Place: We like the rustic feel of the place, with its brick walls and wooden furnishings. Something has to be done though about the flies and the disorderly kitchen area.
Food: Generally delicious!
While waiting for the food we ordered, we are munching on the complimentary bread that comes with pesto and marinara dips. The bread is not stale and is served warm. The marinara dip is delicious. The pesto one tastes like grass.
First on our table is the Spaghetti Seafood Olio (Php 315): aglio olio pasta (olive oil and garlic based sauce) with mussels, squid, and clams. For our noodles, we ask the waiter to change the spaghetti to linguine. This dish is delicious! The aglio olio itself is cooked well; there's no hint of garlic bitterness, just roasted sweetness. And just like the pasta, the seafood is fresh and not overcooked! This one is a must-eat!
Next is the Risotto Tartufo Funghi (Php 325). It's risotto with truffle cream, wild mushrooms, and parmesan cheese slices. It's creamy, woodsy, and perfectly seasoned. It can be a last meal. Our tip is to mix some chili oil for added flavor and kick.
Next, the Mama Lou's Special pizza (Php 350 for a 12-inch crust): thin-crust pizza with a slightly sharp tomato-based sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula, mangoes, and drizzles of a balsamic dressing. This is another good one! The fresh crust has the right texture and crispiness. The flavors are simple and clean. All the tastes are represented, making each bite satisfying.
Next on our table is the Mozzarella Burger Steak (Php 295). This dish features a big burger patty with a mozzarella center, smothered with mushroom gravy, and served with side vegetable and a scoop of mashed potatoes. The patty is meaty and packed, but it is a tad too salty. Good thing the cheese helps temper this saltiness. Also, the gravy is not salty and is actually prepared well; this gravy also helps lessen the saltiness of the burger. The mashed potatoes' taste is authentic, unlike those mashed potato mixes that come in boxes.
For dessert, we have a slice of Mama Lou's Cheesecake (Php 180). It's your basic cheesecake that can have a blueberry or mango topping. We choose the blueberry one. The crust tastes good, although its integrity needs a little improvement (it crumbles too easily). The cheesecake itself is a little too sugary. We like the blueberry because it has the right balance of being tart and sweet. Plus, we can nibble on some real blueberry bits.
Lastly, for our drink, we have a tall glass of the Iced Blended Mocha (Php 150). This one is a letdown. No coffee and chocolate flavors. It's just all milk and sugar.
Price: Considering serving size, taste, and the ingredients used, we find the food here reasonably priced.
Service: Good! Our servers are attentive and friendly! Waiting time for food is reasonable.
Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen is on the 1st floor of UP Town Center.