The ‘Cheers’ of Torrey Hills

Taste of Italy’s new patio doubles as a party room and conference space. Photos by claire Harlin

Staff Writer

At Taste of Italy, located at 4653 Carmel Mountain Road, everyone knows your name.
“It’s just like ‘Cheers’ here,” said Rob Horbianski, the Italian eatery’s general manager. “When I go to Vons next door, all I see is our regulars there.”

A salmon dish served with pasta and veggies is a healthy option in addition to the extensive classic Italian menu at Taste of Italy. Photo by claire Harlin

And thanks to the loads of regular diners who come in consistently, the restaurant has been able to expand recently, adding an enclosed patio — fit with a fire pit, a big screen for sports or presentations and hookups for Internet or music. The restaurant has not only been inundated by calls to book the room for parties (at no rental fee), but they are offering live music and dancing several nights a week.

Rob Horbianski stands in front of Taste of Italy, a Torrey Hills neighborhood favorite.

Horbianski said the renovations to the restaurant are a reflection of the Torrey Hills neighborhood itself, which is also growing and evolving.
“There are so many new homes being built,” he said. “It’s just a great area with great schools and people want to be here.”
Much of what keeps people coming back to Taste of Italy is the food. For example, there are a lot of people who come in on Wednesdays just for the cream of jalapeño with artichoke soup, a house specialty.
“It’s not Italian,” said owner David Bono of the soup. “But it’s unbelievable.”

Another favorite dish — the fish tacos — are a hidden gem of Taste of Italy, and can be found on the bar menu.
“The bar menu is like our secret menu,” said Bono. “All the locals know about our fish tacos. They are really the best fish tacos in town.”

Taste of Italy also makes its salad dressings and pizza doughs (including gluten-free dough) from scratch, and the tequila-lime jalapeño pasta is a neighborhood favorite.

The caprese and gorgonzola salads are popular.

Appetizers are half price and drinks are $2 off for happy hour, which runs from 2 to 7 p.m.

Bono, whose culinary expertise comes from his Italian upbringing in Boston, is particularly excited to share the restaurant’s new lounge and conference room, which will double as a great place to watch Sunday football this fall. Music hookups on the patio allow guests to play their own personal music libraries, and Taste of Italy also sells cigars.

For more information, visit or call (858) 259-2300.

Related posts:

  1. Torrey Hills youth voice opposition to removal of permanent neighborhood basketball hoop
  2. Torrey Hills Board approves landscape restoration project
  3. Torrey Hills fall festival fun for all
  4. Solana Beach home to Crush Italian Cuisine and Lounge
  5. Restaurant Week adds more days for discount dining

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Sep 2, 2011. Filed under Business Spotlight. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Free Tennis and PickleBall offered at Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club during Rancho Days
    Rancho Days is now Rancho Tennis Days at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club. During the 10 days of Rancho Days (Oct. 3-12) the RSF Tennis Club is offering all Covenant-area residents free tennis. This includes many free clinics for all levels, free court time (just sign up at the front desk or call 858-756-4459) and free entry to the end of week mixed tennis to […]
  • Rancho Santa Big Band Orchestra to swing at Village Church
    Big band music blows into the Ranch from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Village Church, 6225 Paseo Delicias. The Rancho Santa Fe Big Band Swing Orchestra, a 17-piece outfit led by professor and former president of the San Diego Musicians’ Association Jack Wheaton, featuring producer and trumpeter Dominick Addario, vocalist and events coordinator Marie […]
  • Auditions to be held at Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe for ‘Rented Christmas’ musical
    The Village Church Community Theater recently announced auditions for “Rented Christmas, the Musical,” from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6 and Tuesday, Oct. 7 at the Village Community Church, 6225 Paseo Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe. […]