Friday, August 12, 2011

Chow Time: Angelo's & Vinci's

I know our last wacky tacky culinary adventure left you perfecting your pasta twirling technique and it may seem a bit redundant to feature another Italian restaurant so soon.  Nevertheless, we are certified, spaghetti fiends and we just couldn't stay away from one of our favorite Italian grub hubs, Angelo's & Vinci's.

Angelo's & Vinci's Ristorante - Fullerton, CA

Opened in 1972, Angelo's & Vinci's is a wacky tacky masterpiece.  Located on bustling Harbor Boulevard in historic, downtown Fullerton, even the entry to this mecca of manicotti is festooned with with all things wild and wonderful from the old world. 

A detail of Angelo's & Vinci's front door

Miniature suits of armor stand sentry

I have no idea what activity is being depicted in the figure on the left, 
but I don't think the cherub approves.

We're serving dessert first in this addition of chow time and showing one of the best parts of the restaurant immediately.  Angelo's & Vinci's has a basement (trust me this is pretty unusual and exciting in Southern California)!  Lurking in said basement is a collection of aberrations so peculiar, so dangerous, so horrible that they must be locked in cages. 


Demented clowns and caged monsters are not really the scariest part of the basement;
the scariest part is the smell - sort of old refrigerator meets moldy carpet. 

Frankenstein's monster & dismembered bodies

Gorillas & Vampires - Dracula, you don't have to put on the red light!

The best part of the basement is the fact that the space is dedicated to such a silly exploit.  Our favorite A&V pastime is to lead the uninitiated down to the basement and hide around the corner so we can jump out and scare them.  Juvenile?  Uh-huh.

As frightening as the basement might be, the centerpiece to the entire restaurant is the main dining room known as the Piazza Fantasia.

The Piazza Fantasia
The Piazza Fantasia really is a fantasy of color, light, soaring ceilings and a truly-wonderful assemblage of junk!  Aerialists and acrobats swing from the ceiling.  Cured meats, pirates, Santa Claus, Italian poster art, The Phantom of the Opera and twinkle lights are only small parts of the larger wacky tacky equation.  There is so much visual stimulation that I see something new every time we go.

Dinner guests enjoying the atmosphere

Sometimes it is difficult to tell which part of the building is the scariest.  
I'm not so sure the basement would win.

Just one small corner of the room includes street lamps, puppets, a pirate and Pinocchio!

A wall of faux food helps recreate the atmosphere
of food stalls in an old Italian Piazza

Taking a page out of The Godfather, "The Family" is given a place of honor.
Speaking of family, the place is usually packed with hungry families.  Moreover, there is almost always a wedding reception being held; there are multiple banquet areas and the absence of a private party or wedding reception is an exception to the rule.  The first time I saw that people were hosting their reception at Angelo's & Vinci's, it seemed to me rather odd.  The regularity with which these celebrations are held there has me questioning my initial judgment.  Apparently, A&V's knows how to throw a party and the revelers seem to leave the festivities happy and full.

What does it all mean?

I'm not sure if we mentioned, but the food at Angelo's & Vinci's is pretty good too.  Their Italian dressing is amazing and every meal is served with delicious homemade rolls.  Pasta can be eaten many places but why not eat it in the under a tightrope walker?  Why not masticate your mostaccioli with monsters?  Why not slurp spaghetti where Santa Claus can see that you're being nice this year?  Why not go to Angelo's & Vinci's?  You'll be glad you did!

Angelo's and Vinci's Ristorante
550 North Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA

Hours of Operation
Sunday-Thursday: 11am-9pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am-10pm

Cheers and Ciao!

Mr. Tiny


  1. Aw, I have to go to this place. This looks amazing! Wacky Tacky at its best!

  2. I went there once with friends, glanced around the room, and said "Wowwww..." But I'd been up for at least 24 hours at the time, so maybe it's better I didn't see all the rest of it...