i know that initially there were YAY! raves and raves about FIORETTO TRATTORIA in culver city here at chowhound, then a few dissenting NAY opinions. just wanted to share a bit about my lunch experience there...
in preview, i will say is that i would have to agree with most of the NAYers.
our service was sort of unbalanced, which is okay, as she was the only one serving at lunch. But, she actually didn't appear too confident with what she was doing. She seemed nervous, stressed, harried, etc. and at one point, almost exasperated when i asked about the menu.
we ordered the timballo from the pasta selection onthe regular menu and the branzino from the "specials" menu.
the timballo is made from about fifteen rigatoni, stuffed with smoked chicken, raisins and pine nuts, are placed upright and packed together into a drum shape, sitting in shallow puddle of reddish orange sauce. there is mozzarella cheese is melted over the top, which holds the rigatoni to each other so they dont fall apart. the only thing I could think of when I saw it in front of me was the way teeny Vienna sausages look, packed into that little pull-top can.
I didnt like the timballo. The rigatoni were hardand dry, as if they had been reheated in a microwave oven. the smoked chicken tasted as though it had been soaked too long in liquid smoke, completely overpowering everything else. the texture of the filling was so dry that even the red pepper tomato sauce wasnt enough to moisten it. I only ate about three of the rigatoni and left the rest in the bowl.
timballo didnt taste good, but the branzino was absolutely terrible. i won't go into the painful details, but it involved blubber, bones, and scales. there were fish bones in every bite, and i even had scales with the single bite that i took!!
i'm sorry to hate on a darling of the chowhounds, because i'm not really hating, but just wanted to share that my meal there was pretty bad.