Emilio's, the stalwart Italian at the corner of Highland and Melrose avenues, is no more. With its new name, Emi, and executive chef and partner Enrico Glaudo, longtime chef at Primi in West L.A., it was hoped the place would seem more hip. It didn't take. So now there's been yet another name change, this time to L'Angolo--which means "the corner" in Italian.
The restaurant looks brighter now, with natural light flooding in the large windows. The walls are hung with huge bright paintings on the theme of apples. And the bar in the center is framed by several dining areas to create an attractive space.
L'Angolo's menu has left old-fashioned Italian cuisine behind, too. At Primi, I liked Glaudo's cooking before he updated it with trendy dishes and startling combinations of ingredients. Here, he's going even further out on the limb. A special of slipper lobster tails wrapped in prosciutto strives for too much effect with the presentation. He's got asparagus stalks protruding from the lobster tails, a look that's decidedly odd. And, as part of a calamari salad, he threads calamari bodies onto asparagus, too. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. But crespelle, or crepes, stuffed with a duck forcemeat, a dish Glaudo used to make at Primi, gets a straightforward presentation and tastes just fine.