I was stuck at the Cambridgeside mall for 2 hours today while a genius at the Apple store repaired my daughter's macbook. We lunched at California Pizza Kitchen, an establishment that I would avoid under normal circumstances. Big surprise - the fusilli with fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and brocolli rabe was superb. The pasta wasn't anything special - could have been prince or muellers - but it was cooked perfectly al dente and the sauce was amazing, redolent of decent olive oil and roasted garlic. I wouldn't have sent it back at Prezza.
So here's the question. Have you encountered any superb dishes at mediocre restaurants?