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.
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.
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).
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.
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…