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Special Occasion Italian?

mintydee Oct 4, 2006 07:52 PM

Does anyone recommend a GREAT italian place near beverly hills, brentwood, etc. that is romantic and good for small groups? I will am planning a post-wedding ceremony dinner for about 15 people and want to go somewhere that is truly special and delicious! i've been thinking of peppone, la dolce vita, trilussa, etc. thanks!

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  1. chica RE: mintydee Oct 4, 2006 07:58 PM

    The food may not be the best in LA at Il Cielo, but the setting is certainly one of the most quaint, romantic, and private areas in BH.

    I've been there when there is another dinner party going on in the garden, and it's a perfect place for a small party without too much intrusion. They also have private banquet rooms.


    1 Reply
    1. re: chica
      mintydee RE: chica Oct 4, 2006 08:10 PM

      thank you! i know, i've visited (never eaten) there, but i may have to do the dinner on sunday--and that's the one day they're closed...

    2. wilafur RE: mintydee Oct 4, 2006 08:03 PM

      capo in santa monica! yum!

      1. t
        ThatPat RE: mintydee Oct 4, 2006 08:33 PM

        La Terza at Third and Orlando is same owner as Angelini Osteria (but much larger than Angelini). It's not Romantic (with capital R) but the food is very good as is the service. Il Moro on Olympic in West L.A. has a lovely patio with a stream and waterfall. The food is good, if not great. They also have one or more private rooms. Previous poster mentions Capo, which I understand to be one of the most expensive restaurants around but food is supposed to be very good (out of my price range).

        1. n
          New Trial RE: mintydee Oct 4, 2006 09:24 PM

          I would recommed either Vincenti (on San Vicente near Bundy) at the high end or Il Moro (On Purdue near Olympic) at the more moderate end as both offer private dining areas (Il Moro also has the outdoor patio if you prefer). Drago (on Wilshire near 26th) also might work. Valentino just got its old chef back but I have not yet been to see how he is cooking these days. Although the food at Angelini Osteria is wonderful, the place may be too cramped for your needs and may be too far East. His La Terza is a very good substitute but, again, might be farther East than you want (3rd St. near Sweetzer).

          2 Replies
          1. re: New Trial
            Fresser RE: New Trial Dec 2, 2006 02:58 AM

            Had dinner there for a Bday celebration couple years ago...eight or so women and it was the worst dinner I believe I've ever had anywhere. The service was horrendous, meals were not delivered as ordered, food came out cold, really awful and expensive. Never went back and never will.

            1. re: Fresser
              ThatPat RE: Fresser Dec 2, 2006 07:52 PM

              Are you taking about Vincente? The poster you are replying to mentions 6 different restaurants, so your response is confusing.

          2. l
            love2chow RE: mintydee Oct 4, 2006 09:44 PM

            i second the rec for vicenti and i also really like pizzicoto for the less high end, good price and amazing food!

            1 Reply
            1. re: love2chow
              igj RE: love2chow Oct 4, 2006 09:55 PM

              While I used to eat at Pizzicoto fairly often, I would never recommend it for a group of 15 - or even a group of 6. Too cramped by far...

              Drago could handle a group that big though - and make a fussy presentation of service (which can be fun sometimes).

            2. y
              yogachik RE: mintydee Oct 4, 2006 09:58 PM

              Toscana in Brentwood.

              1. luswei RE: mintydee Oct 4, 2006 10:25 PM

                Locanda Veneta 310-274-1893
                8648 W Third b/w Robertson & San Vincente

                and their Cafe Veneto which is next door

                1. m
                  Mr. Cookie RE: mintydee Oct 5, 2006 12:33 AM

                  Don't go to La Terza, it's no more than OK at best, nothing special. The food at Angelini Osteria is better, although therestaurant is not very fancy.

                  Locanda Veneta has great food but it's tiny and the ambiance suffers because of it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mr. Cookie
                    Hunter RE: Mr. Cookie Oct 8, 2006 05:42 PM

                    For fifteen people, you've have to rent the place. It's very small and jammed with tables.

                  2. w
                    WestsideLisa RE: mintydee Oct 5, 2006 12:37 AM

                    I would suggest Divino in Brentwood, especially if they can seat you in the upstairs dining area. Great food, great service, and a charming restaurant/host.

                    1. r
                      revets2 RE: mintydee Oct 5, 2006 06:20 AM

                      IL GRANO on santa monica just west of the 405.

                      they have a lovely private room just off the entrance. i think sal is cooking some of the best italian in l.a. so do my friend from italy. i believe it seats 14, so 15 might be tight, but it's a round table and very communal. i love this room. i love sal's food.

                      stefano, the manager and sommelier, is also a good guy and has a great palate.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: revets2
                        LMS1108 RE: revets2 Nov 30, 2006 09:26 PM

                        I thought Stefano left...isn't he opening a new place on Melrose?

                      2. j
                        JonInLA RE: mintydee Oct 5, 2006 05:38 PM

                        I third Vincenti - One of my favortites in LA. Gorigio Baldi is also a good choice, very dark and cozy but the food can be a miss sometimes.

                        1. r
                          revets2 RE: mintydee Oct 5, 2006 08:20 PM

                          i stopped going to giorgio baldi some time ago. this review yesterday in the LAT sums it up for me:


                          1. t
                            tdo ca RE: mintydee Oct 5, 2006 08:24 PM

                            I've had a couple nice meals at La Botte in SM - it's one room, though, so group would be "sharing the space" as opposed to having own private area. Valentino and Drago good options, as suggested above.

