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Scene-y Italian

I have a couple friends in from Italy, and they put me up to the challenge of finding a great Italian restaurant. So far, they've been under-whelmed by LA's restaurants: Spago, Koi, Mastros. They didn't necessarily hate these places, but I can tell they aren't impressed, especially after they take one bite and start ordering more sake bombs.

The two are in their 20s; so, I would like to find fun atmosphere and good food. Oh, and a great wine list, please. I was very impressed with their wine acumen.

Here's what's going through my mind:

OsMo - They're booked tonight, but might wait it out.
Valentino - Might put them to sleep.
Ago - Fun place, I don't think it's one of LA's best.
Giorgio - There has to be better.
Capo - Maybe?

Am I missing some place? Am I wrong about Ago? What's that place in Sunset Plaza? How does that rank? Thanks for the help.

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  1. when i came back from Italy, i was sooo picky on which place was worth "italian" restaurant title. the only one i have found is Osteria La Buca.

    http://www.osterialabuca.com/

    Melrose and Wilton.

    they have like 12 tables but they are expanding!!! you have to ask to check out the construction next door! it looks great!!!!!!!!!

        1. re: Servorg

          i hear the tomato tasting menu on wednesdays is a pretty special experience. might be worth a try if your friends like tomatoes...

      1. Not exactly a scene, but Piccolo Paradiso in BH has some of the best Italian food outside of Italy, IMO.

        1. Via Veneto on Main St in Santa Monica!!! I like it better than Ago, Cap and Giorgio (haven't tried the others). It's fun, friendly and the pastas are amazing -- order anything with bottarga.

          1. How about Angelini Osteria or La Terza?