April 14, 1994 |
Long before trendy pasta restaurants began sprouting up on the Westside, Sorrento's Market was quietly selling authentic Italian food. Since 1963, in fact, the store has offered variety after variety of olives, cheeses, meats and other products, many of which are imported from Italy or made fresh locally. The quality is high--but not the prices.
August 10, 2012
Evan Kleiman is the glue that holds the Los Angeles food scene together. She has been host of KCRW's Good Food radio show for 15 years, interviewing more than 6,000 guests, ranging from celebrated chefs to local farmers. She was also chef of the Melrose Avenue institution Angeli Caffe for 28 years and one of the first proponents of rustic Italian cooking in Los Angeles. Her improvisational style, while rooted in the cucina povera of Italy, shows her reliance on simple ingredients and economical ingenuity to produce delicious and satisfying food with a fresh, honest, pared down aesthetic that people intuitively understand and appreciate.
August 4, 1991 |
Once upon a time, Italian food in America was what you ate when you didn't have much money. You went to dark, square rooms where the ceiling was covered with dusty, straw-covered bottles of undrinkable wine, and the tables were covered with (slightly spotted) red-and-white-checked tablecloths. Meals began with big, balloony slices of bread, continued through spaghetti in red sauce and usually ended with something called spumoni.
November 23, 2000 |
Pastina Trattoria is a flourishing place. There are people who dine here six nights a week, and on Friday and Saturday nights it's packed from 6:30 on. Eight years ago, a fine Cajun restaurant named Patout's died at this very same Westwood Boulevard address, right when Cajun food was supposedly fashionable. So much for location, location, location as the key to success. What's Pastina's secret? Los Angeles has gone wild for Italian food in the last decade, of course.
November 6, 1991 |
If they had chosen a different name for their growing restaurant business, a good choice might have been "Five Guys From Italy." Next month, when they open a new restaurant called Emporio Armani Express in South Coast Plaza, the five businessmen will have three Italian restaurants at or near the giant Costa Mesa shopping mall. Their flagship business, the stylish L'Opera restaurant, is in downtown Long Beach.
February 27, 1994 |
Seated in one of the vibrantly blue booths at El Caserio, you may notice how the music switches from a classical Spanish guitar to a beautiful aria from a Puccini opera. You may also notice the bottom of the menu reads grazie and muchas gracias. And, after studying the menu, you'll know the food matches the music and the thank-yous, for this restaurant features Italian and Ecuadorean cuisine.
November 8, 1991 |
Three or four years ago, it was hard to predict what would happen next on the Los Angeles restaurant scene. Upscale Cuban cuisine? Commuting French chefs? Mediterranean cooking? More bar & grill American? Unfortunately, the recession has since tempered the more outlandish and chancy culinary impulses. And the public, too, leaned toward easier, safer food. What this seems to have led to is not just a trend but a glut of contemporary Italian restaurants. Don't get me wrong.
July 5, 1996 |
It's been too hot to cook, so I have been making and renewing my acquaintance with some of the city's local take-out food. Abiento on South Lake in Pasadena has opened a gourmet deli case. Take-out service is still very new--in fact, it felt as if my friends and I were the first serious, load-it-up customers. Our server was helpful if inexperienced, but somehow, eventually, we left with picnic fare and dinner.
October 4, 1992 |
The search for a new chef is over at L'Escoffier. The Beverly Hilton Hotel has hired one of the city's most respected chefs for its newly redecorated room with a view--Michel Blanchet. "We are lightening up the food," says General Manager Richard Cotter. "We certainly want our old customers back, but we believe it's a room with excitement that can attract new and younger crowds as well."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2002 |
Pietro Vitale slammed his gnarled 84-year-old fist on a table. "The last two, three years have been tough," said Vitale, owner of Oh Boy, a San Fernando frozen food plant that has employed thousands of people and made millions of pizzas over the last 48 years. "But you never give up! You have to endure." Last year, Oh Boy was in serious trouble. High-interest loans and exorbitant energy bills were about to force the closure of the landmark food corporation, which has 150 employees.