Fresco, the latest home of the great Italian chef, Antonio Orlando, is changing owners. Orlando may open another place but it is not clear. Tonight - possibly a last meal there - was exemplary: exquisite pasta with al dente chunks of squash and plump tender flavorful porcini rivals or surpasses various truffle dishes in the city. The pasta itself was the star of the show with perfectly al dente texture and full round flavors; squab with veal and porcini filling and a deep soulful brown sauce (large serving); perfectly executed veal rib chop; creamy light Italian style creme brulee. Several good $35 wines (2001 Barbera D'Alba Pio Cesare and a nice Dolcetto D'Alba) and relaxed knowlegable staff.
Bric Montrose has also changed owners - this part of the City's answer to Valentino (with admittedly frustrating service) is also changing owners. Interestingly the sign announcing the new owner ("Mazis" or something like that) has been taken down and now says Bric Montrose again - meaning?
That leaves Cinnabar with sometimes uneven but imaginative Cal Asian, Cabinita with nuevo Mexican and Bistro Verdu with sincerely trying updated bistro.
It seems that an area ends with up with the restaurants it deserves. Trips to Dal Rae in Pico Rivera and Saddle Peak Lodge may still not be required, but I'm looking further afield these days.
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