* Click here for rating key
La Dolce Vita Restaurant Review: La Dolce Vita sits back off of busy Prospect Street in La Jolla, part of the alleyway of international shops, and upon entering it feels like we've stepped through a portal to Italy. Chef-owner Enzo Castiglione and his wife, Elizabeth, have successfully created a convivial eatery that serves authentic, affordable Italian cuisine. The recipes are said to come from Enzo's own Sicilian mother and include traditional favorites such as bruschetta, pizza margherita and chicken Parmigiana. We like to start with a nice glass of Chianti and the "antipasto Fantasia" (a combination of chopped Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, salame, prosciutto, melon, and mozzarella caprese sprinkled with parsley and extra virgin olive oil). Move on to the fettuccine bolognese or ravioli di mare, pillows of pasta stuffed with baby shrimp and scallops and bathed in pink Champagne cream sauce. Or better yet, forgo the whole course route and order a couple of pizzas; we recommend the pizza rustica and the tre Giovanni. Don't count on any major surprises --- the chef isn't trying to reinvent the wheel, just bring a little bit of Italia to Southern California diners. The décor is welcoming and the lit-up patio is a romantic spot for al fresco dining.