SO and I headed out to Ristorante Travestere (the Hollywood & Highland vs. the Santa Monica location) on a Friday night to celebrate my last day of working at a crummy job. We had a good meal and service was excellent, but we know we won't be back -- it's hard to justify what we got against the price tag (I know, I know, the place is in the heart of Hollywood and it is in a mall after all, but still). We started with the antipasto appetizer -- $13.95 for a medium plate of good quality olives, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and blondly grilled red and yellow peppers, zucchini and eggplant. I ordered a plate of Burina for $15.95 -- a nice smoky (but one-noted) tomato sauce with sausage and your choice of pasta (nice touch), I had it with penne. SO got the vongole with red sauce and linguine for $18.95 -- a basic red sauce with fresh clams and mussels still in the shell. We washed all of this down with a glass of sangiovese for $8.50, and a glass of Montalcino for $9.50 (BYOB corkage is $10) -- the sangiovese proved to be the winner. Our bill came to, what we thought was, a whopping $88 with tip (even though this was cushioned somewhat by our waitstaff "treating" us to a little bowl of semi-sweet biscuits, a shot of amaretto and a shot of sambuca) for two glasses of wine, an appetizer and two entrees.
For the price, I'll take Il Capriccio on Vermont any day -- prosciutto e melone for $6.95 (big slices of sweet, soft melon wrapped generously in imported prosciutto), bolognese for $9.95, frutti di mare (frutti di mare!) for $14.95 (all good, fresh and complex flavored to boot), glasses of Old Moon Zinfandel for $5.50 (BYOB corkage is only $5), and an amazing tiramisu (but stay away from the coffee) for $5.00. Take your pick!