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Spumoni Sherman Oaks

Kitchen Queen Jan 27, 2009 10:55 PM

Chosen as a midpoint for me to meet w/family from the west side. And, chosen as a direct result of a Chow search. I had no expectations yet, knew of the good recommendations.

Well, my trusty chow pals. I am extremely pleased to report that this place has topped my red carpet list - like Polka and Ali Baba. The owner was already sitting with my Aunt and Uncle as if he too were family and welcomed me and my guests as if we were his family. He noticed how cold I was and grabbed my hand to lead me to the heater. As I warmed myself he poured me a really nice glass of red wine. (My Aunt had also ordered a bottle of Pinot). He came to visit with us before our meal was served - just to chat, came by while we were eating and then again to bring us dessert. Kind, accessible, professional, warm. Never mind that the food was so good- I had choppino. Then as we all were leaving -there was 5 of us, he came over to thank us for being there, then gave us each a hug / and a hand shake to the men. Owner said he no longer has a financial stake in the two other Spumoni's and now just owns and focuses on the S.O. restaurant.

Prices are VERY resonable but, like Polka, the atmosphere and attention from ownership is personal - simply extraordinary. It's like being in the owner's home.


  1. g
    GK in SO Jan 28, 2009 08:46 AM

    I'm glad to hear they're: 1) still around, and 2) still good.

    I've always enjoyed the food there, and yes, the owner Vasic (sp?, but it's pronounced like a Vlasic pickle without the "l") is a very warm, welcoming gentleman.

    But, the last time we were there, several months ago, an air of depression filled the place and all the employees' demeanors (even the normally chipper Vasic). You could tell the recession was really hitting them hard, and it was so darn depressing that my wife hasn't wanted to go back.

    But, based on KQ's review, perhaps we should give it another try. I've been jonesing for their bread w/olive tepanade, the shrimp ala diabla and the pasta amatricana (sp?).

    1. b
      BearCity Jan 28, 2009 11:20 AM

      I'm due for a visit to the Spumoni. Love their gnocchi, and that olive tapenade.

      1. l
        laeditormatthew Jan 28, 2009 12:27 PM

        I agree, i went with my parents when they were in from out of town and the the owner was so nice. The food was very good, their pizza crust seems a little thick for me but otherwise i loved it.

        1. Muhlyssa Jan 28, 2009 02:49 PM

          Lovely place, killer gnocchi and calamari (not fried). We don't go that often but every time we go Vasic welcomes us like family. Whether he remembers us or not seems unimportant.

          1. j
            Jwsel Jan 28, 2009 03:13 PM

            That's always been my experience. I'm not a "regular" (I just don't like Italian food that much), but whenever we go, we are treated very warmly. I took my parents there after years of going to Maria's (yuck!) and Emilio's (double-yuck!), and they were floored by how good the food was and how nice the owners were.

            1. ElsieDee Jan 28, 2009 03:15 PM

              We were there for dinner on Friday night - good Caesar salad - wonderful gnocchi - excellent ... hmmm ... cannelloni florentine - and although we declined dessert (far too full!), the owner brought us a small piece of tiramisu for dessert (I don't like tiramisu, but this was incredible).

              Stumbled across the place by accident, but are very happy we did.

              1. Das Ubergeek Jan 29, 2009 11:04 AM

                I had heard they had closed... I am so glad they didn't, the service is always excellent (though the kitchen can be a little slow if they're very busy), and that simmered squid appetiser is one of the best things to eat in the Valley.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Das Ubergeek
                  boogiebaby Jan 29, 2009 11:19 AM

                  They aren't closed. In fact, my coworker is en route to pick up 2 orders of gnocchi for our lunch as I type. :)

                2. Muhlyssa Jan 29, 2009 03:53 PM

                  It's amazing how just the act of reading a thread makes you want that food and want it stat!

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