First time to this much-lauded ristorante, Angelini Osteria.
Party of four: yours truly, GF, buddy from Milano, and his GF, a frequent patron. Having the last two in tow helped out us newbies a great deal.
Amuse: baby scallops served on the shell over bed of arrugula. Could have eaten twenty of these (unfortunately, only one for each of us).
Antipasti: Yours truly, some fresh anchovies on bed of greens. GF, octopus salad. Milano, greens with burrata (heavenly!). Frequent Patron orders off the menu: hand twisted pasta with shrimp, basil, in light tomato sauce. Everything terrific, but the off-the-menu pasta is a grand slam...
Secondi: Yours truly, veal liver with the creamiest/crunchiest polenta imaginable (I am a fan of neither liver or polenta, thinking I'd go out on a limb. Very pleased with my dish). GF, duck with spinach. Delicious, but she proclaims a few fatty and tough slices of meat. Milano gets the salt-encrusted branzino, fileted tableside: better than my former favorite Branzino at Drago. Frequent patron gets seared ahi tuna with caper-y, olive-y sauce. Very tasty, although she felt it needed some pop (freshly ground pepper did the trick).
Dessert: Tiramisu---for me, this is a tired menu item, offered everywhere from high end resto to AM/PM minimart. The version here is extremely noteworthy. Also, coconut cake with Nutella (Milano wanted a nostalgia rush...) Dense, dry, with several coconut strands the consistency of fish bones. Only failure of the night.
Service was impeccable (no doubt enhanced by Milano and various waiters engaging in a few staccato, rapid-fire exchanges in Italian, and Frequent Patron). The ultimate sign of success: Milano slams table with fist several times throughout the meal, unable to contain euphoria at what he is tasting.
The place is tiny and loud, as has been well documented. Will only add that the four-tops are in fact well-spaced, so go with a group for optimal experience.
All of the above, + 2 bottles of vino (at $45 a pop---sorry for no specifics) + 2 espressos = $280.
Next time (maybe lunch today?), the bombolotti all'amatriciana!
On Beverly, just East of La Brea, north side of street. Directly across from El Coyote. The gastronomic best and worst, staring each other down...
As always, thanks to all Hounds for helping me see the light.
ANGELINI OSTERIA 7313 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90036 Tel. 323 297 0070