Romano's Macaroni Grill - Aliso Viejo

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72 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Inspired by Italian trattoria cuisine, culture and conversation, Romano's Macaroni Grill believes every meal is a chance to celebrate and toast to life, pasta and of course, vino! Every meal is started off right -- with a bottle of wine at the center of the table, encouraging guests to pour as they please while exploring the extensive menu of handcrafted Italian classics. Macaroni Grill restaurants feature an open kitchen that allows guests to see its fresh ingredients and preparation techniques that blend Italian traditions with progressive culinary inspiration, in a polished casual atmosphere.
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What 72 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
3.8
food
4.0
service
3.9
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SL
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great tasting food!! Great service. Can't go wrong with Mama's trio. Steak on the steak and potatoes order was tender and juicy.

BT
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

The appetizers, macaroni and cheese balls and the fried mozzarella were excellent. However, the entrees seemed to have gone a bit downhill. The chicken parmesan was good, but our other two entrees were fair at best. We had pasta items we had eaten before and they were both dry. Perhaps the restaurant has changed their recipes and felt that less sauce and flavoring is healthier, but it did not work. Used to really enjoy going there, but now perhaps we will settle for appetizers and drinks.

J
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

Very disappointed with our evening. Although service was excellent the food was completely subpar and vodka martinis were small and completely watered down. We will not be returning. Too bad, this restaurant used to be a family favorite.

BA
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The service was pleasant , very professional and kind.
The food was ok, I suppose they did their best.

AH
Orange County
19 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Pasta Milano was amazing!

T
Los Angeles
38 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lunch was good but the knats were annoying!!

S
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a fun time at the Macaroni Grill! Service from Patti was great. Nice gal. Thank you 😊

OT
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Fast efficient service, attentive, and friendly.

LB
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great classic Italian food. Nice size portions. Not very busy but we went early on Friday night. Prices were competitive but I felt they might be a little high for some of the entrees.

SS
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Worst service, would never go back. My husband said worst lasagna he has ever had.

JF
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We would certainly go back. The food and service was very good and it was a fair value

DR
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our family loves this restaurant! We always go there for special occasions, and sometimes just for fun. The food and the service are always exemplary. Highly recommended

LF
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Still so good and such a deal! Great value. Shrimp scampi is excellent- pasta perfectly cooked.

k
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We forgot to make reservations for Mother's Day and originally were going somewhere else, but the wait was going to be too long and we had our 6 month old with us. We were able to make a reservation here and get in within 15 minutes which was very convenient. When we got there, there were only two tables occupied and the rest of the tables were empty. While the food was decent, I felt like the service was severely lacking. Our waitress filled our coffee cups half way and then was hard to track down to get refills. Several times, I would ask for a coffee refill and she would fill one cup only and leave. There were 3 of us drinking coffee so it was perplexing why she wouldn't offer to fill up all our cups at the same time. My husband ordered the bottomless mimosas with champagne only and experienced the same thing where she would bring a half full glass. Then his glass would be empty and she would be hard to find again. For such an empty restaurant, I was surprised that we weren't better serviced, especially on Mother's Day. Not sure if this is the normal and that is why it was so easy to get a reservation on the spot.

S
Orange County
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

30 years ago I first went to a Mac-G w co-workers from Boeing, Seal Beach, and had Chicken Scaloppine for the first time in my life - loved it! I'm 72 now and 10 years ago when Mac-G Aliso Viejo first cut portions & raised prices, we along w many others, stopped going there. A friend recently recommend them for their Thursday specials at $40. Overall, this is a reasonable price, especially since w bought 2 $50-gift cards for $75 - and one of the offerings is Chicken Scaloppine! We also had the lasagna. The flavors of both were very good but the Scaloppine lacked an adequate amount of sauce and the quantity was a bit shy of 30 years ago, especially if paying $20 for it vs the less than $13 back then. I recommend that if anyone goes for this, they stick to the items offered for $40. We added a couple of antipasti dishes not listed in the special offering - calamari & stuffed mushrooms, and a Caesar salad. At about $11 each, again the quantity was not adequate & the calamari w/o one of the sauces had no flavor. We had a great server, who was born in Poland, and simply gave her the rest of the gift card balance as a tip. Not likely to go again for some time.

G
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

The food was very salty and our server mentioned that our lettuce didn’t look so good AFTER we had eaten our salad. I never want a server to tell me that something I have already eaten looks “funky”. I will not be coming back any time soon.

TG
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I ordered a glass of red wine, which was served warm… like, in a hot glass straight out of the dishwasher. When I informed the server… He came back with a glass of ice and said the manager told him to bring it. I am not a wine snob… But I know this isn’t right. The restaurant had plenty of open tables… But they still put us right next to other people and later seated little kids next to us … No privacy at all. None of the food is very good… we won’t be going back.

S
Orange County
24 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The bread was stale and the chicken scalloping was salty, but the Caesar salad and shrimp Portofino were delicious. Overall, a great value on Wednesday with the 2 for 1 lunch special.

OT
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Food was very mediocre and tasteless. Chicken Marsala was a chicken tender that was butterflied and over cooked. Ordered a cannoli for desert. It was sour and almost made us sick. This place used to be very good but has gone way down hill. Management needs to wake up!

