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Apr 9, 2007 10:39 AM

All'Angelo better than Valentino?

I'm coming to LA from NYC for a celebration weekend with my family...which does better food?

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  1. Valentino because food and service is more consistent. However, it can still be hit and miss for both. At Valentino, get the tasting menu but if you don't want to dish out 85 per person, I suggest you go with the smaller of the two tastings which is a great deal. If you end up at All Angelo, it's hard to go wrong with the specials, especially with the pasta. If they have the porcini mushroom risotto with leeks, get it. They had it the both times I was there and were fantastic. Otherwise, it's hard to go wrong with their spaghetti with langostino, stuffed hen (sliced), branzino with tomato broth, grilled sea bream which they'll de-bone in front of you and most of all, the veal loin with porcini and gnocchetti (one of the best veal dishes I've had in LA). Desserts are good too with their polenta pudding with lemon zabaglione and panna cotta. Service can definitely be a issue at All Angelo since it's relatively new and some of the servers are occasionally overwhelmed. The first time I was there I had to get Stefano, the owner, to speed up our plates as we waited 40 minutes to get the the pastas after we had our appetizers. After one complaint, everything else went smoothly.

    9 Replies
    1. re: jackkirby

      Thanks! Since you say both can be hit or miss, do you have a favorite spot you'd suggest for us? You seem in-the-know for LA's top food...

      1. re: jthefoodie

        etc..all expensive

        Really, throw a general question to the boar, but specify price range, cuisine type, preferred location, etc. All of us on here know many, many fabulous eateries.

        1. re: Diana

          I am new to this board. I just posted a question -- looking for recommendations for 3 restaurants --anywhere in the City. Cost not an issue,I'm invited for my birthday and I have asked to pick 3 fabulous places. I've to many of the really good LA eateries but not the the really expensive places. Any suggestions appreciated, especially if you can recommned one fabulous place over an other. I'm told to go to Providence. Is it really that nice?

          1. re: sovze

            i ate at providence saturday night and it was probably the best meal i've eaten in southern california. the place has really hit its stride.

            1. re: FED

              Agree! I was also there and save for one not-great dish on the tasting menu, the rest were excellent. I will post a full review w/ pics soon.

              1. re: meganinlosfeliz

                just out of curiosity, which one was it? we did the tasting menu, too, with wine pairings. the lobster was the one dish that seemed to lack the focus of the others.

                1. re: FED

                  We did the 9 course tasting, not the chef's tasting, so we did not get a lobster course (I see it on the website now but there was not one last week). It was the John Dory with rhubarb. Flavors just didn't come together.

              2. re: FED

                I third that! I'm going this Saturday. It's gonna be my second time. I've saved $500!

            2. re: Diana

              Hey Diana...while I love Urasawa, we don't have the budget and I bet they don't have the space! Our group has expanded to 14, and Dad will likely pick up the tab...any cuisine, any area, though we're likely staying in Marina del Rey. Thanks!

        2. All'Angelo does a couple of good dishes, but it isn't in the same league as Valentino, which sets the bar for patron-run Italian restaurants in the United States at the moment - at least if you do the tasting menu. And that's not even considering Valentino's vast wine list. All'Angelo is basically a slightly tweaked version of a Brentwood Tuscan restaurant that happens to be on Melrose.

          1. these restaurants do very different kinds of italian food. i think it's hard to compare. VALENTINO is finer dining. currently under a little bit of construction. the main dining room is gorgeous. VALENTINO is more of a high ristorante.

            ALL'ANGELO is slightly less formal. although it's hard to call stefano not formal.

            i'd add OSTERIA ANGELINI to your list.

            2 Replies
            1. re: revets2

              My girlfriend and I had dinner at Valentino last Saturday for her birthday. The food was outstanding. The restaurant is sedate, very nice for a change. I think you'd do well there considering the size of your party and your MDR locale. You will only have to worry about talking over yourselves.
              The other place that I'd consider if you are not concerned about having a revelatory food experience and you want a place that's good for larger groups is Boa. It's a very good steakhouse, not the best in the city but on a given night, as I've experienced at all the steakhouses (haven't been to Cut) because beef varies no matter where they buy it from, it can deliver a perfect steak. Above all, I've always had a great time eating there--I've only been to the one in Santa Monica.

              1. re: revets2

                Ok, revets2 - All'Angelo couldn't take the bigger party... so now it's between Valentino and Angelini Osteria...where to, and what to order? Would Valentino really be that much of a price increase?

              2. There is no comparison.
                All Angelo is a nice restaurant for decent food with two ex employees from Valentino which is the only similarity.
                VALENTINO is leap years better in every way. We were there last week and it was fantastic as usual.

                2 Replies
                1. re: russkar

                  Since we have such a big group, they may have us pre-select some apps and give "3" (which I will try to increase!) choices for mains. What to request?!?!

                  1. re: jthefoodie

                    Others here have no doubt tried many more things than I have at Valentino. I will say that the lasagna with sausage ragu was fantastic--i liked it better than angelini osteria's famous lasagna. We also had the tortelli appetizer from the tasting menu--essentially raviolis filled with braised beef with a light pea sauce. These were also scrumptuous.

                2. Since you are a large group, I would suggest the private balcony table at Via Veneto which also ranks as one of the best Italian restaurants in LA. The advantage is that is is in Santa Monica so very close to Marina Del Rey. In the same league as Osteria Angelini. Great atmosphere, fantastic food and while they couldn't seat you on the main floor which is too small, they have an amazing private balcony room lined with wine bottles and with one large table in the center. It is very intimate and romantic. You have to call to reserve it in advance and I think they only do a "family style" service there. It won't be cheap, but it would be very special. I have been wanting to have a special party there for a long time.