my search for the best italian food in los angeles, part 1

June 8, 2009 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

Ever since I returned from Rome two and a half years ago, I have embarked on a never-ending search for the best Italian food in Los Angeles. My list of places to try is still very long but I thought I would share some of my favorites thus far. I started this post thinking that I would be able to talk about all of the restaurants in one shot, but quickly realized that it would be the longest post ever. So, this is part 1 of my Italian Food in Los Angeles series. I’ll try to post one a week this week.

Angeli Caffe
Location: Melrose between Gardner and La Brea, W. Hollywood
angeli caffe

This unpretentious and warm restaurant is the project of Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s weekly food show “Good Food”. She opened Angeli Caffe in 1984 with the goal of providing a restaurant that would serve light and simple food that was both stylish and affordable. I found that both the simplicity of her restaurant and the composition of the dishes reflect her mission.

I was so excited the first time that I opened the menu at Angeli and saw supplì and other croquettes with the appetizers. If you have not had one of these amazing treats, it is worth it to go to Angeli for a glass of wine and a plate of croquettes. Supplì are small rice balls filled with variations of meat sauces, cheeses and vegetables. Italians usually make supplì when they have leftover risotto from the night before. Croquettes are generally made with potatoes instead of rice. Evan posted an excellent recipe for her Eggplant Croquettes and I have been dying to try this recipe for traditional supplì.

When I was living in Rome, an American ex-pat friend of mine took me to a small pizzeria in Piazza di San Cosimato in Trastevere and introduced me to this Roman delicacy. If you wanted supplì for lunch, you had to arrive at the beginning of the rush hour because they were always sure to be gone by 1pm.

In addition to supplì, I have tried Angeli Caffe’s Penne Bolognese, Linguine alle Vongole (w/ clams), and the Ravioli al Magro (spinach and cheese ravioli w/ butter and a light tomato-basil sauce). See the menu here. The dishes were all fantastic and remind me of my grandmother’s kitchen. Just like the atmosphere of the restaurant, the food at Angeli Caffe is warm, unpretentious, and delightful.


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my morning drive my search for the best italian food in los angeles, part 2

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