Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza
6133 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 278-9191

Giovanni’s is one of those restaurants that I’ve seen around, but didn’t really think much about trying it.  Last week, it was part of a groupon deal, so I thought it would be a good time to check it out.  There are two locations: one on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. and one on Balboa Ave.  The two locations have different menus, which can be found on their website.  I ended up choosing the Balboa location because I liked the menu.

We went on a Saturday night, and it wasn’t too crowded.  The atmosphere was very casual and laid back.  Our server was really friendly, and had a great memory.  She took all our orders without writing anything down (we had a group of 7), and didn’t mess up at all.

Our meals were served with complimentary garlic bread.  The bread slices were nice and thick.  But there wasn’t that much garlic flavor.

I had a real craving for pizza after be inundated with pizza commercials on tv lately from Pizza Hut’s $10 any pizza, and Domino’s new pizza formula.  So while normally I’m drawn to pasta dishes, I opted for a pizza.

I chose the Giovanni’s special: bacon, ham and beef.

I found the pizza to be too oily and the crust too thin.  I like thin NY crust pizza, but this thin crust was more like frozen pizza type crust.  I wasn’t impressed.

Little Sis had the Cannelloni, which contains chunks of chicken.  She didn’t really like it.  I took a bite and thought it was pretty bland.

Baby Bro’s Girlfriend chose the meat ravioli.

Boyfriend ordered the Penne Salsiccia & Ricotta.  They were out of penne noodles, so he got spaghetti ones.  This was my favorite dish of the night.  There were tons of sausage and tomatoes.

Little Bro ordered the combination of lasagna and ravioli.  He said it was just okay.

Baby Bro ordered the spaghetti with red clam sauce.  While the dish was heaping with clams, Baby Bro complained that it lacked flavor.

All in all, it was a pretty mediocre experience.  The service was good, but we probably won’t be back.  Also, I thought their entrees were a bit pricey for such a casual joint. The pasta dishes averaged about $15.

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7 Responses to “Giovanni’s”

  1. Carol — February 5, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Aw, too bad the dishes were bland since they all looked good. I find a lot of the smaller Italian restaurants have a tendency to under season their sauces. I don’t know why that is. There are a couple places near my house that have the same problem.

  2. Kirbie — February 5, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Hehee. When I was writing this post, I was thinking that the dishes looked really good in the pictures. I’ve found a few smaller restaurants near me that I really like, so I was pretty disappointed with this place.

  3. Faye — February 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Wow. The pics look AMAZING. Makes me wanna drive over to the restaurant right now and order everything! So sad that it didn’t taste the way it looked :(
    The pics reminded me of the restaurant Pappachinos (sp?) in Del Mar. Food looks good but tastes ‘blah’.
    Nice post!

  4. Kirbie — February 8, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I need to take less appetizing looking pics of food dishes I don’t really like next time, heehee.

  5. Sergio — February 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I go this place all the times, and to me, the have good food, good flavor, may be can’t make everyone happy, because, not everyone has the same taste.
    They have two locations, and both has full house all the times…
    I LOVE GIO’S

  6. Kirbie — February 22, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I think that is one of the problems with food blogs. Everyone has different tastes. I hope you still find some of my other reviews helpful. Thanks for stopping by!

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