California CUISINE / RESTAURANT REVIEWS Italian TRAVEL

La Dolce Vita Trattoria & Mission Bay, San Diego

Update: This restaurant is now closed.

Our second day in San Diego was pretty eventful. We managed to fit in Sea World AND a few hours at one of the many beautiful beaches they have there. Needless to say, we had to wake up pretty early for this.

Sea World San Diego

Sea World San Diego

Seeing the beautiful orcas were worth it though. I loved every minute of Sea World. I was especially thrilled to go through a tube-like aquarium where you have sharks and other fish swimming above and around you. That part was really the main reason why I wanted to go to Sea World so badly.

Mission Bay beach

Afterwards the Mission Bay beach, which was just a few blocks from Sea World, was equally awesome.

The weather great, and the sand was just wonderful.  The water was cool but not cold.  We had lots of fun being foolish and taking goofy pictures.  We also had a froyo break but I had too many things in my hand I wasn’t able to take pictures of the place.  The froyo concept was like Yogurt Escape but this place was much smaller.  The froyo was icy too.

So for tonight’s dinner we went to a place that W’s boss recommended.  It’s still in the Mission Bay area (mind you, Mission Bay area is HUGE).  It’s a bit away from the beach so we ended up deciding to rent a car for two days.  Taxi-ing would’ve been a hassle.

We thought our car was pretty cool.  Here it is:

None of us had actually heard of this car before.  A Chevrolet HHR.  However, now that we know about it, we actually see quite a bit of them here in the Lower Mainland.  Perhaps I always mistook them for the PT Cruiser.

We really liked that it was bright red.  We dubbed it the firetruck.  However, we all agreed it’s fun to rent, not to own.

Anyways back to the food.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria

La Dolce Vita Trattoria seems to be a pretty authentic Italian restaurant to me.  When I called to make reservations, the guy on the phone had thick Italian accent.  Also, the owner of the restaurant is also the chef so that makes me feel quite reassured about the quality of the food we’re about to get.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria interior

It was a cozy little restaurant.  They actually have a lot of families dining here.  We were warmly greeted by the hostess/server.  It seems like a family business here.

But is there such thing as the service being TOO attentive?  Our server seems to be on a lookout for our needs.  Once we’ve finished with our plates, she’s stealthly come and reach under your arm even as you’re reaching for something else to grab the plate.  Even if your water glass is 3/4 full she’ll come around to refill it.  She comes by multiple times to make sure everything’s ok.  She saw me taking pictures, so she asks that I join their Facebook group and become a fan, and to post the pictures.  She was a bit too in-your-space.  But we could tell it was all in good intention though.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: bread basket

As for food, we were first served a really yummy bread basket.  It contains two types- a cheesy breadstick type, which was scrumptious.  It was crispy and soft.  The other was a soft crusty bun-type thing.  All was served with a sun-dried tomato dipping sauce, which is different from the usual balsamic vinegar and olive oil dipping sauce served at Italian restaurants.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: Tomato soup

All the pasta dishes come with unlimited soup and salad bar.  Today’s soup was a Tomato soup.  They said it tasted more like puree/pasta sauce since it was so thick.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: Chicken Peperoncino

I didn’t really ask my companions how their food were, but I didn’t hear anyone complain so I’m assuming it was either alright or pretty good.

O wanted to try the Chicken Peperoncino just because the name sounds interesting.  It’s a sauteed chicken over spaghetti in a sun-dried tomato, olive oil and garlic sauce.  Portions of all pasta dishes were adequate, not too large.

Oh, and we took advantage of the “Buy-1-get-2nd-entree-1/2 price” deal.  But we got stupid about it.  More about that later.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: Penne alla Vodko?

Haha well I honestly don’t remember what this was.  All I can tell you is, it was penne.  Sorry~!  It was probably the Penne alla Vodko, which obviously has vodka in it.  Just a guess though!

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: Fettuccine Bolognese

M ordered the Fettuccine Bolognese which is just a traditional fettuccine in tomato meat sauce.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: Fettuccine Primavera

F decided to be vegetarian for a day and ordered the Fettuccine Primavera, which is just pasta tossed with an assortment of veggies and olive oil.  I think she said that it’s a bit bland but still good.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: Pizza Rustica

Now as I’m not the biggest pasta fan, I decided to get a pizza instead.  I picked the Pizza Rustica which had sausage, mushrooms, roasted peppers and garlic on it.  It was really good, with a thin crispy crust, and it was LOADED with toppings.  It was really really fresh.

When we first asked about the 1/2 price deal, she told us that we can order any paste, large pizze, or entree to take advantage of the deal.  For some reason, even though there’s the 5 of use, so really we could only use the deal twice, we all ordered something that could fulfill the deal.

I originally would’ve ordered a small pizza, but because the server said only the large pizza was included in the deal, I decided to order the big one.  I thought “After all, how big could it be?  Boston Pizza’s pizzas are small so this should be too.”

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: Pizza Rustica

Well it was far from small.  It was HUGE.  To add insult to injury, I wasn’t really hungry to begin with, so I only forced down 2 slices.  The rest I had to pack to go in an equally large pizza box.  It was good though, because that meant I had the next 2 day’s breakfast accounted for.

La Dolce Vita Trattoria: Tiramisu

Miraculously M still had room for dessert.  I think actually that’s was her whole point of coming here.  She said she wanted Tiramisu even before we got here.

We ordered one to share.  It was pretty big and boy was it good.  Authentic homemade is always better for this type of thing.  The alcohol part wasn’t too strong, and it overall wasn’t too sweet.  I wished there was more mascarpone cheese flavor though.

All-in-all a good dinner to a good day.  I would highly recommend this restaurant again.

Mission Bay beach

La Dolce Vita Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Comment? Question? We'd love to hear from you!