Nona’s Kitchen

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 4/5
Times Visited: Two   ♦   Will I Return?: Sure

Nona’s Kitchen is a cute little restaurant tucked quietly into a shopping center way out in Pacifica.  First of all, I’ve lived in the Bay Area for most of my life and I had no idea where Pacifica was before my friend moved out there.  Furthermore, I had no idea that a city in the Bay could be so freaking far away from Hayward and still be considered an official part of the Bay Area.   Regardless, now I know about it and I’m glad that my introduction to Pacifica was via this yummy café.

Another comment – this is the first time I have used the tag “American” cuisine.  Thus far I’ve only done ethnic restaurants, one seafood/steak (which I would also consider to be “American” food), and dessert.  I wasn’t sure what to call this kind of food (salads, pastas, meats, burgers, sandwiches), so I am using the word “American”.  Just FYI.

Nona’s is a nice little place with warm decor and a super friendly owner.  You’ll know who he is – he’s the guy yelling a joke to you from behind the counter when you come in.  The staff is very friendly and helpful, and the food is pretty dang good.  So, you could say I like this place.

Nona's Kitchen in Pacifica

The menu isn’t actually that large, and I sort of appreciate this.  When I receive a menu with 100,000 choices on it, it makes me wonder how each one of the dishes can actually be superbly delicious – there’s just too much to focus the culinary effort on.  But with a dozen or so main dinner entrees, a few appetizer and salad choices, and a daily specials list of half a dozen other dishes, I am confident that anything I order will receive appropriate attention, and also have a greater chance of being fresh.  And in Nona’s case, I found this to be true.

Salad special with sliders and mac and cheese behind, at Nona's.

I have to say that Nona’s is actually a place for the meat-eater, at least for dinner.  Your non-meat choices are pretty dang slim and include two pasta dishes and a couple salads and/or appetizers.  If you eat fish, like me, your choices now include a few fishy dishes and a shrimp pasta.  But if you’re really keen on veggie eating only, I probably wouldn’t head out to Nona’s.

Having said that, the food is excellent.  Both times we’ve gone with our Pacifica-based friends, the food has been really good.  The choices are gourmet but all-American at the same time, the dishes are well paired and well portioned, and everything is cooked with great skill.  Someone behind the counter is a real chef, not just some kid-cook picked up from Applebees (sorry Bee, but you know what I’m saying).

Linguine in Pesto Sauce with Tiger Prawns and Parmesan, at Nona's.

On our last visit (the one where I took the pictures), I had the salmon on a bed of warm spinach, and some of the other dishes at the table included the shrimp pesto linguine, green salad with pears (special), and two other meat-y things (maybe sliders and roast beef? I wasn’t too involved with them, they were at the far end of the table).  Everyone was very happy, including myself.  And, added bonus, they give you a dish of the most buttery and delicious rolls to start with – mmmm.  AND they have fresh lemonade which I love.

Wild Salmon on a Warm Spinach Salad w/ Tomato-Bacon Vinaigrette, sans bacon.

Nona’s – great food quality, nice ambiance, funny owner, but heavy on the meat, and way the heck out in Pacifica!  I’m sure I’ll be back though…