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.
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!
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
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!
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
The service is incredibly friendly, but can be a
little on the slow side.
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.
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!
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
If you want good classic Italian cuisine, at a
friendly, unpretentious restaurant, this is the
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
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
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
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
Don't be put off by the location or less-than-hip
appearance, this is GREAT Italian food.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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!
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!