As a Hound with a born-b-bred Italian wife (and who's lived in Bel'Italia for 7 hears, himself), I'm always on the lookout for great Italian grub here in Los Angeles.
Recently stumbled across a great new place worth sharing - Fioretto Trattoria, an unassuming little restaurant in an unassuming strip mall in an unassuming part of Marina Del Rey.
My wife, toddler son, and I stopped in Saturday for lunch. The place was devoid of customers - I'll chalk that up to it being relatively new (opened in October), location, and it having been relatively early when we arrived (noon, on the nose). We were warmly greeted by Dawn, the hostess and proprieter, and her 16 month old daughter. My 16 month old son got a real kick out of being in a restaurant where he could hang out with another kid for a bit.
The place itself is... well... unassuming. Its certainly cute, but nothing fancy. But in that sense it reminded me of some of the best casual trattorie back in Italy.
Dawn gave us the scoop... the owner and Executive Chef (Dawn's husband) David Giani opened the joint a few months back to pursue the dream of having his own little restaurant after Chef roles at joints like Ca'Brea, Tutto Mare, and Il Fornail (B.H.). His adorable mom (Nonna, of course) has been in town while they get things up and running, and was a delight. She and my wife chatted endlessly about "the old country."
The food itself is alot like the restaurant - simple, traditional Tuscan dining, and excellent. My wife had a saffron risotto with a roasted veal ragout... she loved it and proclaimed it one of the best risotto dishes she's had since leaving Italy 12 years ago. I went old school and had Spaghetti al Sugo di Carne - a classic spaghetti in meat sauce that was outstanding. Very typical Italian flavor and preparation, the likes of which you don't find in LA very often.
We decided we had to try desert, too, and had the Chocoloate bread pudding, which was also excellent, tho I'm glad we shared - it was very rich. It also marked my son's first taste of chocolate... if a 16 month old's palatte is to be trusted, this was the finest thing since sliced bread. He was covered from head to toe in it, and LOVED every bite.
And speaking of sliced bread, all of the bread is fresh baked by David and his crew and is very good. The big loaf is soft and fresh, adn he also had a variety of wonderful foccacie that we tried.
So... long story short - great little place that's family friendly, run by wonderful folks, and is serving up some of the best pasta in LA. I'd love to see the place succeed, hence the long post that may sound just short of an infomercial, and will be going back often.
Check it out:
12740 Culver Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90066
310 448 8000
Really basic website at http://fioretto.tuscanycuisine.com/ which has menus.
Located on Culver, just before the BT building (the big building with all the satellite dishes).
P.S. (Judgement barometer - my favorite LA Italian is Angelini Osteria)
P.S.S. They're still waiting on their liquor license, which was just approved. Dawn said they should be serving beer/wine within a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, fair warning to hounds who'll want a bit o' vino with their meal.