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Restaurants & Bars 1

OC-Northern Italian on the Coast-Modo Mio

kc girl | Mar 6, 200507:09 PM

I have enjoyed this new location a few times and wonder why I don't recall seeing it mentioned before on this website. Modo Mio Cucina Rustica started in Pacfic Palisades and now has one more location in the new Crystal Cove Promenade across the street from the ocean.

I'd like to hear from other chowhounds about this place.

I enjoyed the simplest of their salads, insalata verde. The chef sent a complimentary dish of mushrooms, lightly dressed in olive oil, lemon, and mild herbs. Light and fresh tasting, but I'd never seen fresh mushrooms prepared in lemon before. The texture was approaching the canned button mushrooms-not closely, but that's as close as I can described it. It was tasty, and I just wondered if that's what lemon juice does to the texture of fresh button mushrooms. I think I'm going to learn to put lemon in my Italian dishes in some ways. It's refreshing. And, coupled with the salad, there were many flavors to enjoy. The simple plate of salad with tomato had five or six or more varieties of greens, lightly dressed in oil and mild herbs. The most enjoyable to me that evening was finding whole blades of mild tarragon in the mix of greens. I mixed a few bites of the mushrooms with it and enjoyed it totally.

I sipped on a a glass of Greco Di Tufo, Mastroberardino (Campania) 2001. I ordered the
halibut offered as the Pesce del Giorno; happens to be my favorite fish. It was glorious. I ordered it grilled rather than sauted, and it was as tender as if prepared in a Tagine; fresh and flavorful. Serving was a small portion so far as other places offer, but it was a larger portion than I wanted to finish at the time, so no complaints. Small amount of grilled vegetables and potato (four or five pieces of roasted potato) provided no leftovers.

The lasagna is wonderful. The gnocchi is definitely homemade. I was very pleased to find that. I love potato gnocchi. However, they were not light from riced potatoe, but stick to your ribs full of flour variety. And, the salmon is a nice dish. Nothing surprisingly new, but so very fresh and tasty.

I'd like to go once a week or more for the next couple of months since it's within 10 miles of my home. But, just the excuse of a walk on the beach can get me in that direction, too. Have a "holiday" any day just looking at the panoramic coastline enroute or during an after dinner stroll. I want to try the risotto and their asparagus salad and their calimari. And several other options. Thing is, the prices are so reasonable, I would enjoy even going twice a day.

I don't usually gush about Italian restaurants. This Italian restaurant could become a favorite for me. Maybe it's the salty air, but I'm hooked.

The staff is not yet super knowledgable, but they are so darn nice and very professional in quest that I was quite comfortable with them without complaint.


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