5 Essential Italian Restaurants in Los Angeles

Housemade pappardelle with rabbit ragu, taggiasche olives and cherry tomatoes at Vincenti

Anne FishbeinHousemade pappardelle with rabbit ragu, taggiasche olives and cherry tomatoes at Vincenti

Our 99 Essential L.A. Restaurants issue came out last week, and we're highlighting a few categories drawing from the list. Today: Italian restaurants.

This isn't every single Italian or Italian-influenced spot on the list, so make sure you check out the whole thing, but here are five of our favorites to get you started.

Angelini Osteria

Anne FishbeinAngelini Osteria

5. Angelini Osteria

For the last dozen years, West Hollywood's Angelini Osteria has been perhaps the moral center of Italian food in Los Angeles. A procession of many of the town's best practitioners of the cuisine has trained in chef Gino Angelini's small kitchen, learning to master pasta and porchetta at Angelini's hands.

Read Angelini Osteria's full 99 Essentials listing here.

Salumi at Bestia

Anne FishbeinSalumi at Bestia

4. Bestia

Chef Ori Menashe, his wife, Genevieve Gergis, and restaurateur Bill Chait have created quite a winner with Bestia, one that may yet serve as the anchor for the downtown Arts District's slow creep east. Bestia is located in the first floor of a loft building in a dark and industrial part of the city, but once you're inside, it's all twinkling lights and slaughterhouse swank. Menashe's food is ostensibly Italian, but there's a whole lot of L.A. in here as well.

Read Bestia's full 99 Essentials Listing here.

Il Grano chef Salvatore Marino

Anne FishbeinIl Grano chef Salvatore Marino

3. Il Grano

Long before it became expected, as it is now, for a chef to troll his local farmers market every week, to grow his own heirloom tomatoes, to serve his precisely sourced fish without bothering to cook it, to spotlight family-made wines and olive oils and to present his beautifully articulated food in dishes made not by a machine but by a ceramicist friend, Salvatore Marino was doing exactly that. Il Grano, Marino's edible ode to his native Italy, is unironically both an of-the-moment restaurant and something of a throwback.

Read Il Grano's full 99 Essentials listing here.

Octopus at Vincenti

Anne FishbeinOctopus at Vincenti

2. Vincenti

Once upon a time, many more Italian restaurants resembled Maureen Vincenti's Brentwood "ristorante" than do now: old country-accented servers, beautiful wine lists, menus that seem more like manifestos than what's for dinner. So it's a supreme pleasure to sit back leisurely at Vincenti.

Read Vincenti's full 99 Essentials listing here.

Chefs Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina at Osteria Mozza

Anne FishbeinChefs Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina at Osteria Mozza

1. Osteria Mozza

When you step in through the huge, dark doors into the noise and activity, you know you've arrived somewhere important, a place where dreams of Italian cuisine done right might come true. Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's restaurant, which was created loosely around the idea of a mozzarella bar, has become one of Los Angeles' great statement restaurants, a declaration that California has something important to add to the Italian tradition.

Read Osteria Mozza's full 99 Essential listing here.

See also: 5 Essential Restaurants With Great Cocktails

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.    

Use Current Location

Related Locations

Osteria Mozza

6602 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036


Angelini Osteria

7313 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036


Il Grano Restaurant

11359 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025