10 Best Italian Restaurants in Los Angeles
The number of Italian restaurants has mushroomed in the past ten years and the influence of Italian cuisine on Los Angeles cuisine has been so profound.
Italian food was brought to Los Angeles in the 1800s by immigrants from poverty-stricken Southern Italy and Sicily.
For them, Italian cooking was based on modest, local ingredients, and rarely included land animal protein that’s almost required today.
An Italian meal at its peak can be a transcendent experience. This is the kind of food you don’t have to think too much about to enjoy.
Italian food has long been of L.A.’s most consistently popular cuisines. The arrival of some Italian restaurants has dialled up interest in regional Italian cooking . Discover the best 10 of Los Angeles’ Italian restaurants.
1. Rossoblu – Downtown Arts District
Visit Because: Steve Samson’s Bolognese-inspired menu, including handmade pastas and Italian wines.
Chef Steve Samson’s Rossoblu is an ode to the summers he spent at his mother’s hometown in Bologna but with a hip, industrial dining room.
On a cold night, opt for minestra nel sacco—parmesan dumplings in a chicken and beef broth—that is a traditional dish from Bologna.
The pastas are excellent, but don’t skip the rest of the menu. The Ilario’s grigliata (named after the chef’s grandfather), with grilled pork chops and housemade sausage, is great to share.
Address: 1124 San Julian St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
2. Bestia – Downtown Arts District
Visit Because: Trendy Italian restaurant by an acclaimed husband-&-wife team highlights creative seasonal fare.
Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’s Arts District spot sets the standard for what dining out can mean in Los Angeles.
Perfectly crafted cocktails and a condensed selection of wines meet not-too-fussy plates.
The house-cured salumi is a reason alone to visit, but the open kitchen nails preparations from light (house salad and crudo are a balance in flavors) to soul-satisfying.
Highlights include braised beef cheek-filled agnolotti and spaghetti rustichella and Pomodoro sauced with buttery uni or crab.
Address: 2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021
3. Cento Pasta Bar – West Adams
Visit Because: Mignon Wine Bar becomes this handmade pasta bar at lunchtime several days a week.
The space in West Adams is certainly bigger than the original operation inside Mignon. It still maintains the look and feel of a neighbourhood wine and pasta bar.
There’s a cozy front patio filled with stringlit trees and a bright interior with a large communal table perfect for groups intent on drinking a lot of natural wine.
Snag a seat at the bar where you get a front-row seat to the show: spicy pomodoro covered in basil, and the iconic beet spaghetti drenched in brown butter.
Cento’s expanded menu has plenty of excellent new dishes like savoury chicken liver crostini and banana pudding tiramisu.
They will live in your subconscious for weeks but at the end of the day, you’re here to eat a lot of pasta—which is still among the best in the city.
Address: 4921 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
4. Mother Wolf – Hollywood
Visit Because: The upscale, Roman-leaning restaurant in Hollywood makes every social event we’ve ever been to feel like a church service.
Evan Funke, the pasta prodigy behind Felix, one of LA’s most beloved Italian stalwarts, recently opened this plush and romantic spot in Hollywood’s upcoming Vinyl District that acts as an ode to Roman cuisine.
Here you’ll find classic interpretations of Roman pizzas and pastas, like a Clasica pie with buffalo mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto.
Some have wild arugula on top of a chewy and crispy blistered crust; and Rigatoncini Alla Vaccinara with oxtail ragu, guanciale, red pepper flakes, and pecorino romano DOP.
The DOP categorization that you’ll see next to a handful of ingredients across the menu refers to the Protected Designation of Origin.
Address: 1545 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
5. Cecconi’s – West Hollywood
Visit Because: Cecconi’s thin-crust black-truffle pizza is a legendary taste delight. It’s not always in season, so grab it when you can.
Cecconi’s is an Italian place with an inside track to L.A.’s rich and famous since it is the sister restaurant to the private club SoHo House (there’s one in London, too, where SoHo House began).
That means you’re very likely to see movie stars and studio heads dining here, people that can afford any restaurant in town yet continue to flock to Cecconi’s.
It could be simply because of the thin-crust flatbread-style black-truffle pizza, eaten piping hot with your fingers, but there are many other exemplary dishes on this menu reminiscent of one you’d see in Venice or other parts of Northern Italy.
