Green Restaurant Review

Pasta Espresso

by Julie A. Kitterman


s I sit out on the wooden deck, glancing at the moon, enjoying the subtle gusts of wind sporadically wisping about me, I say quietly to myself... "I love this place." You'd think I was at a retreat center in the middle of the desert, but I'm actually sitting at an outside table of Pasta Espresso, stomach growling, appreciating everything I value at this humble, comfortable, progressively run establishment.

Pasta Espresso has managed to combine good Italian food with the convenience and price of a fast food joint only that's not all. Every aspect of the restaurant has a consciousness to it. Unbleached napkins, real plates instead of disposables, recycling, no styrofoam, ... even the art on the wall was made out of reused materials. As an environmentalist, this was like a dream come true. "These guys are already green," I happily acknowledged to myself.

I decided to concentrate on the menu, since I did go there to eat. A choice of 4 different sauces on your choice of 6 different pastas, served with garlic bread and a house salad comes to just $4.55 (marinara sauce only $4.35). Wow!

What's it going to be this time? Alfredo sauce on angel hair pasta? Marinara on the spicy fire spirals? Or how about white clam sauce on red bell pepper fettucine? Maybe next time. I anxiously clear my reading materials away as a friendly employee brings me my usual: buckwheat soba fettucine topped with a great pesto sauce (not too heavy, yet with a good strong flavor). The large portions, salad and garlic bread make it a complete, filling and satisfying meal. By the time I left Pasta Espresso, I had enjoyed a thorough dining experience, topping my meal off with a fresh cup of organic coffee cooled with a bit of organic milk.

Sauces and types of pasta available can vary from day to day, ensuring a variety each time you visit. You also have the option to order your favorite combo with a Veggie Mix, which includes broccoli or mushrooms, or as a Bonus Meal, which doubles your portion of pasta both for the low price of an added buck. So check out the art, the ambiance, and the food at an unbeatable price!

Pasta Espresso is now a certified Green Restaurant. The staff is great always more than courteous with a positive attitude. You can find Pasta Espresso at 4480 Haines Street in Pacific Beach, just off of Garnet. The hours for Winter are Monday-Saturday, 11:30-9:00, closed Sunday.

 Julie is Associate Director of the Green Restaurant Association,, (619) 287-4261