The atmosphere here is casual and less hectic than Café Lucio. Italian music, the one major atmospheric element taken from Café Lucio is being played Lucio style…meaning, it’s blaring in the background. All orders are taken at the counter and patrons take their number to an open table; food is then delivered by an expediter. The menu is Italian American, incorporating burgers and fries. The pasta menu consists of ItalAmer staples, pomodoro, alfredo, ragu. Pizzas and Panini are abundant.
I ordered the fettuccine alfredo. The portion size is a little smaller than Lucio’s. In other words, a normal portion for one person. It’s creamy, the pasta is cooked properly, and it’s good. It’s not exactly how Lucio would make it. I don’t taste any nutmeg and it doesn’t have a yellowish hew to it either. Lucio would add an egg yolk to the sauce off-heat just before tossing the pasta through. But as I mentioned, this is ItalAmer cuisine, not hard core Lucio cuisine.
Mamma Lucia may be the best spot in Santa Cruz, for an easy, no nonsense plate of food cooked from scratch if you want to bring the kids and not wait for Lucio to cook for you in between cigarette breaks or personally making espresso for 20 people while juggling 10 other meal orders.