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Spaghetti and Meatballs in the Southbay area?

hongryman May 7, 2008 11:26 AM

Looking for a place that has spaghetti with huge meatballs (like the size of small baby's head... ok maybe not that big, but not dinky) in the South Bay area (Torrance, Gardena, Redondo Beach, etc.). Please suggest!

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    Ernie RE: hongryman May 7, 2008 02:33 PM

    The meatballs at Big Nick's in San Pedro are excellent. Large, fresh, and flavorful. They make my favorite meatball sandwich in South Bay

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ernie
      Mel Gee RE: Ernie May 7, 2008 08:44 PM

      Sadly, I don't think I've ever had a good Italian meatball in a restaurant. (Great Swedish meatballs in Mpls., however.) At home, I make them as my grandfather did with four-parts beef, two-parts (homemade) sweet Italian sausage, and one-part veal. That mixture creates both a great taste and a less-dense texture than beef alone. I flavor the meatballs lightly with fresh herbs -- rather than overpowering them with something dried from a jar -- and simmer until tender (but not breaking apart) in a tomato sauce made from either fresh Romas or canned San Marzanos, depending on the season. Restaurants, especially cheap restaurants, generally fall down by using beef only, by overspicing, by not cooking long enough, and by using an inferior sauce.

      Does Big Nick's measure up? If so, I'll swing by the next time I'm in San Pedro, instead of going to Neil's.

      1. re: Mel Gee
        Ernie RE: Mel Gee May 7, 2008 09:45 PM

        Yes, know exactly what you mean. Nothing quite like homemade meatballs, kefthedes, albondigas, etc. but I think you might like Big Nick's. I don't know exactly how they prepare it, but tastes fresh with a good oregano flavor and soft texture, so would not be surprised if they added some veal and/or their sausage (which is also quite good and fresh tasting too BTW)

        If you do decide to try, please report back!

        1. re: Ernie
          Mel Gee RE: Ernie May 7, 2008 10:42 PM

          Now that you mention it, I've had much-better albondigas than Italian meatballs (in restaurants). OK, Ernie, thanks for the recommendation. I'll try Big Nick's sometime next week and report back as soon as I've completed the meal properly with a waffle cone at Glacier Ice Cream. Yes, it's a tough, tough life.

    2. JEN10 RE: hongryman May 8, 2008 07:29 AM

      Where is big Nicks?

      2 Replies
      1. re: JEN10
        Joe Blowe RE: JEN10 May 8, 2008 09:47 AM


        1. re: JEN10
          DiveFan RE: JEN10 May 9, 2008 01:05 AM

          Big Nicks rocks!

          Forgot to link Neils: http://www.chow.com/places/28946

          Big Nick's Pizza
          1110 N Gaffey St Ste G, San Pedro, CA 90731

        2. w
          WSB RE: hongryman May 8, 2008 08:06 AM

          Bucca Di Beppo in south torrance on PCH the meat balls are the size of baseballs.


          1 Reply
          1. re: WSB
            JEN10 RE: WSB May 8, 2008 09:43 AM

            They are pretty good at Sorrento's in Pedro. There sauce is on the sweet side.

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            Clinton RE: hongryman May 9, 2008 08:30 AM

            Lomeli's in Gardena on Van Ness and Redondo Beach Blvd is pretty popular with the locals. The combos with spaghetti and big meatballs plus your choice of lasagna or ravioli comes with garlic bread, soup or green salad, AND a complimentary glass of wine for about $11.00. They even give you a carrot and pepper relish tray when you first sit down. It's always crowded but it tells you how good and popular this place is.

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