The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Maria’s Italian Kitchen leaves a bitter taste

Photo credit: Jackie Holmes, Staff Reporter

Maria’s Italian Kitchen in Northridge is a quaint little place perfect for a date. Located in a strip mall, there is an outside patio with tables covered in black and white tablecloths and flowers on the table.

It’s not decorated with anything too spectacular, but there is a mural of what appears to be an Italian city on one of the walls.

Inside there are about 15 to 20 tables and a huge kitchen. I am not a big fan of being able to see the kitchen, but to each his own.

When we first sat down we were immediately given some garlic bread, which is a nice treat for an Italian meal.

The menu had several meals to choose from, including numerous vegetarian and gluten free options. For those that aren’t too hungry, they offer half portions on most of their dishes. One thing that I noticed is that there are no half portions on the baked dishes such as the lasagna, and on the menu it says you have to wait 20 minutes for those options.

There is also a wine list, as expected with Italian food. While I am not a big wine connoisseur, I did notice that Maria’s had their own wine label available in Chardonnay and Merlot.

After looking at the menu for quite a few minutes trying to decide what to get, my date decided on an Italian submarine sandwich with Italian fries. I finally decided on the chicken ravioli with a side chopped Italian salad thinking, “Who could screw up ravioli?”

Boy was I wrong; the ravioli was not the best choice. The actual noodles and chicken inside were good, but the cheese sauce they put over it did not go well with the ravioli. It was too overpowering. It didn’t look or taste appealing and it was quite disappointing.

I didn’t go home hungry though. Luckily I had filled up on the bread and salad. The salad was quite delicious, filled with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, cheese, shredded carrots, garbanzo beans, cucumbers and homemade Italian dressing which had the perfect amount of flavor.

My date enjoyed his sandwich but said the Italian fries were nothing spectacular. They were just glorified fries with some garlic and parmesan cheese on them, but he couldn’t really taste the garlic as much.

We were too full for dessert but we did look at the menu and they had quite a few different options, including the famous Italian cannoli.

Maria’s is the perfect place for college students on a budget and families, as they have a number of specials throughout the week. On Sunday and Monday if you dine in with a family a bigger group of people, you can save up to $30. If you buy two entrees on Tuesday, you will get 50 percent off a bottle of wine. On Wednesdays, kids under 10 years of age eat free. Thursdays are perfect for a date because there is no corkage fee when you bring in your own bottle of wine. Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day.

Maria’s also has a designated driving program where if you choose someone in your party as the designated driver, he or she will receive complimentary soft drinks and coffee, which allows the other people in the party to take advantage of the drink specials.

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