Portland >Food & Dining > La Prima Trattoria
4775 SW 77TH Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9722545.485301 -122.756987
Neighborhoods: Garden Home - Raleigh Hills
Still real Italian cuisine in a warm, inviting environment. – After dining at La Prima's for the fourth or fifth time and being again very impressed with the quality of the food and atmosphere, I happened to be randomly looking up places of interest on my computer when I thought, "I wonder what other folks have to say about the place." The overall rating is certainly high as deserving, but a couple of the comments below are absurdly out of line. But first the review:
I am fortunate to have enjoyed fine Italian foods all my life since both my parents' heritage is northern Italian, and I still have fond memories old SW Portland, pre urban renewal, where the Italian and Jewish neighbors created some of the most exquisite dishes imaginable. The emphasis wasn't on presentation only. It had to taste good and be good for you. And it was. That's why I appreciate a restaurant like La Prima. Their risotto is even better than what I remember eating as a child. It was pretty late and they lacked some of the ingredients for the sausage risotto I would normally order, so the personable waitress suggested I try the shrimp version of the risotto instead. What a wonderful surprise! A very reasonable portion arrived garnished with long, thin diagonal slices of asparagus perfectly blanched to retain some body. Arrayed around the perimeter were four or five VERY large peeled prawns, also cooked to perfection. The first bite disclosed a gentle hint of lemon in the sauce that permeates the risotto, accompanying the green accent of the asparagus, and complimenting the light, fresh sea flavor of the shrimp. Elegance. The dish was light mildly seasoned (a touch of basil) as is appropriate for the ingredients, and was served at just the right temperature. If I had known at the time I would be writing a review, I might have paid more attention to the details, but frankly, I?m happy I was left to simply enjoy an outstanding meal. I will be returning soon.
good food for the burbs, good dinner – We tried La Prima the other night and were pleasantly surprised for a restaurant in a strip mall. It's wasn't dirt cheap, but quality food generally isn't. I wasn't sure about the fettucini with pancetta ,corn and mushroom, but I gave it a shot at our waiters recommendation and really enjoyed it. It may not be all you can eat for 7.95, but you also don't get bland, soggy pasta and canned sauce. My husband and I thought the food was fresh and well prepared, we also really liked the bistro salad. Bottom line ,we had a nice dinner with good service and good food, You get what you pay for. And after reading other reviews, I do wonder why people who notice something that they didn't have on their bill don't say something or inquire about it when there, or let someone know.
Great linguine but we wont be going back because the waitress added items to our bill FOR HER OWN CONSUMPTION! – I've tried this place twice now and I'm mixed and frustrated on my opinion.
1) Their seafood linguine is honestly one of the best I've had in a restaurant but for $19 I'd like double the portion. Most other restaurants at this price point do a better job at getting you proper portions - instead I thought about stopping by a fast food restaurant on the way home. It might fill someone used to eating a light dinner salad for dinner though.
2) If you order a soda, expect a glass filled to the top with crushed ice and 2-3oz of soda for $2/each, no refills.. I have no problem paying $2 for a soda ... but not a cup of ice.
3) Ok service but nothing worth getting excited over
4) The complimentary bread is good but not served with butter - I'd imagine they'll bring you some butter for a few bucks. Be glad the bread is there though, you'll need it to get full.
On a 1-10 Scale where 10 is perfect:
Food quality: 9
Food value: 4
Drink quality: 1
Drink value: 1
Desert quality: 6 (There isn't a number low enough for the Tiramisu, avoid that one)
Desert value: 6
Service speed: 5
Service attitude: 7
Rating 48.75% or 2.4 stars, so I rounded down to 2, until now while writing this and looking at the receipt I see they charged for things we didn't get (mentioned below) taking this place down to a 1 star rating and a zero for service attitude.
Bottom line: Avoid it... Oh and just to mention it. My wife and I don't drink coffee - ever - so the fact that they also charged us for a Cappuccino $2.75 and Coffee $2.25 ticks me off.. I hope the Waitress or her friends enjoyed them. Because of this there will be no third try - they lost a customer - make sure they don't over charge you too!
For the record, the cashier was Raquel P according to the slip, order 18148....
Not very good... – I can not see where this place would get anything above 3 stars. The pasta did sound good but in the long run it was only so so.. Noodles were under cooked and taste was no better than something I would get at a mall foodcourt. The pizza was like one I opened from the fridge. Yes it is cooked in their brick oven but the taste of the sauce and the other items on it were just like a frozen one.
Overpriced for what you get. I would go on down the street a bit and get much better at Ernesto's.
Good atmosphere, good food. – I've eaten at La Prima half a dozen times and the food has always been delicious and does not err on the side of blandness as many Italian restaurants in Portland seem to do. My pasta favorite is the spicy sausage pasta. Favorite appetizer is the calimari. Wines I've had there (at least the reds which I usually drink) have been very good as well. Food and drink prices here are consistent with the quality. The atmosphere is warm and comfortable, not at all what you'd expect when seeing the restaurant from the outside (in a shopping mall).
Wonderful atmosphere, exceptional food, and jazz on Thursdays – I love coming to this family run restaurant which always feels warm and friendly. The menu is interesting and creative. I had a wonderful green salad with strawberries, chevre cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. It is a special treat to come on most Thursdays when there is live jazz to enhance the evening. I definitely recommend it.
Quality worth the price – Recent posts prompt me to write this review. My wife and I have been dining at this establishment since it opened a number of years ago. The original owner did a great job. The new owners built on an already solid foundation and have served us a variety of excellent Italian and Northwest-influenced meals (and desserts). The baseline of quality is a consistent 8 out of 10. Most hover closer to 9. While some customer may rant about price, you get what you pay for in my opinion. Sure, the wine is a little spendy, but its quality stuff. Sure, the entree prices run into the mid teens. But, considering we typically get two meals worth every time we dine at La Prima, it meets my criteria for solid value on good eats.
PS- The Brasato of Beef and Shrimp pizza, which we've had recently, rock!
Not recommended - food horrible – This restaurant used to be a favorite for a Friday night dinner. Not anymore... After eating there last night , we were sorely disappointed ( as my husband said, we paid $65 for this??). The interior has been
redecorated, and is warm and welcoming. Service was ok. It is the food that I had a problem with. I ordered the special salad ( pears, nuts and cheese), it was lacking in any kind of flavor. Then, went to my old standbye Chicken Marsala - it came out rubbery, with an orange sauce over it. I did complain to the waitress that I didn't taste a hint of marsala wine in this dish. My husband had pasta and what looked like well done meat on the side, the meat was rubbery as well. Needless to say, we will not go back - change in ownership?? Improve the menu.
Overpriced pasta decent pizza – Both pasta dishes were inedible. (Salty , rubbery clams etc) Pizza was good. Service fair. For the price ??
Et tu, Brute? – I hadn't eaten at La Prima for a long time but had fond memories. Tonight I ordered their "special salad", a chicken caesar. No price was listed and that should have been a big red flag. The salad bowl held at least a full head of romain lettuce, a few croutons, some tasty chunks of tomato, little sieces of grilled chicken, and was topped with shaved cheese. Nothing special but perfectly okay. Then the bill came and I almost gagged. It was $17.00 for this "special salad". I was digusted and will never go back again. I felt ripped off like I haven't felt in years of restaurant eating. If I want a nice caesar salad there are many better choices for half the price. And for the same price I could have had a much nicer meal (hopefully) at La Prima. The owner should be ashamed.
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