When I lived in Florence, I must have walked by Acqua al 2 literally everyday as I walked to the Culinary Academy. I never ate at the Florence location. However, I have recently dined at the San Diego location. Unfortunately, it did not remind me of Florence.
I ordered some basics, arugula salad and risotto with mushrooms. The arugula salad was reasonably authentic albeit out of season. I would hate to think anyone can screw up a salad in health concious San Diego. Three items on the salad plate, fresh arugula, sliced cherry tomato, large shavings of grana, dressed lightly. The Italians at this point in the season wouldn't have used tomatoes, rather they would have used citrus in the salad. It's citrus season in California, but no citrus in site.
The risotto was far less inspiring. Virtually no presentation on a wide, long plate. The plate itself is part of the presentation and vessel for keeping the rice warm. The dish was brought out warm, but certainly not hot to the table. The dish itself didn't really pop, undersalted, and lacked any real depth of flavor. It was rice cooked with mushrooms, not risotto con funghi. I've made the dish far too many times to cut some slack for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
I had higher hopes for a restaurant that has origins in a city so close to my heart.