Where are our dedicated valley dwellers? Vivo Italian Kitchen is the spot for you! Take a trip with us to Universal City Walk for one restaurant you must add to your “nights out to-do list”.
Vivo Italian Kitchen is nestled in the heart of City Walk by the Sephora (incase you need a bigger name marker). The cozy restaurant has plenty of southern italian influences in it’s decor with both indoor and ourdoor seating. The patio is nicely covered by a wooden overhang that might make you wish for the sites of Cinquterre as you order your wine. But in the meantime, this is one Italian gem you’ll love having on your list. Vivo Italian Kitchen is celebrating the Lunar New Year alonside Universal by providing their ‘Haute Cusine’ menu in Mandarin.
We popped in for a luncheon preview of the menu, but rest assured we tried all their dinner specialities to tell you whats their best of the best.
First we kicked off the meal with their Stuffed Bread , the menu’s description truly doesn’t do this appetizer justice. It is to die for. Yes it is stuffed bread but the perfectly measured layers of italian meats and cheeses are baked inside to perfection, and honestly could be a meal onto it’s own during any happy hour jaunt. We digress, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect savory starter to preclude your meal, this is it. You’ll find the bread stuffed with: peperoni, arugula, sharp provolone,and roasted peppers. Oh did we mention the bread is made out of pizza dough? It’s pretty much a magically baked pizza. Do not skip this if you dine here. It’s one of those dishes we wax poetic on as a must try.
You can’t dine Italian and skip the pasta. Our next order of business was checking out their Linguini Nero & Clams. The linguini nero is “nero” due to the squid ink they use to give it, its black color. Nero means black in Italian. This pasta was our favorite entree of the course. We loved how light the sauce was and the clams were fresh with just the perfect hint of garlic in every bite. It’s their most popular dish for a reason. Also, if you’ve never tried black pasta, this is a great introduction to this speciality. You’ll find most squid ink “nero” pastas near sea faring towns in Italy. Or you can find a great one right here in Universal City Walk.
Next on the menu we tried one of their Hearth Baked Pizzas. We opted for their Quattro Fromaggi . The four cheeses they use here at Vivo are: mozzarella, fontina, italico, and ricotta salata topped with sage. The dough is light and airy with the cheeses well balanced, allowing you to enjoy each individual flavor.
Fun fact about Vivo Italian Kitchen, is all their flour is imported from Italy. Which is really a nice touch, you can taste the difference in the food with their use of higher quality flour. Lets face it, Italians know their flour. Also, Europe bans over 48+ chemicals from their farming industry which gives their food a less syntheic appeal. Anyone whose health and organic concious will truly appreciate this cuisine foresight.
Our final stop on the list was dessert. We can’t reccomend their Cannoli‘s enough. It’s the perfect after thought for a filling meal. Upon placing your order you’ll recieve three minature cannolis of varying flavors which are perfect for sharing. Not only will you satisfy your sweet tooth, you’ll also feel satisfied without being over stuffed. Always opt for the cannolis.
The craft cocktails here are also high quality. No need to worry about drinks that all taste the same. Vivo Italian Kitchen doesn’t use any pre-mixed conceptions, you can enjoy your cocktail knowing each one is made to order. Pick your favorite to pair with any meal, or snag a glass of wine. This is after all an Italian restaurant, and nothing goes better with pasta than your favorite glass of wine.
Let us know if you pop into Vivo Italian Kitchen! We’d love to hear what your favorites are.