BP
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated my daughters 21st birthday in 1920’s style and had a fabulous dinner with wonderful service!

DS
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

We like this restaurant, the food is always great, but it has been very frustrating making reservations through Open Table because we always request a particular table (our favorite) and 4 out of the last 5 reservations we have made they had already seated people at that table. They never apparently read the requests on their reservations, or they just ignore them. When confronted with that fact they just shrug and give no excuse, or apology. Frustrating.

k
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 3

Service was slow. Wine served in same glass as our water glass. Ran out of glasses?? Never even refilled our water glass. Served dessert and never even offered coffee or at the very least, refill water glass which was empty. Food was excellent though.

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

Valentine’s Day

BG
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Waited 20 minutes beyond reservation time. Food arrived slowly and was just okay.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Valentine Day treat! Nice atmosphere, great service and fabulous flavorful food! Recommend to anyone for any occasion!

CE
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food & server. Valentines special. Will teturn

CS
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The restaurant appeared to be a bit understaffed, so it took a while before we were seated and a waitress took our order. After she took our order, however, we had an excellent experience. Her service was excellent and so was the food. And the prices are reasonable. A good value.

EW
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The place is very nice yet it is also very noisy. Thee dood is great and the service is wonderful. I would still go back!

M
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

The place and the environment inside is very nice. The service was very satisfying. The bread was very delicious and I liked that I could write on the table. However, the food was very bland and not very tasty for the price.

MR
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Macaroni Grill, is a good neighborhood restaurant , a good value and the food never fails , it is a warm family feeling place.

DF
New England
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

After more than 30 minutes of waiting we had to get up and ask to be served. Once our server showed up he seemed out of it, a bit spacey and unpleasantly surprised that we already knew what we wanted to eat. An hour later our food still had not showed up. We had a 6:30 reservation and out food arrived at 8:10pm. Would not work with us on the bill. Will never be going back.

EV
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Service was slow... server abrupt and cold. Food was good.

OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 2ambience 2

Completely mismanaged. Under staffed in kitchen and dinning room. Food was still good. Staff in kitchen, bar, and dining room all looked overwhelmed, they were hustling, but way too under staffed. Even with reservations, they took 45 min to seat us. They had 1/2 of the restaurant with open tables, just not enough staff to cover. Food took a long time to come out. They had only 1 guy running the food for the entire restaurant. We felt bad for staff. Our waitress’ section was too large for her to cover, although sweet, she kept forgetting things, never offered bread or wine. We had to find the 1 pepper mill they had in the restaurant. I had to go to the bar for a a glass of wine. Bar tender was just as overwhelmed covering packed bar by herself, taking orders at bar, bar tables, running food.... Just chaotic! Shame on the manager!

Kudos to the staff who all kept a great attitude and the best service they could offer with the limited support they had from their management team.

P
Orange County
12 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

The worse service ever. We had reservations and still waited 15 mins. We ordered 2 appetizers and were told when 1 was brought out that they did not have the other. Had to send back the appetizer as it was cold. Some of the meals were immediately brought out prior to the appetizer being brought back and then the salads, after the meals! Eventually the remainder of the the meals were brought. It was not overly busy, as there were many empty tables. We will not go back to this location. No one ever apologized. We even had to ask for bread! Very poor training and obviously bad management.

CW
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

We had a 6 PM reservation and arrived just prior to 6 PM and checked in at the hostess stand. We stood there for 20 minutes with no other acknowledgement or update from any staff. I went back to the hostess stand and inquired about our seating. No apology or explanation. We left and went to a nearby restaurant.

KN
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We made reservations and were Never seated. We waited an hour to be seated...they never called our names, even though we kept checking to see where we were on the list. People who had reservations 30 minutes “after” us were being seated. It was very unorganized. We left hungry on Christmas Day

L
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Christmas Day reservations. Hoping for a special holiday celebration. The restaurant was completely overwhelmed. We were never seated, nor were others. We were all holding reservations, mind you, and waited and waited. Dozens of disappointed, angry folks, many with elderly relatives or small children.

Romano's management blew it by apparently failing to anticipate the staffing needs and food requirements to accommodate a holiday crowd. What makes it even more unacceptable is these were all reserved tables -- they could have planned accordingly.

Next time, pay your waitstaff double to come in on Christmas, overbuy the popular items so you don't run out. It's a relatively small investment that could have prevented SO MUCH ILL WILL and poor reviews.

QV
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We will be giving this Macaroni grill another chance as we just happened to be there for the first time on Christmas day. We recognize that this is an unusually busy time and that some of the staff may have wanted to be home with their families instead of working. That probably accounted for the very slow service. Rushing the food out after a long wait, to the point that my lamb shank was actually cold inside, was not excusable. Better to let it be a little slower but make sure it's really warm.

LS
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

We (5) arrived at our reservation time and were served 3 hours later. We'd have left, but had two seniors that we didn't want to upset. We asked for our dessert to be packaged up, since it came with our Holiday Dinner, there was no Pumpkin cheese cake and 2 servings of plain cheese cake that we kept for our seniors.

NK
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

So bad. Made a reservation on Christmas Day since most places were closed. We were there for 2 hours and never received our drinks. Manager finally comped our whole tab.

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