It seems like the vast majority of restaurants in Huntington Beach are in strip malls with generally unprepossessing exteriors. Such is the case with La Fontana, but once you step through the door, you find yourself in a warm, welcoming atmosphere created by the amusingly kitschy but somehow charming décor.
Tiny Christmas lights embedded in fake pine boughs are strung along the ceiling. The walls are decorated with trompe l'oeil murals of large, stone-framed windows, one looking out onto a fountain in a garden and several others with vistas of the sea. Cloth-covered tables, golden lighting and an open kitchen combine to make the space quite endearing. Drapery over the storefront windows separates you from the reality of Beach Boulevard. Of course, the fact that our waiter was a large, genial fellow with a fabulous Italian accent didn't hurt either.
Chef/owner Corrado Gianotti was born in Piedmont, Italy, but his cuisine ranges all over the boot from top to toe. On the last Tuesday of every month, he presents a $59, four-course prix fixe dinner, highlighting a different region each time.