291 30th Street
San Francisco, California
La Ciccia is family owned and operated Italian restaurant on the edge of Noe Valley in San Francisco. The husband and wife team, Massimiliano Conti and Lorella Degan serve regional Italian cuisine from the island of Sardinia.
We’ve been anxious to try La Ciccia for several months. Reservations through OpenTable have been hard to come by, but we finally got in last night. Street parking can be challenging in the area so budget some extra time for finding a spot.
The restaurant’s understated exterior and quiet street belie the bustling scene once you walk inside. We were surprised to see that every table was occupied save the one where we were to be seated. The atmosphere was vibrant and the aromas gave insight into the delicious meal that was soon to follow.
Here’s what we ate:
Calamarusu Arrustiusu (Oven Roasted Monterrey Calamari drizzled with basil Oil) $13
Prupisceddu in Umidu (Octopus stew in a spicy tomato sauce) $13
Pizza Special – Salame and Arugula
Pasta Special – Ravioli with Ricotta and Lemon Zest in Tomato Sauce. $17
Pezza de Angioni a sa Saba (Seared Lamb Tenderloin drizzled with cooked Grape must) $26
Camberonisi Arrustiusu (Oven Roasted Whole Wild Prawns Garlic Parsley Pepperoncino) $26
Overall, we were happy with every dish. In several cases, the simple flavors of olive oil, vinegar, and citrus left us wanting more complexity. Our sense was that the food was often simple but authentically Sardinian. The dishes that really stood out were the one’s with more spice and complexity – the Octopus and Lamb. The Pizza was very good as well.
The service felt a bit rushed and abrupt at the beginning of the meal. Possibly just authentically European as well. By mid way through, we had our server Petra warmed up and enjoyed getting to know her better the rest of the evening. The prices seem slightly high for the portion size and simple ingredients.
La Ciccia asks that guests not take pictures of the food which seems out of touch with the modern social dining community here in San Francisco. I’m sure they were thrilled to see my big Nikon D800 sitting on the table all night. Anyway, I took one for the team, so enjoy the photos.
If you are looking for authentic regional Italian cuisine, La Ciccia is a great choice. It’s a little slice of Sardinia in a San Francisco neighborhood gem.
Have you tried La Ciccia? Please share your comments below.