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Aug 29, 2006 05:24 AM

Scarantino's, Formerly Dino's - Anyone Been?

Scarantino's, operating in the space that was Dino's Italian Inn for 57 years, opened about a month ago, but as a loyal Dino's customer I just haven't been able to bring myself to try it yet. Has anyone been? How does it compare to its predecessor, both in terms of food and ambiance?

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  1. fear not--it is the same family. we were just at the scarantino's location in glendale, and heard a bit about it...dino's has always been in the family, they've just changed the name to reopen. so if you liked it before, you should still find the same family recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chez cherie

      It's the same family, but warring factions. The Scarantino's side basically forced the Dino's contingent out of business in a family squabble. At the time Dino's closed, it was unclear whether any of the Dino's staff (including the chef who'd been there for like 35 years) would be kept on.

      But if the food is still up to snuff, that's what I care about the most.

    2. How is Scarantino's in G-Dale? I'm always on the lookout for reliable neighborhood joints....

      1. I went there for dinner Sunday night. I was a bit reluctant at first. I feel a landmark has died and I walked in skeptical. For most part (at least the dining room itself), hasn't changed at all. They did install some windows to bring in some natural light and I actually liked that touch. The waiting area was a little different but not too dramatic. I heard the food didn't change all that much accept they raised the prices a little. I had Chicken dish (red sauce) with a side of pasta and it was very good. The marinara sauce was Dino's consistent and nice and tangy. The salad was a little different but the soup was the same old...good and hearty. The biggest thing I noticed was new faces and the price of all the entreeā€™s were about 3-4 bucks more then before. Not too bad considering. Overall, I'd say it was fair and I think it's worth a try.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Joe

          Thanks for the intel.

          I'll make it there eventually. Of course, one of the things that made Dino's so wonderful were its prices. I think that on my last visit to Dino's (closing weekend), the chicken parm was $15.95 and a bottle of Gabbiano Chianti was $22. At $19.95 or so, it just doesn't seem like as much of a bargain.

          But I'll go anyways.

          And I guess that also answers the question of whether they kept on any of the old staff...

          As for the salad, I gotta be honest. The Dino's dressing, while original, really wasn't my favorite thing in the world; I much prefer a vinaigrette. So if they changed the Dino's salad, I can live with that.

          Again, thanks for the update.

          1. re: Jack Flash

            Last time I was there, we talked to the waiter specifically about the salad dressing. He said it was the SAME EXACT recipe that Scarantino's uses and it would stay that way.

            So, for better or worse, there you have it.

          2. re: Joe

            Did you notice if they still have the early bird dinner special? If so, how much was it? Thanks!!

            1. re: WildSwede

              Darn! I knew I had forgotten something. I'm sorry, no I didn't notice or ask. I should've though! The early bird specials were great. I do hope they still have them.

          3. Interesting blog post about Scar's and Dino's here (scroll down):


            Apparently, Scar's started out decades ago on La Cienega's Restaurant Row.

            1. Andrew: To be precise, Scarantino's was not on Restaurant Row. It was on La Cienaga south of Pico. Most people remember it because it was next to a miniature golf course that a lot of kids in the neighborhood (which I'll call Pico/Robertson) remember.