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Jan 24, 2012 10:41 PM

Dolce Isola [aka The Ivy at a third of the cost]

I've been intrigued by Maudies5 pronouncements that Dolce Isola is really great despite being a production kitchen for the Ivy. I've been to the one for BreadBar in El Segundo and Drago's Dolce Forno in Culver City. While you can get some good staples there, they're not really places to go for lunch.

Went in around 1:30 and found a mob of kids who were just let out of Hamilton High, most of whom were asking what the cheapest thing on the menu was. For the record, its the chocolate chip cookie for 75ยข. The staff seemed to be taken by surprise since classes usually don't get out till 3, but this was an early release day. I didn't mind the kids. It was fun people watching and they were gone almost as fast as they arrived.

Usually they will do table service but at that point it was easier to order at the counter. I had the corn chowder, which was reminiscent of one of my favorite clam chowders back in Newport RI. Very buttery. Also it's a huge portion served with a toasted baguette and butter. For a sandwich I had Dolce Club on sourdough. Since they seem to bake the sourdough in large baguette form, the plate consisted of two sandwiches made from sliced rounds. The crust of the bread was break your teeth crunchy but the inner bread was tender and light. I couldn't quite tell how good the sourdough tasted since their was a lot going on with the turkey, avocado, very crisp bacon, ripe tomatoes, even though tis not the season. The sides were potato salad and red cabbage slaw. The sandwich and sides were very good. The food came out fast, fresh and hot [soup and toasted baguette] The cup of water served to me had a slice of lemon and cucumber in it.

I was so full there was no room of dessert. My only little quibble was the tables are so tiny my soup and sandwich took up more than 2/3rds of a table which had 3 chairs around it.

I know my co-workers are happy that there is a replacement for Bluebird where they can get lunch and a cupcake. While the price was bordering on a little high for just lunch [$19 +tip] but it's worth it for a once in while splurge.

Dolce Isola
2869 South Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
310 776-7070

8am - 4pm, Monday through Friday
8am - 3pm, Saturday
Closed Sunday

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  1. you read the post and didn't buy the key lime pie?

    what kind of hound are you?

    j/k, thanks for the report

    1. Yes, this place is a nice surprise. Hard to find unless you're looking carefully in the block just north of Hamilton. The gelato (of the soft & creamy type) is also very good.

      11 Replies
      1. re: PayOrPlay

        FYI, While I was there, the Gelato Cupboard was bare

        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

          Yikes! Have they stopped serving it, or did that just appear to be an aberration?

          1. re: PayOrPlay

            I'm not sure. The refrigerated display looked like it was turned off and was completely clean but I will say there wasn't much in their other cases either but they had enough to get through till the end of the day.

            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

              I think the prices here are bordering on cheap for what you get, way cheaper than similar places, i.e. curious palate, clementine, etc.

              and their chocolate triuffle cake is pretty good, they have the blackened swordfish tacos that you wound pay three times the cost of to get at ivy.

              i always thought this was a great find... and they crab cake sandwiches too.

              1. re: kevin

                Swordfish tacos are incredible and it is a really big portion. My husband and I could have split one order. The homemade tortillas, beans, guacamole are all delicious. with those tacos. I think the dish is around $10.00 Amazing deal!

                1. re: maudies5

                  damn, sold again. i guess i gotta go there in the next couple days. darn sometimes. work sure gets in the way of good eats.

                  i may also have to try their pumpkin ravioli too.

                  1. re: maudies5

                    I had them a month ago at The Ivy and agree. Amazing. Even at The Ivy price I thought it was a ton of food for the money. I am headed over soon for this!

              2. re: PayOrPlay

                The Gelato was back and the case was filled, though the praline gelato I had was icy to my taste. I will check out the other flavors before making a final decision

                1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                  Try the pistachio and the chocolate brownie :)

                  1. re: maudies5

                    their choc torte is pretty damn good too.

                    now, i gotta get there for those blackened swordfish tacos, and maybe there pumpkim ravioli in sage, brown butter if they are still doling it out.

                    i think their tiramisu was pretty good too.

          2. Thanks, Mattapoisett in LA, for posting about Dolce Isola.

            This past Saturday morning I had a crab omelette; it was filled with real crab. The omelette itself was fluffy and perfectly made to my taste. It was served with crusty bread and their special raspberry jam.

            Yes, I did try their key lime pie and it was delicious!

            I think for the price, Dolce Isola is a great value. Our service was excellent and they are using high quality ingredients.

            1. Wow, this restaurant sounded so great, I downloaded their lunch menu (

              But, I'm sorry to say, charging $10 for a TUNA SANDWICH is more than just "bordering on a little high": It's insanity!

              Now, I've never been there, so it MIGHT be worth the price. Like, maybe they bring out a live bluefin tuna, bash it with a club, filet it at table, then cook it to your taste before they make your sandwich.

              Barring that, uh, what?

              1 Reply
              1. re: markj99

                most of the restaurants in LA serve tuna salad sandwiches, ie. not live bluefin tuna, for 8 to 10 bucks a pop. even the apple pan which is an old style lunch counter serves it for 7.25 at least, and that doesn't even include any side. this is LA.

              2. Unfortunately, must agree with kevin....prices aren't what they used to be and for a GOOD tuna sandwich, that's not out f line for the Westside.

                That said, I really like Dolce Isola. I've had a couple of very good sandwiches, great pastries and cakes. I've only seen it once, but I had fantastic pizza one afternoon.

                I actually avoid Roberstson at times, for fear of the consequences of a delicious carbfest at Dolce Isola!

                1 Reply
                1. re: pnutbuddah

                  The tuna which Dolce Isola uses is freshly poached tuna. It is not from a can and it is delicious.