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Nov 1, 2002 01:39 PM

Fritto Misto

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Any thoughts on this Santa Monica restaurant? Does it serve fritto misto (which I love)? Any comments would be welcomed. Thanks.

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  1. A truly wretched mess is what that place calls food. I believe that Alto Palato may serve fritto misto. San Francisco's Zuñi Cafe used to serve a divine version.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Samo

      I differ. It's not the glory that food can be but by the same token it's hardly a wretched mess. Fritto Misto is a very affordable, very friendly neighborhood quasi-Italian restaurant. I say quasi because it's pretty far from the real thing but it is Italian and a couple of things are good and the owner and waitstaff couldn't be nicer . Their salad with greens, gorgonzola and walnuts is terrific and a terrific value. It's huge; two people can split the half-size happily. Some of the pasta dishes are more than okay, too -- the pasta pillows with creamy pesto for one. They offer a "make your own" menu in addition to fixed dishes, wherein you choose noodle, sauce, etc.

      As far as their fritto misto, specifically, I haven't had it for years and sadly it wasn't memorable. HOWEVER, just last night I had excellent alicci fritti (fried anchovies, fresh whote anchovies not salted brown ones) served with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon from a place very nearby, Locanda Portofino on Montana Ave at 11th Street. I've had them many times there and last night's were especially fantastic.

      1. re: Fidelixi

        I second the previous post. Although the food is not amazing at Fritto Misto, it is a cool place with decent pasta and great salads. Very reasonable prices, too.

        1. re: AndieCat

          The best thing about Fritto Misto is their VERY reasonable corkage policy, which is, they charge you $2.00 a glass for the wine drinkers at the table and you can bring whatever you want.

          I agree that the food isn't stellar but it's a nice servicable neighborhood place to sit with friends and share a leisurely bottle of wine in a friendly environment.

          1. re: Jeff Falls

            I enjoy the Santa Monica Fritto Misto for its California pastas. Definitely a far cry from "Italian" but I do recommend the black/white pasta in creamy garlic sauce when the garlic packs a punch (depending on who's making it that day however) The salad is indeed yummy but skip the dessert.

              1. re: henry

                Soggy corn chips (just kidding). Actually it's a mixture of various fried foods, kind of anything goes, whatever's left in the kithen, although fried seafood (calamari, shrimp, fish, etc.) and vegetables (zucchini, squash blossoms, etc.) is what you'll usually find in restaurants here. I've posted a link to a more interesting, "traditional" recipe.


    2. It is a mini-chain, but I believe the Santa Monica place is the original. I have been to the one in Hermosa Beach a couple of times. It is good, not great, "Italian" food aimed at California yuppies. It is reasonably priced for what you get, and the wine list is servicable and, again, reasonably priced. I don't remember exactly what pastas that I had, but I do recall the salads being tasty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joe O.

        I've been to the one in Hermosa Beach once. It was underwhelming - no return trip necessary.

      2. I LOVE fritto misto.

        The best bread anywhere!

        1. Not bad. Not great. So-so.

          1. I went here recently (sometime early this year) and I thought the food was pretty blah... If I remember correctly, I ordered the Chicken Marsala, but I substituted the linguini with some weird whole wheat pasta (I figured, if the food's not that great, may as well be a little healthier, right?). I found the whole thing kind of disgusting at first, but the whole wheat pasta really grew on me... it has a really unique gnarly shape and texture that I find myself craving sometimes! I wouldn't say this place is great by any means, but the portions are really large for the price... and that pasta... well, it's kind of mushy and by no means cooked properly, but for some reason it stuck with me and I would go back in a heartbeat for it. Unfortunately I can't get anyone I know to go back. Haha.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ali B

              I think it's great they offer WW pasta, and what I love even more is that they'll happily substitute veggies for the noodles in any pasta dish.

              Never a transcendent experience, but reasonably priced, and heck, I can't eat at Via Veneto every night.