This week La Strada is rolling back prices to 1996 menu prices to celebrate its 10th anniversary. So if you live in the area, this is a chance to try this restaurant at slighly reduced prices.
There hasn’t been THAT much inflation since then so it knocks a few bucks off the menu. My ravioli alla Milano was $9.95 (with soup or salad). The regular price is $12.95. The big menu bargain is the marinated rib-eye steak which is $17.95 in 2006 dollars, marked down to $12.95, IIRC. It looked like a nice piece of meat. Desserts and wine are not reduced-priced. Also, only about 2/3 of the regular menu is offered.
The big blowout is Thursday night which is their anniversary party with live Italian music and accordionist Tom Cordoni. The Italian restaurant vibe of this place could make that very festive. There will be other groups performing on Friday and Saturday. I imagine Thursday is going to be busy. It was packed Monday night with locals taking advantage of the prices.
The food at La Strada is taste-wise of being mid-way between SF’s North Beach Restaurant and Pasta Pomedora (before it became a chain). So far nothing has amazed me, but the food is pleasant enough, the white table cloth restaurant a step above any other local eatery. Meals come with house-made foccacia and Maggiora Italian bread. The dish of olive oil is chock full of chopped garlic and herbs. That oil for dipping is one of the highlights of La Strada.
Tonight/s soup was minestrone, more of a tomato-based vegetable soup, light on the veggies that included cabbage, carrots, potato and celery. They grate as much cheese on the soup as you would like. The plate of ravioli with “veal, sage and chicken in a sauce of sausage” was in a pinkish sauce. None of the flavors jumped out but again, it was pleasant. The sausage reminded me more of a bologna than an Italian sausage.
I skipped dessert since there wasn’t a discount. The cheesecake looked good and the tiramisu looked respectable The restaurant has a big local Italian clientele. The staff is of the old Italian school type. They are there to get the food to the table. I really like one of the owners or managers who is always smiling, warm and welcoming.
One of the owners worked at North Beach Restaurant before opening La Strada and the stamp of that restaurant is really evident here. North Beach Restaruant is not a SF restaurant I like, but far from the city in an area that is full of bare bones mom and pops, I find myself liking La Strada in spite of myself. Certainly not a destination, bur for San Pablo it does just fine.
I would guess the food hasn’t changed since the restaurant opened. So it is a true 1996 experience ... does anyone remember 1996?
2215 Church Lane
San Pablo, CA 94806
Monday - Thursday: 11am to 9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am to 10pm
Sunday: 11:30am to 9pm
Previous La Strada report