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Jul 7, 2001 08:31 AM

Kate Mantilini

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    Mike Kilgore

    When they first opened my wife and I went 5 or 6 times over the course of a year. What we finally concluded was that the food on the regular dinner menu was not that interesting for the cost. We kept seeing things we would have liked to have ordered off the late night menu, but we could never make it up to the required hour. Don't know if they still have the same silly requirement or not, but we have not been back for quite sometime. I do remember that we liked the mac and cheese pretty well. Have you been, or are you trying to decide to go or not? If you have been, what did you have and what did you think?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Mike Kilgore

      Similar if not quite as good food at the Daily Grills for less cost.

      The "scene" can be interesting at Kate Mantilini and, of course they are open quite late which is something of a novelty in or near Beverly Hills where 9:30 means "lights out" for many.

      If you are going to a screening at the Academy, Kate Mantalini is perfect. Either before or after; park once and walk to the screening.

      By the way, we have often ordered from the late-night menu and never been denied; not so much as a "look" from the server. A factor may be that, often, we come in without reservations and sit at the Counter.

      Owners are the family that years ago owned the Hamgurger Hamlet chain, the Lewises. Shortly before selling the Hamlets to a national chain (that bankrupted it) they opened what is now The Gardens on Glendon in Westwood as a "high-end" restaurant. They still own that (it, too, IMHO is way overpriced for what they deliver). With the decline of Westwood as a "destination" it is remarkable that they survived at all as a white-table-cloth-type restaurant. Kate Mantalini was to expand on that business model and provide a later-night possibility near to B. Hills for friends and business associates in B Hills which is home to the Lewises. Early on it drew attention for its architecture/design in what was once a Wells Fargo Bank branch.

      1. re: Bob S.
        Mike Kilgore

        A much more up to date and accurate review than mine that, now that I read it, brings back all of the same memories and feelings you describe. Why we weren't smart enough to just go ahead and try to order off the late night menu I don't know. They may have been more of sticklers about that in the beginning? I especially like your linking their food to that of the Daily Grill, another place we only go to when we can't think of anything else, and then always cringe at the bill. The space was/is interesting to look at, and we never had a problem getting a table. Just not enough positives to keep you coming back.

        1. re: Mike Kilgore

          My thanks to all who replied. I have two friends who are working for the restaurant (administrative) and they asked me to come by for dinner. I was just wondering what to expect.
          Given the "over-priced" comment, I hope they give me a break!

        2. re: Bob S.

          Kate Mantilini is a tired restaurant that should have been boarded up ten years ago. The food is BLAND, BLAND, BLAND. It is unbelievably bad food. They are open late and, sure, the architecture is great but even Jerry's Deli is a 4 star restaurant compared to this place! And Jerry's is not even that great! Don't waste your time. I don't mean to be negative but the food here offended me that much.

      2. I went there recently and paid something near ten dollars for a hamburger. I ordered it rare and it was served to me, not surprisingly, well done.

        1. The last time I was there I could have perished waiting for order to be taken and then for the food to arrive. I'm actually a fan of Daily Grill for that sort of pretend diner food.

          1. I used to go there in the mid-90's mainly when going to a screening in the neighborhood, for which it is very convenient.

            I can honestly say that I HATE this restaurant and I don't think I could force myself to go back.

            The food was never better than mediocre but that's not what put me off. The service in Kate Mantilini is (or at least used to be) absolutely the worst service in L.A., with pretentious airhead model-actors types serving lousy (and frequently cold) diner food at inflated prices.

            Nice architecture though. And good coffee.