We were recently introduced to this little gem of a restaurant in the University City area of San Diego. We've been there 3 times in the past few months, and it never disappoints!! Lorna's Italian Kitchen isn't fancy, but it doesn't matter. It's tucked into a strip mall, the decor borders on kitschy Italian (red/white checked vinyl tablecloths, paper maps of Italy for place mats, possibly the same exact decor since the 70s even though they opened in 1988), and I can't vouch for how "authentically" Italian it is...but I can tell you it's a great place for a weekday dinner, especially when it's chilly outside. The service is exceptional, the portions are large, and the pricing is reasonable.
My boyfriend likes to get wine every time we go, possibly just for the fun of being served wine in a water glass? I think he likes to pretend he is Ron Burgandy in 1970s San Diego...
On our first visit (thank the food gods) we noticed bruschetta on the "happy hour" menu. We have ordered it each time since. Please excuse the camera phone pic, it does not do this bruschetta any justice. They serve you 3 giant pieces of lightly toasted bread, with the delicious tomato mix, plenty of yummy fresh mozzarella , HUGE fresh basil leaves, and an AH-MAY-ZING balsamic syrupy reduction that I literally licked off the plate (OK, I used extra bread, not my tongue). It is, honestly, one of my favorite things to eat right now.
On our most recent visit the boyfriend was craving lasagna. It is meaty, and cheesy, and still bubbling hot when they serve it. I tried to get a picture of the cheese bubbles...no good. I am not a huge red sauce fan (of any kind) but this lasagna is delicious and I would order it myself if he didn't order it almost every time!
On our first visit I had the linguini carbonara (delicious, rich, creamy, sooo filling!), the second visit entree is escaping me at the moment.. This last time I ordered the "made fresh daily" Joy's Tortelloni with tomato cream sauce. They were stuffed with cheese and herbs and came in quite a variety of shapes and sizes, which I thought added to "made daily" vibe. The sauce was just the right combo of marinara and alfredo sauces, neither too creamy nor too "sour" from the red sauce. I really enjoyed it and even enjoyed it again the next afternoon reheated.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant and we plan on making many return visits. It's just a few miles from our house, so we can easily roll home stuffed and happy. If you live in San Diego, give it a try!