Justa Pasta leaves something to be desired

Entering the doors of Justa Pasta Co. with the sunlight streaming in the Portland windows, the atmosphere was very bright, warm and mellow.The inside of the restaurant was very classy and bar like.There were a few older people seated, but having to move through stands of bottles and glasses of wine made it feel squished and stuffy. It was hard to get to the front counter. The inside of the restaurant was very classic, the colors were very mellow and it gave a warm, intriguing feeling. The artwork hanging on the walls was very unique and added to the atmosphere.

Looking at menu spread across a massive wall, I  didn’t find many things of interest such as the Wild Mushroom Ravioli and the salads. It was also hard to read the letters scrawled out on the menu, so I found that just taking a typed, paper copy of the menu was much easier to understand. Even on that menu I didn’t find things that suited my taste. Their menu consisted of a small variety of foods that appeal to Italian tastes. They also had choices for vegetarians, such as small salads and meat free dishes.

As I ordered my food, the waitress was very kind and patient, suggesting things I could add and made it a lot easier as she put effort into helping me decide. Their service was much faster than I had expected and they brought the food to us quickly. We sat at round tables in the parking lot. Although it was blocked off and cars weren’t able to drive in, it was still an odd place to seat people if they made the decision to eat their food outside.

When my food arrived, I was amazed at how delicious it looked. I ordered Three Cheese Marinara ravioli and it was a blast of color on the plate. It was very well made and it appeared as if the cooks had put a lot of thought into the presentation. The marinara sauce was thick and chunky and has parmesan cheese sprinkled on top along with bits of green basil to add more flavor. I would say that there was a little too much sauce, because the ravioli seemed to sink underneath it all. Unfortunately the ravioli was thick and much blander than I expected. The sauce was so so, taste wise. The basil, lastly was delicious and that was the best part of the meal. It was also nice that they provided bread as we waited for our food to arrive, along with some tasty olive oil in which to dip.

For dessert I ordered the vanilla ice cream. I think it was a bit overpriced at three dollars for two scoops that weren’t quite as big as I would have liked. It was delicious though.

The price range varied from 75 cents to 10 dollars in price for a meal.

It was thankfully a very beautiful day out, and that made the experience much more enjoyable. I’m not sure if I would eat there again, but it was a nice little place to eat something small and simple. I would give Justa Pasta, 1326 NW 19th at Pettygrove. I would give Justa Pasta a C.