Review – Cucina Urbana in Banker’s Hill San Diego

A short notice birthday celebration turned into a meal in one of San Diego’s most popular restaurants, Cucina Urbana. Here’s what I thought:

Ambiance: The place is always crowded, so make reservations a few days/week early.  It’s a very alive restaurant that isn’t overly loud.

Service: Kristin, our server, hit everything right. Asked all the right questions, was there when we needed her and even split the bill in our large party without request. Huge fan.

Price: To quote my favorite shirt from O’Brien’s pub, “I didn’t come here to save money or lose weight.”  Entrees were in the $18-22 range…and worth every penny.

Veal picatta with capers, pancetta, spring peas & shaved brussels sprouts on top

Review: We arrived a bit early, which was fine because they didn’t make us wait for the entire party [note to other restaurants: they were extremely busy but still saw fit to seat us without the whole party, a real positive in my book).  Being big squash blossom fans from the ones at Alchemy in South Park, we gave those a shot first up.  They were lightly fried with a nicely seasoned ricotta.  No complaints.  I went with the veal picatta (technically we ordered two entrees and shared, but this is supposed to be relatively short). Very, very good meal. You know those dishes where you can taste all of the distinct flavors at the same time and they work really well together?  This was that dish.  I’m not even a big pea fan, but the way it combined with the pancetta and the capers was quite nice.

local tip: there is good parking about three blocks west of the restaurant and they have valet parking, so if you’re running late just roll up, I think it’s $7.

Nearby: I was in a hurry so only noticed a French restaurant called Hexagone, haven’t tried it yet, but please send me a review if you have.

Dinner Lottery: Enter your review of any restaurant in San Diego here for a chance to win dinner for two (including drinks).

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