I stopped being thrilled about going to La Pasta after the fifth time my friends dragged me there. It was the closest restaurant to our dorm, being right outside the gate, and we passed it every day. La Pasta isn’t bad, it’s just really unremarkable – from food to atmosphere to pricing – like so many sit-down chain restaurants. Average. While the food isn’t special, it is made with the right techniques and ingredients so it’s truly western food, not ketchup-on-pasta “western” “food.” Reliable. There’s even cold water, an indication that the restaurant understands the needs of a foreign population. (Chinese people traditionally believe drinking cold water is unhealthy and you’ll either be served hot water in restaurants or none at all. Soup is the healthiest liquid for meals.)
The only memorable thing on the menu is this purple citrus drink. The flavor is bright like the appearance. We started off ordering them because they just looked cool, being poured as gradients you can mix yourself.
The restaurant is called La Pasta so there’s a lot of pasta on the menu, from squid ink to cream sauce. Nothing to write home about or complain about.
More stuff that was so average and normal I’d forget we ate it if I didn’t write this down. The presentations are visually appealing and appropriate so we got some nice pictures out of all our visits.
If you’ve been living in Shanghai for a long time and crave normal western food without jacked up prices in the glitzy expat areas, La Pasta promises a reassuring experience, and not much else.