424 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA | Directions 9103034.120729 -118.149991
Neighborhoods: San Marino
Great Experience! – My girlfriends and I try to meet their at least once a month for dinner. We usually start out in the bar, they have a killer happy hour. Everytime we go into the restaurant we always get such friendly service and they have really attractive waiters which always adds to the experience:) We always indulge in their martinis, they have amazing martininis and I have yet to order an entree that I didn't absolutely love. If you try this place out I recommend sitting on the patio (very romantic) and either having their BBQ chicken pizza which is so good, the Chicken Ceasar or the Gumbi, its this house special with meatballs and cheese. Anyway, if you live in the area its a must try.
Great Itallian food – I went in there last Friday with some friends for the first time. We had to wait a little while but we had some stiff cocktails from the bar while we waited. What a great place for happy hour. we met the very friendly owner who sat us and gave us his favorite recommendations. The place is so cute, very Italian! Candlelit, Italian music, photos from Italy. Our server was awesome. She told us it would take about 25-30 minutes for our food and it was worth the wait. We had the Marsala, pizza, a pasta with the house sauce and a few others. It was all yummy. On the contrary to one comment, I found the Gnocchi to be perfectly "Aldente" and not mooshy or soft. I use to live in Italy and thats how youre supposed to make it. Anyway, two thumbs up, Im a big fan.
NOT GOOD AT ALL – The food is plain and uninspired, canned tomato sauce (or it tastes like it), and is more like bar food than that of a restaurant. Service was slow, flippant and unattentive. The food really needs help.
I don't know which was worse...... – The service or the food. My wife and I had decided to try Carmines after passing by it so much on Fair Oaks. We arrived and were greeted by a rude Manager/hostess who was not attentive to us eventhough they weren't that busy. It took forever for our waitress to greet us and she did it in more of manner that we were inconveincing her. I ordered the Chicken Parm and couldn't finish it because it was so dry and bland. We got our check and left vowing never to come back to this place again.
Worst Italian food I have ever had – This food in this restaurant is terrible and overpriced. I had the scampi and it was dried out and tasted like rubber. The people in my party who had the veal said it tasted like chicken, and was not fresh. The chicken marsala was a dish of grease. I cannot believe anyone would eat here when we have so many other good Italian restaurants in the area. I would not recommend this to anyone but my worst enemies.
Just average – Carmine's is not a high class place at all. Generally, it's a place we dine at when we "require" Italian food and we're near the restaurant. It's not a place I would go out of my way to find or recommend to friends. The pastas are generally average, the salads are often watery, and the service I had was inattentive. I find the restaurant to be too loud at times, as well. I would recommend other local places instead.
Shouldn't Italian Food have flavor? – The service was good, the salad was plentiful, bread was warm and yummy but that's not really what I was hoping for. I ordered the chicken alfredo, first problem, the chicken was cold. Luckily (uh), they nuked it and had it back to me in less than three minutes. Perhaps, all those little micro waves removed all the flavor and any signs of seasoning from the chicken and the sauce, honestly, budget gourmet makes a better alfredo. My date ordered the spaghetti and said that it tasted like it was made from a jar of Ragu and also thought the flavor needed some serious help. We both were disappointed in the really blah food and wished we wouldve just headed up the street to old town, for the same amount of money, we couldve gone to some commercial Italian restaurant and had a much better meal.
Good Family Italian – Fresh baked rolls, large dinner salad, good pasta and pizza, with a full bar and reasonably priced. Not much more you can ask for. We go there about twice a month.
Great Value, Good Food – Carmine's in South Pas is one of the best places to eat. They serve good food -- not great, but good. And you cannot beat the prices, serivce or servings. It is a great neighborhood place. BTW, the pizza is great and their bar is an excellent spot for watching the big game.
No to the Gnocchi – I love Italian food and was pleased to see Carmine's down the hill from my home. My visions of becoming a regular at a local eatery were dashed when I tasted the gnocchi. The little dumplings were chewey instead of light and tender the way good Italian restaurants make it. And the marinara sauce tasted like a high schooler's experiment with garlic. I love garlic and put it in almost everything but this sauce had a bitter garlic bite...almost like the chef wasn't used to using fresh garlic.
The iceburg salad was bland and somewhat wilted and the rolls were almost stale.
I did enjoy the ambiance. Very homey in a country sort of way. Our server was pleasant and helpful although she didn't seem to know the menu and how to make suggestions.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Carmine's Italian Restaurant on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.