Spumoni Sherman Oaks
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.
GO GO GO!!
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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?).
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.
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.