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“Taste of italy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cucina Urbana

Cucina Urbana
505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634
+1 619-239-2222
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Ranked #39 of 4,043 restaurants in San Diego
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 5th Avenue
Description: CUCINA urbana is a California inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop. Owner Tracy Borkum's flair for combining great ambience, award-winning cuisine and unparalleled service are once again starring components in this Urban Kitchen Group creation. The restaurant is being heralded as the leader in the new regime of affordable dining in San Diego and has been the subject of praise from numerous local and national publications. The restaurant's interior evokes a modern kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse. A touch of home, splash of bohemia and many objects new and old attract the eye. A focus on raw, sustainable material and reclaimed local material is found throughout. Discarded fence boards recovered from San Diego county wrap columns, walls, service stations and the back bar. Chef Joe Magnanelli's menu offers affordable selections of vasi + antipasti + boards + insalate + pizza + pasta + piatti + dolce. His whimsical expression of Italian classics coupled with the use of the freshest local produce, and organic and sustainable products comprise a diverse menu with all items at or below $20. Whether dining traditionally or 'family style', guests have become hooked on favorites such as stuffed fried squash blossoms, ricotta gnudi, braised black cod and veal piccata. Wines of 'The Americas,' including California, Washington, Oregon, Argentina, Chile and Italy are among the major wine-producing regions offered in CUCINA urbana's retail priced Wine Shop. Guests are invited to visit the restaurant's retail area to select a bottle for lunch or dinner (a corkage fee of $8 applies) or purchase wine to go. Additionally, CU plays host to a monthly 'Winemakers Series,' where guests are invited to enjoy hors d'oeuvres, taste a variety of wines and mingle with a winemaker in a casual, informal setting. - Most menu items $20 and under - strong commitment to seasonality + sustainability - organic + local product used whenever possible - wines from the Americas and Italy - sold at retail pricing - special discounts for cases of wine to go! - Local artisan beers + italian favorites - housemade infused liquors + specialty cocktails
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Taste of italy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013 via mobile

Good food good wine some beer. Fresh. Pasta fast service. A busy place with a good looking crowd. 1 of our favorite places. We always sit at the bar

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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386 reviews from our community

87% Recommend
    247
    91
    35
    10
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
california
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Revolutionary”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013 via mobile

Everything you want in a neighborhood restaurant but what I'm still marveling over is "do you have any food allergies?"
Won't do the full rant but if you have problems, restaurant dining is more of a challenge than a pleasure so I hope these folks start a trend. People die from some of this stuff so I'm not talking just gluten... Anyway I wish I lived in that area-Lasagna perfectly composed, Caesar best ever - slightly warm, very flavorful not the too lemony, sticky, damp huge chunks you usually get. Wine is priced at retail!!! Awesome place really...cozy, great art.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“interesting italian”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Had an excellent meal..had the octopus and amatriaciana. The ambiance is very enticing. My only issue was that i was eating solo and was limited where i could sit.a table was not offered,

  • Visited August 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.
Edison, New Jersey
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

This place is so cute! We were lucky to get in at 5:30 pm on a Friday at the communal table so definitely make reservations. The ambience is very nice, dimly lit, communal tables, regular tables and bar seating, they have a kids menu, I had the fig and gorgonzola pizza which was very good, the pasta my husband had the short rib pappardelle which was amazing; perfectly cooked pasta.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 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.
Bradford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“First Night Treat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

For my first proper night in town, I knew I wanted to treat myself, so after checking out the reviews, I booked a table at Cucina Urbana, and boy am I glad I did!

A great looking place inside, and although it was fairly busy, it still felt like a relaxing place to be. The staff were attentive without ever being overbearing.

And the food? Oh my gosh the food! Just sublime. Especially the Lasagna Al Forno I had as my main.

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