Final Zagat meal #5 is at Ristorante Villa Portofino. This is Italian food for people who have never been to Italy. Or people who like Chef Boyardee.
It’s a charming enough space and the hostess and server are friendly. Too bad everything The Monster eats is lame of the highest order. If Italians ever visit Catalina Island they’ll be insulted we’ve sullied there name with this drek.
Since it’s a beautiful night we’re seated on the patio watching a day turn into night. Perusing the menu it’s a fairly standard and comprehensive look at Southern Italian menu staples.
We decide start with the mozzarella fritta alla marinara, lightly breaded and fried mozzarella with fresh herbs in marinara sauce. Bad idea. It is so bad every picture The Monster tries to take comes out poorly. Equally bad is the tasteless cream of broccoli soup. No one could ever taste this turgid, soupy mess and say it’s just like they’d make in Italy! Luckily, there is also an uninspired salad. It’s a meager portion of lettuce, shaved carrot and a tomato or two.
For our main dishes we get the Capesanta al Finocchio, pan seared sea scallops with fresh fennel, tomato, cannellini beans and tri colored peppers in a light sherry cream sauce along with the ravioli special in a sage and butter sauce. The Monster can already see how this is going to end. Poorly.
The scallops, those poor scallops. They are covered in a thick, goopy mess. The vegetables have been cooked to within an inch of no longer having anything remotely close to taste and the pasta is so poorly cooked and of so little quality a high school cafeteria would do better in serving the cuisine of Italy.
The pasta is equally as offensive. Apparently extra sauce is what Italian cuisine is now known for. Extra thick, gloopy sauce.
A little ice cream to wash down the aftertaste and there you have it. Final Zagat meal #5 in the books.
Why go? You just can’t get enough mini-o’s.
Monster rating: 1½/5 Monsters
PO Box 127
Avalon, CA 90704