Go for lunch, when the prices are more reasonable, or stop in from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. when the Aperitivo menu is in effect.
Address: 8764 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
6. Cosa Buona – Silver Lake
Visit Because: Italian-inspired wood-fired pizzas made with California produce, from Alimento’s Zach Pollack.
Chef Zack Pollack strays from Northern Italy and super-charges Italian American classics. Smoked mozzarella sticks with molten cores and shattering coats glide into zesty marinara sauce.
Chicken wings come slathered with Zach’s Red Hot sauce and dive into creamy Gorgonzola dip. Pizza is char-pocked and pull-apart after cooking in a wood-burning Stefano Ferrara oven. The version with crispy-cupped pepperoni discs, tomato, mozzarella, and Parm is great. So is the spicy sausage pizza with mozzarella, mustard greens, and chile.
Cannoli Siciliani is a fitting finish, with crispy dark chocolate shell, sweet ricotta, orange, and crushed pistachios at both ends.
Address: 2100 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90026
7. Felix Trattoria – Venice
Visit Because: Pasta made on sight, right before your eyes.
Evan Funke lives his restaurant life with a few key beliefs, and the most irreverent might just be “Fuck your pasta machine.”
The Italy-trained chef holds such a reverence for tradition that at Felix, his Venice bungalow trattoria, all pasta is made by hand behind a large window so you can marvel at the method as you dine.
Dine al fresco under the stars as Felix, with deep-rooted Italian culinary traditions, offers a delightful menu with fresh California-grown ingredients.
With infamous starters such as the Polpette Della Maestra Alessandra, which are pork meatballs served with salsa verde and Parmigiano Reggiano and the Fiore pizza with its light burrata di campana and squash blossoms, Felix is a dining experience out of this world.
Address: 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
8. Pizzeria Mozza – Hancock Park
Visit Because: Chef Nancy Silverton turns out acclaimed wood-burning-oven pizzas & antipasti in busy digs.
Within her larger Hancock Park Mozzaplex, local celebrity Nancy chef Silverton’s unapologetically Californian pizzas are in a class of their own.
Doughy, chewy and lightly charred, Silverton’s pizzas feature cheffy, farmers’ market toppings like squash blossoms and fennel sausage.
Show-stopping meatballs and seasonal desserts, including the rotating flavours of house-made gelato, guarantee that Silverton’s first sitdown restaurant—Osteria is her second—is still an excellent sitdown pizza experience and all-around gold standard pie in the city’s diverse and growing pizza scene.
Address: 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
9. chi SPACCA – Hollywood
Visit Because: Meaty, upscale Italian fare from a trio of star chefs in a Tuscan atmosphere with worn-wood tables and celebrity sightings.
Chi Spacca is one of three restaurants that anchor Nancy Silverton’s Mozza empire. While the Pizzeria and Osteria are more popular, Chi Spacca is the best of the bunch.
Located in a small red dining room, a meal at this meat-centric spot feels like an exclusive dinner party inside a famous novelist’s wine cellar.
Mid-City’s chi Spacca offers a new Italian experience, often called “an Italian steakhouse on steroids.”
Experimenting with charcuterie and cured meats, chi Spacca’s menu is the artistry of classics. On offer is antipasti plates of Coppa, Finocchiona, Prosciutto and star-of-the-show entrees like Porcini-Rubbed Short Ribs.
Address: 6610 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
10. Etta – Culver City
Visit Because: Smart, airy restaurant with an open kitchen offering wood-fired pizzas, housemade pastas & salads.
The restaurant group was eager to break into the Los Angeles market and capitalize on California’s abundant produce and fresh ingredients.
A frequently updated menu stars seasonal salads, wood-fired pizzas, and made-from-scratch pastas.
One of the most impressive items is a 40-ounce, bone-in, hearth-roasted short rib. It is served with soft bread, lettuce cups, yoghurt sauce, marinated and tomatoes.
It’s the perfect dish to share with a group while drinking in Etta’s well-appointed indoor-outdoor space (and while drinking superb cocktails).
Address: 8801 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Whether it’s handmade pastas or bubbly crust pizzas, Italian food soothes the soul. LA is home to a number of great restaurants, ranging from the casual red-sauce joint to ones fit for a romantic date night.
Whether you are in search of an unforgettable plate of pasta or a fresh platter of seafood, enjoy our list of L.A.’s’ best Italian restaurants.
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