Monday, April 27, 2009

65. Chain Restaurant Review: Pasta Mama

The Italian chain, 'Pasta Mama' can be found all around town. I visited the Shimokitazawa location. The restaurant was small and had a family restaurant feeling. The walls were lime green with some simple tile decorations, and there were wood tables and chairs. Although it was clean, the walls had some splatter stains,...

The music was rap and R&B, in English. There didn't seem to be a non-smoking section, and it wouldn't have mattered anyway considering the size of the place.

I was given a lunch menu that was laminated, but ragged and stained. There were four categories of pasta: salt, cream, tomato, and original. All the pastas ranged in price from 580 to 1000 yen. There were a couple of larger salads on the menu, a few desserts, and a list of drinks. I was also given a separate paper describing a few specials that were not on the menu.

I had the spinach cream pasta for 580 yen, and tomato and mozzarella bruschetta for 380 yen. Nothing comes with lunch, no drink, no side salad, no bread,... There wasn't even a side salad you could add, the salads on the menu were too large for one person. They did have an inexpensive side of garlic bread, however.

Drinks were inexpensive, only 150 yen for coffee, tea, soft drinks,... A glass of wine is 390 yen, a beer 380. Cassis and Dita cocktails were also available for 480 yen.

I definitely do not recommend this chain. The food was fine, but nothing special. The music was probably chosen for the Shimokita crowd, but it did not fit the establishment. With one smoker at the other end of the room, I was ok. But, when another showed up, tobacco was all you could smell.

There are too many fantastic privately owned Italian restaurants around. Don't waste your time eating at Pasta Mama.