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Gusto

Critics' pick
Fairfax/Beverly/La Brea/Third St.
OpenTable

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Chef Vic Casanova, formerly of the Four Seasons Culina, brings his New York-bred culinary chops—he trained with top toques Daniel Boulud and Cesare Casella—to set up shop a stone's throw from the Beverly Center. Small groups and date nighters squeeze into the tiny eatery and dine on elegant renditions of comfort food like braised tripe ($18) with tomato, mint and Pecorino and homemade pastas like addictive tomato-based tonnarelli ($14) and bucatini carbonara ($16), a soul-satisfying mix of egg yolk and guanciale. Seasonal specials like winter greens mixed with tart apples and toasted hazelnuts make an appearance in addition to the abbreviated menu. Be sure to save room for dessert: Decadent chocolate budino ($9) and toasted coconut gelato pie ($9) are tied for the ultimate ending to a composed meal.

Venue name: Gusto
Address: 8432 West 3rd St
Los Angeles

Venue phone: 323-782-1778
Website: http://www.gusto-la.com
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 6-11pm; Fri, Sat 6-11:30pm; Sun 5-10pm
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