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Review of new La Boccas restaurant Jomtien (bad)


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Restaurant Review, La Bocca Italian Restaurant Jomtien - A few doors down from 'Lindas Restaurant'.

 

It passed all the usual tests that I run for new restaurants without established online reviews on sites like TripAdvisor. The prices were sufficiently high enough to convince me that the food might actually be good, there appeared to be a foreign (and obviously Italian by his gesticulations) owner inside, and it was packed, so I thought - why not give it a try? Boy was I 1000 baht wrong this time!

 

On entry I was greeted by the italian owner who seemed reluctant to let me sit downstairs at one of the two precious free tables in the main dining area as I was by myself. Presumably he preferred to keep these for more rewarding parties of people, so I was put upstairs in the mezzanine area which was a good five degrees hotter. Granted there was a small air con going upstairs but it was inadequate to cool the area.

 

The owner was kind enough to give me the wireless password upon seeing my iPad which I was grateful for. But he then dissapeared in a flurry and it was a good ten minutes of sweating before the dek serve arrived to take my order. I made the mistake at this point of asking what the 'la pesca carpaccio of the day' or similar was today. She had no idea, but I actually had to say 'well can you find out please?' before she got the hint.

 

So she runs off down the stairs and up comes up with the owner (I thought to answer my question) but no he was putting out more fires, this time at the table across from me who were complaining about one thing or another. She also got a serving from the owner for some reason and then came back to my table to take my order. Unfortunately she still hadnt found out what it was, and at this point she really starts to look stressed and pissed off, whether at herself, or the fact she has to walk down and up those stairs again I dont know!

 

She eventually comes back another five minutes later and informs me that its salmon or something similar. So I order some house wine and also the lasagne. Ten minutes later I am informed by the owner that Lasagne is 'finished' for the day and the poor waitress is yelled out directly in front of me to my astonishment 'Do you not remember I told you we have no more lasagne!'. She runs off.

 

So I order Spaghetti Vongole (spaghetti with clams). My (very warm) house wine arrives and its barely drinkable, but in fairness, I should have known better as it was only 250 baht for half a liter. However, why these places dont have a 'house' and 'house premium' option I dont know, because I would never come back to this place just on the basis of their poor house wine.

 

Anyway, the starter of salmon arrives quite quickly and I tuck into it. The salmon certainly wasnt raw as I thought it would be, I **think** it was in fact smoked salmon. There was nothing really wrong with it, but it was pretty uninspiring.

 

My substitute main course of spaghetti with clams then arrives (quite quickly after) and this is where the food goes downhill quickly. This should be a simple and tasy dish, which relies on just a few ingredients. However, it was almost tasteless, was underseasoned and contained almost no parsely or garlic. I think there were 7 or 8 small clams, and the overall size of the dish would have been more appropriate as starter. After a serious glug of olive oil and salt and pepper it was edible only because I was starving.

 

During the whole time I was there the owner, a small italian guy (reminiscent of Manuel from Faulty Towers - yes I know he was Spanish but you get the idea) was literally running around the place like a schizophrenic mad man. One second he would be apologising effusively to customers, and the next berating the poor service staff. The other italian guy was also losing his cool with staff.

 

I get the impression this place wanted to open for high season and staff training and standards were a lower priority. This place suffers from what many restaurants in Pattaya fall victim to - an unmanageably large menu. They should have stuck with pizzas or opened with pizzas only until they got up to speed.... but then they wouldnt have fleeced so many poor people.

 

At the end of the day, if staff are incompetent its absolutely because they have not received the training and support they require. The poor service girl almost broke down in tears that night, hopefully she had the sense to quit. Oh and she did that most annoying thing of waiting for the change from the bill expecting a tip despite service charge being added to the bill. Another pet hate of mine!

 

Now to be fair, the main drawcard of this place is supposed to be the pizzas, and I didnt try these. If your a pizza lover they might be worth a try, although I would say that with a very optimistic GOOD LUCK!

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Thanks for that review Christie! I took a look at their menu once and decided that I was not about to pay those prices. Especially since I have been very satisfied with the Italian food at Trattoria Italiana just up the street. If you have not tried Trattoria Italiana, I strongly recommend it. I have eaten there over 20 times and never had a bad meal. At nighttime it's usually packed and plenty of Italians eat there. (I don't speak Italian but I can usually recognize it.)

 

Trattoria Italiana is in Jomtien on Thap Phraya road. It's located next to Foodmart and they share the same parking lot. See PhotoGuide.

 

Here is their sign.

 

TrattoriaItaliana.jpg

"Time travel!! All you want is to slap a hippie, but all you get is multiple Kowalski's."

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Thanks for that, will definitely try it soon. I have seen other good reports about Trattoria over at Tripadvisor as well. Only negative for me would be lack of air con. Anyone tried the pizza at La Bocca and can give some feedback on that? I dont understand why its so packed every night...maybe the pizza is amazing?

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It may have more to do with being “high season”. I think that even a mediocre restaurant can make it during high-season. The test will come around the June through September time frame. Linda’s Restaurant right next door is a good high-quality restaurant and has plenty of customers now. But I can remember walking past Linda’s many nights last July and seeing just one or two customers in there or sometimes none. Since then they have had Kota Restaurant open on one side of them and La Bocca on the other side. They all seem to be targeting the same “up-market” falang customers also. It will be interesting to see what happens this coming summer.

