La Palma Ristorante seems entirely designed for date nights and wedding receptions. The historic 1924 building features an elegant dining room of white linen-draped tables, dark wooden chairs (covered in linens for special events), and fine paintings that line the walls. A wrought iron arched entryway leads into a picturesque courtyard lit by candles and strings of light entangled in the trees; cascading water gurgles from a stone fountain while a piano player hits soft notes. While incredibly romantic, ambiance unfortunately trumps the cuisine -- basic, uninventive Italian dishes that teeter between acceptable and bland. Nearly all meat, poultry, and seafood dishes come with humdrum overcooked carrots and potatoes. The inexpensive daily buffet is popular with the business-lunch crowd, and features an assortment of salads, soups, pastas, cheeses, and fruits alongside rotating menu items or special daily creations.
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