From the outside, Colombo's Italian Steakhouse in Eagle Rock looks like a shingle-topped former car wash, exuding zero charm and even less style. Inside, the place shows promise, sporting enough padded red leather for a whorehouse. Open since 1954, it seems slyly designed to weaken your cultural defenses, lulling you into jettisoning the Dwell magazine attitude, ordering a stiff drink from the long bar and slipping into a tufted dining booth to chow down on a buttery, juicy menu of steaks, chops and pasta. Look around at the other tables, and the dish you'll probably see most often, plumped up in all its caloric splendor, is shrimp scampi. These lightly sautéed sea creatures are just plain huge; they're nestled atop a queen-size bed of linguine with fresh chunks of garlic, and General Manager Vic Parrino may charmingly cajole you into taking the leftovers in a doggie bag. 1833 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock. (323) 254-9138,

—N. Jenssen

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