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old school Italian -- Eagle Rock, Glendale, etc.?

My daughter wanted to go to Carmine's in South Pasadena for her birthday, but since we're in Silver Lake, I'd rather find something closer. I can't seem to recall those Italian places in Eagle Rock I've heard about...which do the hounds recommend? (She just wants plain spaghetti, blah, but the rest of us would like some decent pasta or veal and a glass of wine.)

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  1. Try THE CAPRI http://www.nelanet.org/businessfinder...

    4604 Eagle Rock Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90041
    (323) 257-3225

    Some say their thin-crust pies are even better than Casa Bianca's ...

    1. Chowpatty:
      have you been to Fontana on N. Brand? i haven't been but some swear by it.

      Fresco on Brand? i haven't been since they switched chefs, but we liked their menu before

      Michelangelo's in Silver Lake

      Palermo in Los Feliz? (i've never been, but it sure looks old school)

      Aroma on Silverlake Blvd

      Il Fornaio? I know it's a chain but a lot of people love it

      1. You might want to try
        Scarantino's Italian Inn
        1524 E. Colorado Blvd.

        Friendly and good old fashioned Italian-American food. My kids love it. Some family relationship with the erstwhile Dino's of Pasadena, which I think now is actually being refitted into a Scarantino's. I have also heard that Capri has a huge fan club--and have never tried it because it's always been too crowded when we've driven by. Perhaps though they accept reservations.

        Another place my kids are crazy about, which is very campy and has cheap steaks and the usual red-sauced culprits, is Colombo's Steakhouse on Colorado in Eagle Rock. Great red-boothed ambiance, fun barfly bar adjacent, decent martinis and better-than-you'd-expect-in-Eagle Rock live music nightly. I particularly like the rolled spinach lasagna.

        And happy birthday wishes from all of us!

        1. Palermo is VERY old school, I think your daughter would love it, and it is close to you. Casa Bianca is perfect as well. Fresco on Brand is not as good as it used to be.

          1. Capri, Columbo's, Scarantino's -- that's what I was trying to think of! Argh, the brain cells. Thanks, we'll try one of these and report back.

            1. Palermo is so old school, and so bad, that even your daughter should with old school tastebuds should not be subjected to that food. Try either Fresco or Far Niente in Glendale, which are far superior to the slop at Palermo. And don't even think of going to Palermo for a glass of wine - red, white or pink, period!

              6 Replies
              1. re: carter

                Palermo's is horrible. Their minestrone soup tastes as if it's from the can. Sorry, but I hated it.

                1. re: eatcake

                  The only thing decent at Palermo is the pizza, beyond that forget it. Try Monte Carlo in Burbank or Marino on Melrose.

                2. re: carter

                  +1 for Far Niente, if you want a really "old school" feel try eating in the bar area. I wouldn't ordinarily call it a destination restaurant, but for what you're looking for I think it would fill the bill.

                  1. re: medrite

                    As someone kindly pointed out to me when I posted a reply today, the original request is seven years old. Oops!

                    1. re: JeMange

                      Yes, I realized that after the fact too. Oh well, I still like Far Niente...

                      1. re: medrite

                        Guys, it's fine. The reason why Chowhound doesn't close old threads is so that current updates can be listed. I actually find it very interesting to read how the scene has evolved over the years, and what more apparent way is there to see how things have changed then to reply to an old post?

                        Keep on posting the ca. 2103 old school Italian recs.

                        Mr Taster

                3. My favorite ol fashion Italian is Mazarrino's in Valley Village on Riverside & Coldwater. Everything is terrific there -- garlic bread to-die-for, speghetti & meatballs, pizza, veal parm -- I've been going since I was three years old, and I'm in my thirties now.

                  1. My vote is split:

                    If it was for me, I would go to Colombo's in Eagle Rock. Yes, it's a steakhouse, so not just Italian food, but it has the red booths, and the garlic bread, and there is pasta on the menu. (As for wine I would bring my own, maybe, or have a basic cocktail instead). I particularly like it because of the piano player and the singing guests.

                    If, though, you are looking more for old school Italian and want to steer clear of the Vegas vibe, Casa Bianca would be a good option if you could stand the wait.

                    The third good option is the Capri, which doesn't have the wait, and has OK pizza plus a wide variety of pasta options, plus the garlic bread. At Capri, though, you will definitely want to bring your own wine (maybe call ahead to make sure you can). And beware -- their desert options are very limited; I once went there for my birthday and got a foil cup of ice cream that appeared to have been in the freezer for several years. Even so, I'm still fond of the place, so take from that what you will.

                    1. Dominick's in Sunland/Tunjunga (La Crescenta maybe?) used to be good at this stuff; and they've been there forever. The Cam-Man had his first "eating out" red-sauce spaghetti there 15 or so years ago. I recall that their chicken cacciatore (an entire half-chicken)was so enormous that it appeared to be made from one of Rodan's relatives.

                      1. Does the Carmine's you're refering to have anything to do with the one in New York City?

                        Personally, I'm a big fan of Vitello's (the famous Robert Blake italian restaurant) on Tejunga in North Hollywood/Studio City. They have this breaded veal with balsamic and tomatoes, red onion and basil. DELICIOUS! And of course they serve it with fried zuchinni and salad/soup. It's pretty popular with celebs, but it's cheap and feels like an East Coast italian place.

                        1. Isn't Casa Bianca as old school as it gets with still being AWESOME? Litres of vino, great antipasto, etc. Their non-pizza entrees are hit-or-miss, but do kids care?

                          Also if you go in a group you can make a reservation (which is the only way I can eat there without attempting to hang myself in line).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bo_burger

                            I agree. We have often organized groups just to avoid the interminable waits. Take out is not much better. They do, however, usually honor reservations for 6 or more.

                          2. Aroma is solid but feels overpriced for the room and service. I've enjoyed meals at Il Capriccio on Vermont. There's also Little Dom's on Hillhurst, although the menu is a bit more inventive (not especially so) as opposed to old school.

                            As far as the majority of the other legit recs I see here, they all seem to be about as far from Silver Lake as South Pas, which is pretty darned close, unless you're walking or cycling.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JeMange

                              Thanks for the heads up. I didn't look at the date.

                              Something is wrong with how my browser is caching things, I think - this was listed as a "new" story/post on my CH/LA homepage.

                            2. Ummmm....this post is seven years old. The daughter has had many more birthday....I'm sure.....

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: perk

                                Like Mr. Taster wrote, I like getting the updates on old threads. I didn't read this seven years ago, but am enjoying it today. Thanks for the updates everyone.

                              2. Nobody mentioned Colombo's in Eagle Rock.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: love2eat

                                  I love Colombo's! Not the best food in the world but the food is solid, not expensive and I love the atmosphere. It's great.