Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jun 14, 2008 10:35 AM

Alternative to Palermo?

It was pretty ordinary and the service was marginal - we are going to be in the same general area and are searching for alternatives. THANKS!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Everything around there would be an improvement. Are you looking for Italian red sauce kind of place or exactly what?

    1. Italian, same general area:

      Cappriccio, Vermont about two blocks south; their pizzaria, on Hollwood just west the the Hollywood/Sunset/Hillhurst intersection; Aroma, about a mile east on Sunset; Michaelangelo, unless they've already closed the SLB location in anticipation of re-opening on Rowena; more will come to mind once I've had another cuppa joe...

      4 Replies
      1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

        Second the recommendation for Il Capriccio. Although it can get crowded, I've always had great service there, and the food is freshly prepared, sometimes inspired, but always pretty tasty.

        I'd also throw Trattoria Farfalla out there. It's always pretty reliable.

          1. re: DanaB

            I'd second your Farfalla recomendation, but not the IlCapriccio; I was very underwhelmed by that place, mediocre service for only decent food.

            Palermo's is just a totally different kind of place. I love the atmosphere there (it feels like a mob joint, but is always full of cops). The food is pretty cheap, so it doesnt have to be the best ever. It doesn't feel like you're in LA, its got character.

            1. re: suicidemartini

              Sadly, I have to agree about Il Capriccio. I really wanted it to be great and have given it more than one chance...but its not great. Its not even good, really. Its mediocre at best. Alas. But now LF has Little Doms. Hooray!! Eat there. You'll be glad you did.

        1. There's really only one good reason to go to Palermos, and that's for their pizza. Everything else I've tried there were major disappointments. Oh, and the friendly hospitality of Tony and Bordo (although, i haven't seen him there in a while). If you want pasta in Los Feliz, both il capriccio and Farfalla are much better.

          9 Replies
          1. re: TailbackU

            Do they still give the free foccacia-style pizza with the goat cheese at the beginning of the meal? That's the best part of the meal. The last time I went there (by force I'll admit), the calamari was horribly undercooked and dripping in grease, the pasta was overcooked and dripping in grease but the sausage and mushroom pizza was pretty good and was better the next day cold. I would never make this a destination spot (even if I was in Los Feliz) but it's sort of divey fun and Tony is always friendly. Did they stop giving away the bad free wine while you wait?

            1. re: ExtraCheesePlease

              that wine should not be used to clean or polish floors as it would eat them instead.
              If pizza is not your thing, Palermo is not your place - and do not even discuss the wine program as it is non-existent.

              1. re: carter

                Who needs wine? They have a full bar! A cocktail and some of their pizza, who could complain!

              2. re: ExtraCheesePlease

                Of all things, Palermo has just started serving breakfast on weekends ... and this within walking distance of Figaro, the Alcove, Fred 62 and House of Pies?

                It's a shame, because the Palermo staff (and esp. Tony) are the friendliest people around, but with Farfalla in the 'hood and Il Capriccio putting out the best pizza east of Mozza, they should really get their act together foodwise. Hell, I almost think I'd prefer Louise's.

                1. re: maxzook

                  Louise's is better, which says more than be needed.

                  1. re: carter

                    that's just mean

                    I think everyone who enjoys Palermo, does because of the character, something Louise's is void of

                    1. re: suicidemartini

                      I would agree with you on that. Louise's is quite antiseptic and corporate while Palermo's is rustic and fun, a place to hang out with friends and have a pizza and bad wine.

                      1. re: ExtraCheesePlease

                        I've eaten at both (the Los Feliz) Louise's and Palermo a whole big bunch of times; completely different experiences.

                        While the Chowspouse has a soft spot in her heart, from our Hancock park days, for Louise's BBQ chicken salad, there's little else there that's worth the $$$, and I cannot figure how they've stayed afloat at the Los Feliz location, unless they somehow negotiated a REALLY cheap lease (pre-Greek concert traffic? Pre-Bowl traffic? )

                        Palermo's: either you love'em or you hate'em, but they've been the same for the 20 years I've gone there. Pizza and some of the red-sauce pasta; that's it. Anything else is an adventure, or a risk, depending on your view. The Chowpup grew up eating their pizza; oily but tasty. . . . and besides, if you're on Vermont, and you need to find a cop, FAST, one or more are almost always there....

                        r gould-saltman no avatar

            2. My Parents love Palermo, and now that they've moved out of LA, insist on going there whenever they visit. I hate it. The free wine is gone, it sucked, anyhow.

              The pizza is OK, but not super duper.

              I once asked for balsamic vinegar and got a confused look. They had vinegarette, but not any actual balsamic vinegar-not even cheap stuff, in the whole kitchen.

              The pasta is gross, and the salads are a joke.

              I'd rather drive to Angeli, or someplace else