Monday, April 17, 2006

momma mia!

Mr. Cupcake and I went shopping for new mattresses on Saturday. It turned out to be a lot of work laying on mattresses and dealing with the sleazy salesmen. We were famished after the first store, so we headed out to University Ave in Palo Alto to find some grub. I wanted Italian food. I always want Italian food. I love Italian food. We perused the street, and eventually settled for La Strada. It was the only Italian restaurant filled with people.

I was a little disappointed when I started looking over the menu. There didn't seem to be very many pasta dishes other than ravioli and seafood. I don't usually care for ravioli because most places stuff the ravioli full of cheese. It really turns me off. Mr. Cupcake narrowed his decision down to two dishes. It was either the Casonsei alla Bergamasca (ravioli filled with homemade sausage and topped with brown butter) or the Chitarrine con Sugo d' Agnello (shoestring pasta with braised lamb in a Montepulciano wine). I told him I'd get the ravioli and then he wouldn't have to decide. I agreed to the ravioli because there wasn't any mention of cheese.

While we waited for our food, the waitress brought out bread and a small container filled with some sort of seasoned tomato paste. The bread was warm, spongy and had a crispy crust. I couldn't get enough. The waitress had to fill our basket 3 or 4 times. I wasn't sure what to think of the tomato paste at first. It eventually grew on me though and I ate the whole thing. I should have taken a picture, but I guess the famine had taken its toll and I forgot.

I was impressed by the overall presentation of my meal. The ravioli reminded me more of dumplings, but they were very good. The ravioli was filled with little sausage meatballs. I also loved the fact that they make their own pasta and sausage. The dish was topped with roasted garlic cloves (yum!), sage, and guanciale. I thought the guanciale was bacon, but after doing some research, I now know it's the jowels of the pig. Tasty nonetheless.

Mr. Cupcake loved his dish. The meat sauce was like a hearty ragout. He also loves fresh pasta. We traded plates about halfway through and agreed that both meals were excellent.

Our total bill before tip was $30 for two dishes and an iced tea. We'll definitely come back to La Strada. I wasn't expecting to have such a pleasurable meal for lunch that day. I haven't had good Italian food since I've been out here, so this was a nice surprise.


Julie said...


madame cupcake said...

hi julie.

Hungry Jaye said...

Must say, I'm very much enjoying your blog. Until I get my camera replaced I'll be getting my food fill from others.

sarahkim said...

I was reading this entry in the computer lab, and it was making my stomach growl!