4 of us went for Mother's birthday last night to Il Grano. I had read such good things about it and since my mother and brother were coming from the San Fernando Valley, I pick a place that was also freeway close. The room is simply decorated and comfortable. The menu tries to not be routine. My mother and brother only ordered one course, wife ordered 2 courses, and to make it interesting I ordered the 5 course tasting menu $49.00. My mother's Eggplant dish must have been good, she finished every drop. 4 breads are offered. I tried the olive and also the mushroom options. Both were warm, fresh and wonderful. Wife ordered fresh figs, sprinkled with Basalmico and shaved Reggiono cheese. My brother had the Angus steak, mashed potato and Gorganzola sauce. He mentioned how tender and good everything was. Wife had the Cheese Angiolotti with Chantrelle sauce. My first course was 8 presentations of sashimi...scallop, albacore, blue fin sashimi and tartare, amberjack, yellowtail, pea puree with uni, and a tiny oyster on the half shell. Each had a different complimentary drop of "sauce" and everything was so amazingly fresh. Next was a perfectly seared scallop over seared arrugula surrounded by the best grilled calamari ever. Then came a homemade tagliatelle with a pink vodka sauce and crabmeat. Heavenly, really. Then came flash seared Blue Fin Tuna, sliced and served over sliced baby zuccini that were in a butter sauce. The fish just melted in your mouth and the veggie was amazingly fresh. Dessert was a fresh plum soup with vanilla iced cream and slices of plum floating in top. It reminded me of the final course at Yong Susan but without the ginger (and with the ided cream). After a few sips it was a bit too sweet to have any more but that was fine with me. This was one of the best meals that I have had in awhile and that is saying quite alot. They really were empty for a Saturday night too. I will be looking for any excuse to return...soon. They also have a cheaper trattoria next door and sell many Italian products too. Don't wait any longer to try this place, it gets my highest reccomendation. The chef Sal Marino is a 3rd generation chef and he made a number of visits to the table to see how everything was. The waitress was truly excellent and did an amazing job of pacing our meal. My mother and brother, who seem to find a reason to dislike most restaurants and most servers had nothing but good thing to say about our dinner. It doesn't get any better than this.
Il Grano * 11359 Santa Monica Blvd.,
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 477-7886