La Rosa Bar and Pizza, Sydney CBD

La Rosa Bar and Pizza is the sister venue of Pendolino and both restaurants are located in The Strand Arcade.  I have been to Pendolino a few times in the past and really enjoyed their food so I convinced my friend to try La Rosa with me.

It was a rainy Friday night and we walked into a packed restaurant.  There was a corporate function on that night and it was loud because we were seated right next to the party.

The first thing that I noticed was how dark it was.  Just like at Pendolino, you will need a reading light to see your menu and my friend commented that she couldn't see my face.  These photos are the result of holding the reading light over the table.  I hope someone out there will appreciate my efforts!

After a long week, I deserved a cocktail and ordered a Frangelico Agrumato.  My friend ordered a pineapple juice and when the waiter dropped off the drinks, he gave the cocktail to my friend and told her it was the pineapple juice.  A silly mistake to make! And then my friend had started sipping my cocktail before I tasted the juice and realised his error.

 Frangelico Agrumato ($17.50) and Pineapple juice ($4.50)

We were very hungry and ordered a fair bit between the two of us, starting with entrees. I was happy that the food came out quickly.

Vine Ripened Tomato and Black Olive Bruschetta with Salted Ricotta ($14.90) 

The bruschetta was standard, nothing amazing.  The ingredients did taste very fresh and I liked the grilled flavour of the bread.

Fried Baby Calamari with Fried Onions, Herbs and Olives and Spicy Cuttlefish Ink and Tomato Sauce ($17.00)

I expect fried calamari to be pretty oily but this surpassed even my expectations in oiliness.  There was a puddle of oil at the bottom of the small bowl. My friend and I noticed a lot of 'fillers' in the bowl as well e.g. cloves of garlic, bits of garlic skin, herb sprigs.  I could have done without all of that.  The cuttlefish ink and tomato sauce was too spicy for my tastebuds but I had a tiny taste and was impressed by how much flavour was packed into it.  

Gamberi e Zucchine
Prawns, Zucchini, Tomato, Mozzarella and Garlic ($27.50)

 Pizza Bianca with Porcini Puree, Portobello Mushrooms , Mozzarella and B├ęchamel ($25.50)
I had ordered the Funghi pizza after reading good reviews online.  I found it to be one of those pizzas where the first slice tastes great, the second slice tastes good but the third slice is a bit too much of the same thing.  There was a lot of oil dripping off the pizza and I ended up boxing the rest up to take home.

We were in the mood to indulge with ordering dessert and tea.

English Breakfast tea ($4.00)

Traditional Potato Dough Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Gelato ($14.50)

Mixed cannoli with vanilla cream, chocolate cream and nocciola cream ($13.00)

Again based on reviews, I had ordered the Zeppola - and the waiter also recommended it on the night.  It did not disappoint - freshly deep fried doughnut with caramel and vanilla bean gelato.  Warm, fluffy dough that disappeared with a few spoonfuls.  Yum!

The total bill for the two of us came to $142.40 so it wasn't a meal for the poor but we did order a fair bit. I wasn't blown away by La Rosa so I think I will stick with Pendolino next time.

La Rosa Bar and Pizza on Urbanspoon


We have been writing about food in Sydney since 2009. No place is too far or too wide for us to travel to visit. We always give an honest opinion and love to hear your comments too. Here's to an ever-growing society of foodies!


  1. hehe i appreciate your lighting efforts! that donut sounds incredible

  2. Hi chocolatesuze: Thanks for the sweet sound of appreciation!

  3. There isn't anything else that I'd prefer on a night out in Sydney than some sticky, sweet, carbo-loaded dessert - and the cannoli and zeppola looks ike it might be exactly what I'm looking for!