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“Truly Italian experience with wonderful pasta selections” 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 #53 of 3,725 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Pasta
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: India Street/Kettner Blvd.
Richardson, Texas
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Truly Italian experience with wonderful pasta selections”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

This restaurant is located in the heart of the Little Italy area of San Diego, just a few blocks off of the downtown itself and about five to ten blocks from the waterfront. It is three trolley stops from convention center and the large hotels located there. The restaurant itself has a nice selection of authentic Italian dishes, great pasta and can nicely handle a group of 30-40 folks in an upstairs balcony area.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 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.
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325 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    198
    86
    36
    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
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

Walked up without a reservation on a Wednesday and found Bencotto's to be busier than we had anticipated. Short wait and we were shown to a nice table and proceeded to review the menu. Our waiter came and was very helpful explaining the specials as well as the base offerings. We both ordered fresh pasta, one with the Alle Noci sauce and the other with Arrabbiata. Both dishes exceeded our expectations as the sauces were amazing and the pasta perfect. Service was perfect, just the right amount of attention. Our only regret is we don’t live in San Diego, otherwise we would be regulars!

  • Visited May 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Mirage, CA
Level Contributor
168 reviews
131 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chula Vista, California
Level Contributor
102 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
40 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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