Went to Angelini Osteria last night, chowhound recs in mind. And man, it was fabulous. As background, I'm from Philly, so I know me good italian. And this was if not better than, equal to the best italian I've had in the heart of South Philly.
Cute little restaurant. Tables were close, but not so scary close as I had expected from reading other reviews. We weren't accidentially jostling our neighbors. Easy valet parking in front. $3.50; not so bad for LA. Friendly waiters. They really are Italian; I had a little trouble understanding them, in a good way. We asked for advice in ordering wine. Waiter picked an outstanding $50 bottle of an Italian red. I'm not a winehound yet, so I didn't write down what it was. But it met our specified requirements as described to the waiter, and was affordable. And extremely good.
Ahh, the food. Outstanding. Really the best mouthfeel I've had in a long time. We split the anchovies, beets and baby artichokes appetizer. Salty and oily but not overly so. A good portion to share; not too tiny. Overall, there was good portion size. The dishes weren't huge, but they weren't micro sized either.
For our primi, my friend and I each had pasta. I had the Lasagna Verde "Omaggio Nonna Elvira" with Beef and Veal Ragu. That was insane. Delicate; the flavors of the ragu melded together beautifully. The lasagna itself was like silk. I'd never imagined a light lasagna before. Incredible. Friend had the pumpkin tortillini, which was a nice mix of sweet pumpkin in light, fresh pasta. Good but not as mind blowing as the lasagna.
For our secondi, I had the John Dory special (as rec by chowhounds). About 5 disks of 2 inch diameter medallions, lightly crusted with a breading. Hot damn, was that great. Delicate fish, flavorful-buttery-coating. Friend had the veal chop, also breaded in a very buttery cover. This was really amazing. Veal was so moist, and the breading so buttery; I've never had a bite of meat that tasted so smooth before.
For dessert, I had a chocolate tart. The tart shell was a bitter dark chocolate with a lighter mousse inside. This was tasty but the dark chocolate was a little bitter for me. That's an acquired taste, though, and if you like dark chocolate you would probably like this. Friend had a outstanding slice of apple tart. Darkish crust - more nutmeg than usual? Not overly sweet filling. Outstanding.
Service was good although imperfect (water glasses not filled; waiter forgot our coffee orders entirely). Total bill was about $200.
I highly recommend Angelini Osteria. Great, great stuff.
7313 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90036