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Mini Review--Antica Pizzaria Marina Del Rey

Slow Foodie | Nov 4, 200203:47 PM

13455 Maxella Ave (2nd floor)
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel. 310 577-8182
Fax 310 577-8185
Sometimes there's something to be said for "not bad." It was a Saturday night and we'd just seen Auto Focus. Our thrifty and vegetarian friends recommended Antica as a place that was walking distance from the theatre, reasonable, vegetarian friendly and one you could walk into with four people without a reservation at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. And it was a pretty good choice. The place is cute but really tiny and we had to maneuver our table geometrically to avoid being bumped by anyone accessing the tables around us. The server was a charming Swiss girl who seemed genuinely disappointed that they were out of the organic wine we'd ordered. We settled for a San Genovese which was drinkable and reasonable. The bread was some sort of ciabatta but wasn't particularly fresh or flavorful. Our friends ordered starters for the table--Arancino di Rici-a very starchy rather flavorless rice ball served with a bland sauce and a potato croquette--which was a big grease ball that reminded me of the Fedco Knishes of my childhood. I'd asked if the Caesar came with anchovies and I guess I must have looked pretty wistful when I was told it didn't because it arrived with a lovely and generous display of anchovies circling the bowl. My heart sank when I nudged an anchovy to discover those perfectly regular tiny little croutons. Can you say Pepperidge Farms? But alas, I was mistaken. Someone is just a meticulous, if somewhat compulsive cutter. The croutons were fresh, crisp and garlicky, definitely not a prepackaged item, the romaine was nice and fresh and the dressing quite tasty. Mr. Slow Foodie ordered seafood skewers--Spiedini di Mare--which were nicely displayed and contained fresh salmon and swordfish. Unfortunately it also contained shrimp and scallops in an unbilled appearance which was disappointing as the Slow Foodies eschew shellfish but the morsels found a good home with the less militant of our vegetarian friends. I ordered the Tagliata di Bue al Carbone which was decent thin sliced charbroiled beef with some pretty bland polenta. The revelation of the evening was some really outstanding sauteed rapini. The bill was a modest $45.00 for starters, one salad, two entrees and a nice bottle of wine. I suspect we might have been happier if we'd lowered our low carbohydrate/high protein standards a bit because the risottos, pastas and pizzas looked pretty darn good. We shall return and carboload.

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