Quickly dug through the archives, and found wildly diverging posts on this place (everything from "Best Italian in LA" to a violent food poisoning episode), so thought I would throw in a quick report on a last night's meal (first time visit).
For those unfamiliar with this place, it is a tiny little joint on Vermont, between Franklin and Hollywood, sandwiched between an alarming number of eateries for such a small block. Menu offers strictly familiar trattoria-style fare.
The two of us grabbed a table on the heated patio. Smoking is permitted out there, so be warned if this is a problem for you (inside, while cozy, was packed to the gills).
Started with some prosciutto and melon---quite standard, but a generous portion for 8 bucks. SO had linguini con frutti di mare---flavorful, with, again, copious amounts of seafood (clams, fish, octopus, mussels, enormous tiger shrimp). I had a petrale sole special. I fully expected something tasteless (thought I would test them), but was pleasantly surprised to find a nice sized filet, prepared in sort of a piccata type deal (lemon, capers, butter) full of flavor, alongside al dente pasta and spinaci.
Service was terrific, very agreeable and friendly, without obtrusiveness. Starter, two entrees, two espressos, $24 bottle of wine----final tab $75 before tax/tip.
For those that ARE familiar with this place, there was a change of ownership back in September. While the family-run aspect of it has not changed (apparently), they now have a tiny wine list , so previous BYOB no-corkage policies have probably changed.
Bottom line (on only one visit!): Good, simple, but nicely prepared food, in a humble little neighborhood restaurant. Perhaps a good stop for some chow before a show at the Greek, a flick at The Vista, or another rockin' evening with Marty and Elaine...
1757 N. Vermont Ave.