I shunned Cafe Verona (on La Brea and 2nd) for over a year because of its lousy location next to a Quick Lube. It looks like an overgrown garden from the outside and you can barely tell there's a restuarant in there. Well I finally tried it and was I wrong to mock...
The menu is amazing authentic simple italian- the polenta con uova with roasted tomatoes is to die for- great pannini, and pasta the way the italians do it (not drowning in sauce)
The overgrown garden kinda shields you from the outside world- if it weren't for the traffic sounds you'd have no idea you were feet from La Brea.
A great place for breakfast or lunch if you want to avoid the scene- I wouldn't be caught dead at Toast or Lulu's on a Saturday morning. I almost hesitating posting this cause I'm not sure I want word to get around.