REVIEWS & PRESS

At La Toscana, our customers are part of our family. And family means everything to us. So we are always honored when we receive words of flattery or thanks from a customer. And to all our customers, in return, we say thank you.

You can also read our reviews on the following sites directly :

 
   Click here to read our May 5, 2015 article.

   Click here to read our May 5, 2015 article.

 
The new decor makes an atmospheric backdrop for the classic menu, which includes traditional dishes as well as some innovative preparations. Take the prosciutto di Parma and burrata ($18), a large platter layered with top-quality ingredients. Paper-thin slices of perfect, salty Italian prosciutto are paired with a mound of crisp crostini. I have rarely tasted a better burrata (which translates to buttery) than the version served at La Toscana. It is fresh and exquisite, just made for mingling with the other components on the platter. Portions are generous and we could only make a small dent in the appetizer, which was completed with a pile of black olives. It was a classic mix elevated to ethereal by quality. Service ran like a well-oiled machine with dishes cleared, courses well paced, water glasses refilled and everything handled efficiently. This year is its 30th anniversary and it’s easy to see why the restaurant has lasted so long.
— By Brooke Jackson, IJ correspondent - Marin Independent Journal
At La Toscana, our customers are part of our family. And family means everything to us. So we are always honored when we receive words of flattery or thanks from a customer. And to all our customers, in return, we say thank you.
— Open Table Review – Andrea - 11/22/2013
Simply put, La Toscana is THE Italian restaurant in Marin. Swanky – No, Snooty – No, Avant-garde Italian? No, Pricey?, No. Simply good Italian food for a reasonable price. 1/2 price bottle nights on Thursdays bring out the crowds. There is also a special pappardelle pasta special on right now that is particularly good. Don’t miss this place if you’re craving Italian food.
— Johnny P. - 11/2/2009
Great traditional Italian cooking! This place should get protection as a historic landmark. I have been coming here since I was a kid, and even my elderly Italian relatives can’t find something to complain about. The service is always amazing, the atmosphere is lovely but casual, the prices decent and the food is KILLER. On Thursdays, bottles of wine are half off.
Try anything and you won’t be disappointed. I was a vegetarian for years and their pastas always left me satisfied. The vegetable ravioli are incredible and one of a kind. The MVP here is the gnocchi al pesto. The gnocchi are consistently soft, creamy pillows that melt in your mouth and when they smother those those lovely morsels in an ambrosial combination of basil, garlic, cheese and a touch of cream it is an absolute DREAM.
I have been to Italy, lived in New York City for years and tried many places in SF, and I can honestly say this is some of the best food I have EVER had. GO!
— Dinelle L. - 9/20/2009
We were initially worried- the GPS directions sent us to a mini storage.

Not to worry, our technology was on the fritz. One u-turn and some creative profanity later, yummy Italian food was within our grasp!

Nice unpretentious atmosphere. We walked in wearing our shorts, and got zero attitude. The bread was a little lacking, but there was a lot of it.
The waiter was a little distracted, but hey, we’re mellow. Plus we had mojitos (try the pear) and great conversation to keep us occupied.

The entrees were delicious- cannelloni and tortellini were both as they should be, which is heavenly! I can also highly recommend the Limón cello tiramisu, which was out of this world, and nicely complimented by my coffee. We’ll be adding this one to the repertoire!
— Jenna A. - 6/27/2009
This place is very special to me; my grandmother has been taking me here since I was a little girl. The food has always been great over these last 20+ years. I usually always would just have a pasta dish. Although bit on the heavy side, they are all still very good. There are also several meat entrees, yet for some reason, I have never tried them. Creature of habit, I guess. They also have brunch specials. Of course, I always go with the eggs benedict – absolutely delicious.

The last couple of times I came here, I ordered the caprese salad, being that it is one of my favorite things in the world. I have to say, I have been disappointed both times. Not only is this salad smaller than what I’m used to, but it is incredibly bland. Needless to say, I will not be ordering the caprese salad from here anymore.
As for desert, they have the absolute BEST tiramisu I have ever had. The portion size is big and can easily be shared. Normally, I would share, but not La Toscana’s tiramisu. I eat the whole damn thing every time. I don’t care how full I already am.

The service is incredibly friendly, but can be a little on the slow side.
— Megan D. - 5/12/2009
I’ve been eating here for years, timing my return trips home from San Francisco to make a stop for dinner convenient. The food is excellent and the prices reasonable. I second other reviewers’ comments about the lasagne (first rate) and the pasta menu in general.

The parking lot is not adequate. I often find myself parking on the street, which can be an annoyance when it’s raining.
— Matt H. - 2/7/2009
What a great place! I have been going to La Toscana for years now and just can’t say enough good things about the place. Family run place that makes you feel at home with great food and great wine selection. Check out their Thursday night 1/2 price wine night!
— Shannon S. - 6/21/2008
This is a Marin icon, and one of the places we return to over and over.

The food is very good to excellent, at reasonable prices. I especially like the Fettucini Carbonara, the veal and chicken dishes, the Caesar salad. There is a good wine list, a full bar (that’s a nice quiet place to drop in for an evening drink), a banquet room. Waiters are generally attentive, food arrives quickly. Decor is pleasant, with wall sconces, some interesting art work, white table cloths and napkins.

La Toscana has existed for decades, and has patrons that have been coming back for many years. It seems to be a hangout longtime Marin residents, people that have lived in Novato or San Rafael since the 1970’s. I see business folks taking clients out to lunch frequently, golfers after a hard day on the greens, and families celebrating birthdays. And couples who just want a nice night out. It’s not an incredibly quiet and intimate restaurant, but it’s generally not too noisy either.

