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99 Essentials

5 Essential Italian Restaurants in Los Angeles

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Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

click to enlarge Housemade pappardelle with rabbit ragu, taggiasche olives and cherry tomatoes at Vincenti - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Housemade 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.

click to enlarge Angelini Osteria - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Angelini 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.

click to enlarge Salumi at Bestia - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Salumi 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.

click to enlarge Il Grano chef Salvatore Marino - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Il 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.

click to enlarge Octopus at Vincenti - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Octopus 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.

click to enlarge Chefs Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina at Osteria Mozza - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Chefs Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina at Osteria Mozza

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