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.

“Great Italian food”
Review of CUCINA urbana

CUCINA urbana
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 #13 of 4,931 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
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. - 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
Reviewed June 23, 2014

Our last night in San Diego, I decided that my wife and I would do something other than Mexican. I found that Cucina was rated a top new restaurant, so we tried it.
The restaurant is not in their Little Italy section, but in an attractive downtown neighborhood. We parked on the street but they do offer valet parking for a very reasonable price.
Our reservation was last minute and they was totally booked on a Monday night. They did offer us a high top in the Atrium which was actually very good seating.
We started with fried squash flowers, delicious! Then the Farmers salad, also very good and enough for us to share. My wife had the lasagna and I had the shrimp over Angel hair pasta. Both delicious. They have an extensive wine list with reasonable prices.
If I lived in San Diego, this would be my go to restaurant for Italian food!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ehad2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (785)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

365 - 369 of 785 reviews

Reviewed June 17, 2014

The price of the meal was to be expected, but overall the taste of the food, atmosphere, and service made it well worth it. I had the sausage crusted veal and it was some of the best food I have ever had. I called 30 minutes ahead to make a reservation with no problem, was 10 minutes late, and they sat me immediately anyways. Keep in mind this was a Monday and not a Fri. or Sat. evening. If you are looking for a great atmosphere with delicious food then don't hesitate to check out Cucina Urbana

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ERIC W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2014

I am not a fan of nutella, but this dessert was the exception. Entire meal was very good. From the appetizers (cheese plate special was a bargain) to salads (beet salad very good but common) to the uncommon (whole salt fish) it bordered on excellent.

Wait staff was great, very accommodating of late arrival of half of our party. It was a bit pricey at $400+ for 5, but we ordered up, including lots of wine, which was very good as well.

Only complaint was noise factor. Some like this, I like to talk to fellow diners without shouting.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Truthbetold2U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2014

This is a place where you can get more common dishes (e.g., pizza) as well as more unique dishes (e.g., squash blossoms). The squash blossoms are amazing. Our group ordered one order of squash blossoms and then quickly ordered another. The food was very good and the selection of microbrews was great too.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JFulkerson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

We have eaten at Cucina on Laurel many times, and always been very happy. Then we went to the Cucina in Del Mar. What a difference.... Our squash blossoms were lukewarm. The pork shoulder ragu on the polenta of the day tasted like a sweet barbeque sauce. The pancetta on our pizza was raw, yes, raw. Our server and the manager told us pancetta is always served raw. Really, where? Proscuitto is served raw, it's aged ham, pancetta is bacon, always cooked. No apology or offer of another pizza. They were just defensive about their really bad pizza. The bucatini wasn't bucatini, which is hollow, it was spaghetti and the sauce was too sweet. The chocolate dessert had a nice presentation, but the burnt almond on it was bitter. The panna cotta had a topping that tasted like Wheaties. Seriously, this is the same Cucina Urbana? Oh, and our server never, ever smiled. Not once. His service was good, not great, but smile!! None of us six will ever return to Del Mar.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Viaggiante118
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?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing