Vincenti: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011
Valentino may be grander than Vincenti, and Giorgio Baldi may draw a more famous clientele, but Vincenti is the spiritual center of fine Italian cooking in Los Angeles, its hearth. And befitting a hearth, much of Nicola Mastronardi's food comes from the big, hardwood-burning ovens, flavored with the presence of smoke, forests, stone chimneys and chilly afternoons — a scallop, say, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and baked in its shell until it sizzles; a magnificent veal chop; soft curls of cuttlefish tucked into an herb salad; a whole, truffle-laced squab. The adjacent rotisserie turns out the best restaurant version of porchetta I have ever tasted in California — loin and belly are wrapped into a spiral, seasoned with fennel and spit-roasted to a crackling, licorice-y succulence. It is certainly possible to eat several mediocre Italian meals elsewhere in this neighborhood for the price of a single superb one here. At these times, it is good to remember that on Monday nights, pizza also comes out of these ovens. 11930 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood. (310) 207-0127, vincenteristorante.com. Dinner, Mon.-Sat., 5:30-9:30 p.m.; lunch, Fri., noon-2 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, MC, V. Italian.
99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:
Church & State
Din Tai Fung
El Huarache Azteca
Euro Pane Bakery
Fab Hot Dogs
Good Girl Dinette
La Casita Mexicana
Lazy Ox Canteen
Meals by Genet
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
Night + Market
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Pollos a la Brasa
Sapp Coffee Shop
Son of a Gun
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Waterloo & City
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Los Angeles dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.
More Food & Drink News
- Big Fat Jerks Set Rocio's Mole de los Dioses on Fire, McWhoppers for Peace and More:...
- Huitlacoche Is No Scourge In L.A. Here's Where to Find the Funky Mexican Corn Fungus
- No One Wants To Use Your Stupid Restaurant App
- Help Us Determine L.A.'s Top Chefs, Tacos, Cocktails, Burgers, Brunch and More for Our...