It's been a long time since I had a moan-worthy meal in LA. Granted, I haven't hit all the big-time players yet, but it will be hard to compare to my night at Tre Venezie in Pasadena this past weekend.
My boyfriend and I had an early dinner planned, so when we arrived the place was empty, save for a couple chatting it up with the chef while they noshed. We chose to sit outside at one of two "patio" tables because it was empty inside, and a tad stuffy for such a beautiful (and finally cool) Pasadena night. Even being next to Twin Palms and a few doors down from the raucous line at Buca di Beppo, it felt like another world. Big trees overhead, quiet music piped outside...it was fabulous.
Our server was training someone, so maybe he was extra attentive, but not too much so. He was knowledgeable and friendly, at the ready for all of our questions and requests. We felt welcomed right away.
The food. This is Italian food like I've never experienced. The menu is layed out with just enough description of where a dish is from, what's homemade, etc. It's mostly Northern cuisine, with a lot of Austrian influence.
We stared with a dish called cjalsons (sp?), handmade raviolis stuffed with a fruit/cocoa mixture that was savory and sweet, but not too much so. They were pooling in clarified butter and topped with cheese. AMAZING. Our salad of spinach and marinated onions was delish, but not out of this world.
The risottos are all made to order, from scratch, so they take some time. Seafood risotto (a special) had lobster and halibut among things, and was rich and creamy, the best risotto I've ever tasted. seriously. My orzotto with lamb and mushrooms was rich and earthy and perfect.
Dessert. I think a perfect tiramisu. Not soggy, full of flavor, creamy marscapone. Exactly as it should be. I've been disappointed by so many tiramisus, this was heaven. Also had a hazelnut cake with white and dark choclate. A bit dry, but homemade and chocolate nirvana.
All in all, I want to eat here every single day. If I didn't have so many other places to try, I probably would. It's truly a find and worth a trip to Pas if you don't live nearby. Exquisite food.