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May 23, 2010 09:39 PM

Spumoni, avoid at all costs

Friend had a coupon, so I went with him. Gnocchi were rocks, now weighing down my stomach. The pesto sauce clearly had no basil. The cooks were spooning something out of a jar into a pan sauce (appeared to be a base for their pink sauce).

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  1. Which Spumoni did you go to? There are several different ones -- Santa Monica, Stevenson Ranch, Calabasas, and Sherman Oaks. Most of the Spumonis seem to be larger restaurants with a chain vibe (and I've never heard a good thing about Santa Monica).

    Sherman Oaks is a bit unusual and I've never fully understood if it is connected with the others. It's listed on the website, but the take-out and delivery menu I have does not mention any of the other restaurants. And Sherman Oaks is very small, with a mom-and-pop feel. (The Sherman Oaks restaurant at one point was owned by the same people who owned Sprazzo in Westwood.) I've never had a bad experience at the Sherman Oaks restaurant, and their pesto definitely has basil (thought it also includes cream).

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jwsel

      The one in S. Monica...they don't deserve to call themselves a restaurant.

      1. re: 1newyorkguy

        Okay. That makes me breathe a sigh of relief. As I said, the Santa Monica location is supposed to be horrible. Sherman Oaks, by contrast, is an excellent neighborhood Italian place with great pastas and pizza, and extremely friendly service.

        1. re: Jwsel

          Service is fine, yet I have never found the food anything more than same old, same old, provided by nearly every other Italian restaurant in Sherman Oaks.
          Ok, the gnocchi is fine enough, but I never go to any restaurant for that, so it really does not matter one ounce.

          1. re: carter

            You seem to have an issue with Spumoni in Sherman Oaks, because you knock it pretty much any time a person makes a positive comment about it. I don't get it. Name one Italian restaurant in Sherman Oaks that has better food? Fabs? Oliva? Mazzarino's? Spazio? Sisley? Panzanella? Maybe La Pergola, but its food is probably twice as expensive. I've taken about 10 different people to Spumoni in Sherman Oaks and they always leave very positive about the food and comment on how it is better than any other Italian restaurant in the area.

            Spumoni's bolognese sauce is among the best in the city. Their penne paesana with cream, garlic and sun dried tomato is great, as is their linguini with sweet peas, pancetta and cream. Their calamari affogati (sauteed calamari) has received rave reviews here, and is not something I've seen on many local Italian menus.

            Nobody is saying Spumoni Sherman Oaks is on par with the fine Italian restaurants in the city like Mozza or Angelini, but to say it is "same old, same old" for Sherman Oaks just baffles me.

            1. re: Jwsel

              I agree... I don't have any real knocks against the Sherman Oaks Spumoni. I love the calamari affogati, I love the gnocchi with tomatoes, olives, capers and anchovies, and I think the secondi are fine enough, at least as good as the other places in Jwsel's reply.

              What sets them apart is the service. They're just amazingly friendly and genuinely want you to have a good time.

              I've never been to the one in Santa Monica. When I go to Santa Monica I have a list of places to try as long as my arm.

    2. I posted a review back in February basically saying the same thing, very poor flavor!!! We have not and will not return, plenty of great restaurants around.

      1. 1 New York Guy - how did you possibly pick what is in the top ten worse Italian restaurants in Los Angeles? Oh, the coupon.

        Food is much better at Vincenzo's across the street. (In case you're walking). And up the street is Father's Office. Not Italian, but good god those sweet potato fries are kinda fantastic.

        Father's Office
        3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

        10364 Mason Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311

        2 Replies
        1. re: foodiemahoodie

          Yeah the damn coupon of my friend. My friend claims the food used to be better there, I think he is full of it.

          1. re: foodiemahoodie

            And half a block up from FO, next to the Duck Blind is Locando Portofino in case you are in the mood for italian.

          2. Just went to Georgio Baldi tonight (first time). It's amazing how far apart two restaurants can be.