Whether it’s the private loft above the chandeliers or a candlelit table by the window, Via Veneto is still one of the most romantic classic Italian restaurants in Los Angeles, celebrating more than 20 years on Main Street.

And while the intimate feel of the low-lit dining room isn’t lost on the likes of regulars that include Chris Hemsworth, Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, owner and founder Fabrizio Bianconi warmly welcomes each and every patron, serving them as if they were a guest in his own home. 

Bianconi came to the United States from Rome in 2003, working his way hosting through the California restaurant industry. After many months searching for the perfect space, Bianconi, with the help of rock star partner Warren Cuccurullo (Duran Duran, Frank Zappa, Steve Vai), stumbled on the charming venue that borders Venice and Santa Monica with high ceilings and a beautiful stone floor. The walls are lined with a carefully curated selection of Italian wines including Sicilian Donna Fugata and crisp La Scolca Gavi Dei Gavi.

 Via Veneto

Grilled prime beef tomahawk steak with truffle and white asparagus (Michele Stueven)

Chef de Cuisine Ruben Vasquez, who previously spent 12 years at Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi in the nearby Santa Monica canyon, oversees the seasonally rotating menu, incorporating organic, locally grown and sourced ingredients.

If you’re lucky enough to catch that sweet but brief summer convergence of white asparagus, soft shell crab and truffles, Vasquez brings the essence of those seasonal delights to the appetizer menu, which includes a sexy seared sea scallop with Alba white truffle. For the pasta course, try a trio of sweet corn and truffle, asparagus, and pumpkin/ lobster ravioli. 

The grilled prime beef tomahawk steak for two is carved tableside, topped with shaved truffles, and served best alongside the white asparagus and pee wee roasted potatoes. A light panna cotta with both chocolate and raspberry sauces topped with fresh berries is a creamy way to cap off a sensuous feast.

In the midst of a restaurant boom in Santa Monica, Venice and Culver City, Via Veneto has retained and resurrected the original bohemian Venice vibe that once existed in years past on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, now finding a welcome resurgence in the historic shotgun buildings at the south end of Main Street.  

 Via Veneto

Ravioli trio (Michele Stueven)












































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