Kalura Trattoria – Dinner November 10, 2015
This is one if the most iconic locations in downtown Palm Springs. When I was a kid we would come to Palm Springs a few times a year, and stay for a week or two. Usually our hotel room would have a kitchenette but we would always take one trip to what used to be Louise’s Pantry. A real old-fashioned styled luncheonette; Louise’s Pantry was a fixture in Palm Springs since opening as a drugstore lunch counter in 1946. They eventually moved to La Quinta when rent prices got too expensive. Kalura Trattoria took over the lease in 2001, when The Follies were still in business at the next-door Plaza Theater. I reviewed the Follies a while back, but unfortunately they are long gone. Kalura Trattoria depended on the foot traffic from the comings and goings of the faithful audience. Now Kalura Trattoria has to rely on word of mouth or passer byes on Palm Canyon. The night I went was an off night so there were not that many customers.
Here’s what I tried:
Each martini was delicious, but my favorite was the pear.
Salmon Burrata, stuffed fresh mozzarella pocket with mascarpone cream cheese, mozzarella strings and smoked salmon, drizzled with white truffle oil,and topped with caviar. Wow, what a masterpiece, the cheese just consumes you with its soft melty texture and the caviar on the top really made it very special.
Calamari Fritti, with baby squid lightly floured and golden fried. Nice and light, this would be a great happy hour dish.
Insalata Di Capesante with Baby mixed green, Belgium endive, seared jumbo scallops, oranges and grapefruit in a lemon olive oil dressing. The scallops were the best part, large and moist, very delicious.
Tagliatelle Ai Funghi Misti, Fresh tagliatelle verdi pasta (spinach fettuccini) sauteed with garlic, olive oil mixed with wild mushrooms, finished in a beef stock wine creamy truffle oil reduction sauce. For me the pasta was too al dente and too thick, the sauce was delightful though.
Spaghetti Bolognese, spaghetti sauteed with olive oil, onions, carrots and celery in a Chianti wine tomato meat sauce. Good traditional hearty sauce, nice pasta dish to order.
Cioppino Amalfitano, a traditional Italian seafood stew with calamari, New Zealand mussels, lobster, fresh Atlantic salmon, Mahi Mahi, red snapper, jumbo prawns, sea scallops, and smoked Norwegian salmon in a fantastic marinara base sauce served with Crostini bread. I really liked this dish and the fish was very tasty and fresh.
Spaghetti Ai frutti Di Mare Al Cartoccio, spaghetti sauteed with olive oil, garlic, mixed shell fish, fresh seafood, clams, and black mussels finished in a light spicy tomato sauce combined with pinot grigio then wrapped in parchment paper and baked. Owner Pino made me try this one and I am very glad that he did, my favorite pasta of the night.
Linguine Alle Vongole Veraci, linguine sauteed with olive oil, garlic, manila clams on the shell and baby clams in a white pinot grigio sauce and garnished with Italian parsley. I would opt for the Frutti Di Mare over this dish.
Bistecca ai Funghi, grilled 12 oz. rib eye, topped with a mushroom reduction sauce, served with roasted potatoes and sautéed baby spinach. The steak was not the most tender of cuts but the mushroom sauce was delectable.
The Wine I tried:
Domino Chardonnay, CA., went great with the scallop salad and the calamari, as well as the Spaghetti Ai Frutti Di Mare Al Cartoccio.
Maine Street Chardonnay, CA, this wine worked perfectly with the Salmon Burrata, a nice light wine that added some great notes to the Burrata.
Villa Luisa, Super Tuscan, this wine was a great addition to the mushroom sauce in the steak, with its grassy terroir.
Farneses Montepulciano, Abruzzo. This wine was superb with the Spaghetti Bolognese, you have to pair this kind of wine with a hearty tomato sauce.
Masterpiece Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a very big wine with lots of jammy flavors, it went great with the Tagliatelle Ai Funghi Misti.
Wood Work Pinot Noir, I like this wine with the Cioppino Amalfitano, it just added another dimension to the dish.
(I ordered the pizza but never got it, so your own your own with that menu item.)
Owners Ignazio Battaglia, Vincenzo and Pino Amodeo come from Italy with a long experience in Italian cooking. “Kalura means the heat of the desert,” says owner and executive chef Vincenzo Amodeo. “We put a lot of love in whatever we do, and our secret is consistency.” Kalura Trattoria only uses oil from grape seeds that produce no trans-fats, Amodeo says. They offer non-MSG products, preparing only authentic Italian dishes straight from the heart. “We are real Italians,” he says. “We are not second or third generation. We learned how to cook in culinary schools in Italy.” “Quantity, quality and price are my three main goals,” Amodeo says. “I strive to make it so that whoever comes here today or in a week – they’ll find the same dining experience.”
There is a heated lovely al-fresco terrace, which is quite the scene. Diners get to be people watchers from the crowded streets of the nighttime strollers down Palm Canyon. Palm Springs has always been a place for people to window shop in the warm evening. Lots of foot traffic surrounds Kalura Trattoria, so hopefully their business will continue to prosper.
Here the food is good, and the scene is equally amazing!
124 S Palm Canyon Dr,
Palm Springs, CA 92262