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Aldo's Italian Restaurant
1031 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 963-6687

Reviews by the General Public

Nice place! Horrible horrible food!!
Reviewer: Xavier from Aliso Viejo ca
The waitress was and the place are the only good thing this restaurant offer. Spaghetti Factory would be a much superior place. Don't waste your money here!

Couldn't Be Happier
Reviewer: Mike from North Hollywood,CA
We were so impressed with the service from the very kind hostess to the attentive waiter, to everyone that works at Aldo's. One of tastiest pasta dishes I've ever had. My girlfriend loved her Chicken Picatta. The best she ever had. A great choice for Christmas night.

We Love Aldo's
Reviewer: Timothy from Santa Barbara, CA
We were so surprised to see the woman's chef review and had to add our 2 cents!! The food is pretty good and we can't imagine that if they thought it was so terrible and being a chef that she didn't try to order something more to her liking!! We get that you didn't like it and that chefs tend to be more critical but we feel it's not fair to post such a poor review of a place without researching more or taking with someone there instead of ranting publically. We are two guys that have been going to Aldo's for many years and have seen it through many changes... just dissapointing to ses such a careless review. And knowing these people, I highly doubt they charged you for any of the food. Anyway, we love Aldos'. Thank you.

Nice looking restaurant and terrible food
Reviewer: Michelle from Reseda, CA
I remembered this place as a child. I went there Saturday night and was excited to share this time with my family. From the moment we sat down the experience started to head down hill. It took forever to get a waitress, but when she arrived she was awesome, and that was about the only thing positive that came out of this restaurant. The bruscetta was god awful. It tasted like something was rancid in it. Over powered by the garlic and pine nuts I sent it back. Then my sister ordered the Pasta Primivara, it was like a frozen vegetable medley with noodles and watery marinara. Then I ordered the Chicken Marsala which had no color to it and left a film of flour in my mouth as if it was dredged in the flour and then put in a cold saute pan, and was served with the same vegetable medley that my sister had. Not a traditional Chicken Marsala that I get from Italian Restaurants. So disappointed we wanted to leave and just paid for the one pasta dish that my daughter ordered, which was the plain marinara and angel hair pasta, our drinks and half of the so called bruscetta. I will never go back there again, and that makes me sad because it has so much potential to be an amazing restaurant. Maybe with a better Chef/leader, it will be able to turn around. And if it ever does I would like to give it another swing. I am a Chef and I was extremely disappointed. I had high hopes for this place for the food and the atmosphere. Please look into the how the kitchen is being run and the food that is being put out, it was very low standard and I am sure that is not what you want your restaurant to be known for. Thanks.

Good stuff...if you know what to order
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
Went to Aldo's last night and it was a nice dining experience all around. Our waiter was knowledgable and attentive as were the bus boys. My kids and I had the Wild Salmon Picatta, and the Wild Salmon w/Cilantro pesto with Fetticini Alfredo with nice crunchy, fresh, sautéed veggies...we cleaned out plates! Nice bread and garlic infused olive oil offered on the table. My husband and I shared the wild greens with pear, Gorgonzola, walnuts with a sweet and sour Balsamic vinaigrette, which was fabulous. My husband had the Pumpkin Ravioli w/ Sage Brown was sublime, really. However in the past we've ordered the lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese and Osso Bucco.... Not recommended. Does not taste Italian at all unfortunately. Better off making these dishes yourself at home. to sum it up....we had a very nice dinner.

Food & Service: Average. Ambiance: Very Nice
Reviewer: Guthrie from Santa Barbara, CA
We ate here thinking because of their slightly pricey menu & primo location right on State St. In downtown Santa Barbara but it didn't deliver. The best thing about this place is the quaint ambiance with it's street cafe but I ordered the most basic of Italian dishes: spaghetti w/ meat sauce & it wasn't very good. I called ahead to ask their exact cross street (location) but the woman couldn't tell me where they were located & had to ask someone else! Plus, when I asked if they were open past 10PM (it was 9:30 & I was concerned if the restaurant would still be serving by the time I arrived) she said, "I think we are open right now.". What?!

Getting better all the time
Reviewer: Kaye from Santa Barbara, CA
Since the change in ownership, I've had several meals at Aldo's - all wonderful. The menu has interesting options and the food is well prepared. The wait staff are welcoming and attentive, and seem to like working together. The food and atmosphere are such an improvement over the previous ownership, and the restaurant seems to be getting continually better.

Very yummy
Reviewer: Amanda from Santa Barbara, CA
I have never been to Aldo's despite living here for nearly 15 years. I think I always sort of passed it up thinking I'd rather have Palazzio or Pascucci, but I went here a few months ago for the first time for dinner and had the Pork Chop with whipped mashed potatoes, veggies, and a cherry glaze sauce. My boyfriend had the pumpkin ravioli. We were both really surprised at how tasty it was. We've been back twice since, both having different menu items every time and were never let down. The owner seems like a very nice guy too, and two of the times we have been there he has been in the dining room greeting customers. Now we have decided to make Aldo's our go to italian place instead of the other ones in town! (also, they have the BEST olive oil I have ever had!)

Big Disappointment!!
Reviewer: Jim Young from Santa Barbara, CA
Some of the menu Items are bland, I ordered the osso buco, very bland, no salt, the veggies taste like they were from several days. I got very confuse I didn’t know who my server was, one of them make us seat, other order the drinks, other comes for the orders, and another comes to get the check. No organization….Big Disappointment!!

Hugely Disappointed
Reviewer: Tracy from Santa Barbara, CA
I have lived in SB for 20 years and never tried Aldo's. I decided to try it because there was a 2 for 1 entree with the SB Access Card. 4 of us went there on a Friday night. We had a reservation, but it was not busy. We ordered water and iced tea for the table, yet the server continually asked us if we wanted wine throughout the whole meal. That was annoying. We had crab cakes and a caprese salad to start. Caprese salad was lackluster; small balls of mozzarella cheese and too few tomatoes, with arugula. The crab cake was OK, needed more flavor. 2 of us tried the pizza. The dough was more like pita bread and the sauce tasted like it was canned. However it was a good size. The lasagna was bland and heavy, and the seafood pasta dish (scallops and shrimp w/linguini) was just OK too. Because we used the access card, they automatically add gratuity which I did not appreciate. Overall, with no alcohol and a free entree we ended up paying $90, which is far too expensive for the quality of food we received. I will not be returning.

Great experience!
Reviewer: JS from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I ate here on Saturday night and were very pleased. We sat on the patio and Laura our server was attentive, engaging and knowledgeable. We loved the purple kale salad and the entrees were very good... It seems like the new ownership is doing something right. We will be back!

Average food, random service
Reviewer: Frank from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I visited this restaurant for lunch with my three kids (11, 9, 7 y/o). The server was attending tables randomly, and we could place our order only 30 min after the seating. A table came after us finished their meal and got their bill before we even got our food. But that can happen, and we were not in a hurry, so we just waited. We had Fettuchini Carbonara, Chicken Parmigiani, Spaghetti Marinara, and Fries. We did order a pork dish, which never came. Fries were good. The rest were OK but not nearly as good as the ones that I had in other restaurants of comprable price in Santa Barbara. The bill was interesting. The restaurant charged 18% service fee on the ground that we were a party of five. But the menu says that 18% service charge applies to the party of 6 or more. I asked about this. The server says that they just changed their policy. Now this is interesting point. By law, restaurants cannot charge mandatory service charge, unless they presented it e.g. in e menu before ordering. Clearly, they didn't. It seems that they are quick on charging more from their customers but are not so quick on improving their services or in learning what is required by law to protect the customers' right.

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