My stomach was still digesting the 3,000 calorie meal from Bludso’s when I had to head to C& O Cucina for my companion’s birthday, and it was a pre-fixed meal... I’ve been told that C&O Cucina was once a great Italian restaurant but they lowered their standard in order to accommodate the cookie-cutter residents and tourists. I couldn’t find the valet as there were five or six different restaurants on Washington but lucked out and found a parking space right in front of the restaurant—of course I had to argue with this brat who thought they had the space first. I can see why the birthday girl picked C & O Cucina. It’s a big restaurant – to the right is the bar with dining tables, to the left there’s another dining section and upstairs, there’s another area. Also, the pre-fixed meal was pretty reasonable. Here’s what the menu looked for $20.95:
Starter: Garlic bread
Appetizer: Baked stuffed mushrooms
Two Salads: Mixed Green Salad & Caesar Salad
Two Pastas: Penne Pollo Marsala and Capellini Shrimp
I was relieved that I couldn’t participate in the pre-fixed meal since I’m allergic to shrimp. I guess serving the Capellini without shrimp would be too much work so I ordered the pappardele with wild mushrooms and chicken apple sausage since that’s what the birthday girl wanted. I did sneak a few bites of the pre-fixed meal since the portions were HUGE; it was pretty much an AYCE meal. When we ran out of their garlic bread, they would replenish. Their garlic bread is pretty damn good.
I thought the guy who sat in front of me was going to do a marathon because he ate like ten of those garlic bread poppers on top off the pastas. The baked stuffed mushrooms were pretty good too; it was stuffed with garlic. I was horrified that the penne pollo marsala looked like chicken penne soup.
Surprisingly the watery sauce was richer and stronger than my pappardele. The pasta was cooked right, but it lacked that homemade taste. The chicken sausage tasted just like the sausages you find at your local Trader Joe’s (not that it’s bad..). I just wanted to eat the wild mushrooms. They didn’t cheap out on the mushrooms.
I spent around $26 for the pasta and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (includes tax & 18% tip). Despite its subpar food, C&O Cucina is a good, easy on the wallet, Westside restaurant if you are in a big group.
Address: 3016 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: (310) 301-7278