We tried Aqua al 2 because it was billed as the best Tuscan restaurant in San Diego. We were puzzled once we got there and checked the menu. Where were the typical white beans, spinach, fresh egg noodles, prosciutto, game dishes? Not at Aqua al 2.
OK, there's still a lot of good Italian food that's not specifically Tuscan. But we found the menu selections rather ordinary. Lots of steak dishes, a couple of veal dishes, 2 or 3 chicken dishes that were on the plain side. No lamb, pork, salamis, or the game dishes that are often found on Tuscan menus. I asked if any of the pasta was "fatta in casa" (homemade), but was told-- a trifle snootily-- that no, the pasta came from Italy. You mean, like the dried stuff you can easily pick up in many stores yourself? To me, there's nothing like fresh pasta, and any restaurant worth returning to should have at least a couple of fresh pastas on the menu.
My husband's buffalo mozzarella and tomato appetizer was OK. I started with a salad that was overdressed with a thick dressing (not the simple oil and vinegar most Italians use) that swamped the greens. In retrospect, I should have returned the salad, but what can I say?-- I was hungry and didn't want to wait to re-order. (Service was also on the slow side.)
Since we were not interested in the steak selection, we ordered 2 pastas. Once was rather bland, the other not bad, but nothing to rave about. We didn't bother looking at the dessert menu.
Afterwards, I admit I was puzzled by this "Tuscan" restaurant and its popularity-- enough that I checked the website of the original restaurant in Florence. I was surprised to see that the menu was very similar to the one in San Diego. I concluded that the Aqua al 2 group are called Tuscan simply because the original happens to be located in Florence. But no Florentine would call it Tuscan!