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Best non-highend Italian on the west side

Hi all. Looking for recs for the best Italian food that doesn't cost an arm and a leg on the west side. I know there are tons of Italian restaurants in the area, but most of the ones i know are expensive high end places in the brentwood/bh area. What are really good yet causual places that you could go to on a regular basis? Extra points if they deliver too!

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    1. In Santa Monica - Fritto Misto and La Vecchia.

      1. I really love Cucina Paradiso, but I'm not sure if you would consider it high end or not. I can get away with wearing jeans and a t-shirt to this place, but it's nicely decorated inside. Great service, Great food. www.cucinaparadiso.net

        1 Reply
        1. re: dinami

          Agree. Not "cheap" but an excellent value.

        2. I really like Il Carpaccio in the Palisades. It's very casual and the food is fantastic.
          http://www.ilcarpaccioristorante.com (Sorry, you'll have to cut and paste this site. For some reason I can't make it light up or do whatever it takes to just click on it.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: whatsfordinner

            I would say that it is a very casual restaurant and the food is very good, but also not by any means inexpensive. The quality is better, but it is far more expensive than Vittorio's or Modo Mio, and that's just in the Palisades.

          2. Giovanni's Trattoria & Pizzeria
            10026 Venice Blvd
            Culver City, CA 90232
            (310) 839-1757

            very neighborhoody, i've only eaten here once for lunch, and thought the pasta was good and freshly made. not much ambience but pretty good food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: modernist

              I second this Recommendation but note it is BYOB only but Trader Joe's is not to far away

            2. ..."expensive high end places in the brentwood/bh area..."

              In between is Westwood which has:

              Pastina - Roomy in comparison to below - Every menu item under $20.
              2260 Westwood Blvd., (310) 441-4655

              Mio Babbo's - NYC-ish vibe - Every menu item under $17.00 (info may be old?).
              1076 Galey Ave. (Westwood Village) (310) 208-5117

              Pomodoro - Small and tight - Every Menu item under $15.51.
              1393 Westwood Blvd., (310) 445-998

                1. I would definitely add Antica Pizzeria in the mall in the Marina at Maxella and Lincoln. Definitely the most authentic pizza I've had outside of Italy. This is where Italians go for pizza. They say they can make pasta at home, but they come here for the pizza. The pastas are great, too. Also, Alejo's at Lincoln and Washington. It's a hole in the wall and byob. The food is inexpensive and consistent with lots of garlic. I love the eggplant parm.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DMojoD

                    I second Antica, it is excellent. I disagree on Alejo's, even C&O has better food (and that's not saying much!)

                    1. re: hrhboo

                      i completely concur with hrhboo.
                      anitica pizzeria is FAR superior to alejo's, and
                      c & o is definitely far superior to alejos as well.

                  2. Recently we have returned to Fioretto, 12740 Culver Blvd, CA 90066, 310-448-8000, and been most pleasantly surprised. The food is authentic Tuscan cuisine. We have enjoyed the homemade pastas especially and the arugula and lemon salad. Service is very attentive and the atmosphere is calm and pleasant. The chef changes his menu seasonally. We were there Saturday night and were told that the fall menu was debuting on Sunday. Dinner for two, (cup of soup, salad, two entrees, 2 glasses of wine and no dessert) about $65 before tip.

                    1. Thanks a lot for all the feedback. Perhaps I should have been more specific in my description of "non-highend". I really meant places that serve great food but are around the $8-$12 range for a pasta entre, and somewhere where you would come in for just one dish and no one would bat an eye if you asked for your order to go. Having said that, I see many great suggestions here. Please keep them coming if you have more!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: karamazov

                        I'll add Matteo's Taste of Hoboken on Westwood Blvd between Olympic and Pico. I enjoy the baked eggplant parm (layer upon layer of thin eggplant that melts in your mouth), pasta fagiole, chopped salad. My meat-eating friends enjoy the baked rigatoni with meatballs. Within your price raange and good to go. Don't think they deliver and they used to be open ONLY til 8Pm but this may have changed?
                        Concur on recommendations for Antica.Fantastic pizza and I love the eggplant parm there too. Love Fioretto but may be too pricey as noted.

                        1. re: karamazov

                          I think you will be happy with Fritto Misto located at 6th and Colorado in Santa Monica. The prices are in your range and the food is anything but boring. Parking will be your biggest problem if you are taking something to go.

                          Here is their menu.


                          1. re: karamazov

                            Sorry your not getting the feedback you desired...You must realize that most of the westside people replying never leave the west side so prices are relative to their world. In reality you will not find a down to earth, checkered tablecloth, simple, nice Italian restaurant. This is not New York or Chicago.
                            I'm a midwesterner so I know. If you really want something like that you will either have to go the valley or try something like Villa Italian Restaurant at 3973 Sepulvleda...The food is actually cheap and good...They don't have a website...But you will have to probably put up with the riff raff with low income families and whiny kids...If you don't mind the disturbance it is value for the money...Again, LA is not like a midwest city...You won't find a simple, nice clean and reasonable place on the west side with well behaved people...Remember there is no middle class here...You are either in the trendy high end area or the low income area....

                            1. re: alaplex

                              I agree, it's not fancy but I really love their spaghetti and meatballs. I know a lot of people don;t like it but I also love their pizza. It's been around along time started by an Italian family that stayed true to the Italian food.

                              1. re: EliAnnKat

                                My family likes Il Forno Caffe in Santa Monica, on Ocean Park and careful ordering should get you into that price range - they also have a great deal on many lunch items.


                            2. i like il forno in santa monica. it's at 2901 ocean park blvd. www.ilfornocaffe.com

                              you can go and eat and relax with friends, by yourself, dressed up, dressed down. a lot of families with kids and a lot of couples. it has a bit of everything and everyone.

                              i hope you enjoy it!

                              1. Thanks for the feedback everyone. This may sound unchowish of me, but of Italian food on the west side i found I like Palomino (cheap when combined with their happy hour specials :), and Fritto Misto. Fritto Misto has been pretty satisfying as far as taste and the menu has a lot of choices. It's not a special occasion place, but the bill doesn't set you back that much either. Palomino has decent food and pretty good beer on tap to boot. Only thing that sucks about it is it's a zoo most days after 6. You might have to wait 30+ minutes for a place to sit at the bar area.

                                1. What about Cantalini's in Playa del Rey. Not great but I think it holds its own with some of the other non-highend Italian that have mentioned so far.

                                  1. Il moro restaurant on purdue ave (olympic&sawtelle)

                                    1. Alejo's on Lincoln Blvd near Manchester has excellent spaghetti bolognese, calamari, superb italian bread (when fresh & hot) with lots of garlic/olive oil to dip, delicious red sauce that is great on everything...lots to offer, inexpensive and always busy. Also, much larger and nicer than the dumpy but still delicious one near Washington.