Recently I re-discovered this 'old friend', and was really blown away by how well-run this place has become. It has an ambiance unlike anything else I have found here in LA...and reminds me more of a Chicago or NY neighborhood vibe. Locals seem to thrive on just going there to let go and have fun. The more the 'red', the louder it can get..but the high ceilings absorb even the most 'fun customers' chatter. The little stretch of Tujunga it sits on seems to be lost (thankfully) to touristas.
The minestrone is excellent, and most of the entrees (like veal and pasta dishes) are first-rate.
But the thing that impresses most, is the fact the people who run it are all over even the slightest problem. One night my meat sauce was slightly salty, and the manager rushed the dish into the kitchen..tasted the sauce himself (said he agreed), and brought me something much better..with an offer of a free dessert.
Their 'care factor' is not something I've run into much anywhere else.
I like it.