So far I have pretty much rated every restaurant I've written about with exuberants statements of love (which were all genuine) but to the credit of my critical side, here is a restaurant that I didn't wholeheartedly adore. It's called The Fabiolus Cafe and first of all, with a name like that, you best be fabulous or just sort of vain. You can already guess that I'm leaning towards the latter. Originally, we were hoping to go to Osteria La Buca, a cute little Italian restaurant across the street but sadly, it was filled up and we had no reservations. Hence, Fabiolus was the next best thing in the area. In contrast to the previous restaurant, seating was no problem here. Apparently, Fabiolus Cafe is a bit of a small chain, with one location on Melrose (that we visited) and another on Sunset. Interestingly enough, even though the restaurant did not yet have a liquor license, their placemats were printed with all the regions of Italy and the respectives wines they produce.
Left to right: spicy tomato sauce/eggplant/smoked mozarella, sundried tomato gnocchi, and vegetable risotto.
Aruna and I shared the pasta and risotto, while Cindy had the gnocchi. The eggplant pasta was quite good actually. The gnocchi was a success too- soft on the inside and smothered in sundried flavor on the exterior. However, the lowpoint came from the risotti. I have no qualms about the vegetables and of which there were plenty. But the rice, which were soggy on the outside and dried and rigid on the inside, supplied the bulk of the disappointment. I did attempt the rice numerous times but each time I was defeated but the roughness of the texture. Ultimately, I ate all the vegetables and left most of the dish with the grains of undecisive mushiness.
So I guess the food wasn't terrible but any means, but from my single experience I wouldn't recommend the vegetable risotto is all.
PS. The bread was crunchy and fun to eat.
Price: $12 (plate of pasta)
Rating: 6.8/10 (I could eat this again)
The Fabiolus Cafe
5255 Melrose Ave