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Oct 21, 2009 07:56 AM

A Quick Look at Mazzarino's

I was there last night around 7:30 and they are most certainly open. While I had never been to Mazzarino's prior to their closing I can still give you my newbie experience. Here's what my group ate:

* garlic bread - hot out of the oven, encrusted in parmesan cheese, delicious, and addictive

* minestrone - simple, nice, not overly salted which I seem to experience with minestrone many other places

* 9" pizza (mushrooms, sausage, and fresh basil) - Very good crust with gooey melted mozzarella, perfect amount of sauce, and cut into four slices. I liked the mushrooms and basil, but I prefer my sausage with a bit more spiciness.

* chicken mazzarino (chicken with roasted potatoes, onions, and carrots) - This was what I ordered and I loved it. The waitress said it takes a bit longer then the other dishes but it was worth the wait. It arrived as a half chicken, skin on, hidden under a pile of roasted carrots, potatoes, and onions. The chicken was fall off the bone moist, the potatoes were soft, the carrots were sweet, and the onions were tender. Everything worked together perfectly into a comforting kinda mash. It was a large portion so expect to take plenty home.

* baked penne (penne pasta, eggplant, ricotta, and mozzarella) - This was what my dad had and he cleaned the plate. I managed a taste and it was very good, especially the eggplant.

* chicken bruno - This was my girlfriends choice and I don't see it on the take home menu, so I'm not even sure if this is what it was called. It was sauteed chicken over penne with mushrooms in a brown sauce. I tried it and liked it, and she certainly seemed to enjoy it, but it wouldn't be my first choice at Mazzarino's. Out of everything that came to the table it was kinda bland in comparison.

The two options available for dessert that evening were tiramisu or a cannoli. Personally I would have gone with the tiramisu but it was girlfriends choice and she went with the cannoli. It came in a thin shell covered in crumbled pistachios. As far as cannoli's I suppose it was alright. Sweet, almost airy, and the pistachios were a great addition, but I kept thinking about that tiramisu.

Overall a very good night at Mazzarino's for the newbie. Service was slightly spotty, and I had to ask for the bread several times, but it seemed to pick up as the night wore on. It felt like they were still working the kinks out, but I'm positive as the year wears on Mazzaino's will find it's footing.

Mazzarino's Italian Restaurant
12920 Riverside Dr, Los Angeles, CA 91423

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  1. Great write up ReelMike!

    Can I ask how big the bill came to?

    And do they do lunch?


    1 Reply
    1. re: RacerX

      I didn't pay, but if I'm remembered correctly it was just over $80. But mind you the soup came with the entrees so that's included in the entree price, and the pizza isn't normally an appetizer, we just ordered it like it was.

      As for lunch, yes they do! I took a menu to go and I'll try scanning it later. They have great lunch specials that were handwritten and stapled to the menu. The waitress recommended the sandwiches.

    2. The garlic bread here is out of this world. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the bread alone is worth the trip. I've eaten here about a half-dozen times in the past couple of years, and I'd probably go more often if I lived in the Valley. Good, basic, red-sauce Italian joint reminiscent of a lot of places where I grew up in Jersey. Huge menu, but I've had really good luck with the Chicken Cacciatore. Very generous portions, too. I always take home leftovers. Never tried the pizza, but it looks & smells good when they carry it past my table.

      1. I went here specifically to try the pizza. I always order a basic pepperoni pizza to evaluate every pizza place. Although the crust was cooked correctly, the pizza was generally flavorless. The medium pizza was about $20, which is pricey. If you're looking for a memorable pizza, you should look elsewhere.

        Mazzarino's Italian Restaurant
        12920 Riverside Dr, Los Angeles, CA 91423

        2 Replies
        1. re: jsaras

          not really a place for pizza. even before the fire, not particularly good. the entrees are typically the stars here. big portions of red sauce type stuff. even still, nothing more than a better than average neighborhood joint.

          1. re: jsaras

            Ditto on the garlic bread (it's great), and I love the pasta fagioli soup. Never had the pizza here, but the meat lasagna is tasty. I usually get the porcini mushroom veal chop or the osso buco, and both are quite good.