Saturday, October 5, 2013

Restaurant Review: Tomatina's

Tomatina - lunch on September 19, 2013
Tomatina is a conveniently-located-to-me casual Italian restaurant that's a good place to go for lunch with friends and/or colleagues.  They have 5 locations in the Bay Area and fortunately one very close to my office so it was a good place for a coworker and I to go for lunch during the week.  It pays to get there as close to noon as possible before the restaurant gets too busy when there might be a wait for a table.  It's not usually a very long wait but people from surrounding office buildings know they can get a good lunch for a reasonable price in a fairly short amount of time so it's popular with the business crowd on weekdays.

The interior is very casual with bench-style seating at both normal height and counter height tables.  There are also booths, 4-tops and 2-tops. Wood-fired ovens can be seen over the kitchen counter where Tomatina bakes its pizzas and piadines.  This is a good place to go for just 2 people or a crowd, especially if you have vegetarians in the group as there are plenty of meatless options on tap and you can easily fit a group of people at one of the long tables.  Between the pizzas, salads, piadines, pastas, and main entrees on their menu, there's an abundance of choices for varied tastes. Price points are at the medium range between $10-$20 per entree.  The entrees aren't feeding-trough-size but still a decent amount that you can eat well and still have leftovers to take long as you subscribe to the fact that restaurant portions aren't single servings :).

Bread served warm with marinara dipping sauce
Warm bread served with marinara dipping sauce is complementary and a good filler before your entree arrives. I normally order the spaghetti and meatballs but on this particular lunch, I went with lasagna since that's something I rarely make for myself.  I thought it was pretty good; the tomato sauce wasn't too sweet or too bitter and really, it's hard to fault anything served hot and blanketed in melted cheese.
Tomatina is known for their piadines: warm flatbread topped with cool salad and folded over into a pizza-like "sandwich".  I've never had one since I'm not a big salad-y person but on a prior visit with one of my nieces, we ordered the Pesto Chicken Pizza which was really good.  The crust isn't thick like a deep dish pizza but it's thicker than flatbread and more like an artisan-style pizza.  My niece and I were impressed with the artsy presentation of the pesto pizza as much as the taste.
Pesto Pizza Chicken
Also on that prior visit, I had the Shrimp Capellini.  Whenever I have noodle dishes, I generally prefer the thinner one so I don't get full as quickly (or so I tell myself).  With the shrimp and the underlying marinara sauce, I could even almost convince myself this was healthy, lol.  But this is a good choice if you don't like pasta with heavy sauces.
Shrimp Capellini

No comments:

Post a Comment