If you want good classic Italian cuisine, at a friendly, unpretentious restaurant, this is the place.
— Tom C. - 2/25/2008
So warm. if you want an italian family/long island ny feel – go there! had the soup and a glass of house white at the bar on a rainy day. couldn’t be more pleased.
— Anise S. - 02/19/2008
My wife caught me with her lasagna (and garlic bread). So I have a special place in my heart for it. Now that I’ve been married for a number of years, she makes it less often (apparently that’s how marriage works, no one warned me in advance), so I sometimes must look elsewhere for lasagna. It’s not cheating because she knows about it (and I think she’s relieved she doesn’t have to make it as often).

Unfortunately, there are only a few places where the lasagna is really delicious.

I’m glad I’ve found La Toscana, because it is one of them.

What a surprise! La Toscana is next to the freeway in San Rafael (across from the sublime Frank Lloyd Wright Marin Civic Center). It looks like some old-school Italian place for the early-bird crowd and I’d never even considered eating there.

Then the bass in my barbershop chorus (www.WithRelishQuartet.com) suggested this for an after-show dinner, and eight of us went–and I’m glad we did!

The food is superb.

It starts with excellent sourdough bread–something that should be a staple in bay area restaurants–but isn’t. Your choice of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or butter.

I went with a party of 8, the service was fast and pleasant. Others in the party ordered the Carbonara (very good, though more buttery than creamy), salmon (excellent), soup (exceptional).

But my lasagna stands out as the second best lasagna I can get. The winner is my wife’s, of course.

Don’t be put off by the location or less-than-hip appearance, this is GREAT Italian food.
— Daniel W. - 11/10/2007
You can’t go wrong with the menu at this family style restaurant. There is always something for everyone in your party. I always begin my meal with the calamari and end with the tiramisu.

Buono!
— Cindy J. - 10/30/2007
I’m going to make a list of “Places My Dad Took Me for Lunch and Paid.”

La Toscana has been around for as long as I’ve lived in Marin and I only went there just this past weekend. It kinda had that Marin Joe’s feel of long lasting tradition from the outside. The inside was well lit and only mildly Tuscan though… if that is a word.

The first thing I noticed is that the table we were sat at was only recently vacated. The tip was still on the table and the menus were filled with crumbs. I don’t know, I have been in some real dives that I like but I was expecting a lot more from this place. Mind you that this was the first time I’d ever been here.

My dad and I shared a Caesar salad that was made the authentic way and had a slight taste of anchovies and garlic. I had the Fettuccine Carbonara and my dad had some spaghetti and meatballs. The Spaghetti Bolognese doesn’t come with meatballs and it reminded me of a scene from Big Night when my dad asked for them.

Anyway, the portions were generous and the food was hot and good. There did seem to be a lot of old people dining there though so I can’t say that this is a hip place to hang out. My only problem was, that when I was eating the pieces of pancetta, I couldn’t help but notice that old lady’s gross fungus infected toenails that was sitting next to us. It was tough eating those little slices of pancetta and not imagining that they were…. ugh…. you get the picture.

So this place is worth going back to I think. It’s been around forever and it might be a good place to take your family. Better than Strings or Olive Garden. That was sort of a joke because Strings and Olive Garden suck. But La Toscana was good.
— Hunter G. - 10/28/2007
Had the best birthday lunch here. The caesar salad is to die for – worth going back for just for that. Lamb shank was delectable. I didn’t want to stop there so I ordered the canneloni to go so I could have it for dinner. Delicious. My friend enjoyed one of the specials – pork roast with veg. – and it was under $10. A bargain. My husband had the carbonara and was mightily impressed. It’s got to be really good to get raves from him. He was even happy when he got the bill ’cause it was so reasonable. This place may not be in with the “in with the in crowd”, but for delicious, reasonably priced food this place is hard to beat
— Lauren B. - 10/13/2007
I give this place five stars. Not only becasue I love the food, but because of the family who runs it. It’s nice to find an authentic italian restaraunt run by a wonderful family. The best thing about this place besides the people and the atmosphere, is the SAUCE! This place has the best meat sauce outside of Italy. Not to mention the quality and quantity you get here. All of the fish is wild and fresh. The pasta’s are freshly made and the gnocchi is hand rolled. You can tell by the different sizes. The specials change each day, and what a selection. There is something for everyone to enjoy and if you can’t find it ont he menu, just ask for something you like and La Toscana will do their best to accomidate you. Everyone seems to have good time there. The busboys, servers, bartenders, owners are all there with smiles on, laughing with each other and just having a great time. The welcoming experience one has here keeps people coming back. Not wonder they’ve been around so long!
— Love G. - 3/30/2007
Really good Italian. I love their version of linguini in clam sauce. It’s a cream sauce with clams, and I’m pretty sure I tasted wine. Very flavorful. Heavy enough to satisfy, but not sickening. I was not a huge fan of their minestrone though. Too thick for my taste, but had a great flavor. The wine selection is pretty good too.
— Kandi K. - 10/13/2006
Driven by thousands of times…

A great find. Food was delicious and reasonably priced, service efficient and friendly. Reccomend Fried Calamari and Gnocchi.

I agree with the “retirement age” comment but that usually means good food at a reasonable price!
— Scott A. - 9/6/2006
Best Lamb Shank in Marin! Large wonderful portions! Attentive service, spacious dining room. Reasonable Drinks! I’ve passed this Restaurant countless times by 101 and now it’s a destination!
— Will F. - 6/02/06