Summary: Inconsistent Italian food at this very busy restaurant.
Trattoria La Siciliana is one of Parker's favorite restaurants, so it wasn't a surprise when she suggested it for a girls' night out a couple of weeks ago (July 2008). Alas, none of the other girls could make it, so it was she and I for dinner.
La Siciliana is a small and very busy restaurant. It has a tiny dining room downstairs, and a somewhat larger one upstairs. Still, it's not enough to meet demand, and people line up outside waiting for a table. Fortunately, our wait on a Thursday night around 7:30 pm was only 10 minutes or so. They do take reservations, but they are not always available at the last minute.
The vast menu has plenty of pasta and risotto options, as well fish and meat dishes. Plus there are a dozen daily specials, which makes it rather difficult to figure out what to order. And as I discovered, not all the food is great.
Parker ordered a squash appetizer from the specials' menu. It wasn't what she expected; the squash seemed to be pickled, but she thought it was OK. For dinner, she had one of the pasta dishes - I just wished I remember what it was. She was very happy with it, I thought the sauce tasted very homey. I'd definitely try the pasta on a future visit.
I had the pork shoulder braised with white wine, from the specials menu, and I was disappointed. The pork was nice and tender, but it had a very mild flavor; the wine in the sauce wasn't at all noticeable. I wouldn't order it again.
Both Parker and I had a glass of wine, I liked my fruity Sangiovese.
I had the tiramisu for dessert, and it was good, but not extraordinary. Just your average good tiramisu. It was a nicely sized portion.
Service was good, though the waiters are definitely in a hurry.
In all, I'd go back but try the pastas.
Trattoria La Siciliana
2993 College Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705