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Oct 8, 2006 12:32 AM

Fabrocini's at the Beverly Glen Center

It's not going to set the world on fire, but I had a business lunch this week at Fabrocini's at Beverly Glen (near Mulholland).

Our party came in two waves, which could have screwed up ordering, serving and other timing issues, but the waitstaff handled it all with little discussion and no hassle.

More importantly, the food was much better than I expected. To me, that strip mall has always been more about being a halfway point than about serving good food.

Start with a complimentary basket of freshly baked and nicely crusty but not oily focaccia, served warm.

Then, broccoli limone. Basically, brocolli florets steamed, chilled, tossed in lemon juice and garlic, served cool. The order of operations may be slightly off, but this was a crisp, fresh, tangy and deliciously refreshing starter - a great way to start, similar to a good sunomono or a tangy gazpacho.

Next up, caesar salad with shrimp and crab. A good-sized bowl of romaine (leaves and hearts), tossed in a tangy garlicky rendition of caesar, a fair amount of roughly hewn cheese (parm, romano?), four beautifully seasoned, warm, tasty grilled shrimp, and about 3 or 4 oz. of fresh crab meat (lump, blue, dungeness - I don't know) in meaningfully sized chunks (not minced, whipped, mayo'd, or canned in any way).

I actually had very low hopes for the lunch overall, and I half expected to get a caesar with Krab with a K and some crill when I ordered this salad. (Why do I order something that I think is going to suck? I find that if you order food that you hate at a business lunch, you don't overeat which allows you to concentrate on the conversation rather than digestion.)

If you're in the neighborhood, I would definitely give this place a chance.

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  1. We eat here frequently because we live near by. The salads are always reliable. I like the calzones as well, which I get stuffed with ricotta (with which it is rife), eggplant, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes. The pizza is decent, and the best delivery up in this area. I have had the eggplant parmesan as well, and it was tasty. Nonetheless, I generally order the Chicken Scallopine, and it's consistently tasty.