I recently dined at Zucca Ristorante in downtown Los Angeles, which is part of the Patina Restaurant Group, which also owns the excellent Cafe Pinot by the downtown library. Zucca has four and a half out of five stars on Citysearch. I was expecting it to be fairly good.
From the Dinner Menu (flash warning), I ordered:
Linguini pasta tossed with cockle clams, garlic, parsley, white wine and diced tomatoes $17.95
Which was extremely disappointing. It came with five (5) small cockle clams, which were chewy and not particularly good. The pasta was also sort of chewy and cold, and there wasn't very much of it either - perhaps 2/3 of a cup. It wasn't satisfying at all.
Tortelloni di Zucca con burro e salvia
Handmade roasted pumpkin tortelloni, butter, sage and Parmigiano-Reggiano 18.50
Thin home made sheet pasta layered with meat ragoût, béchamel and Parmigiano 17.95
The lasagna was half decent. The tortelloni was downright terrible - mainly because it was served luke warm, and some of it was downright cold.
For desert, we ordered tiramisu, which was nothing to write home about, and a chocolate tort - which was like a giant piece of fudge made up to look like a cake. It wasn't very good either.
The worst part about the whole experience, beyond the bad food, was the service. It was awful. Dinner came out in three groups, broken apart by 10 minute spans. The waitress waited for 20 minutes to check up on us. When we complained about the terrible tortelloni (which came out last and should have been hot), the waitress barely apologized and offered a free desert. She then cleared the table, including the barely eaten tortelloni. 10 minutes later, the manager came out and made another half-assed apology then offered a free desert. We didn't get the desert menu until 15 minutes later, almost a half hour after we finished the meal.
We ordered desert and coffee. Desert came out 10 minutes later. About 5 minutes after that, the waitress wandered out with a couple cups of cofee and no creamer. 10 minutes later, another guy showed up with the rest of the coffee - but was short one cup. By this point, we'd almost finished the desert.
The bill arrived, and they had gone ahead and charged us for the inedible tortelloni. I was deeply impressed. There are too many good restaurants in Los Angeles to waste time with bad food and pisspoor service. I certainly wouldn't return to Zucca.