11359 Santa Monica Blvd
West LA, CA
Chef/Owner: Sal Marino
Chef de Cuisine: Giacomo Dalmonte
Pastry Chef: Kelly Mitchell
Sommelier: Josh Nebenzahl
GM: Fabio Calesso
Ranked 80 in 2013; Ranked 86 in 2012.
It's fitting that in sushi-crazed Los Angeles, the city’s top Italian restaurant specializes in serving crudo. Each morning Sal Marino heads down to the Japanese fish market, where he sources pristine examples of fish and seafood for preparations like hamachi in a tonno sauce or fluke wrapped around pickled asparagus. An avid student of contemporary Italian culinary technique, Sal also serves creations like squid ink spaghetti with a creamy sea urchin sauce. In late summer, there’s an all-tomato tasting menu based on the 40 different types of heirloom tomatoes that Sal grows in his own garden. Along with the tasty food, “a dining room that is filled with food lovers rather than trendy looking LA celebs” makes this one of the calmest dining experiences in the city.