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Jun 18, 2007 03:40 PM

Need authentic Italian in Santa Monica

We have a guest, who is Italian, who hopes to have a great Italian dinner Friday night. He's from northern CA where Italian dining means the dreaded Olive Garden or Buca de Beppo. Because of L.A. traffic, we can't stray too far from his hotel, Shutters. I booked La Botte because I like the food. But am I missing a shot for something truly authentic that will remind him of his recent trips to Italy? I've been interested in trying Capo, but I don't want our guests to be intimidatd by the tab. We want to spend about $50 pp before wine tax & tip.

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  1. Via Veneto on Main Street at Navy
    Locanda Portofino on Montana at 11th

      1. Piccolo Ristorante in Venice.

        1. In that price range, I concur Via Veneto... spend a little more on Valentino...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Emme

            strongly second valentino if you're willing to spend a little more.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              One other thought is possibly Vincenti on San Vicente assuming you'd spend a bit more as well. Pizzicotto nearby is of course cheaper.

          2. I have to tell you I have had awful experiences at Via Veneto - not with the food but with the staff. They rush through like they need to turn tables every 45 minutes. The last time did it for us for good. First they kept trying to clear plates before our guest had finished his meal. Then they said they didn't have coffee or espresso - all because they clearly wanted the table. We were in an out in one hour...absolutely absurd. It's happened to many of us so we've x'd them off the list. Too bad because the food was good.

            We like Vincenzo on Montana and Lincoln. It's a tiny place, decent prices, high quality food and a good wine list -- and you can ask Vincenzo what is not on the list for some excellent pours.

            1 Reply
            1. re: trubee

              I had a perfect experience with staff at Via Veneto on a Saturday night at 8pm about 2-3 months ago. They were definitely very busy, but everyone was so nice and we were never rushed. We were probably there for close to 3 hours. It was one of the best dinners I've ever had in every aspect. Maybe you were last there too long ago and they've since fixed the service?