"Time travel!! All you want is to slap a hippie, but all you get is multiple Kowalski's."

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Thanks for the review, will give that place a miss. ate at Linda's twice nice lay out with white table cloths but the food weren't up to much.also that Giannies up from there was shit, again looks great but the food was crap. With so many good places to eat hear you have to get it right or people just won't come back! What's PanPan like?

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Thanks for the review...To the OP, that reminds me of a visit to "Sunrise Taco" also in Jomtien, crap food, took 5 servers

to change the paper on the POS machine, while some asshole owner was walking around telling customers

what had broke the night before , this was their 3rd day of a "soft opening"...want more info I posted a review on here

about a month ago.

I ate at "Linda's" on my 2nd trip, as I was staying at VT2a, 100B for a dolop of yourght, 3 small chunks of fresh fruit

and a slice of toast. Was very "pretty" plate, but fuck me , 100B for 5B worth of food just cuz' it is "pretty" I did get coffee

to one of those euro thimble sized things.

NEVER went back all month, never saw it busy until this trip (jan-feb) how they stay open is a mistery !!!!

Improving one Issan girls cash flow , one cash grant at a time !

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'la pesca carpaccio of the day'

 

No peach carpaccio ? :-) And they brought you fish instead ?

 

Spaghetti alle vongole isn't a 'main course'.

 

Places that sell pizza aren't restaurants (ristorante). Better to try the simple place called a 'trattoria', or cook for yourself.

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Thanks Maxb, yes I took the advice of Baloo22 and tried 'Trattoria Italiana' just up the road. In fact I tried it three times over about 10 days!

 

The place was always packed with people and impossible to get a table until about 9pm, but thats fine as they close late at 11.30pm.

 

The stand out for me about Tratorria is their excellent house wine, which at 100baht a glass was probably the best cheap house wine I have had in Thailand. And believe me I have had some shockers. Both the red and white are far better than the 170baht a glass stuff that Matahari serves. Now I know that one is a family trattoria and the other air conditioned, european fine dining but it really bothers me that other restaurants don't pay more attention to their house wine. The fact that Trattoria has both excellent house wine, AND its cheap its a testament to the fact they obviously care about something.

 

Also their complimentary bread was excellent and not the normal cardboard that most restaurants serve including La Bocca.

 

For the sake of comparison I ordered Spaghetti with Clams again, it was 20 baht cheaper (in fairness to La Bocca though Trattoria is an outside restaurant with no air con and less flashy surroundings) but most importantly --- it was tasty and plentiful. The side salad was very good, and the mushroom cream soup while being 'too creamy' for my liking, was still obviously home made and great value at 100 baht. The Lasagne I tried on another night was ok, lacking any real bechamel sauce but certainly passable.

 

Trattoria is one restaurant where they are actually not overstaffed. They only had 5 table staff and a manager most nights and with all tables full they were well busy. A few smiles and friendlier service would be nice, but still the service was efficient and english good. While I wouldnt give it 5/5 its definitely a great place if you want a few glasses of wine and main course for under 500 baht, in that regard its great value for money.

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I drink opposite the La Bocca,Every time i'm down there its always busy ! ,So they must be doing something right !

Its only just openened and as the old saying goes Rome wasn't built in a day !!

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Thanks Maxb, yes I took the advice of Baloo22 and tried 'Trattoria Italiana' just up the road. In fact I tried it three times over about 10 days!

 

 

That's a recommendation.

 

In Italy 'ristorante' implies refined or 'fancy' dining (not pizza), while a trattoria should have more emphasis on good, simple food.

 

I agree that the bread and house wine are good indicators of restaurant quality, as are towels for brothels ;-)

 

For my money there is often little correlation in price and food quality in commercial dining. People tend to pay for decor, ambiance, reputation, what is currently fashionable, to be entertained. The food is often way down the list of priorirties, which is why you can't beat home cooking in any country.

 

Give me an enthusiastic amateur, or at least freelancer, over a spoiled Ice Queen any day. Ditto for restaurants.

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Before moving here I wouldn't eat in an Italian Restaurant if it served Pizza [except pizza] but then this is LOS, heard Pan Pan in the same area is good.

Wine improves with age. The older I get the better I like it.

You only as old as the girl you feel.

In Pattaya, your her customer not her boyfriend.

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This place does sound like it's lacking in the quality department but did you really expect a Thai waitress to understand what " la pesca carpaccio of the day" meant?

 

Side note, ever shop in Macro on Sukimvit? There are lots of farangs buying bulk low quality food products for their restaurants. I ate in one farang restaurant on the DS and the pizza tasted like it came out of a freezer and I never went back even though it's 5 mins from my house.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Restaurant Review, La Bocca Italian Restaurant Jomtien - A few doors down from 'Lindas Restaurant'.

Now to be fair, the main drawcard of this place is supposed to be the pizzas, and I didnt try these. If your a pizza lover they might be worth a try, although I would say that with a very optimistic GOOD LUCK!

Well, that's just it, apparently the pizza is awesome. Quite honestly, the lack of a good house wine is enough for me to give it a miss though, but I'd kill for a good pizza.

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