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Authentic regional Italian in L.A.?

Great post and a great link. And yeah, the Big Night reference makes me hungry.
<sigh> I'll keep my eye out for special events at various restaurants and resign myself to being content with good Italian-American. S. Irene Virbilia reviewed a place last week called Amarone that's supposed to be Emilia-Romagna. Anyone tried it?

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Amarone Kitchen & Wine
8868 W. Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Oct 23, 2010
Arguitos in Los Angeles Area

Authentic regional Italian in L.A.?

Why, WHY is it so hard to find authentic Italian? Let's use Tuscan as an example: Tuscan in Florence, Siena or Certaldo means saltless bread, panzanella, pappa al pomodoro, game, truffles, animal innards and beans, beans, beans. Tuscan in Los Angeles seems to be whatever a restaurant that wants to call itself other than "Italian" says it is. Even the Olive Garden, it seems, does Tuscan. Except it doesn't. Not really. And neither does anyone else I've found. And Umbria? Emilia Romagna? Even real Sicilian or Neapolitan? Fuggedaboutit.

Am I missing something?

Oct 11, 2010
Arguitos in Los Angeles Area

Any good Spanish restaurants?

We keep meaning to go to El Cid for the flamenco, but my understanding is that it's been Mexican at least as long as I've been an adult (which is longer than I'm comfortable contemplating).

Oct 05, 2010
Arguitos in Los Angeles Area

Any good Spanish restaurants?

Very few people order paella for dinner other than tourists. But it's popular for lunch. In fact, I can recommend a bunch of places to you THERE. I wish there were someplace HERE.

Sep 06, 2010
Arguitos in Los Angeles Area

Any good Spanish restaurants?

I've never dared order the paella at Spain... and truth be told, I suspected once or twice that what they were passing off as jamon serrano was really prosciutto. Since I last mentioned them, I went back and they were lousy. Since I last wrote about La Paella, I went back and, lo! the paella valenciana was indeed a bit gooey. Still, it's been quite good the other times I've been. We ordered the arroz a banda there once and were blown away. Our main quibble with them is the price.

That's another reason to love La Española. I agree that La Española's paella is probably the most authentic I've had, but the best thing is how Spanish the whole thing FEELS. A lengthy summer lunch in Alicante means sitting on the patio in plastic chairs, jamon, potato chips and pickled mussels on the table, a bottle of wine being passed around with a caña, and scraping the socarrat directly from the pan with a spoon. Sitting on La Española's patio is prettly close to that, though you have to eat from a plastic to-go container and there's no socarrat.

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La Paella
476 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Sep 06, 2010
Arguitos in Los Angeles Area

Any good Spanish restaurants?

Oh, how I wish.
I'm married to a Spaniard, so we're always on the lookout. Our conclusion: if you're looking for authentic, traditional Spanish food, the only options are La Paella on San Vicente and La Española in Harbor City (which only cooks on Saturdays, call ahead). Interesting that people on here are dissing the paella at La Paella; my husband is from Alicante, honest-to-god paella country, and he thinks it's excellent. So do I. The only problem, as with almost every Spanish restaurant in the States, is the price. But the food, ambience and owners are delightful.

We had high hopes for Bar Pintxo in Santa Monica, especially since it feels like an authentic Spanish bar when you walk in (minus tobacco fumes and napkins and olive pits on the floor). But it too, alas, is over-priced and fru-fru -- you order gambas al ajillo and they bring you a pincho with a couple of enormous shrimp drizzled with lemon and garlic infused oil, festooned with lemon zest. It's tasty and pretty (and expensive) BUT IT'S NOT GAMBAS AL AJILLO, OKAY??? Gambas al ajillo is small shrimp swimming in olive oil and garlic with red pepper flakes. The oil is the whole point; you sop it up with your bread. Actually, Spain (that's the name) on Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake does a good one. But for the life of me, I don't understand why L.A. restaurateurs are so averse to doing an authentic tapas place. Bazaar is also excellent, but costs an arm and a leg... and I have to confess I didn't try their more authentic tapas... I did the Ferran Adria inspired liquid nitrogen and foam thingies. It was great, but I finally had to order a plate of jamón ibérico.

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La Paella
476 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Bar Pintxo
109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Mar 19, 2010
Arguitos in Los Angeles Area