Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Mario's Place

3646 Mission Inn Ave. (Orange St.) Send to Phone
951-684-7755 | Menu
Italian cuisine in an urbane setting in the Inland Empire.
Your Opinion
Add your own review

Local Deals: 120 * 90

Dinner Mon.-Sat.

* Click here for rating key

  • 4.5 star rating
4.5 rating over 3 reviews

Mario's Place Restaurant Review

: Mario’s Place inhabits stylish digs across from the landmark Mission Inn. The urbane setting includes tables dressed in crisp linen, Art Deco lighting, a copper-topped bar sensually illuminated in red, modern art and a generous use of mahogany. The menu of chef Leone Palagi is not always consistent, but on a good day, this is the closest you’ll get to Valentino in the Inland Empire. Starters include butter-tender Maine scallops with caramelized fennel, drizzled with a grapefruit-tarragon vinaigrette; a rustic, soulful cannellini bean soup; and crispy squash blossoms with mozzarella. Moving on, you’ll find items like a wood-fired pear-Gorgonzola pizza, wild mushroom ravioli with creamy shiitake sauce, citrus-scented risotto that's enough for two, and a thick basil-marinated veal chop. For dessert, consider a plate of premium Italian cheeses or the caramel budino. The wine list has several options from California, France and Argentina, but the best choices are among the lengthy selection of Italian reds.

User Ratings & Reviews for Mario's Place
Average rating    5
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11
Mario's Place in Riverside is FAR better than Valentino's
by ottojkubik on Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:54 am
While I respect the opinion of the staff review, I strenuously disagree with the Valentino's comparison. Having dined recently and regularly in both, I find just the reverse is true. Plus the snootiness' factor is far lower. I do not find a consistency issue at Mario's. Never have.

Perhaps the reviewer automatically assumed that the fact Selvaggio has multiple restaurants, Valentino's is automatically better. Personally, I think the reverse is true, due to the lack of specific personal focus. Leone Palagi PERSONALLY cooks nearly every night tirelessly, and regularly comes out to check how guests liked his offerings.

Next time, try the Sweet Pea Tortellini with the truffle butter sauce, or any of the nights many specials. The reviewed calling out pizza as a featured item is a joke. That was designed to be "bar food" and hasn't changed in half a century.

The service level is unmatched anywhere, and easily surpasses all the LA based operations claiming stardom via their astronomical prices. The only place where I have had better fare was at Paul Bocuse outside Lyon, and I suspect I was influenced more by the "star power" of Bocuse and the Christmas décor, more than the flavors.

BTW, the wine list is KILLER, and any of the Palagi brothers would be happy to recommend a great and reasonably priced pairing.

Admittedly Riverside isn't celebrity packed, but then again, are you here for the food or the flash?
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11
Discover LA's must-have dishes
6 Dishes in LA You Must Try Right Now

These mouth-watering menu items will keep you coming back for more.

Read more


Discover the best female chefs, top pizzerias and stellar seafood restaurants with GAYOT's Top 10 lists of the best restaurants in America.