I was a huge fan of Alejo's (now Eddie's Italian.) It's in a small donut shop-type space in a parking mall squeezed in near a Seven-eleven. You sit at two-tops squeezed in against other two-tops, with other parties sitting at them. You bring your own wine. And the food is glorious. It has the best Eggplant Parmesan I've ever tasted -- nothing breaded or frozen or frozen there -- which believe it or not, is rare.
Where are the *unfancy* good Italian places on the East side or in Northeast Los Angeles?
Gale's in Pasadena sounded like that place from the reviews -- but the entrees are $17-$40, the wine bottles start at $45 and the bills are about $70 per person! And frankly...meh.
In the same breath as Gale's in Pasadena, I've heard Far Niente's in Glendale and Columbo's in Eagle Rock. Who can evaluate?
I remember Colori Kitchen downtown was pretty good when it first opened. Is it still the case? And is it still BYOB?