Mon-Wed, noon-11pm; Thu-Fri, noon-11:30pm; Sat, 11am-11:30pm; Sun, 11am-10:30pm
6 at 33rd St.; B, D, F, M, N, Q, R at 34th St.-Herald Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
24th St. to 44th St., First Ave. to Fifth Ave.
Considering it was named for a short story by an avant garde Italian writer, Luigi Pirandello, you'd expect there to be something outrageous or off-the-wall about La Giara. Instead, it's plain and pedestrian. The literal translation of "la giara" is an earthenware container used to store food, and it is this more prosaic reference that fits this neighborhood trattoria. While the food is made with high-quality, fresh ingredients, there's something missing. It's as if the cooks were determined to make the ingredients shine, but lacked a vital piece of information: salt. Pastas and meat dishes are often underseasoned. Alternatively, salads are bright and flavorful. The chef is a native of Sardinia, but his dishes span various regions. You'll find all the familiar Italian dishes, but also some unusual touches, such as mac and cheese dressed up with wild boar sausage. Pastas are both fresh and dry, made with fresh shrimp or hearty portions of thick meaty sauces such as Emilian meat sauceóbut none of it excites the tastebuds. That doesn't deter extended families and gaggles of 20-something girls from looking for a satisfying, if not soulful, mealómost nights the place is packed. The brick-walled interior is comfortable, with slightly goofy, hand-painted murals on the walls.