Bread basket with rosemary white bean puree was fantastic.
Had an amuse of bresaola with basil, goat cheese, quite tasty. Thought it was funny that the runner called it "Air dried beef" probably after too many people asked what the hell "Brezowla" is.
Started with the warm octopus and seppia salad and prosciutto/burrata app. Octopus was a little tough, definitely not like I've had it in Follonica. Seppia was fabulous. Flavors were right on, served with a little fava, asparagus tips, and artichoke hearts. Prosciutto was awesome. Cut perfectly, obviously imported. Burrata was also top notch, I'm pretty sure it wasn't Gioia, probably imported as well. (I eat Gioia burrata at least once a week...)
Went with a margherita pizza, as it was pizza night. No freakin basil. I'm not going to get into the historical implications of this, but I've noticed a few restaurants not putting basil on a margherita. Anyone know if this is a regional thing? It should be a national requirement dammit. Sauce was awesome, as was the cheese. I'm not a huge fan of that style of crust...that flour/water dough...authenticity aside, I like something a little yeastier.
Room was getting loud, annoyingly so. Whatever, welcome to L.A.
Had a couple of the house chianti each by now, which were great. The sauvignon blanc was block 13, if I remember, nice tropical fruit thing going on.
Entrees come. John Dory for pop, Dover sole for me, and the tagliolini with bottarga, lemon, and basil oil for the special lady friend. The sole was fabulous, side vegetables were crunchy...which I like but would have preferred a little more done. Accompanying side sauces and wedge of lemon were unnecessary. John Dory was a little overcooked to my taste, but mostly moist and flavorful. Accompanying porcini were good but not the best quality. Tagliolini was drenched in bottarga. Don't get me wrong, I love bottarga, but if I want to suck on the entire roe I'll do it in the privacy of my own home. Tagliolini was homemade and delicious, unfortunately a bit overpowered by the intense lemony/fishy sauce.
And then service dropped the ball. Being a Monday, I'm sure they cut some staff, but it was more or less a full room and we waited quite a while for our server/busser to clear plates and hook us up a dessert menu. He was obviously hurried. I would have gone for dessert but I'm sure we would have been there another hour and poor ol' dad had to get home. This with the loud room was a slightly disappointing ending.
All in all I was happy with the food. I felt the room and service didn't match up to it. I also thought that for the price point, the food should have been more or less perfect. Octopus is not the most difficult thing to cook. And for 20 bucks for an app, I'd expect it to be tender. If service would have been on point, I would have gotten dessert and upped the tip to 20%. It was an enjoyable evening and if it was on someone else's dollar then I'd happily return, but otherwise I still have way too many places to try. Next time I'll try Madeo or Georgio Baldi.
It was roughly 270 for 3 people. Some shared apps, a pizza, 5 glasses of wine, 3 entrees, tax and tip.