About 10 years ago, before I had kids there was this delicious Italian Restaurant on El Toro Blvd called Villa Roma. It was tucked in a corner or a shopping strip and had a romantic patio and superb food. Before your meal was served they would give you some warm pillowy bread with an amazing olive tapenade. I craved it all of the time.
But then El Toro had a bunch of construction done and they rebuilt all of the plazas, thus forcing Villa Roma to relocate to Laguna Hills. Recently my husband and I dined there and tried it for the first time since they moved. Unfortunately it will probably be the last time too.
The new location is actually very pretty and they are no longer strictly an Italian Restaurant. They are Argentine/Italian. When we first arrived we noticed an overwhelming stench of perfume in the air. So much it made my nose sting. They also had some awful elevator music playing. It was so loud I could hardly carry a conversation with my husband. Our waitress was very nice and attentive and she took our orders promptly.
We started off with a plate of Carpaccio. It Looked more like a salad to me. There was definitely more of a lettuce to meat ratio. However, it was pretty tasty and the parmesan cheese was really good.
My husband ordered a beet salad. He said it was rather slimey and they used too much vinegar.
I ordered a house salad. I really enjoyed the dressing on it. It was a tangy house italian and the lettuce was a fresh mix of spring lettuce and red leaf lettuce. But one kalamata olive is such a tease.
For my main entree I order the Pollo al Limone. Baked chicken breast with capers in a lemon butter sauce, served with vegetables and roasted potatoes. It was $14.95. My chicken was overcooked and dry but the potatoes were delicious. The vegetables were also on the soggy side. Maybe they were cooked with the chicken?
My husband ordered the shrimp Scampi and was not pleased at all. His shrimp were cold and really chewy and he said the sauce it was coated in tasted like flour. This dish was $16.95.
It really wasn’t worth our time to send our dishes back because te restaurant was getting crowded and we were hungry enough to just eat what we could. Maybe the kitchen was just off this particular evening.