Answer: place is real, and VERY real. Actually, a gem.
Just to give you some ideas:
Antipasto Toscano ($18.95) good for 2. Nice cold cuts, amazingly good zucchini & eggplant, excellent olives, vg bread, fantastic burratta. All clean, ultra-fresh, home made. REALLY the way it's done at origin.
Then la trippa. Ah mamma mia. Trippa that melts in your mouth? For goodness sake, listen to me: trippa is usually like eating your leather belt, 3 minutes boiled, salt and go. OK? Not Massimo's, oh no. Literally: trippa-toro, if I may say so. Fatty/lean/clean taste. Silky texture. Ah-mazing.
Pastas? Tagliatelle ligure, pesto-saussage-tomato, a blissful bowl. Spousal unit (SU) sensitive to wheat? No problemo, presto comes the spaghetti di mais alla boscaiola (Corn spaghetti with wild mushroom ragout and snap peas).
Dolci not too felice. SU complains the panna cotta has some chocolate cookie sticking at the bottom. My budino di pane is good, although not as good as the one at Le Petit Jardin. Espresso: best I've had in a LONG time.Fernet: they messed up, brought the menta instead, but quickly fixed. Our 2001 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino Riserva went A-mazingly well with all the Tuscan accoutrements. Total damage, including $18 corkage, $8.50 water, $10 Fernet Branca and tax : $140. Now, considering the lease costs at Rodeo & Little Santa Monica, I'd say very reasonable. Place pretty much full, good service. Free parking, courtesy of the City of BH. An eye sore all the for-lease signs across the street? Yeah. But hopefully Massimo Ormani will stay in business for a long time (FYI: joint opened Year of the Lord 2002 ).