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Anna's in WLA to Close (not that most of you will care)

Yes, the food was probably never cutting edge. Yes the interior needed updating for the last 20 years. But we've been going here for the last 27 years and now, at the end of June they will be no more. The best waiter in Los Angeles, Jose (34 years of working lunch and dinner here) will soon be looking for a new job. One of the best house salad dressings I've ever had (Italian vinaigrette AND bleu cheese) will be just another foot note in the history of LA food. Their wonderful garlic bread will never grace my palate again in a couple of months. I'll miss their sausage and green peppers and the "Yaneeze" pizza with the bleu cheese, parmesean cheese, provolone and onions. Jose made a mean Kamikaze and a Long island Iced Tea that would leave you reeling.

Farewell, Anna's. We'll be back a few more times before the end. I just wish it hadn't come so soon...

Anna's Italian Restaurant
10929 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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  1. I care!

    This breaks my heart...

    1. I felt the same way when Tia Juana closed =(

      1. In 1988, this is where we chose to introduce my parents (worldly, grew up in London, live outside of NY) to my future in-laws (grew up on farms in the cornbelt--and had never traveled beyond LA and SF). Dinner was a complete success. Something, if I recall correctly, arrived in a plastic bag full of steam that was punctured at the table. It was fun, it was a little fancy, but not at all intimidating.

        1. Never had a bad meal here. We're not Italo-philes by any means, but the service was always great (I'm guessing Jose set the tone here), the pastas and pizzas were always delicious, the bread basket was always full, and my iced tea never hit bottom. They seem to always have some great desserts here as well. Forgive me for asking, but did they say why there were closing?

          2 Replies
          1. re: bulavinaka

            Lease is up and business for restaurants has been bad for quite sometime. Some new food place (they didn't know anything about the concept) will be going in. I saw the name on a paper in the front window for the new ABC license but can't recall what it was right now.

            1. re: Servorg

              The new place will be called The Welles Bourne.
              Not that that means anything to me, but it might to another poster.
              Any input?

          2. I'm sad to hear this as well.

            1. I'll toss my sad into the ring as well. My family used to go to Mario's in Westwood when I was growing up. Anna ran a small deli / sandwich shop on Broxton, just up the street from where I had my first job - at Book Bargain Center. Like many goofy teenagers I wrote poetry and she would sometimes trade me sandwiches for poems. They opened Anna's later and I went a few times over the years, but not so much in the past while. I don't even know if the same family still owns the place. Guess I'll have to make sure and stop in for a nostalgic meal before June.

              1. When I first moved to LA as a wide-eyed 20-something this was my go to nice restaurant. I would always get the fettucine alfredo and it was made tableside with loving care. If I just wanted to take out, I would get one of their wonderful pizzas. Very sad that a lot of the "old school' places are dying. I noticed that Anna's is on restaurant.com a lot so I figured they might be struggling. :(

                1. I'm not. I used to go to Anna's (it was where we went for Mother's Day and birthdays, etc.)
                  but a friend of my husband's used to work there, and he told us how mistreated the staff was. So although the food was good, I wouldn't give my business to such a place.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Michelly

                    >>but a friend of my husband's used to work there, and he told us how mistreated the staff was.<<

                    Not to discount your husband's friend's claim, but I personally never felt that kind of energy from the wait staff there. Even worse, if this person was a disgruntled employee for what ever reason, well, the spite in their souls only gets worse over time. I've worked at my current employment for quite a long time, and depending at what point in my tenure there and who I worked with or under as well as the general mgmt philosophy during those decades, my response would vary from being treated like gold to crap and everything in between.

                    1. re: Michelly

                      They have had most of the same staff for all of the 27 years I've been going (bus boys and waiters) so it's hard to believe that they treated them terribly and yet they stayed all that time?

                        1. re: Servorg

                          But he left the establishment based on the way the staff was treated.

                          1. re: Michelly

                            I understand that your friend told you that was the case. I am simply pointing out that if that were true you would logically assume then that the restaurant would have a high staff turnover rate. But their turnover has been very low in all the years we have gone. Also I have never seen or heard any of the brothers who own and manage the restaurant berate any of their staff. So perhaps there was a different reason for why your friend left than what he told you. Sometimes people will try and save face and give a different spin to things to make themselves look better. It happens.

                      1. So sorry to hear this news. My parents have lived in the same house in West LA for 40+ years, and this has been one of our family's regular restaurants for most of those years. I'll make a point of getting over there for a last supper.

                        1. I too care (in passing I suppose). Took my wife there on our first date 25 years ago. Shows what a high roller I was back in the day?

