If detox juices, seed salads and other gluten-free wonders are all the rage in LA, there are times when you could just sink your teeth into a juicy, cheesy Italian pizza. Not the fast-food-late-night type with gooey cheese and dripping oil – a pizza made with love, time, and the freshest ingredients.
Whether you come from an Italian family with a long heritage of scrumptious, sunny cuisine full of memories, whether you just can’t forget that trip to Naples and your taste buds are begging to relive the experience, or whether you are just a curious foodie who knows quality when (s)he sees it, you’ll be searching far and wide for exceptional ingredients and food straight from Italy. To help soothe your cravings, here are a few Italian restaurants in LA that are worth a visit.
Forget Beverly Boulevard, you are in Italy. In the north, probably Rome. In a lively neighbourhood where Italians and their families come for pasta on a Sunday night, and where arguments are spoken with hand gestures. Except Hollywood celebrities casually sit on the next table while paparazzis wait at the windows. Don’t let that fuss distract you, and focus on the slow-cooked osso bucco, the best spaghetti alla Bolognese in town, the fluffy potato gnocchi and their pesto-tomato-gorgonzola sauce… Madeo belongs to the same Italian family it did at its beginnings, and every night the boss will come out and shake hands and speak to everyone in cheerful Italian … Regardless of whether they speak the language or not: It’s the traditions, as well as the amazing quality of the meals, that make this charming old school Hollywood classic.
Looking for something a bit more undercover? If you can find the small hidden joint, head to Speranza, tucked away on Hyperion Avenue. With little to no presence on the web, this charming little deli/restaurant serves up home-made pasta (fettuccine con pesto, pasta di crostacei) and classic (risotto, lamb, spaghetti, bucatini), well-chosen wine and tasty tiramisu. What the place lacks in fancy dishes and exceptional quality, it makes up with a charming, cosy atmosphere . A perfect place for intimate first dates and cappuccinos on the brasero heated terrace on chilly days.
Probably the best Italian restaurant in LA. The authenticity and quality of other great names like Madeo or Bestia, without the fuss and waiting lists. We love the 100% Italian staff and their singing accent. In the summer you may want to dine on the terrace: if the hustle and bustle inside is pretty charming, it can get quite loud (it’s a room full of Italians, what are you going to do). Saltimbocca, bombolotti, lobster gnocchis, grandma recipe lasagne verde… You won’t know what to choose, so best come with friends and have a go at their plates too. Or come back to try and taste the whole menu. You know you want to.
Finally if the crowds and trouble are not really your thing or if you’re looking for a quiet night in but have a crazy Italian craving (we understand), simply whip up a plate of pasta al dente and pour in some juicy Dolmio Bolognese sauce, for that pure taste of Italy. Dolmio is made mostly of fresh ripe tomatoes and tasty onions and herbs, so it’s a guilt-free, authentic tasting jar of goodness. And for a meaty take, simply pour some sauce in a pot, add minced meet and simmer for a while for some classic Bolognese sauce. Serve with egg pasta for extra melt-in-your-mouth-ness!
Find out more about what your Bolognese sauce is made of by visiting http: