This past weekend, I met up with CC of Pink Candles at Ridgemont High for lunch at Solare Ristorante & Lounge. I’m always on the hunt for good Italian food and the reviews seemed promising.
The restaurant is located in Liberty Station and looks quite nice from the outside. I should have snapped a photo. I was running late and thought I’d snap one when I left, but I forgot.
It was such a nice day, we requested to sit outside.
We were served some complimentary bread with olive oil. The bread was just alright. We didn’t eat much of the basket.
After perusing the menu, we decided to share a pizza and a pasta.
CC mentioned she had never had carbonara and wanted to try it. I always smile when I see carbonara on a menu. The first time Mr. K cooked me a meal on his own, he attempted to make spaghetti carbonara. He had just come back from a winter vacation in Rome and his aunt taught him how to make it. Part of the process involves cracking a raw egg into the steaming hot pasta dish, and then tossing the noodles, which also cooks the egg. Unfortunately, Mr. K’s version ended up being a complete disaster. His slow cooking skills led to raw egg galore in our pasta. We still love laughing about the memory though.
Anyway, I did finally have proper carbonara in Rome, so I was happy to try out Solare’s version.
We both enjoyed the crispy pancetta on top. I also liked that the noodles were cooked al dente. While this version didn’t quite match up to what I ate in Rome (it was a little too eggy for me), it was a decent version and we polished off our plate. It also made me really want to try making my own.
Unfortunately, things took a turn for the less positive after that.
Pizza Verdue (mozzarella, farmer’s market vegetables)
Our pizza arrived and I loved the colorful display of fresh vegetables. A few moments after digging into the pizza, CC quietly informed me that there was a hair on her pizza. Sure enough, there was a short strand of light brown hair on her slice. Since it didn’t match either of our hair colors, it obviously was hair from the staff or kitchen. I then examined the pizza still on the table more closely and found a second hair. At that point, CC took the pizza to the staff and informed them of the hairs. They promptly made us a fresh pizza and apologized.
A few minutes later, a fresh pizza arrived. This pizza was noticeably hotter, which made me realize that our previous pizza had been served almost room temperature. We examined this pizza quite closely before eating it. The crust was crisper since the pizza was still so warm and the cheese was much more melty. However even though this pizza was fresher, we both had lost our appetites.
We asked to take the remains home, and the server said she would box it up and give it back to us. Well, we were distracted and didn’t realize that the server never brought back our leftovers. It wasn’t until I was unpacking my stuff later that afternoon that I suddenly realized it.
I was a little sad on how our lunch ended up turning out. I had enjoyed the atmosphere and the service and the menu looked promising. But now I can’t get the memory of the pizza incident out of my head.
I still had fun meeting up with CC though. She always has new snacks for me to try and this time I was gifted with quite a collection. I exhibited some remarkable self control and have only opened three of the items instead of tearing into all of them at once. I was particularly excited by the Nuteall & go which reminds me of those Asian snack packs where you dip the biscuit cookie into chocolate.
Solare Ristorante & Lounge
2820 Roosevelt Rd
San Diego, CA 92106