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Best non-highend Italian on the west side

karamazov Sep 24, 2007 07:34 AM

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!

  1. c
    culinarycandy Apr 18, 2008 04:13 PM

    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.

    1. w
      walessja Apr 18, 2008 02:59 PM

      Il moro restaurant on purdue ave (olympic&sawtelle)

      1. s
        Signora Mar 16, 2008 11:30 AM

        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. k
          karamazov Mar 14, 2008 08:57 AM

          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. k
            katymat34 Mar 13, 2008 09:45 PM

            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. k
              karamazov Sep 25, 2007 10:14 AM

              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
                Densible Sep 25, 2007 12:44 PM

                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
                  FKA Andrew Sep 25, 2007 12:59 PM

                  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
                    alaplex Mar 13, 2008 03:31 PM

                    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
                      paprkutr Mar 13, 2008 06:43 PM

                      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
                        Bria Silbert Mar 13, 2008 09:44 PM

                        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. s
                      Signora Sep 24, 2007 06:19 PM

                      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. d
                        DMojoD Sep 24, 2007 05:08 PM

                        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
                          hrhboo Sep 24, 2007 06:10 PM

                          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
                            westsidegal Mar 13, 2008 06:49 PM

                            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. Servorg Sep 24, 2007 03:40 PM


                          1. j
                            JBC Sep 24, 2007 03:33 PM

                            ..."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. modernist Sep 24, 2007 03:01 PM

                              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
                                Mattapoisett in LA Sep 24, 2007 05:12 PM

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

                              2. w
                                whatsfordinner Sep 24, 2007 01:09 PM

                                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
                                  JE33 Mar 13, 2008 06:32 PM

                                  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. d
                                  dinami Sep 24, 2007 11:48 AM

                                  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
                                    ElissaInPlaya Sep 25, 2007 11:02 AM

                                    Agree. Not "cheap" but an excellent value.

                                  2. cookie monster Sep 24, 2007 11:28 AM

                                    In Santa Monica - Fritto Misto and La Vecchia.

                                    1. r
                                      RicRios Sep 24, 2007 09:14 AM


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