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“Luscious Lunch”
Review of CUCINA urbana

CUCINA urbana
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Ranked #25 of 5,244 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian, Wine Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, 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 7 March 2018 via mobile

Wonderful Italian kitchen, literally, with a calming ambiance in downtown San Diego. Five of our group ordered four pizzas, which are large enough to share family-style and still have slices to go. Each was crafted with fresh ingredients that created complex flavors. Another member had a smoked chicken salad, again with fresh ingredients and quite good. Be sure to top off your lunch with the gelato sampler.

Thank Cory S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 - 35 of 853 reviews

Reviewed 5 March 2018

After a day at the Zoo we looked for a nearby restaurants and found CUCINA urbana was highly rated. So we made a last minute reservation and were seated promptly when we arrived 45 minutes later. They had removed the corkage fee that night which prompted us to buy a bottle of wine which was very reasonably priced. The waiter helped us choose between a couple of bottles and it was outstanding. We ordered some cheese bread to start which came out quickly. We found it delicious but that may be because we were starving. My wife ordered the spaghetti and meatballs which she found perfect size and flavorful. I ordered the rigatoni which was a bit spicy which I like.

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Thank danielgX3382KR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2018

Went with family and immediately hit by the noise which is great but it IS hard to hold a conversation when you have to shout
WIne list is amazing and prices reasonable (by Restuarant standards)
Had Carpaccio starter which was great but too much vinegar - and chicken liver pate was excellent

Main course of Osso Bucco was amazing but the Branzino was covered in almonds and cous cous etc and skin side up (skin very bitter) so hard to eat although it was nice otherwise.
The waiters were really great - very lively and professional

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Thank njandrews2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2018

We stopped in after visiting Balboa Park and were happy to find some very tasty food and wine available between the typical lunch and dinner hours. The atmosphere is appealing; cozy feeling while still being spacious and interesting. The service was prompt and friendly and the menu options were good. We shared a pizza and an appetizer, both of which were very tasty and served quickly (though it was not too busy when we were there). I will definitely come back to enjoy dinner here sometime.

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Thank Jhartman61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2018 via mobile

My wife and I went for dinner, we did not have a reservation so we sat in a comunity table, service is fine, the food was not that great, we had octopus, tuna, pizza and dessert. The octo was good flavor bad texture, it felt tender but over grilled, the tuna was the bad one, not seasoned , there was not a grin of salt on it!!! I had to ask for salt and added a good amount, after that it got better!! pizza and dessert were great!

Thank Jonathan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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