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What do you like at Farfalla in Los Feliz?

m
missyp Nov 11, 2009 06:05 PM

I've heard and read good things about Farfalla Trattoria for a long while, but never got around to trying it until a few weeks ago. Loved it!

I had the spinach ravioli with tomato sauce, BF had the wild mushroom risotto, a special. Both were perfect, and we very much appreciated the mellow, adult atmosphere and competent service. "Adult" -- not to say you couldn't bring kids here -- just that it's not a scene like, say, Malo or other nearby mood-not-food spots.

We're delighted to know about this neighborhood gem less than a mile from home. We're going back on Friday. The menu is large and there is much to try. What do you like?

And does anyone like the nearby wine bar, Vinoteca Farfalla?

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Malo
4326 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

Vinoteca Farfalla
1968 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Farfalla Trattoria
1978 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

  1. g
    Galen Nov 11, 2009 06:31 PM

    Love their shrimp pasta with a light tomato sauce and their tiramisu. A lot of people swear by their gnocchi. I'm not a gnocchi eater so I wouldn't know.

    1. Chandavkl Nov 11, 2009 06:39 PM

      Everything's good but I love the salmon farfalle. I don't consider the gnocchi particularly special.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chandavkl
        c
        Clyde Nov 12, 2009 08:40 AM

        salmon farfalle is amazing, so is the truffle mushroom pasta- i don't recall the name. pumpkin ravioli is great too!

      2. s
        schrutefarms Nov 12, 2009 02:55 AM

        The last time I was there I got the branzino, which I think was a special. But the time before that......OHHHHHHHH......I had the ricotta and spinach ravioli with the sage and marscopone sauce....And let me say, it's rare that I finish everything that I order (because I load up on bread, apps and booze), but I could've LICKED my plate clean. Such a great dish...

        1. BasilKitty Nov 12, 2009 09:20 AM

          Their Eggplant Parm. is to die for. I love EP and it's usually the dish I order when eating Italian and I always come back to Farfalla's. YUM!!!

          1. Kevitivity Nov 12, 2009 04:46 PM

            I LOVE their Penne Alla Arrabiata!!! Spicy, garlicky, and goes great with their house chianti.

            I can also vouch for the Farfella Al Salmone Affumicato Piselli, which is "bowtie pasta with .smoked salmon and peas in a light vodka pink sauce". It's wonderful.

            I personally thought their pesto, which is creamy and includes shallots (?), was very odd and two strong in flavor. Good, simple, traditional pesto is so hard to come by.

            1. a
              aventinus Nov 12, 2009 07:44 PM

              I'm a big fan of the salads. My favorite is probably the simple arugula salad with shredded ricotta.

              1. c
                cheekydiablita Nov 13, 2009 02:48 AM

                I had the Osso Bucco and it was amazing!

                1. c
                  cls Nov 13, 2009 09:24 AM

                  I must be the dissenting voice of reason here. Farfalla has some good stuff, some average stuff, and what I think is a pretty good pizza. I have yet to have anything which could even compare with Angelini or some of the other better Italian restaurants in LA. Their pastas are frequently overcooked and oversauced, their lasagna is pretty bad, their salads are usually good but there is sometimes an overpowering vinegar taste. The pizzas are usually good, sometimes very good, but generally undercooked or cooked at too low a heat and frequently suffer from a crust without char. The fish I have had has been average. The cheeses and meats they use are not top notch making dishes wholly dependent on ingredients like the bresaola good but not excellent.

                  For the neighborhood, this is a pretty good option, but no where near a first rate Italian restaurant.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cls
                    m
                    missyp Nov 14, 2009 10:41 AM

                    Nobody here is claiming Farfalla is comparable to Angelini or is a "first rate Italian restaurant." It's a neighborhood trattoria, and I wanted to know what dishes people liked. I guess you're a fan of the pizza, sometimes. I'll have to try that. Any specific pizzas you like?

                    Anyway, thanks to everybody for your recommendations. We did go last night with a party of four and were generally happy again. Long wait, chaos in the small vestibule at the door. Oh well.

                    We shared the arugula salad, which was fresh, tasty and fairly standard. I would order it again if I felt a need for greens (as I usually do), but I wouldn't crave it.

                    My fellow diners all had entrees, which come out on huge, hot, food-filled plates. The lemony broccoli that came with was delicious and perfectly cooked. Everyone was pleased, and I found the taste I had of the chicken piccata particularly comforting. My BF had the skirt steak with that strange vinegary parsley "pesto." The sauce was quite sour on its own, but was a really nice complement to the meat.

                    I had the farfalle with smoked salmon, peas in a vodka sauce. This was smoky and delicious, but I found the portion too large for its richness. I could have used a few more peas too. Next time, I'd order this to split as a pasta course rather than as a main.

                    Deserts -- an acceptable apple tart and the torta della nonna, a heavy pastry-cream (not ricotta, I think) and chocolate chip thing -- were lackluster. Next time we'll try the tiramisu.

                    We had a bottle of a serviceable Californian sauvignon blanc. None of us are serious oenophiles. With tax and tip, I think it was around $180.

                    There's just something very comfortable about this place. It's definitely not a destination spot, but the food seems quite good enough and the service is competent. It's loud enough to feel you're out at a fun place, but you can still hear your dining companions. Overall, a good place to go in the general Los Feliz/Silver Lake area.

                    1. re: missyp
                      c
                      cls Nov 14, 2009 12:32 PM

                      No, I am comparing it to Angelini as a point of reference. It is what I would consider the best Italian in LA meaning pretty good Italian, and Farfalla doesn't really come close to that, which I feel is contrary to the glowing previous posts.
                      As far as the pizza, their sausage and arugula, and margherita are good mostly because they season the dough properly, but stay away from the capricciosa which is overpowered by cheap black olives.
                      I agree however, that it's a very good restaurant by neighborhood standards.

                  2. b
                    Bic Nov 14, 2009 01:27 PM

                    Terrific neighborhood trattoria. I've been going for 20 years and it's still one of the best. Pastas have always been al dente (salmon farfalle is great, but rich), salads large enough for 2, sometimes 3, pizzas are thin crust and more like you would get in Italy. In fact, visitors from Italy gave it their seal of approval (unlike the ones in the Olive Garden ads!!). Extensive wine list, since it's shared with the Vinoteca Farfalla a few doors away and the Brazilian Tropicalia also on the same block (same owners). Perhaps not as special as Angelini Osteria, but it's a very good neighborhood spot as you would find on a small side street in northern Italy.

                    -----
                    Angelini Osteria
                    7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                    Vinoteca Farfalla
                    1968 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                    Tropicalia
                    1966 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                    1. rednyellow Nov 16, 2009 05:52 PM

                      if you ask, they will usually make a carbonara. off menu, but very good.

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