We had an absolutely perfectly wonderful dinner at Valentino last evening. In our opinion, this restaurant is head and shoulders over any other Italian restaurant in southern CA, and is surely one of the very best restaurants in LA.
Valentino was outstanding in every way! The dining rooms are attractive with comfortable seating, good lighting and the tables are spaced adequately so that restaurant is reasonably quiet. The servers are professional, pleasant, capable and most importantly, very knowledgeable about the food and wine they are serving.
Most importantly however, the food is awesome. We started by splitting a wonderful grilled apple salad and a delicious wild mushroom timbale both of which were outstanding. We then split an order of pumpkin ravioli with fresh white truffle shavings. This was absolutely scrumptious beyond belief; we felt we had died and gone to heaven! We both had fish for our entrees...halibut and branzino. Both were cooked perfectly with beautiful presentation and sauces. At this point, because we had several smaller appetizer courses plus very substantial entrees, and eaten much of the terrific bread, we were quite sated and thus finished off with just coffee and "a plate of cookies". The later was a wonderful presentation and consisted of multiple different goodies all of which were great.
Incidentally, we started with cocktails which were perfectly prepared. Of course, the wine list is outstanding and wine service was excellent. Additionally, when we told our server that we were going to share the first three starter courses, he arranged to have the kitchen split them for us. The presentation of each was perfect, and there was no additional charge for splitting.
This was our first visit to Valentino, but our meal was as close to perfect as it gets. If Valentino is consistently this good, there is no Italian restaurant in L.A. that can touch it!