Mama Mia! The Best Italian Restaurants In L.A. (+ What To Order)

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By Roman YeremenkoPhoto Credit: Roman Yeremenko

Your essential dining guide to the best Italian restaurants in Los Angeles…plus the must-try, bucket-list dish you’ll eat at each!

Bestia

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The name Bestia means Italian for “beast” and therefore we must say that it brings new meaning to the phrase “beast mode.” Husband and wife Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’ downtown eatery is a multi-regional rustic Italian restaurant focusing on a “from scratch” approach, offering house-made charcuterie and handmade pastas and pizza made in an Acunto oven. On the pastry side, Gergis’s desserts focus on a clean and simple approach to create a daily changing menu that is centered on the freshest, most local ingredients possible. 

Try: Spaghetti Rustichella, made with Dungeness crab, citrus, Calabrian chili, Thai basil and onion seed.

2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021


 

Sotto

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Chef Steve Samson serves up regionally-inspired Southern Italian food, such as wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, housemade pastas and wood-grilled meats and seafood, at his West L.A. eatery.

Try: Fiori di zucca pizza, made with squash blossoms, zucchini, stracchino and fresno chili.

9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035


 

Alimento

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Zack Pollack serves up northern Italian fare with a twist at his Silver Lake hot spot, Alimento. The restaurant draws inspiration from Italy’s regional traditions while not adhering too strictly to them. All dishes are created with carefully sourced ingredients from local artisans and growers feature prominently among the menu’s selection of small plates, pastas, and large platters designed for sharing.

Try: The tantalizing tortellini in brodo, which is filled with broth instead of cheese. Diced mortadella and Parmesan cheese are in the sauce as opposed to the pasta.

1710 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026


 

Osteria Mozza

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James Beard winner Nancy Silverton is the reigning queen of Italian cooking, which is why you should expect that Osteria Mozza—a partnership with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich—to be damn good. The centerpiece of Osteria Mozza is a white Carrara marble Mozzarella Bar where Nancy composes a long list of small dishes featuring fresh imported mozzarella as well as ricotta and cream-filled burrata. Yeah, we’re drooling too.

Try: Affettati Misti with Gnocco Fritto: salame picante, duck rillettes, testa with oregano, mortadella, bacon-wrapped pork & pistachio terrine & prosciutto-wrapped grissini with truffle butter.

6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038


 

Jon & Vinny’s

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Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the team behind Animal and Son of a Gun, bring a simple, uncomplicated, unpretentious air to their aptly named Jon & Vinny’s that we just love. It’s as awesome and low-key as you can expect, which makes its out-of-this-world fare even more impressive, in our opinion. 

Try: The LA Woman—a hand-tossed pizza made with local burrata, tomato, basil, olive oil and sea salt.

412 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036


 

Felix

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Former Bucato chef Evan Funke has opened up Felix—Latin for “happy” or “lucky”— a restaurant inspired by the deeply rooted culinary traditions of regional Italy and enriched with ingredients grown by California’s greatest family farms. You’ll feel just as he wanted you to when you try one of his house-made pasta dishes, no doubt.

Try: The northern-inspired Ragu Bolognese, made with parmigiano reggiano.

1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291


 

Rossoblu

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Steve Samson earns a second place on our list for stellar new downtown effort, Rossoblu, which serves up fabulous Bolognese-inspired fare.

Try: Ilario’s Grigliata—house sausage, belly-on pork chop and pork jus.

1124 San Julian St, Los Angeles, CA 90015


 

Scopa Italian Roots

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Chef Antonia Lofaso’s interpretation of old-school Italian food has a New York-y kind of feel, while still remaining true to both Italian traditions and it’s L.A. location. But hey, when it works, it works!

Try: Chitarra: a simple yet perfect pasta dish of pecorino and black pepper.

 2905 W Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292


 

Drago Centro

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Chef Celestino Drago’s contemporary Italian masterpiece, Drago Centro offers innovative twists to authentic Italian dishes in an absolutely gorgeous setting—the 9,500 square-foot restaurant boasts an open kitchen, a private dining rooms, and a demonstration kitchen housed in what was once the vault of City National Bank. Here you’ll find classic fare with a contemporary twist: think hand-made pastas, savory steaks and absolutely delicious desserts.

Try: Always end on a sweet note! We love La Terrina: a chocolate moussecake with blood orange, marsala zabaglione and a crème fraiche mousse.

525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

 

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