Ciao Boun Chow
Hey-a, do ya want a spicy meat-a-ball-a? Buon Appetito (1609 India St) is by far my favorite Italian restaurant in San Diego with its authentic staff and ability to transform simple ingredients into a Rubik’s cube for the palate.
A cup of crushed tomatoes, basil and garlic arrive with a basket of bread and I think they must put heroin in this mixture- a clean and strong finish that coaxes me back again and again like a struggling addict (a minimum of two cups necessary.)
Duck salad: MUST ORDER!! I’m not usually someone that remembers salad as a favorite entrée, but this one has me thinking green. Their stand-out, balsamic vinaigrette sinks its kung-fu grip into the leaves with distinct thickness from the syrupy, aged vinegar. Sliced duck, lumps of goat cheese (in no way do they scrimp) and roasted pine nuts only up the ante to make it an official winner.
Homemade cheese ravioli: MUST ORDER!! The difference between homemade vs. storebought pasta is like fishsticks vs. fresh sushi. There's no contest and these raviolis exemplify what pasta should be - filling warmth that remains light. It amazes me every time how something so simple can make my mind do cartwheels. Memories of their pink sauce won’t be forgotten.
Meat lasagna: an edible high-rise arrived front and center with layers of ground beef, pasta and cheese. Though delicious, my scorecard still rated the salad and ravioli as the heavy hitters.
Things can get a little pricey here with pasta dishes around $20 and wine about $10 a glass, but well worth it when in need of a true Italian fix. Sidewalk seating, window tables beneath the wine case and expressive Italian dialogue amongst the wait staff instill a feeling of dining abroad while only minutes from home.*
*They also have a market next door that sells the pink sauce, "tomato heroin" and even the duck salad to-go.