Pizza >Kiantis Pizza & Pasta Bar
1100 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA | Directions 9506036.971878 -122.025313
Daily, 11am - 10pm
Incredible Service – Our service was great and the waiter was adorable. Ambiance was romantic and definitely recommended. For the music,,,I would recommend jazz or house and the people were cool. Portions were good.
Great Happy Hour and Food – Although the food is always good, Happy Hour has a great small menu that is amazing. You can get a pizza roll and a beer for under $6. Add a Happy Hour beer and you're set
Not the best!! – I went with family from out of town and I was embarrassed at the service (it was terrible). While the food was pretty good the service was so bad I would not be going back. There are other places with much better service AND better food. The lay-out of the resturant is also another issue that needs attention. While eating you have staff yelling orders to each other almost right through you. Very annoying to say the least!! If hey get their act together maybe I would return, and or recommend it. However I really don't see that happening. :-(
Terrible place to dine – we had some friends from out of the country visiting and we took them to Kiantis.I was ashamed of the service. the waitress acted like she had better things to do than serve us, she was extremely rude and made us feel very uncomfortable. I will NEVER be going back and i do not recommend it to anyone.
Perhaps some service with your food? – Kianti's is probably one of the hottest restaurants in downtown Santa Cruz. Everybody I know that's visited Santa Cruz (in the past year or so) knows of, or has eaten at, Kianti's. Being that it's so "hot", it tends to get packed on Friday and Saturday nights, especially in between the hours of 7PM-9PM. Anything under a half an hour wait on weekend nights is just crazy to hope for.
The food... Is pretty much awesome. I've been many times within the past year and have loved it. The food is the only reason I really gave this place a 4 star rating. The service... not so awesome. It's often bogged down, even when the restaurant is half full (or empty depending on how you look at it). I've been on a busy Saturday night, and I've been on a fairly empty Sunday early afternoon. It doesn't matter... You ask for the check, and it comes 15 minutes later. You literally have to keep an eye on your waiter/waitress in order to get some form of prompt service.
The mood... Is a little noisy and hectic. Because the area between the kitchen and the pick up counter is in between a high traffic area, you'll often find wait staff and cooks yelling back and forth for communication. This also drives the volume of the restaurant up. Kianti's is a very open and high tech place, so there's a lot of young people and a lot of families that come through. So by the time 8PM hits the restaurant is packed, you'll be begging for ear plugs. The entertainment however... was pretty good, kind of made up for the mediocre service. For those of you that have never been to Kianti's on a Friday or Saturday night, they have a sort of an impromptu show. It's pretty well choreographed actually, and there's lots of light flickering, dancing, pizza twirling, and noise to go around. It's so good it actually wants to make you stay for dessert and watch the next show.
the best in my book – I have been going to kianti's since they opened. I have always had great service I love sitting at the bar area too and watching the big screen tv's its fun. They are totally pleasant and always have a smile whenever I have been there. The food is cooked to order so may take longer but it is so fresh -not from a freezer that has already been made. When they do the dancing it is so much fun to watch everyone gets involved even the cooks behind the counter. This is one of my favorite places, go and see and eat!
Head elsewhere... – I went here with my family having heard that this was a decent restaurant. I was SO disappointed. First of all, we arrive to screaming servers outside the building. Not very welcoming. We were seated by the open food station and every few minutes had to listen to one of the chefs screaming out a server's name to let them know when food was ready. Having been a server, I know checking in would suffice. As for the food, the only tolerable dish we had was the Spinach Pizza. The bruschetta appetizer was overwhelmed by the balsamic vinegar. The gorgonzola pizza was cheesy but lacked flavor (surprising given the type of cheese, I know!). The spaghetti was overcooked. If you are an Italian restaurant I think the bare minimum is the knowledge of perfectly-cooked pasta. I say these things because if you are charging $10-15 for your plates of pasta/pizza, the quality should follow suit. It did not. If you are in the mood for Italian in this price range, I would suggest Star Bene or even Cafe Mare.
So-so pasta but VERY good pizza! – We walked here one day and figured we should give it a try. My penne arrabiata was decent and the sauce was good, but the chicken wasn't for some reason--I think it was a bit chewy. My girlfriend's pasta was decent but both pastas were a bit overcooked. We noticed most people were eating pizza and recently came back to give it a try. We were highly impressed! I guess this goes to show that when a place specializes in pizza, its unfair to rate them based on their other dishes. We got a ham and bacon pizza and loved it! It's actually some of the better pizza I've had in CA and would gladly come back again!
Average – The initial taste of my plate was really good, but after awhile it became a little bland. Nice decor, general italian food, all right restaurant. Service was iffy but probably because we were with a large group, and they don't split individual bills. The waitress split the table check in half and caused a whole fiasco.. =P
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