What San Diegans Eat – Luca of Barole Ristorante Italiano in UTC

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LucaGianluca Mazzolan – Luca, as in “my name is” of that famous Suzanne Vega song – is co-owner of Barolo Ristorante Italiano in the University Towne Center area of San Diego. He matriculated culinary school at the age of 14 in Senigallia – a port town in Italy on the Adriatic. Luca, the boy genius, graduated top of his class and traveled around the world gaining experience. He worked in Moscow and New York, but eventually he ended up in San Diego. He worked at Sante Ristorante in La Jolla for seven years, and this was where he met Gino Vitale, who later asked him to become his partner. Barolo is authentic Italian cuisine, as Luca is a very authentic Italian – even after years of living in San Diego. When you hear his Italian accent and his lousy jokes, you may be vaguely reminded of Fabio Viviani of Top Chef, Season 5.

List everything you consumed in the past 24 hours:

Breakfast – two eggs with bell pepper, brie cheese and habanero pepper, and one cup of coffee

Lunch – potato salad with habanero and French baguette

Dinner – We had friends over for a potluck dinner

  • Soft shell with butter caper lemon,
  • Butternut squash Moroccan style with cumin raisins and almonds,
  • Indian style lentil soup,
  • Shaved beets and grilled swordfish,
  • Fresh fruit – berries, apricots and peaches,
  • Chrysanthemum tea,
  • and a few grappas

Your top 5 restaurants, meals you like to cook, or your “rotation”:

Star Anise, China Max, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Bangkok Thai, Casa Machado

Your favorite grocery store:


Your favorite meal you’ve eaten in the past month:

Green curry from Star Anise

What is one food item you could not bare to live without?

Soft shell crab, truffle, caviar – pick one

What do you want the readers to know about yourself?

“Great sense of humor great English spelling, like simple dish not too many ingredient”

* For the record – the answers were transcribed into legible English for the SD Entertainer readership.

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