We found out about Ciao Pasta here on Tripadvisor, so one good turn deserves another. We considered it a real find. If you go to its website, you'll see a photo of its charming outdoor patio, but the photo doesn't begin to do it justice. Ciao Pasta is just a tiny bit away from the main part of San Juan Capistrano. If you turn to the right on Camino Capistrano from Ortega Highway (instead of left where most of the restaurants are), and turn around a small bend, you will see Ciao Pasta on your left.
The lovely patio, enclosed by old rock walls, looks over some of the old mission buildings with gracefull trees and and greenery surrounding them. The view is awesome and you could easily imagine yourself in some small Italian town miles away from everything.
The food is excellent and would be a reason to come here in itself. Combined with the scenery, it is a real winner. The menu has wonderful appetizers, salads, pastas, entrees & pizzas to choose from. I had a delicious pasta with mushrooms, rich and very tasty. My husband had one of the veal dishes with fabulous oven-browned potates. Both of these entrees came with a delightful small green salad which was just right with the richness and full flavors of the entrees.
If you have room left over for dessert - my tip would be to get the spumoni. Awesome to look at and to eat.
The restaurant has music on Friday nites and other events which are listed on their website. We haven't tried these yet, but definitely intend to in the future. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.