Spaghettini a Southern California Restaurant that stands the test of time
If you have driven he 405 freeway between Orange County and Long Beach, you have inevitably seen the Spaghettini sign as you sped down the road.
For folks like me, Spaghetiini was just a restaurant in Seal Beach that, “I will try one days.” Apparently I have been missing out for quite some time, Spaghettini has a loyal following.
I was recently invited in my Spaghettini to try their food and provide honest feedback on their dishes. I was expecting stodgy dishes, although I found that Spaghettini has been keeping up with culinary trends.
In addition, I found that the restaurant was packed with customers on a weekday night.
What makes Spaghettini able to bring in the crowds when the average cost of a dish ranges from $24 to $35 on a weekday? For me, it is the food. The Spaghettini menu at its heart is Italian, although the menu is very much California cuisine.
What we sampled at Spaghettini
The following are the items that we tasted at Spaghettini. Since this was a tasting, the portion sizes are about a ¼ of what you would be normally served.
I have always written in my posts that you can tell a lot about the restaurant by the quality of the bread service. Spaghettini ‘s bread service was a great omen for the rest of the night. We were served focaccia and crunchy baguette. The bread is delicious and served with balsamic and olive oil.
This dish was the Chef’s special the day we visited. This play on the classic Nicoise is light and delicious. It is made with fresh Ahi tuna, Haricot vert, fingerling potato, baby arugula, parsley, and kalamata olive oil vinaigrette.
I could have eaten a full plate of this dish, as it was perfectly light for a hot day. ($16)
The Perfect Pear Martini
The Perfect Pear martini is also light and refreshing and it tastes like summer in a martini glass. It was perfect for washing down that Ahi Nicoise.
It is made with Grey Goose le Paire Vodka, Domaine de Canton, St. Germaine, pear puree, lemon juice, and sage syrup. I really liked how the martini had floating slivers of ice in the cocktail and on the rim of the glass.
The natural flavor of pear from the puree really shines through.
Yellow Corn Agnolotti
This dish blew my mind. I never ever order pasta when I go out, as I can usually make better handmade pasta than many restaurants. The exception is when the chef makes something special that is beyond my skill level.
The Yellow Corn Agnolotti is on such example where the Chef literally blew my expectations out of the water. Agnolotti pasta, which are typical of the Piedmont region of Italy, might remind you of a flat and creamy ravioli.
It is made with flattened pasta dough, folded over corn flavored mascarpone. The Agnolotti is dressed with Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter, yellow corn, and Brussels sprout leafs. Each bit is soft and creamy. ($22)
Butternut Squash Ravioli
The butternut squash ravioli is another one of their house made pasta dishes. Just like the Agnolotti, it is handmade and very impressive
The ravioli stuffing is made with a well-balanced sweetened butternut squash filling that is creamy and luscious. The butternut squash ravioli is served with an amazing browned butter and garnished with sea salt, Brussels sprout leaves, and sage.
This is a wonderfully rich dish should be enjoyed with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. ($22)
Spaghettini ‘s play on duck breast incorporates sweet and several types of savory to create a wonderful dish. The duck breast is roasted to a perfect hard pink and garnished with Masumoto peach, miso and hazlenuts.
The result is a rich duck breast flavor that alternates between rich umami to sweet flavors in each bite.
I highly recommend that you incorporate Brussels sprout leaves, potato, peach with each bite of duck to really capture that deep flavors in this dish. ($31)
Chilean Sea Bass
For me, this is the best dish served at Spaghettini. The Chilean sea bass is one of the original recipes served and remains the signature dish on the menu. When I tell folks that I tried Spaghettini, they always ask, “did you try the Sea Bass?.”
After my first bite of the dish, I quickly understood why it is so popular.
The Chilean Sea Bass is coated in a soft Parmesan crust and is placed on a very creamy bed of Yukon gold potato purée. This fish and potato are then topped with a very creamy citrus butter. The result is an indulgent dish that plays off the creamy element and the sweet buttery fish into a well synthesized dish.
The Sea Bass made my eyes roll back for a second. If this dish was illegal, I would be arrested, as I became instantly addicted. ($40)
The carrot cake was extremely impressive. It is thick, wide and chocked full of sweet carrots, walnuts, and pineapple. The cake is layered and finished with cream cheese frosting and coconut flakes.
The use of natural fruit sugars created a very balanced carrot cake that allowed both the cake and sugars to equally shine through. This is one of the better carrot cakes that I have tasted. ($12)
Boston Cream Pie
Boston cream pie is my true dessert weakness and I will always order it, if on the menu. This iconic dish is rarely served in Southern California was I was straight up giddy when I saw it on the menu.
Spaghettini’s version interlaces three layers vanilla cake with vanilla bean custard. The entire pie is covered in a rich chocolate ganache.
It tasted as good as it looked. The vanilla bean custard shined through as the star ingredient and the cake and chocolate ganache provided the right balance. I will be ordering this dessert again. ($12)
My Final Thoughts
If you have yet to visit Spaghetiini, you should. I was extremely impressed by the food, excellent tableside service and overall customer service. It is clear to me that Spaghettini long ago perfected their game both from a culinary and employee engagement perspective. I was pretty impressed by my visit and will return again soon. Tom’s Foodie Blog recommends Spaghettini.
If you don’t do lunch or dinner, be sure to try out their Sunday Brunch. It includes an Italian and breakfast buffet and your choice of entrée. For $58, you will be stuffed all this food plus a live jazz performance sponsored by 94.7 the Wave.
Spaghettini Grill and Jazz Club Address
3005 Old Ranch Parkway
Seal Beach, California 90740