                            1. f
                              FED RE: mintydee Oct 5, 2006 08:32 PM

                              nobody talks about it anymore, but i think some of the best italian cooking in los angeles is at valentino. especially since angelo returned. be careful about price and get everything thoroughly worked out in advance, but it will blow your mind. and they do have a private dining room.

                              if that is too steep, then, of course, la terza (they use the upstairs for private parties, too).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: FED
                                brekkie_fan RE: FED Oct 6, 2006 06:20 AM

                                I agree with Valentino....couldn't figure out why nobody else was liking it too.

                              2. b
                                balzachertz RE: mintydee Oct 6, 2006 06:36 AM

                                Pecorino in Brentwood, although it may be too small for your needs.

                                1. n
                                  nosh RE: mintydee Oct 8, 2006 03:34 AM

                                  I'll throw in Tanino. It is in the old Alice's Restaurant space on Westwood in Westwood Village and can probably set aside some space for your party. You are getting Drago brother food in a charming space and if some of your party is from out of town they may enjoy being in Westwood, seeing the Eurochow dome a couple of doors down, and bringing a couple of Stan's donuts or Diddy Riesse cookies back to their hotel afterwards.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: nosh
                                    Hunter RE: nosh Oct 8, 2006 05:52 PM

                                    The food is less impressive than the building, but it's not bad.

                                  2. f
                                    Francesca RE: mintydee Dec 1, 2006 03:59 AM

                                    Il Moro is the place.

                                    1. Eat_Nopal RE: mintydee Dec 1, 2006 04:12 AM

                                      Il Moro probably has the best haute Italian cuisine in the city... but the location doesn't have much soul.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                        russkar RE: Eat_Nopal Dec 1, 2006 05:56 AM

                                        ll Moro is OK for Lunch but certainly not in the class with Vincenti, Valentino, Angelini.
                                        Overall the best is Valentino across the board.
                                        Il Grano is good but crazy corkage is a turn off(buzz kill)

                                        1. re: russkar
                                          Eat_Nopal RE: russkar Dec 1, 2006 03:28 PM

                                          Valentino is pathetic... absolutely soulless, worse $200 I have ever spent in my life. Sure if you want to have a young guy with a fake Italian accent just waiting to fill your glass... maybe you will like this place... but I couldn't think of a more dumbed down Italian place in the entire country... this is Italian food for a more conservative crowd that doesn't like assertive flavors.

                                          Il Moro's food is substantially superior... but like I said, its not the most elegant & warm feel. The food at Il Moro is tasty, varied & brings less usual dishes to the table.

                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                            russkar RE: Eat_Nopal Dec 1, 2006 03:45 PM

                                            Have you been to Valentino recently? We were just there 3 wks ago and it was fantastic! Best Alba White Truffles we've had anywhere.
                                            Chef ANGELO has really turned the kitchen around in the last 4 months so you might be very surprised.
                                            I was II Moro last month so it's not I don't enjoy their food but it's not at the same level.

                                            1. re: russkar
                                              Eat_Nopal RE: russkar Dec 1, 2006 03:52 PM

                                              I was there maybe 3 years ago & vowed to never waste money again..

                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                russkar RE: Eat_Nopal Dec 1, 2006 03:57 PM

                                                We are going again this Wed with a group of 12. I'll report back how it goes.
                                                3 yrs ago the kitchen was uneven at times, today is different.

                                                1. re: russkar
                                                  Eat_Nopal RE: russkar Dec 3, 2006 08:33 PM

                                                  Not just uneven... the food was boring. The menu seemed like something an Italian American whose never had upscale food in Italy c imagining as upscale Italian cuisine... in other words you could see the lame attempts at Frenchifying & Californizing the food.

                                                  If I compare it to the actual dishes at L'Emperio in Murray Hill (which is arguably the standard among high end Italian restaurants in the states)... Valentino's was a complete joke.

                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                    russkar RE: Eat_Nopal Dec 5, 2006 01:32 AM

                                                    I think you mean L'Impero where Scott Canon is the Chef, in NYC?
                                                    Hardly the benchmark for Italian Food in NYC, ever hear of Il Mulino?
                                                    Anyway Scott used to be involved with Valentino's in LA so it's good to see the Apple doesn't fall far from the tree?
                                                    Valentino's is absolutely the Best in LA if not the USA!

                                                    1. re: russkar
                                                      condiment RE: russkar Dec 5, 2006 01:45 AM

                                                      That's l'Impero, where Scott Conant is the chef. It is very very good, and his much fancier Alto, serving food from the Alto Adige region, is even better.

                                                      As you suggest, though, as much as one may dislike Valentino - and I had a couple of just horrible meals before Angelo came back - to imply whatever badness may exist is a lack of sophistication is just wrong. Valentino is an excellent example of a high-end Italian restaurant translated to Los Angeles, and Piero is not just respected but revered by the best chefs in Italy.

                                                    2. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                      cls RE: Eat_Nopal Dec 5, 2006 02:04 AM

                                                      I agree, Valentino is not just bad it's pathetic. To be fair, the food is OK, but with the deranged grandma decor complete with plastic corner guards, the dismissive service, and of course the bill, it's on my most hated list of restaurants.

                                        2. d
                                          DonataGuerra RE: mintydee Dec 6, 2006 01:02 AM

                                          What about the upstairs room at Pizzicotto? Seems they could easily accomodate a big table for fifteen, and there's a nice kind of intimacy up there.

                                          Il Moro, when I first dined there, was full of people celebrating UCLA graduations (that's where we took a group for our son). It seemed a bit noisy though.

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