The legendary Rao’s, known for its award-winning Southern Neapolitan Italian cuisine, has finally arrived in Hollywood.
The iconic New York City eatery, open since 1896, opened its doors at 1006 Seward St., on the site of The Hollywood Canteen, and is destined to become a go-to destination for Italian cuisine enthusiasts as well as for those who want a romantic, ambient experience.
Rao’s Hollywood is just as off the beaten path as its East Harlem predecessor,which is a spot beloved by the likes of Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Jay-Z and is both old-school and elegant.
You’ll enjoy classic Italian fare here like seafood salad, veal parmesan and spaghetti and meatballs, but we prefer the slightly tweaked contemporary favorites made specifically for the Hollywood location like ravioli purses with Bartlett pears, brown butter, sage, dried cranberries and ricotta cheese.
For dessert, you can’t leave without trying the peanut butter tart with its heavenly mixture of chocolate ganache and peanut butter mousse, as well as Italian treats like cannoli and tiramisu and the delightful nod to its predecessor, the New York cheesecake.
Unsurprisingly, you’ll find an extensive Italian-heavy wine list here. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the cocktail list, which offers New York-centric libations like the New Yorker: Moscato grape Skyy Vodka, St. Germain, basil and lemon, the State of Mind: D’usse V.S.O.P. cognac, St. Germain, ginger beer and cucumber soda and the Harlem Shake: Crown Royal Maple, Velvet Cinn Horchata, Licor 43, cinnamon and Glenmorangie 10 year. We also love the tongue-in-cheek nod to Jay-Z with the 99 Problems: Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaco, Wild Turkey Rye and orgeat syrup.
Note: if you want to spot a celebrity at this surefire fan favorite, make sure to book a table on the back patio, which is absolutely the A-list’s new Hollywood haunt.
Rao’s Hollywood is open Monday-Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Reservations are being accepted and can be made at (323) 962-7267.