Al Bacio Ristorante — West Hollywood
A few weeks ago, I was invited to a VIP pre-opening party for the new restaurant Al Bacio Ristorante in West Hollywood. I snapped a picture of the menu to make sure I had a reference.
The food was really good. I especially liked the Acquerello Risotto and the Barbaresco Braised Beef Cheek. The flavor combinations and attention to detail made for a really pleasant dining experience.
I’m not going to share any food pics I took because taking iPhone pictures in a very dark restaurant doesn’t usually end well, but I will leave you this picture of the Trio of Dessert. It was an amazing way to end the meal!
Thank you, Al Bacio!
PS: They rolled out their lunch menu on January 14; it is served Tues–Fri 11:30–2:00 pm. On Sunday, January 26th there will be a cooking class with executive chef Christian Simionato, if you’re interested in learning some new skills.
Sara The Wine Bar – Family Recipes & Great Wine in Culver City
On the western border of Culver City, you’ll find the adorable establishment Sara The Wine Bar at Jefferson and Mesmer. Comfy-modern in décor, this place has a nice little patio out front and an accessible bar with several tables around it inside.
Their menu consists of about a dozen small Italian dishes that are meant to be shared. A majority of the items are family recipes, noted with an asterisk. These dishes add a homey feel to the modern space. I wish there were even more family recipes available to taste! Their wine list is longer than their food menu and covers the spectrum of reds, whites, and dessert wines. They have a great happy hour as well: Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm to 7pm and Friday from 4pm to 7pm with $6 pizzas. I cannot recommend the flatbread pizza enough.
Luna Park – ‘Meet in the Middle’ Favorite in Miracle Mile
When you live on one side of Los Angeles and your friend lives on the exact opposite side, where do you meet for dinner? In the middle. My favorite ‘meet in the middle’ restaurant is Luna Park, located at Wilshire and La Brea.
3Twenty Wine Lounge — Mid City, Los Angeles
This clever little wine lounge on La Brea is doing something that no one else is doing and it’s pretty freakin’ GREAT!
Picture an empty wine glass, a wine charge card and a thirsty palette. The idea is to go around to these different wines (pictured above) from around the world and taste them. Taste wines from Italy to Argentina—over 200 wines.
Stella Barra — Hollywood, CA
FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS:
EYES ARE THERE, right?????… EGG…. PROSCIUTTO… CHEESE… A BREAKFAST PIZZA! Yes, there is a pizza god that made this for you to happily DEVOUR. For the record, this is the Prosciutto and Farm Egg Pizza.
Larry’s – Good food at Venice Beach
When I think of food at Venice Beach, I think your typical stand food: Burgers, hot dogs, nachos, etc. until I stepped into Larry’s on Windward Avenue. It’s that street with the suspended letters spelling out Venice.
Great décor that gave a relaxed, yet polished vibe. It’s a very open space with mostly outdoor seating, yet you feel like you’re inside and not at Venice Beach proper. They have a wide variety of beer and wine available. The menu boasts a lot of delicious offerings. We started with Grilled Asparagus and Risotto Balls.
Every bite of the Grilled Asparagus was savory and full of complimentary flavors. I could eat this for breakfast! It was light and a great starter. It was a little tricky to split between a few people, but we made it work.
The Risotto Balls consist of beef Bolognese stuffed in a shell of risotto. These were absolutely incredible and a little heavier than I expected, but well worth it. I would definitely come back for this dish.
For my entrée, I ordered the Pea Ravioli. The bowl is deeper than it looks. The ravioli was filled with lightly puréed peas, which was light and not too strong. It was just right. The sauce it came in was a little heavy for me and the Parmesan cheese was a little much as well, but the dish was still yummy. There are definitely other items on the menu I would come back to try.
Truly, I must give compliments to the Chef as the entire meal was just amazing. Great food, great service, and a great atmosphere. This is a fantastic place for dinner, lunch, or stopping by for a drink.
24 Windward Ave
By Jen Troy
Jen Troy is a Jill-Of-All-Trades.
Ugo: An Italian Cafe - Culver City
A wide selection of gelato—I’m there! Ugo: An Italian Cafe in downtown Culver City has classic Italian dishes and a variety of desserts. When you walk in, a classy and warm atmosphere greets you. Have a drink at the bar or grab a table for dinner. I’d suggest you go for dinner.
Ugo’s menu isn’t neither monstrous nor too specialized. It’s truly balanced. It has classic Italian dishes and some great takes on others. I decided to get their Rigatoni Bolognese. This dish is a staple to me. When I think about coming to Ugo, I am usually already thinking about the meat sauce.
You know how leftover pasta dishes can sometimes be better than fresh? This is not the case with this dish. It’s great from the first bite to the last—you won’t have any leftovers. They use just the right amount of garnish. The sauce is what really makes this dish; it’s creamy and savory at the same time. The pasta soaks up just the right amount of it to really communicate all of the flavors.
Now on to the desserts! They have a few cases that display what they have to offer. Ugo has various cakes and tarts, but the dessert I must recommend is the gelato. They have so many different flavors to choose from. You can go either classic, creamy gelato or you can decide to do more of a lighter, fruit-based gelato. I find them all to be amazing and fresh, but I have to admit that the fruit flavors are my favorite. You just don’t see these everywhere.
Ugo is a great place to go for dinner in downtown Culver City. Parking is pretty easy with a number of nearby parking structures and street parking. Also, they have a wine bar next door. I’ll have to check it out!
By Jen Troy
Jen Troy is a Jill-Of-All-Trades.
Pizzeria Il Fico - Beverly Hills
Pizzeria Il Fico is what I call Italy in LA. This fancy Beverly Hills wood fire Pizzeria is delizioso, and perfect for a nice date night. Don’t let the hard to pronounce Italian menu scare you; everything is packed full of flavor and amazing textures that won’t disappoint, making you feel like you’re on a relaxing Italian holiday.
I suggest you start with a glass of red wine and one of their meat and cheese plates. We tasted their Prosciutto crudo, Fichie Burrata (6) and found it to be our favorite appetizer among the many we tried. The thinly sliced Prosciutto tasted so fresh, it melted in your mouth. Paired with soft Burrata cheese and figs, we couldn’t stop eating it.