I love Italians, I love Italy, and dammit I love their food. Have you actually ever met anyone that’s said “eh, I just don’t like Italian food?” … no because it’s obviously impossible. Carbs, sauces, more carbs, and wine? It’d be a terrible thing depriving your taste buds of these things. I’ve actually had the pleasure of visiting Italy and yes just like Julia Roberts in Eat. Pray. Love. I ate so much my pants would barely button, but god was it worth it.
We have a lot of options here in Los Angeles if we’re craving a pizza or pasta dish worthy of risking the tight pants problem… a lot. But I have to say, finding authentic Italian restaurant with perhaps a hip LA dining experience is a bit trickier to find. This “goldilocks zone” restaurant indeed exists and can be found in Santa Monica (and now Venice too!), and it’s so enticingly named Hostaria Del Piccolo.
I’d passed by Hostaria Del Piccolo several times on Broadway as I’d either headed to or from the 3rd Street Promenade when I finally decided it looked like a place I needed to check out. I saw a cute patio, windows, dim lighting, dark wood, modern accents, and tons of people; plus what could go wrong since it’s an Italian restaurant. My first visit I was certainly expecting a more modern, American fusion dining experience and while this is certainly part of their M.O., it was a lot more genuinely “modern Italian” than I’d realized.
First of all our waiter, the managers, the chefs, we’re all Italian. The whole menu is even written in Italian, so this was an excellent sign already. Another excellent sign was the fact that their entire wine menu was made up of Italian wines. You want to order a bottle of wine here, its going to be Italian wine, and I love that. Every time I go I try a new bottle; this past visit we got a bottle of Corvina Montere’, and I’ve since then been keeping an eye out for it everywhere wine is sold.
Most important sign of a great Italian restaurant is the obvious: the food must be incredible. And my god Hostaria Del Piccolo chefs know how to cook. You’re going to have a tough time deciding on pizza since there are two entire pages worth to choose from, so I’d suggest getting at least two. Better yet you’re going to have a tough time deciding on just a few dishes instead of ordering one of everything on the menu.
Have a rabbit food lunch because this meal is worth every penny and every calorie. Take a date, take a parent, take an Italian! Anyone worth impressing will be happy for a modern Italian dining experience Hostaria Del Piccolo has to offer. Buon Appetito.