“Tokyo’s favorite Italian restaurant,” That is one of the slogans that you will see when you initially walk in to Capricciosa. Imagine a Japanese Tea House that serves Italian food, and you come close to what it is like here. Capricciosa is new in town and located along side Tony Roma’s at the Torrance Crossroads Pavilion. Master Chef Masaaki Honda, born in Japan was fascinated with Italian food and culture. He studied in Italy and honed his skills there where he won numerous awards and even served as ambassador for the Italian Pavilion at the World Food Expo. Upon returning to Japan he opened an Italian restaurant in his home town of Tokyo called Capricciosa. Today they have over 135 restaurants in Asia and around the world serving authentic Italian dishes.
Oliver: We are eating our way through all of the eateries at the Crossroads and it seems like every time I turn my head and think we got a section of it done a new one pops up. Great news if you are hungry and looking to explore the local cuisine, but more work for your intrepid food reporter. Today we hit up Capricciosa. It is a little smaller, and takes up a little less than half of the old Claim Jumper. In fact, we discovered this place when we came to check out Tony Roma’s next door, which takes up the other half of what was once Claim Jumper.
The interior reminds me of a Japanese restaurant, quiet and dark. The tables are large and comfortable and the service is excellent with many different individuals coming by and making sure everything is in order through out the meal. Since this was my first time here I looked over the dinner menu to get an idea of what they had in general before checking out the lunch menu. It may not look like they fit the Lunch Pig goal of under $10, but their special includes endless drinks, salad and bread rolls at $10.95.
I ordered their Spinach and Eggplant meat sauce over pasta dish. It is basically spaghetti with various different types of toppings that you can select from. Included with any lunch is a small salad with a very tasty dressing as well as a basket of rolls for dipping
into the vinegar and oils? The waiter will be happy to tell you which to use if you are not familiar with them.
After that came the main dish. You definitely get a lot of food, the picture does not do it justice. I really enjoyed the eggplant and spinach sauce and think it made for a great and very filling lunch. One thing to note is that you might wind up thinking that the pasta is a tiny bit under cooked, but that is actually the way this variation is meant to be. Whether you like it is still up to you obviously.
Capricciosa is a very friendly and inviting place, the service is nothing short of amazing and you will get your moneys worth. The food is full of flavor and unique enough to make lunch seem a little more special than normal. Make sure and try out some of their other dishes as well. I give them 4 pigs
CARL: Check out that pile of pasta! There was so much on my plate I told Oliver this might be the first Lunch Pig that requires a to-go box – I love a challenge! Before I get to the pasta, I’ll cover the bread and the salad. The bread was good but not as fresh as I would like. The salad had a nice light Italian dressing and was a very tasty surprise. I guess I was hungry because I gobbled up the salad before I remembered to take a picture. For the salad you’ll have to use your imagination. When the plate of “Original Tomato & Garlic Pasta” arrived, I was already impressed but this really capped it off and I couldn’t wait to dive in. The pasta was flavorful, had plenty of sauce and, as you can see, the portion was generous. Between the bread, the dinner salad and the pile of pasta – there is a good value here for the $10.99 lunch special price. The overall decor and vibe of the restaurant was clean, comfortable and inviting. The staff was attentive – if not overly attentive – and because of this the restaurant had a feel of being a family operation even though it has corporate parentage. Overall a nice place with good prices. 4 Lunch Pigs!