When the lush coffeehouse LA Mill opened blocks from the Silver Lake Reservoir, with its menu by Michael Cimarusti of Providence and its far-out caffeinated creations, Silver Lake officially crossed over from hipster haunt to artsy haven of health-conscious professionals.
Next to take up residence on Silver Lake Boulevard's burgeoning stretch of Larchmont by the lake was Gloria Felix's Reservoir.
Now, a third contender for the crown of neighborhood darling has laid out its white tablecloths: a tiny Italian restaurant named Domenico Ristorante.
Located in the old Michelangelo's space, just across from LA Mill, Domenico is the love child of owner Domenico Frasca and chef Michael Young. The former was born in Geneva, grew up in Naples, Italy, and spent plenty of time in France before making his home in L.A. and working as a waiter for more than 10 years at Drago in Santa Monica. The latter is an American of Italian descent who spent years living and cooking in Parma, Italy, before becoming an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu and working with the likes of Piero Selvaggio and Angelo Auriana of Valentino and Salvatore Marino of Il Grano.
Domenico has fewer than 50 seats, half of them outside, on a lovely bit of sidewalk real estate that proves the perfect perch for watching the life of the changing neighborhood pass by in all its relaxed and flamboyant beauty. With the legendary music club Spaceland within spitting distance and a raucous dog park for the leisurely set just beyond that, there's a lot of local color on parade.