Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Aug 27, 2007 01:28 PM

Italian BDay Dinner

Looking for a great combination of food and atmosphere for a nice evening out with my wife. LA, Hollywood, BH, SM and Pasadena areas are all fine. Any and all suggestions are appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I really like Cucina Paradiso, they have great homemade pasta's and excellent service. Their pumpkin ravioli is to die for, and their polenta appetizer is wonderful.

    1. What kind of atmosphere are you looking for? If it is upscale/elegant, I would suggest you check out La Terza (on Third in West Hollywood just east of Beverly Hills). If a more bustling, casual atmosphere is appealing, you might try Angelini Osteria (Beverly Blvd. in Weho) or Osteria Mozza (assuming the birthday isn't next week, because you need to make reservations in advance for this one).

      5 Replies
      1. re: DanaB

        More quiet than bustling and more romantic than casual. Love Angelini and although the wife has never been, it's a little too loud and casual. Too many mixed reviews here on OM so would rather try for something other than a birthday. Valentino and La Terza were a couple of my initial thoughts but wanted to see if they received any rec's here.
        This is all great! Thanks everyone. Keep 'em coming!

        1. re: foodnmusic

          If it's between Valentino and La Terza, I'd go with Valentino hands down. I ate at La Terza once, granted it was for lunch, and I wasn't enthralled. It is so stark white in a sterile way, and looks out on 3rd Street traffic, and the food was not memorable. Valentino is also pretty stark white but in a formal, more intimate way, if that makes any sense...

          Via Veneto is still my #1 recommendation, but it may be a bit too loud for you.

          1. re: LisaStitch

            Those were two that just came to mind upon initial thought. Always looking to try new places, especially those I haven't heard of, and Via Veneto would fall into that category. If the food is great, a little noise never hurt anyone.

            1. re: LisaStitch

              The atmosphere at La Terza is definitely more intimate than what you desribe during evening hours, when it is softly lit. Since the original poster likes Angelini Osteria, I thought it might be a good option, as they have the same chef. It's my understanding that one of the reasons La Terza was opened was to provide a more formal counterpoint to the loud and casual atmosphere of Angelini.

              1. re: DanaB

                I vote for La Terza--some of the best Italian food in the city. Not as formal or traditionally "romantic" as Valentino, but quiet, understated and delicious food (particularly if you are already familiar w/ Angelina's cooking from Angelini Osteria).

        2. Valentino.

          Great food, with an appropriate atmosphere to match.

          1. Via Veneto! Very romantic. Excellent service & excellent food. On Main St in Santa Monica. This and Valentino are more pricey options fyi. Dinner for two probably averages $150-200 depending on wine.

            Il Cielo is slightly less expensive, in Beverly Hills, and romantic. I had amazing lamb chops here once.

            Via Veneto
            3009 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

            Il Cielo Italian Gardens
            9018 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

            2 Replies
            1. re: LisaStitch

              I second Via Veneto.
              I thought the food at Il Cielo was bland, but the two times I was there it was with large parties with set menus so maybe it's not fair for me to judge.

              1. re: whatsfordinner

                Third for Via Veneto or Second for La Terza

            2. Celestino in Pasadena has a very nice, elegant atmosphere and incredible food. Piccolo Paradiso in Beverly Hills also has amazing food (it's in the Drago family with Celestino, in fact) but a slightly less formal interior.