The Italian Job

Some people with whom I am acquainted consider the Hollywood trattoria La Buca to be one of the great Italian restaurants in Los Angeles, a place to find perfect gnocchi, crisp-crusted pizza and pasta made with the care that only an Italian grandmother could bring to the job. Briganti, a rather sleeker restaurant from the same owner, is more or less a replica of La Buca on South Pasadena’s growing restaurant row, only with better furniture, easier parking and a patio perfect for sipping cool Orvieto on hot summer nights, but with the gnocchi recipe intact. Even if you are a La Buca regular, you may ask yourself where you have tasted rigatoni alla amatriciana, spaghetti with clams and pizza Margherita like Briganti’s, until the answer occurs to you: pretty much everywhere, especially if you have spent much time in the neo-Tuscan ghetto in Brentwood. Briganti, 1423 Mission St., South Pasadena, (626) 441-4663.

—Jonathan Gold


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