Hometown restaurateur John Lascari has opened a new cucina in La Habra’s Westridge Plaza. When I visited the restaurant at the former site of Pasta Bravo a month ago, the signs weren’t up, but Jim and Shirley Pierce, of Whittier, had found the restaurant anyway.
“We just made a trip to Italy in May. All the food we had in Italy, we said one thing: ‘When can we get back to Lascari’s?’ The food (in Italy) is very bland.”
The Pierces are longtime devotees of the Lascari’s chain. They started eating at the first Lascari’s in the 1970’s when it opened on Whittier Boulevard east of Santa Gertrudes. That location now houses the Taco Shack.
La Habra’s new store is part of a major expansion. Jorge Cueva, who’s in charge of opening new restaurants for the chain, told me he was about to open six new locations, two stores a month for three months. “We’re ready to take this business to the next level,” he said. “Next comes franchising.”
The Lascari’s brand includes three styles of restaurant: Full-service, deli, and cucina. The cucinas offer the same great food, but there are no food servers. And, Cueva pointed out, cucinas give a senior discount all day, unlike the full-service restaurants which reduce prices for seniors from 2-5 p.m. only.
“The senior special is great,” Jim said. “We can never finish, and the wine is great.”
“I started at the top (of the menu),” said Jim, “and worked my way down — even the eggplant; and I don’t like eggplant.”
1360 S. Beach Blvd
La Habra, CA 90631