Best of LA Food
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Is there any meal as satisfying as a great Italian dinner? Mamma mia, no! The aloof vibe at Via Veneto (3009 Main St., Santa Monica; viaveneto.us) makes it seems like someone is going to make us an offer we can’t refuse—and it’s usually one of the irresistible ravioli dishes on daily special. Farther downMain Street, eating at intimate, canary-yellow Ado (796 Main St., Venice; adovenice.com) feels like dining in someone’s home (someone who can cook better than your own nonna). Amici Brentwood’s (2538 San Vicente Blvd., Santa Monica; amicibrentwood.com) menu is full of palatable piatti, but regulars only order from the list of specials recited by the welcoming waiters. The white-tablecloth service at Valentino (3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; valentinorestaurantgroup.com) is second to none, as is its list of Italian wines, and the sober service at Il Moro (11400 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles; ilmoro.com) and Il Ristorante de Giorgio Baldi (114 W. Channel Road, Santa Monica Canyon; giorgiobaldi.us) is professional and on point. However we’re partial to the familiar bustle at Angelini Osteria (7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; angeliniosteria.com) and the more casual vibe (and flatbreads) at Terroni (7605 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; terroni.ca), as well as the homemade pastas, modern wine cellar and small-plate bar specials of Downtown’s new Drago Centro (525 S. Flower St., Los Angeles; dragocentro.com).
Macarons: Dessert du Jour
Angelenos will always love the cupcake, but the most popular pastry in town these days is the French macaron. Said to date back to the Italian Renaissance and a hallmark of famous Belle Époque Parisian teahouses, the meringue-like cookies have found a fashionable following here in Los Angeles. Kris Morningstar’s macarons at The Mercantile (6600 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; themercantilela.com) come in kidfriendly flavors such as PB & J and maraschino cherry, while La Provence Patisserie & Cafe (8950 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, laprovencecafe.com) specializes in delightfully snooty old-lady classics, including rose, lavender, hazelnut and cherry amaretto. Paulette (9466 Charleville Blvd., Beverly Hills; paulettemacarons.com) uses exotic ingredients like Madagascar vanilla, Colombian coffee and violet cassis, and Jin Patisserie (1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; jinpatisserie.com) goes for pure concentration with a macaron made with chocolate ganache and sugared raspberries. For sizeists: Though Bottega Louie’s (700 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles; bottegalouie.com) macarons are small, the coconut and chocolate-orange flavors pack a big punch.