Authentic Italian Food Served With Southern California Flair. It’s time for the rest of the world to know what residents of San Clemente have known for 30 years. Ask anyone in town where to go for great Italian food, and they’ll tell you Sonny’s Pizza & Pasta. Known simply as Sonny’s, this charming and quaint restaurant is the local hot spot. Sonny’s is located on El Camino Real, the main thoroughfare of the Spanish Village By The Sea. Most nights, as you drive by, you’ll see a crowd forming in the front of the restaurant. There is usually a short wait, but people don’t seem to mind. It’s a great place to socialize on the outdoor patio and enjoy a cold beer or a nice glass of wine. You will always meet interesting people at Sonny’s.
What is it that makes Sonny’s so successful? Sonny is a true hands-on owner. Every morning, he comes in early to prepare the sauces, all his own original recipes. Most nights he can be seen in the kitchen preparing authentic Italian pizza and pasta. Sonny’s is a family run restaurant, with Sonny in the kitchen, and his daughter Julie running the front of the house. Julie speaks with pride of her father’s hard work. She attributes the restaurant’s success to her father’s commitment to being there seven days a week to cook and make sure things run right.
This sense of family pride transfers to the employees. The entire staff offers quick, professional service. The authentic Italian food is served with a touch of Southern California as you can dine on an open air patio, served by the beautiful Sonny’s Girls. Chef Tom Olsen has been a mainstay on the lunch shift for many years now, and is proud of the compliments the restaurant receives from the public and food critics alike. Elmer Dills, food critic for KABC television in Los Angeles, gives Sonny’s rave reviews.
The family is heavily involved in the community. Sonny’s sponsors fundraising dinners and donates to most charities in town. It is their way of saying thanks and giving back to the community. Check out the on-line menu, then stop in and see what everyone’s talking about.
The History: La Famiglia
Mama and Ernest Genovese opened their first restaurant on Hollywood Blvd in 1947. All of their children worked in the restaurant, and after 25 years at that location they decided to move to San Clemente where they had always come to vacation. So along with their children they opened Ernesto’s Italian Villa, where they served family specialties for over 20 years.
Soon after, the children decided to venture out on their own and Sonny opened his now famous Sonny’s Pizza & Pasta, where he and his daughter Julie have been serving his family’s authentic Italian food for 30 years.