                          I remember having a fondness for it back then, but haven't been there in years. Another old-school place gone. DaVita's is still around I think (on Wilshire), but haven't been there in a month of Sunday's either. Don't like to see old-school places go like that...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cagey

                            I think Anna's had its place in time and importance in the LA dining scene but the last time we ate there (about two years ago) the veal parmesan was a mockery of a piece of pounded, breaded mystery meat tasting protein and the pizza was limp, watery and without flavor. The spaghetti tasted like it was napped with a small can of tomato sauce. The service however was still charming and attentive.

                            As for DiVitas, I live just a couple of blocks from there and they lost half of their storefront to a nail salon I believe and are almost exclusively takeout.

                            We might as well mourn LaBarberas now and make it a true trilogy of nostalgia...

                          2. Thank you
                            This is a reply to all that took the time to comment.
                            We thank you for you honest feelings, We are sorry we sold but the offer was too good to refuse.
                            One disturbing comment by a blogger mistreating our staff, My answer is
                            90% of our staff has been with us 20 years or more no other comment needee
                            facts speak for themselves.
                            As to the people that did not have a good experience I apologize.
                            Every one at Anna"s thanks you all for 41 years of support.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: annaitalian

                              We'll miss you, but you gotta do what you gotta do. We moved to OC many years ago, but came back from time to time, and have fond memories of your restaurant that we'll keep forever. I think the first time I was there had top be in the early 70's, so you were still rather new. My wife used to comment on the fact that an old boyfriend used to take her to the Piece-O-Pizza across the street, but she had moved uptown with me.

                              Best of luck.

                              1. re: annaitalian

                                My wife really had Italian cuisine pretty low on her list until I took her to your restaurant. Thank you for the wonderful meals and the great service.

                                We never sensed this mistreatment issue. And what one might assume to be mistreating employees could easily be a "family squabble." Geez - your crew had been with you folks for how many years? I'm sure all of you knew each other well enough to let the fur fly in the heat of the moment, only to cool down to a warm buzz. And what would an Italian meal be without drama? :) Thanks again...

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  We were told that they found Jose a position out in the wilds of Encino at Emilio's. We will be going to Anna's again soon to have dinner and make sure that's true (and will be sure to venture out there to see him and have dinner there if that's the case).

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    Good! Emilio's can use another good waiter!

                              2. My favorite salad dressing ever! How can I get the recipe? :(

                                1. It will be a sad sad day on June 27th, 2010 when Anna's closes its doors for the final time. They were recently bought out and offered a great deal to sell their business.
                                  I have eaten at Anna's Italian Restaurant for 30 years now, and chowed down close to 850 meals. My favorite dish is cheese tortellini with marinara. But they have other great food. Their veal dishes are amazing. The sausage pizza is amazing. They use real sausage and its great. their short ribs are to die for. Their salad dressing is out of this world. I just want to say thank you to Andy, Tony and Seto of Anna's. 30 years of great food and service. Thanks guys. Well done!!

                                  Anna's Italian Restaurant
                                  10929 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                  1. Worked 13 years right across the street from Anna's. Loved the short rib special for lunch. I've eaten there several times in the last few years. Something about an old timey Italian restaurant that will be lost with their closing.

                                    1. We REALLY wanted to get to Anna's one last time before it closed. My wife and I enjoyed it for a total of 40 years. We live in San Clemente these days and don't get up that way often. We even planned a special trip for this and wound up unable to make it. We'll miss Anna's

                                      The funny thing was that we were with my wife's sister the other night and I mentioned that Anna's was closing. The SIL has been there a few times times too, but her reaction was that it was "terrible". I just looked at her in disbelief and we had one of those 'don't want to insult the other person' moments. She's always been a near-vegetarian, colon-cleansing, commune-visiting type, so my guess is that what I remember as great, rich, old-style Italian dishes, she remembers as heavy, grease-prone, and too-fattening.

                                      I guess that's what makes the world go 'round.

                                      Our best to the Anna's family. Sorry we didn't make it by that one last time.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Midlife

                                        We went for the last time on Thursday night. The front room (and I assume the others in the middle and back were too) was packed when we arrived a little before 8 PM. Jose took wonderful care of us, just as he has for the past 27 + years and we had our usual wonderful meal. No, not brilliant food. But for old school red sauce Italian it hit all the right notes.

                                        Farewell Anna's. We will miss you and be more than a little lost when it come times to look for an old fashioned Italian food night out.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          This is incredibly sweet. Thanks for posting!