Kind of a hypocritical review coming your way. We had a REALLY fun evening tonight at La Buca (our first time). On the other hand, I cannot rave over all of the food. Started out with crispy calamari, which was a generous sized portion, and not strictly all "rings"- - -plenty of the tentacle portion. Crispy, tender- - -but a tad strong in the "fishy taste" department. We shared an order of a special of the day pasta. Trenette with mushrooms and truffle oil. This was really delicious. Our third item was a pizza with Mozarella, blue cheese, ham and of all things- - -an egg! Very nice- - -just not exceptional. Sorry to buck the other reviews I've read, but the crust was not anything to write home about. We live in Sherman Oaks, and the vibe change of being near Hollywood was a major draw. Dining in this intimate spot, right off of a fairly busy (albeit industrial) stretch of Melrose was indeed enjoyable. Spent the whole ride home though debating if we would return. I'm thinking that instead of La Buca, we'll probably return to Girasole, or La Luna on Larchmont. Regarding La Buca, they have a very generous policy of being able to tote your own bottle of wine to the restaurant, with no corkage fee. On the other hand, if you ask for water, they tell you that it is not the policy of the restaurant to serve "L.A.'s finest". In other words, if you want water, you have to ORDER water- - -as in 5 bucks per bottle.
Hope I haven't ruffled feathers in this review. Our wallet's weren't tapped out from tonights dinner ($54 for two), but as the late Peggy Lee sang- - -"Is that all there is?"