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 great, lesser-known wines meet not-too-fussy plates that wow in a setting that’s cool and casual but not too relaxed. 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 (everything that comes out of the wood-burning oven and the outstanding pastas). Highlights include braised beef cheek-filled agnolotti and spaghetti rustichella, pomodoro sauced with buttery uni or crab.
With an abundance of Italian restaurants in this city, Angelenos need not hop a plane or even look far to get their fix of antipasti, meaty roasts, comforting bowls of carbs—and, of course, plenty of pizza. (Maybe even some gelato for dessert? Perhaps some tiramisu?) And while there’s artful Italian food in just about every neighborhood across the city, certain spots really take the cake—er, cannoli, as it were. Here we round up L.A.’s best Italian restaurants that go beyond your average ho-hum red sauce joints. Buon appetito!
Before you dig in, a brief note: All of these restaurants are currently open in some form, most outside, some indoors and a couple that are only offering takeout service or limited menus. Call or look online to check menus and availability before stopping by.