Rao's

1006 Seward St.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
323-962-7267
Critics' Pick
Rao's +

Photo: Anne Fishbein Linguini marinara at Rao's.

Details

  • Mon-Thur 6 p.m.- 10:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 6 p.m. - 11 p.m., Sun 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • $$$
  • Dinner
  • Full bar
  • Metered Parking, Valet Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
Walking into Rao's, the new Hollywood iteration of the legendary 117-year-old New York eatery, is like wading into a thick nostalgia soup. Ninety percent of the red-sauce restaurants in the country look like this, and while it may be true that those places were imitating the original Rao's, that doesn't stop this restaurant from feeling like a cliché. The meatballs, which are certainly impressive in size, are good in the way any unobjectionable meatball is good, but they're heavy on the breadcrumbs and not really exciting except as lowest common denominator comfort food. The pastas are exactly what you might expect them to be: carb-heavy bowls of penne drenched in creamy vodka sauce, or linguine with clams that tastes like, you know, linguine and clams — garlicky, oily, a little one-note but otherwise fine. Desserts, particularly the cheesecake and cannolis, are kinda great in their throwback simplicity and quality. —Besha Rodell

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