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Jul 10, 2013 10:30 AM

Looking for Old School Italian in LA

I've been searching high and low for an Old School Italian place like you get back east. I'm talking cheap, table service, paper placemats, soft white loaf of "Italian" bread with ice cold pats of butter on the table, iceberg lettuce salads with a house red wine vinaigrette, "homemades" with gravy (not what you put on your Thanksgiving turkey, red sauce). Italian American fare that is everywhere back home, but nowhere here.
I've tried Yelp, an old CHOW thread, everything, to no avail, so I thought I'd start a new post. Open to suggestions!

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  1. You might give Frankies on Melrose a whirl and see what you think.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      I've been there: That's right around the corner from me. It was OK. When I went they were out of 4 things I tried to order. I think it'll do in a pinch, but still not quite it. I'm really not sure what I'm looking for exists out here, but I'll keep looking. Thanks!

      1. re: greta9a

        Since you seem to have tried to find a place like you are describing already it would be helpful if you would list the places you've tried and that "don't" meet your criteria. That way we won't be spinning our mental wheels in the mud for no good reason...

          1. re: greta9a

            How about your list of places that came closest and didn't quite cut it in the end then (and the reasons they didn't measure up, if you can recall).

      2. re: Servorg

        I have eaten at Frankie's. As a restaurant, it's a good place for a drink. Their bruschetta is ok. Frankly, I prefer Marino's, but it has real tablecloths.

        1. re: mc michael

          Real table clothes are OK. Marino's is on my list. Good to know. I'll check it out soon and let you know what I think. Thanks!

      3. Rao's from NYC is opening a location in Hollywood some time this year.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile

          One of the requirements listed was "I'm talking cheap" and I can't imagine Rao's qualifying on that basis.

          1. re: Servorg

            Yes sorry, Rao's is anything but cheap. I think a jar of their sauce alone runs around $12 bucks.

            1. re: Servorg


              across from the SMMMMM PIer.

          2. The closest old school Italian that I've experienced which is very good and reasonably priced is Hoboken on Westwood Blvd. it's next door to the more upscale Matteo's. they are connected. Their salads are ver good as is the bread, their pastas and sandwiches, etc

              1. re: ilysla

                Miceli's decor fits the mood, but the food is just terrible.

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  I actually really dislike "old school" style Italian, so, for me, terrible food is actually a necessary condition. Just my $0.02.... ;)

                  I actually like Maria's more (and, yes, the one in Brentwood Village is the same as the one as the one on Pico is the same as the one in Encino is the same as the one in Granada Hills), but I wouldn't say that it meets the OP's criteria. And while I like it more than Miceli's, I still don't like it all that much....

                  1. re: ilysla

                    dang, i didn't know that they were all connected. the maria's in westwood to granada hills to brentwood village.

              2. Try Guido's @11980 Santa Monica Blvd in West Los Angeles or Petrillo's in San Gabriel, which is just off the 10 freeway at San Gabriel Blvd. offramp. Go north to Valley Blvd. Their pizzas are fantastic.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: kevin

                    Yes it is...and their Bolognese sauce is actually really good.