reviews with poor ratings, we decided to try Trattoria Neapolis ourselves in hopes of a better experience....unfortunately we were dissappointed overall.
Positives:
I called on Sat. for a reservation that evening for 10 and was pleasantly surprised to receive a call back that they indeed could accommodate us. We were told we would be seated in the Garden room but were relocated to the wine room upstairs which we much preferred. Had an amazing cocktail at the bar, a campanula sour which was delicious. Also bartenders were welcoming and gracious. Food was good but not amazing and we did have to send a few meals back as they were quite cold.
Negatives:
The breakdown appears to be in the speed of service. Once seated, it took at least 15 min to receive cocktails ordered. The owner came to our table and introduced himself and noted all the "awards and recognitions" the restaurant had so far received. When we mentioned they could sell a lot more drinks if the service was faster, he acknowledged the problem and said they were working on it. He quickly left and never returned....after food orders taken, appetizers came in a timely manner but then we waited 1/2 hour or more for entrees. I ordered a salad to split with my spouse and it was placed in the middle of the table less than a minute before my entree arrived. It's ashame as it is a beautiful restaurant with friendly servers....just such poor timing or not enough help at the bar or in the kitchen. Hope to read better reviews in the future if they work these issues out.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Good pizza”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012 via mobile

I am a neapolitan living in Pasadena. I was suspicious of this restaurant who claimed to be true neapolitan but no Italians seemed to be involved. A number of items seemed rather strange combination - never had lobster arancini and no Neapolitan would put pancetta together with clams. We had the polipo, a bit hard and definitely not worth the price
Instead theis pizzas were good and tasty. The dough soft and not too heavy. They could have a few more choices of traditional toppings but on the whole worth going back for that.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Italy
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Good Italian Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

I am a Neapolitan - the real thing, not a second generation - my family and I live in Naples (Italy) since 4 centuries.... and I am a regular vistor to Pasadena... therefore when I saw this new place on Lake street I could not miss the opportunity to pay a visit.
The place is nice even though the tables are far too packed. I suggest to sit outside in what could be considered a "covered patio" or in the back since all the rest is (as usual in the USA) uselessly too dark (otherwise bring with you a torch in order to read the menu and to recognize who is sitting next to you).
Great bar with a nice choice of cocktails. The Martini cocktail was perfect.

The menu is a nice collection of italian dishes adapted to american taste and ingredients. I tried the Ossobuco with Cremolata and I found it delicious (the mix of american beef and the italian recipe of ossobuco led to a final product which was as close to heaven as I could imagine).

WIne choice of high level. There is even a Malvasia from Sicily which can be considered the best italian dessert wine.

I look forward at visiting the place again hoping that in the meanwhile they'll correct the only defect: the price is too high (ca. 100 USD all included ).

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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.
Pasadena, CA
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in Pasadena, hands down.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

I'm not a big review writer, but I used to be in the restaurant business in another life, and I have to salute these folks. My wife and I had dinner with another couple there this weekend and all four of us were blown away.

The room is fantastic. Beautifully designed. Every member of the staff we encountered from the moment we walked in was smiling. Yeah, that's just a policy, I'm sure. But it does amazing things to creat an environment where people really want to smile, on both sides of the bill.

The bar menu is full of inspired cocktails, craft brews, and wines. A lot of "mixology" drink menus strike me as weird for the sake of weird. These, however, were uniformly delicious -- at least the four unique drinks we tried. Smart people at work.

The cuisine is innovative Italian -- inspired updates of familiar dishes (okay, and not-so-familiar in a few cases). Our server was... well, flawless. Friendly and knowledgeable without being in any way intrusive or pushy. His recommendations all paid off. The hand-cut linguine vognole with clams and jalepeno was fantastic. The pizza were deliciously wood-fired, yet soft and fluffy, not stiff or brittle. Halibut? Great. Pork chop? Great. Etc, etc.

The desserts were first rate. Try the non-traditional Tiramisu -- roasted peaches, homemade caramel, fluffy ladyfingers and zabaglione... holy cow. Worth a trip itself.

The owner was working the room, extolling the (quite impressive) credentials of his staff. He was clearly a little nervous, but he will soon be able to relax. This restaurant will be around for a long, long time.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.

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