I tried Gales for the first time on Saturday night. Since we didnt have a reservation, we sat in the bar area, which has a few tables and was surprisingly quiet (compared to the main dining room).
To start off, my friend and I shared a half order of the house salad (baby greens with pine nuts and parmesan cheese with balsamic dressing). Though the salad was simple, it was rather tasty. There was also a basket of warm rustic bread, which I thought was pretty good and crunchy in texture. Little did I know, that was the best part of the meal.
For the main course, we both ordered from their daily special menu. My friend had the ravioli de mer (I think it was ravioli filled with shrimp and salmon in a creamy lobster sauce). The taste was okay, but nothing special. I had a similar dish at Ciao in downtown, which I thought was much better. For me, I had the thyme roasted scallop with corn risotto. There were three scallops with the risotto, which were plump and tasty. But the risotto itself was just awful. It was the worst rendition of risotto I ever had. It was bland, soggy and mushy. I know that risotto is cooked in wine and broth, but its also supposed to be drier, firm and have a thick consistency. What this tasted like, was rice with cream of corn. I was only able to eat a few spoonful of it. With three scallops and a bit of rice, needless to say, my stomach was left filling rather empty.
I was hoping dessert would make up for the poor main dish. So, we decided to share a chocolate chip cannoli. The cannoli came to the table with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate sauce. To my disappointment, it was filled with neither ricotta nor marscapone. The filling was just some sort of chocolate-tasting cream. Without calling for authenticity, it was an okay dessert.
So overall, my experience with Gales is that they are just an Americanized-Italian restaurant. The ambience and service was fine. Everyone, particularly our waiter/bartender was quite friendly. The food, on the other hand, was below average.
Anyone has similar experience with Gales? or it was just my bad day?
Does anyone know where I can find a good cannoli in LA? (Maybe like the ones from Mikes Pastry in Bostons North End.) I really missed them . :-P~~~
Gale's Italian Restaurant and Bar
452 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105