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“BEAUTIFUL FRESH PASTA” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bencotto Italian Kitchen

Bencotto Italian Kitchen
750 W. Fir Steet, San Diego, CA 92101
6194504786
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Ranked #47 of 3,694 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Pasta
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: India Street/Kettner Blvd.
Rancho Mirage, CA
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“BEAUTIFUL FRESH PASTA”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

Typical of most city newer restaurants in style, close tables, open, noisy.....but what grand fresh pasta. Of the four dishes we ordered the Squid Ink Pasta with prawns was the winner by a mile. Meatballs, though all freshly ground great meat, just didn't excite. Wine list is excellent, moderate pricing, mostly Italian and there is no problem having a taste of unfamiliar wines until you find one you like.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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310 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    190
    80
    35
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chula Vista, California
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Enjoyable Experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

I made reservations for 2 for 6:30 PM on a Thursday night and we had no problem being seated right away.

Our server was friendly and helpful making recommendations for our meal, but early on seemed to want us to place our order quickly. She kept returning and interrupting as we were enjoying our drinks and conversing before looking at the menu. Once she got the hint that we wanted a little more time, she backed off.

We ordered the Salumi cured meats plate ($14, small) with the Gnocco Fritto as the appetizer, and they were quite good.

For the main course we both ordered the fresh pasta. With the pasta, you get to select from a list of pastas and then get to select from a list of sauces to go on the pasta--custom design your own plate.

We had the penne with Salisiccia sausage in spicy tomato sauce ($14) and the spinach, ricotta, and parmesan ravioli with the Al Formaggi creamy cheese sauce ($17). Both were delicious.

The restaurant has a very small, cramped seating area inside, and other guests and servers were walking past in very close proximity to our table, sometimes even bumping into me as they walked by. With its clean, contemporary design, there's nothing to absorb the sound, so it's quite loud making it difficult to carry on a conversation. In retrospect, it may have been more quiet to sit outside.

All in all, it was a mixed experience. The food was quite good, but the apparent rush to turn the table by the server and the loud, crowded atmosphere of the restaurant detracted from the enjoyment.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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United States
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Trendy, Fresh, Italian Spot”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

We were unsure where to go for a nice dinner in San Diego but glad we found Bencotto. Booked based on Trip Advisor reviews and it did not disappoint.

Its located just north of the airport in kind of an odd spot--as a tourist I didn't know San Diego had that kind of Little Italy section. The restaurant space is compact and modern. My one complaint, which kept me from giving four stars, is that the tables are crammed together and there isn't a lot of elbow room, so it isn't the most comfortable or relaxing. Very New York style.

That said, the service was good and the food excellent. I had the zucchini soup, which was unique--not something I'd want all the time, but interesting. The pasta was outstanding...obviously freshly made with a flavorful sauce. It had some sophistication to it--I wouldn't call really call it traditional "homestyle" but I don't mean that in a bad way.

The prices were VERY reasonable for the quality of the food.

Overall, I was very impressed would not hesitate to recommend. You will need reservations--we called the day of and they squeezed us in at an odd time, which worked for us...but if you want to eat at peak times call a few days ahead. They actually followed up with a call to ask how everything was--nice touch.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Danville, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Excellente!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

Bencotto was recommended to me by an native San Diegan as the "best Italian restaurant" in the city. Yes it is. The location is old school Little Italy neighborhood but in a modern building with a contemporary interior design. The food was excellent and the waiter's wine recommendation was on spot. Service was even and the outdoor patio made dinner complete. Two days later the restaurant manager called to ask how we enjoyed the restaurant....it exceeded expectations by a mile.

Don't miss the fried olive appetizer.....

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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San Diego
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“AMAZING Italian food!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

Stumbled on this new restaurant one night when our "old favorite" was slammed with a large party and we didn't feel like waiting. Lucked out that we were early for dinner and were able to sneak a table before they were too had a line. I'd recommend making reservations or you might wait an hour or more- we've come back unannounced since and couldn't get a table. And it's a little pricey. Expect dinner to be $60 for 2 with one glass of wine each. Amazing food! Unquestionably handmade pasta with amazing sauces to choose from! I can't wait to go back! It's our new favorite in Little Italy, and that's saying a lot as my husband's family is from the Old Country and it's hard to please him with "real Italian" food. This one's a hit!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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.

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