Restaurant Review: Il Toscano Torrance, CA

Il Toscano is located in the back corner of a strip mall near Palos Verdes. It doesn’t look like anything special from the outside but the inside is a different story.

We were greeted right away by the owner  who also seated us at our table. Italian art, instruments, and odds & ends were mounted on shelves through the dining area. The tables each had simple white table cloths, the walls were wooden. Nothing too fancy here, in fact it felt like I walked into an Italian kitchen. The staff was very warm and pleasant. A different staff member told us the nightly specials, took our drink order, and took our main order. However, this wasn’t your usual “so and so will be right with you, let me get your drinks”…. rather everything flowed very smoothly, as if for example each staff member was “assigned” to only take drink orders, food orders, etc.  The only other time I experienced a dinner service like this was at another Italian restaurant in Tampa. My dad said that’s how they do it in Italy. I guess I would have to take his word for it until I go there.

Table set up at Il Toscano

Calamari Luciana

We ordered the Calamari Luciana to start. This calamari was fresh and sauteed in a spicy tomato sauce instead of fried. I enjoyed it. I wish I knew of other places that offered this variation as it’s a bit healthier.

Sringhe al nero di Seppie

I ordered the Sringhe al nero di Seppie , which is a pasta made with squid ink, topped with jumbo shrimp. I’ve never had a pasta like this. It was very unique and the taste was light but the portion was generous enough that there was enough to take home. The pasta was cooked to al dente and the shrimp was seasoned well. I would like to learn this recipe because it’s a slightly different from the usual spaghetti.

For dessert, I ordered traditional Tiramisu. It was served quickly and was very tasty. Was it the best tiramisu I’ve had? No… but it tasted fresher than any other tiramisu I’ve had recently.


The drawbacks to my experience were that it took us forever to settle the check. The server left us alone for a while after we got our desserts. Then it took us a while to get his attention to bring us our check and even longer to cash us out. For me that’s always the part of the meal that will either make or break my experience. Maybe it’s the curse of being a former server, but I believe the check drop off & return shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.

All in all the experience was pretty good. The staff was very hospitable, it wasn’t scripted. The food was pretty good… better than the chain restaurants for sure. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this restaurant if you are in a hurry as the vibe is slow paced and relaxed. I would probably return sometime in the future but it’s not my “go to” Italian restaurant. I’ll try to find something a bit closer to my house for that.

The average menu price is $15 per entree. Plenty of parking is available.

My rating *** out of 5 stars.

Il Toscano on Urbanspoon
Il Toscano Restaurant in Los Angeles

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7 thoughts on “Restaurant Review: Il Toscano Torrance, CA

  1. Very interesting soup I would love that recipe….dissappointing that the tiramisu was better than most… someday I would love to go there been trying for years cant get the time off from work with that time difference I need to go at least 9 days…but it never works out, so these posts are great keep them coming!

  2. Hahaha the slow paced vibe is very authentic Italian indeed! In Italy, you can wait 40 minutes between your cafe` and a check! That’s the beauty of Italian life!

  3. I love squid ink pasta. I love things that are black. Food that are a scary color. To me, they just look splendid!
    I like the idea of sauteed calamari more than fried ones.

  4. Thank you so much for visiting sjgourmet! Your restaurant review was very interesting and the squid ink pasta looks delicious! I hope to see you at sjgourmet again!