Heard a lot about this place, so we had great expectation... well-well, not so fast. It's a very busy, very popular restaurant in trendy South Park, San Diego. The crowd is nice, mixed, colorful, different ages and familiar status.
Ambiance: We ate outside on a patio, which was ok, but definitely nothing spectacular. Rather odd, different size and shape, tables stand very close, if you get a loud neighbor (which we did) - oh well, that could be the end of your own conversation, unless you want to outscream them. No candles and, of course, no flowers. String lights and heaters are present. The nice thing about the patio is that about one half of it is under a couple of big, nice acacia trees - ads nature motif, which is sweet.
The staff: the waiters are running with Italian "flair"... I think, some of them are really Italians. They are extremely busy serving all the clients and quite attentive, someone was always coming and asking us if we needed anything every 5 or so minutes. Good synergy is going on between the people that work there, waiters, busboys. A little more uniform and neat attire could be added, it would not hurt not to see the waiter's underwear and saggy pants - this is not Italian, I would tell you for sure, I just came back from that country.
The food: that is probably what people expect out of the restaurant the most... We had rather good Italian wine, Minestrone soup - excellent, pizza (as our waiter told us, we ordered their most popular one - Sergio) - was hmmm... rather good. Great tasting crust, but - soggy in the middle, smothered with prosciutto and lots of arugula. Promised mozzarella buffola on it I definitely could not taste, whatever cheese it was - it was all melted, no expected nice hunks of it on top of pizza. Tiramisu - really needs more COFFEE!! tasty, but all cream... where is espresso?.. my Italian friends, Tiramisu is made with espresso, make a note of it. Coffee was good, nicely served, hot milk on the side - complimenti!
So, even though we rather liked the place and most likely will give it another try, overall I would not rate it more than 3.
Grazia and ciao (the reason I through all these Italian words is because those waiters are kind of pouring them on you like they are trying to impress you... :)