We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“"No Respectable Italian"”

Tursi's Latin King Restaurant
Ranked #16 of 574 Restaurants in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“"No Respectable Italian"”
Reviewed 9 March 2014

No Respectable Italian would consider this Authentic!! My God people!!... The worse, blandest marinara sauce ever to go through these lips. The ill attempts at a decent alfredo sauce, sticky/gummy as heck. And for the kicker the biggest rip-off in Des Moines by far, which is the chicken spiedini!! A relatively SIMPLE dish of garlic/de burgo style slightly breaded and seasoned CHICKEN on a stick!! approximately 6oz!! Thats it! Set ya back more than $17 bones/dol.!! Holy Mc Moly!! The It. chicken was Avg. The Penne Regine absolutely awful. Onion Rings were an oily mess! All ten of us looked at each other with big OMGs...The only bright spot was the anti pasta. Some of these reviews comparing it to great Italian eateries in Chi town..... are so out of line! My Grand parents were known to make some of the BEST authentic Italian in this town, they as well as other respectable Italians wouldnt touch this place. Sorry paisans! Yet the gringos will keep ya going!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank Jim Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

269 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    163
    62
    23
    15
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Exceptional restaurant”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

I have eaten in this restaurant many, many times with friends, on dates, in groups, for business. I have always had excellent services, very good food, and always want to return. It is one of the few places in town I would order spaghetti and meatballs (I'm fussy) the Italian favs are exceptional. Each time I try something new I am impressed. The wines list is good. The owners are always present and warm.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lafcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A Des Moines Staple”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

I have lived in Des Moines my entire life but had tremendous opportunities to travel and eat at some really great places(Garozzo's in Kansas City/Gittos in St. Louis/Rosebud in Chicago). For Des Moines, Tursi's Latin King is that type of place that rivals those previously mentioned restaurants in much larger cities.

The place was taken over by Bob Tursi and his family well over 25 years ago from another local family. You know a place is well taken care of when you see the owner(Bob), his wife(Amy) and a host of regulars(Carol/Vicki/ and the Chef Pat) nearly EVERY TIME you are in there. They never change, they are always happy to see you, and they will always make you feel welcome.

Service: Although this place does a very brisk lunch business, and amazing SUNDAY MOTHERS DAY BRUNCH, and has periods of heavy traffic due to various events near downtown the service is nearly always flawless. Prompt. Courteous. And professional. You can tell Bobby and his team have this down to a science and they staff accordingly as to always provide excellent service.

Food: Classic Southern Italian flare with some amazing "specialties". I have mentioned both Garozzos in Kansas City and Charlie Gittos in St. Louis. Tursi's does Chicken Spiedini just as well(if not a little better) then both those places. It is a rather simple dish but they care and prep to make it great(breading, spices, amogio sauce) and grilling the "skewer" serving it with a side of vegetables truly make it an amazing speciality mastered by Bob and his team. If I were to recommend one dish..this would be it. The red sauce is very good. They make their own ravioli(toasted is especially good) and all the dressings are homemade. My favorite is their blue cheese but the creamy parm is also very good and potent. For all meals, a salad and nice bread basket is included and the price is very fair.

Charm: This is basically 2 restaurants. The older restaurant is the one made famous by the previous owners(Pigneri family) and the "new" restaurant is inspired by being in a village in Tuscany or somewhere in Southern Italy. This is the part of the Tursi's Latin King that Bob and his family brought to the place and it is very nice and homey. Old is supper club feel. New is like being in Italy. It is just a cool contrast between two varying styles of places you don't normally see.

Charm2: I can think of 15-17 faces I have seen working there for at least 10 years. This is the sign of a family who takes care of others. In a very fickle business this is a true testament to people who take great pride in what they do, provide a tremendous product and do it CONSISTENTLY WELL EACH TIME.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RJ C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Des Moines
Level Contributor
45 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“True Italian cuisine”
Reviewed 4 March 2014

You think you've had tiramisu- and then you come here and have REAL Italian tiramisu! The wait can be long on Friday and Saturday nights, but I've never waited over 40 minutes. Sometimes you get the newer section, which is "prettier," but the older section also has a home-like charm. Food is always great! Great for a romantic dinner or a business lunch.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank organicchemist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“consistently delightful”
Reviewed 4 March 2014

I love the Latin King. They are consistently fabulous with their food and service. When I moved away from Des Moines I dreamed of their red sauce (truly the best, most delicious gravy I've ever had - I would have smuggled quarts of it to california if I could have). All of the staff is delightful, but I particularly enjoy being seated at one of Les' tabels - he is a gem. The wine list is interesting because they feature their family winery in Italy. If you want comfort, home, delicious southern italian food, this is the place to go.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Monica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Tursi's Latin King Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to Tursi's Latin King Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing