HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Spaghetti and Meatballs?

I'd like to take my date out to celebrate his birthday and his favorite Italian dish is spaghetti and meatballs. Any place around Fairfax and Pico that you would recommend?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A bit further, but I think it's special...

    Ristorante Peppone in Brentwood (near the corner of Barrington & Sunset) offers outrageously good filet mignon meatballs and sauce. Personally, I like mine with cappellini (Angel hair), but hey, they'll cook with any pasta you like!

    6 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      $20-30 for pasta dishes and the name of the place is not Valentino? That better be some special meat balls. Would you recommend it over the, apparently, more moderately priced Vincenti a mile down the road?

      1. re: karamazov

        Worth every dime. Peppone is my favorite "red sauce Italian" joint in L.A. While Vicenti aims for truly continental Italian tastes, Peppone has no such pretentions; it knows it's Italian-American and revels in it.

        1. re: J.L.

          Best veal chop I've ever had was at Peppone's.

      2. re: J.L.

        possibly the most expensive version of this dish in town.
        there must be other, more reasonably priced good ones. . . .

        1. re: J.L.

          what a waste of filet mignon to make meatballs from it!

          1. re: janetms383

            Don't knock it till you've tried it...

        2. Al Gelato on Robertson south of Olympic. Good S&M and cheese bread/toast!

          Al Gelato Continental Desserts
          806 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

          3 Replies
          1. re: Burger Boy

            I LOVE Al Gelatos version... but their sauce is very sweet (Which I think is a great compliment to the meatballs) but not everyone agrees...


            1. re: Dommy

              I agree! I wonder if they use sugar or if it is that one type of canned tomatoes, it is similar to San Marzano but a little sweeter.

            2. re: Burger Boy

              My choice too (though I usually get the gnocchi with a side of meatballs). I love the sweet tomato and basil sauce. The meatballs at Al Gelato are amazing.

            3. Or, as my grandfather would have said, "spaghetti meatBALL." I've loved family-made meatballs my entire life (with pasta, in sandwiches, or just fished from the cold sauce at three in the morning) but have never -- never? maybe once, I can't remember -- had a decent meatball in a restaurant, east, north, west, or south. But, OK, again, I'll try the ones touted here, hoping they're constructed from a proper mixture of fatty beef, pork, and veal and have spent their captivity on the slowest back-burner in a delicious and delicate tomato sauce, cooking to a tender-bitey texture. I'm also really optimistic about the numbers I have in the lottery this week!

              5 Replies
              1. re: sbritchky

                Tyler Florence made them this moprning on the Food network. With all the "right" ingrediants. They are so simple to make, why not surprise him with a homemade dinner of his favorite S & M.

                1. re: JEN10

                  Or a home made dinner AND his favorite S&M. Takes on a whole new meaning...

                  Scarily enough, I have a thing for the mega meatballs and gloppy sauce at Bucca Di Beppo. God, save me for my naughty cravings.

                  On Robertson, you can find spaghetti and meatballs at Cafe Bella Roma SPQR, which earned good Chowhound reviews.

                    1. re: budlit

                      I know, I know, but sometimes, I just want a big mega meatball with americanized italian red sauce on a whompin plate of spaghetti and cheap garlicy bready stuff. Or two. In a place with pictures of odd things and statue and stuff bolted to the walls. Where the waiters have a forced humor. Extra points if you're part of a large party at the "pope table" in Encino.

                      So low brow, such really gloppy food, but sometimes I gotta have it.

                      1. re: Diana

                        The pope table in Encino was the site of my first BdB experience, and I loved it. Food wasn't bad either - the chicken cacciatore on garlic mashed red potatoes was good enough to stuff in your pants. I would definitely trust these guys for spaghetti and meatballs.

              2. I just met a lady at a party and her family owns a place in Paramount called Corleone's. She said it is all family and very good, said it is the only place she will eat Italian. So take it for what it is worth, I plan to go in the near future.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Burger Boy

                  a little hole in the wall place. i think its called Andres. its inside the strip mall next to kmart on 3rd and fairfax. its not a fancy place but the food is decent for the price. i always get the spaghetti with half chicken on top. yum!

                2. It's a little further away, but maybe my favorite spaghetti and meatballs-- the kind that make me feel like a happy kid again, yet appeal to my adult tastes as well-- are at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills. They are really, really good.

                  1. I like the spaghetti and meatballs at Dominick's, which isn't too far away from your area - Beverly Blvd between Robertson and San Vicente. And the patio is quite nice. La Vecchia on Main Street in Santa Monica also does a good version (with teeny little meatballs), but that's more of a hike.

                    1. Palermo's on Vermont just below Franklin. It's an unpretentious, old fashioned family run Italian restaurant. They make excellent home made meatballs. They have a decent wine list that is very reasonable or you can buy a bottle of wine from the waiting area in front of the restaurant and they'll only charge you $5 corkage.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: 2chez mike

                        Thanks for everyone's suggestions so far!! Don't kill me but if you know of any other places around Santa Monica area or even Manhattan/Hermosa Beach let me know! I had bought him a bottle of red that would go great with spaghetti and meatballs which I'd suggest bringing if he hasn't drank it already and we may end up in my neighborhood instead (Venice/Santa Monica).

                          1. re: Servorg

                            you might add Brogino's on Artesia, either Redondo or Manhattan Beach.,,their direct website seems to be on the fritz, so here's the menu...listed under Pasta, but there are variations on the theme. Big plates, way too much food and sits a bit heavy for me, but sis-in-law loves it.


                          2. re: dinami

                            C&O in Venice, though it's more rowdy and fun than romantic. Not sure about taking you're own wine. There's a place in Playa del Rey..Salerno, maybe? Haven't been, but it's Italian-American. Back in Hollywood, I think Jones has good spag/meatballs, as does Delancey.

                          3. re: 2chez mike

                            I'm sorry, but I just find Palermo's disgusting. My folks love it, but I haven't had anything there that wasn't vile. The big joke of one evening was I asked for some balsamic vinegar to have on my dry, dry plain salad, instead of the awful dressing. The waiter first asked me what it was, went to check, and then informed me that they don't keep balsamic vinegar in the kitchen.

                            I find the pasta poorly done, the mains despicable and the salads sad.

                            the pizza is basically edible, though.

                            I think my parents really loved it for the free wine they used to give out in the waiting area, which is now a thing of the past.

                          4. A true hole in the wall (take-out is all that I would encourage unless you enjoy fluoresent lighting)--Alejo's Presto Trattoria at Washington and Lincoln in MdR/CC. There's also a location in Westchester, but the atmosphere definitely leaves something to be desired. The S&M are great however--and the bread with the garlic and olive oil is not subtle but is delicious! Also try the fra diavolo with shrimp...yum!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: BunnieBear

                              I agree on Alejos ( lincoln/washington location ) but I would eat there.. its not as Bunniebear states.While the room is small, with a large communal table with wood tables and chairs. Is has a sense of community and if the OP lives near there the would enjoy in my opinion. Take advantage of the free corkage and enjoy the meatballs..

                              Alejo Presto Trattoria
                              4002 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                              1. re: BunnieBear

                                That place is a serious hole in the wall, but for the price, their pasta is great though I admit I spend most of my mine eating bread with the garlic olive oil until I'm full with a little bit of pasta. Their baguette is great too!

                                1. re: mstinawu

                                  Alejo's is well run. You know they know what their doing even though they are Spanish speakers. Not a word of Italian here. If you hit ti right you might even see the German bikers who love that volkish place.

                                  1. re: uncletom

                                    A few years later, I still like this place. Its not that much a hole in the wall ( small tables and a communal table as well ) Food is solid and large portions. 2 can split 1 salad, and Pasta and be well fed ( we throw in the chopped italian salad or fried calamari which very good instead of the salad some times ) And BYOB with NO Corkage.. Still a very solid choice , but around here we all have our bias :)

                              2. Anna's on Pico Blvd. between the Freeway and Westwood Blvd. Old time restaurant with some ambience, great garlic bread, full bar and decent wine. Who could ask for anything more?

                                1 Reply
                                1. Does anyone know for sure if Al Gelato adds sugar into its pasta sauce? I've asked and the restaurant has replied no on two separate occasions. It's just hard to believe, but I want to believe... Any solid info would be great. Thanks.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: trampslikeus

                                    If the restaurant itself answered "no" on two separate occasions, who would be in a better position of trust to confirm your belief?

                                    1. re: trampslikeus

                                      Yea sugar, that's great. And they probably cook it too!

                                    2. I love the spaghetti & meatballs at Matteos, or actually Hoboken....very much red sauce joint

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lapizzamaven

                                        Has anyone had he spaghetti with chicken meatballs at R&D on Montana?