Two nights ago.
Loved it, as always: I was eating light and only had a wonderful chunky minestrone and Tuna Carpaccio (divine caper sauce).
People hate GB for many of the reasons mentioned by LATrapp.
"Stars" I saw that night - Frank Gehry, Eli Broad, some music biz heavies.
re: Ciao Bob
My husband and I love it too although it does get mixed reviews on this board. Ate there on Sunday night and had excellent service. Started with Penne Imperiale (with lagostino in a spicey red sauce) and then had veal picatta scalopine. My daughter started with the barrata and then had the lobster with tomatoes (very pricey but very good).
re: Ciao Bob
it is good, esp the raviolis, which nowhere else does like they do, the entrees are pedestrain at best, the tiramisu and chocolate mousse are both quite good, the problem is you can't just go there for a pasta and a dessert and get out of there for like 50 buck per person, it's more like upwards of 100 per and they'll try to get you to order expensive dishes plus wines, so it's not hte place that you can go to for a light dinner, which it would be much better as for me, because i don't care for their entrees but their pastas are an alothether different story. yes, you will see starts and yes it is very cramped, a la NY restaurants. homesick ny'ers may love that aspect of the atmosphere.
so in essence i like it for the pastas and desserts and kinda that clubby atmosphere, but others and most hounds i would say veer on the siding of hating it.
The food is great BUT...
Tiny and crowded. Some might call it cozy, others almost claustrophobic.
They have their regulars and it's my experience that service and food can vary depending on whether you are a (or with) a regular, or not.
The outdoor patio could be nice on a warm evening, but you are almost sitting on a fairly busy street. It's enclosed with clear vinyl.
You might want to go early or later to avoid the mid-shift slam. If the tiny kitchen is preparing for a large table, you could be waiting a while.
They don't serve hard alcohol, but the place a couple of doors down to the west is great for a pre-dinner cocktail. Or while you are waiting for your table.
They usually have 6-7 specials on top of a relatively lengthy menu.
Family run. The daughter often works the door with Giorgio in the kitchen.
Often a star sighting or two.
I enjoy it, but it really doesn't seem like they need 'new' customers since their regulars pack the place out.
I'm going to have to come down on the side of the "BUT..." list; I think you nailed the problem in your last sentence, LATrapp.
So many restaurants (both new and old) are trying hard to attract and keep new clientele in these trying times with updated menu offerings, improved physical space, etc., but Giorgio Baldi has a loyal gang of regulars who will keep going back no matter what they're served or how much it costs them. (And to put it charitably, neither they nor Giorgio himself are getting any younger...)
The last two times I've been there I couldn't help but feel that this was a place that had just given up trying. With little evident investment in enhancing either the menu or the infrastructure, it seemed like it was just being run as a cash machine.