NY Style Italian...in the Valley?
Does anyone know of a good, authentic Italian place in the Valley, with real Italian food, Spaghetti alla Gricia with guanciale (or anything with guanciale!), steamed clams, lobster fra diavolo, shrimp Vesuvius (well, that's more Chicago, but still), braciole, real Putanesca with anchovies. Not just the cliched pumpkin ravioli and pasta with canned clams. The real thing, garlic laden, with crusty bread, and red sauce that's made with three different kinds of meat. No "chicken alfredo" nonsense. And if it's in the Valley, that would be even better. I know about Tiramisu, and I know everyone likes it, but it's kind of nouvelle Italian, lots of chicken breasts and spinach, nothing -- you know -- earthy. I want Anna Magnani Italian, the kind that's slurpy and delicious, the kind that makes you clean your plate with a heel of bread. No holds barred Italian. The kind the Primo and Secundo would have served in "The Big Night."
You might give a try to Sapori in MdR. It's not quite as red-saucy as how I remember New York Italian (I've lived here nearly 10 years now) but it's quite good, and it's not one of those awful cheesey red-and-white-checkered tablecloth with Frank Sinatra on the soundtrack type places.
Giorgio Baldi (W. Channel, SM Canyon) is very classic italian, but very tiny and expensive. I have missed authentic italian ever since I left CT, but my very italian friends in the valley tend to stick with smaller pizza places when they're craving home.
We also loved Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock, a family restaurant. I believe if you venture to the westside, you will find chefs using guanciale and speck. Try Pecorino or Vincenti in Brentwood, and Fraiche in Culver City, although not an "italian" restaurant their charcuterie plate is just like what you get in Italy.