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Restaurants & Bars 1

Francos in Cypress - "a hidden gem?"

Joani Macaroni | Jan 20, 200804:44 PM

Ate at "Franco's Restaurant & Bakery" Saturday night on the recommendation of a friend. At first glance you might pass them by since they're in a very unpretentious strip mall (4453 Cerritos Ave., Cypress), several blocks east of the 605 freeway.

I checked the Chowhound archives and didn't see any posts for this place, so I'm sharing our experience. You walk in and see a walk-up window (they also do pizza and food to go) but then turn left into the dining area, which is nicely furnished and not "typical Italian" (no dripping candles in the bottles here). The decor is modern and there was a gentleman at the keyboard playing a variety of relaxing music. The wait staff is all nicely groomed and dressed and the only thing that strikes me as "odd" is the green checkered plastic table cloths. Other than that, the ambiance is very nice - flowers and candles on the table, attentive service. Warm, sliced bread and a garlic spread appear almost immediately.

We both select entrees from the specials the waiter describes to us. Hubby starts with a cup of onion soup with melted cheese and toast on top, I had a house salad. His entree is lobster ravioli, mine was a roasted chicken breast stuffed with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, in a pool of wine sauce with mushrooms. I'm not a gourmet, but THAT SAUCE WAS HEAVENLY and the chicken with its stuffing was delicious. Hubby was not as impressed with his ravioli. However, it all disappeared before I could get a taste, so I can't critique it for you.

Dessert was carrot cake and spumoni. Attention to little details was evident. (I strongly suspect that the lady who seated us is the "Mama" of a family-run business, and takes a lot of pride in it!). The carrot cake arrived on a beautifully colored plate and with an added flourish of thin drizzled sauce. The spumoni was delicious and came in a frosted parfait glass with a cookie (tasted a little like a lady finger but with a thin, crisp texture).

If you're looking for cheap this is not the place, but neither is it outrageously expensive. Dinner for two with iced tea (no appetizers or alcohol) and dessert was about $60. Their "House specialties" menu (entrees) range from 14.95 - 21.95.

I'd love to hear what dishes other Chowhounders have tried and recommend at Francos.

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