La Collina Italian Ristorante and Full Bar

I took my mother-in-law to a movie and dinner on Monday. We saw Stephanie Meyer’s The Host. You can read my review here.

It was a very cold and windy day, and I was under-dressed. You may remember that I’ve been battling a virus that turned into bronchitis for the last two weeks. So I really should have been wearing more than a sweater over a long-sleeved shirt. But, as I was driving her car and not my own, I had to make do.

After the movie, we decided to try Jack’s in San Bruno, but after finally finding a parking spot, we realized there was a very long wait, and as my MIL uses a walker, it was better if we found a place without a wait. I suggested Thai Stick in Millbrae and after parking down the block, we realized it was too cold to walk to Thai stick. We were better off going to La Collina.


Located at 655 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA, La Collina is an upscale Italian Restaurant and Bar. Meals average between $12.95 – $22.95. My MIL had been there before and highly recommended the lamb shank dinner.

Since she uses a walker, we needed special accommodations so we asked to be seated at the booth by the window which hadn’t been set up yet. There were a handful of customers when we arrived, at about 6:30 pm, yet the hostess/waitress made a face and went to get someone to set the table for us.

We asked for water but did not get it until halfway through the meal. The service was awful. My MIL noticed that the tables with the male patrons were getting good service. The waitress kept checking on those tables and making small talk. Perhaps they were regulars, but no one bothered to check on us, not the server, not the waitress, not the old guy folding napkins. We didn’t get bread until we asked. We didn’t get refills on the coffee or hot tea. It’s like we were in a blind spot. We finished our meal and waited for over five minutes before someone noticed. Then it was like an inconvenience when we asked for a second cup of coffee.

So, what did we order, and how was the food?


We both ordered the braised lamb shank served with vegetables and polenta. Although the presentation was good, the food was a little bland. My MIL said the gravy used to be more flavorful. The picture on their website shows much more vegetables than we actually got. The lamb shank itself was dry.

Maybe they were having an off day, but for $22.95, I expected more.


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