We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Will not return” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cucina Urbana

Cucina Urbana
505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634
+1 619-239-2222
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Cucina Urbana is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #40 of 4,041 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
Ventura, California
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Will not return”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

An interesting menu and great wine list. It is quite difficult to get a reservation. It is far too large and noisy. Impossible to hold a conversation with your dinner partner. We will not return.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

384 reviews from our community

87% Recommend
    246
    91
    34
    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
The Woodlands, Texas
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Shocking discovery.....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

As an vino aficionado, one of the first thing I view is the wine list. A number of wines came in at $15 and $17. Was this per glass? Nope, per bottle. The Cucina sells its wine retail...shockingly refreshing.
Now, the food. Outstanding. The fried squash blossoms, the pork belly appetizer, whole cooked fish, zepplies with blueberry sauces. All of these were excellent. Enjoy the wine...as it should be!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Flavors as appealing as the menu”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We had an early dinner before a play in Balboa Park, so we sampled a few small dishes and a "foraged mushroom" pizza. Everything was delicious! Next time we'll stay longer and explore more of their creative menu.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Travelers who viewed Cucina Urbana also viewed

 

Been to Cucina Urbana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Cucina Urbana, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.